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TTU gives Wilson a five-year contract extension
Tennessee Tech Director of Athletics Mark Wilson has agreed to a five-year contract extension, keeping him at the helm of the Golden Eagle athletic program through 2017.
The contract extension was announced this week by TTU president Dr. Bob Bell with the approval of incoming president, Dr. Phillip Oldham.
“Mark Wilson is an outstanding Director of Intercollegiate Athletics,” Bell said. “He is deeply committed to the success and welfare of our student athletes. His professionalism, dedication, and drive have led TTU sports programs–and our student-athletes–to many outstanding achievements. I have been honored to work with him, and am delighted that we have finalized an agreement so he can continue to be an exceptional leader at the University.”
Oldham, who assumes the presidency July 1, echoed Bell’s thoughts on the future of Tech athletics.
“I am delighted to know that Mark Wilson will continue to provide outstanding leadership for TTU athletics, and I am looking forward to working with him in support of our student-athletes,” Oldham said.
Wilson’s first eight years as Director of Athletics at TTU have showcased his vision, energy, and enthusiasm for providing outstanding experiences for Tech’s student-athletes and fans. Highlights of his efforts include major improvements in Tennessee Tech’s athletics facilities including the Basketball Coach’s Complex and the Athletic Performance Center, high graduation and APR rates by Golden Eagle student-athletes, outstanding academic success, and excellent relationships with the campus, community and alumni.
In short, Wilson has facilitated growth and excellence in all areas of TTU Athletics.
“I’m honored by the show of support for my leadership from Dr. Bell and Dr. Oldham, and extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve,” Wilson said. “There is still much to accomplish in the coming years, championships to win and student-athletes to recruit, foster and guide toward graduation.
“There’s a lot more to do, but I’m confident we are moving forward in an extremely positive direction,” he said.
Coming off an appointment on the NCAA Leadership Council, Wilson is beginning a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee and Division I Football Issues Committee, and has been very active in the Ohio Valley Conference governance structure.
Wilson, 43, has led Athletics to several milestone accomplishments during his first eight years, including enhanced facilities and fund raising, high profile staff additions, and compliance and academic success.
Under Wilson’s guidance, the program has continued to focus on the academic success of its student-athletes, with soaring numbers each semester on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. Tech’s student-athletes have achieved their highest overall combined semester GPAs.
Wilson also developed a strategic plan for Tech’s athletic facilities and has already seen some of those plans become reality. During the past five years Tech has completed several construction and renovation projects to athletic facilities, including a spectacular, new Athletic Performance Center on the western edge of campus, a spacious, new basketball office complex in Eblen Center, a new natural grass practice field, installation of new turf in Tucker Stadium, renovating the running track, renovating the football offices, meeting rooms and locker rooms, and new lights at Tucker Stadium.
Additional building plans call for a new student-athlete center and an on-campus tennis center.
Another step achieved under Wilson’s direction has been increased fund raising and development efforts with the goal of providing the necessary facilities and resources for Tech’s student-athletes, coaches and staff.
All of those accomplishments have come while the department has continued to stay focused on compliance with all NCAA rules and regulations. The most recent NCAA announcements show that all 14 of Tech’s athletic programs are comfortably above the benchmark for compliance in the Athletic Progress Rate (APR), including two Tech teams winning Public Recognition Awards. Prior to that, the Golden Eagle softball team ranked first in the nation for cumulative team GPA for the second time in four years.
Just as important are the relationships that Wilson has developed and nurtured, including the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, the student body, the campus community and the region at-large. His leadership has been instrumental in the overwhelming success in the community’s host role at Tucker Stadium for the annual Blue Cross Bowl for the TSSAA high school state championship football games.
Tech has also seen growth in regional and national media exposure for its student-athletes and coaches while his hand-on approach to marketing and branding Golden Eagle Athletics has earned increased opportunities and involvement for fans and sponsors. Some of the ideas he has implemented include the Purple Pride Caravans, a new athletics logo and branding marks that have gained nationwide recognition, and an updated and modern ticketing system.
Under Wilson’s direction, Tech is also on the brink of introducing an enhanced digital video presence for athletics, including free live web streaming productions and a variety of additional video programs, interviews and features that will give fans, alumni and supporters greater access to Golden Eagle teams, student-athletes, coaches and staff.
During his tenure, Wilson has successfully selected and hired head coaches for six of the school’s 14 teams, and three of those hires have earned Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors.
Another highly visible product of Wilson’s leadership is the increased fan support at Golden Eagle events. Last year, while winning the OVC Championship for the first time in 36 years, the Tech football team drew the largest average home attendance at Tucker Stadium in 25 years. In February, Tech set a school record for the largest attendance at a women’s basketball game.
Wilson was named Director of Athletics on July 1, 2004. He came to Tennessee Tech from a position of Associate Athletic Director at Ohio University. Prior to that, he served as the Director of Athletic Marketing for the University of Massachusetts, worked as a graduate assistant in the UMass athletic department and interned with the Northwestern University ticketing and marketing departments.
Wilson received his bachelor’s degree in 1991 from the University of Maine in physical education and health, and earned his master’s in sports management from the University of Massachusetts in 1994.
by Tennessee Tech University Sports Information