W&M Hires New Athletics Director

It’s FINALLY HAPPENED! W&M has hired its next Athletics Director, Brian Mann. Brian is a graduate of Dartmouth, who has had experience in the “front offices” of several prominent schools, including Rice, UC Berkeley, and the aforementioned Dartmouth.

We’re incredibly excited to hear the news, and want to fill our readers in on some quick hits regarding Mann’s background. Ladies and gentlemen, meet your new AD!

The following bio comes directly from UC Berkeley’s website:

“Brian Mann [served] as the Chief Development Officer for Cal Athletics and leads all development and alumni relations efforts on behalf of the department.

In his first full year with the Bears, Mann spearheaded an effort to raise $36 million to support student-athletes.

He came to Cal after serving as the Chief Development Officer for the Rice University Athletics Department In Houston, Texas. Prior to that role, he held several positions at Dartmouth College, his alma mater.

Mann played quarterback at Dartmouth and graduated in 2002. Following graduation, he played for the LA Avengers of the Arena Football League for four years. He later earned a master’s degree while working at Dartmouth in the athletics department.”

But it is perhaps W&M’s official press release that has us most excited, which included the following items we found most interesting at first glance:

“Mann holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Dartmouth, where he played quarterback. His 5,912 career passing yards are third on the Big Green’s all-time list.”

WMSB instant reaction: A true-blood scholar athlete at an Ivy League school — we love this.

“Mann was the architect for the [Berkeley] athletics department’s $350 million portion of the university’s $6 billion campaign… He had sport oversight of the men’s basketball team and was a key contributor to the department’s ongoing strategic plan.”

WMSB instant reaction: Not only is he coming in with 18 years of intercollegiate athletics experience, but he’s also coming from an internationally-known academic powerhouse. The gravy on top? He’s personally overseen the basketball team — a key cog in many W&M fans’ proposed strategy for W&M Athletics moving forward.

“Prior to his stint at UC Berkeley, Mann was chief development officer and senior associate athletics director at Rice, where he was responsible for all fundraising for the Owls’ athletics programs.”

WMSB instant reaction: Not only does Mann boast college athletics experience at UC Berkeley (the nation’s top-ranked public university), but he also boasts experience at another academic powerhouse in Rice. While Rice is private, their profile is similar to W&M. Mann’s experience with the Owls makes him that much better for the Tribe.

“Mann got his start in athletics at Dartmouth College, his alma mater, where he served as director of football operations and began his work in fundraising. Mann holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Dartmouth”

WMSB instant reaction: Yet again, we find Mann with experience at another prestigious academic school; this time in the Ivy League, no less. Seeing a little bit of W&M in all three schools where Mann has experience (Berkeley, Rice, and Dartmouth), it’s no wonder Mann excelled in interviews with members of the hiring committee.

What we’ll look for during tomorrow’s introductory press conference are answers to some of the W&M Athletics’ community’s most pressing questions, including but not limited to:

  1. What are your ideas for increasing ticket sales?
  2. How would you go about attracting students and younger fans to games?
  3. What steps could Tribe athletics take to make parking, and hence game access, easier?
  4. What ideas do you have for enhancing game day/night experience at contests?
  5. What impacts do you see esports having on spectator sports attendance at Wm & Mary?
  6. What are your ideas for increasing donations from existing donors and expanding the size of the donor base?
  7. Identify the pluses and minuses of Tribe athletics’ present conference affiliation. What remedies are there for the minuses?
  8. What are your expectations of the conference commissioner and staff?
  9. What should the response of Tribe Athletics be if existing conference membership were to change? Should Tribe athletics have a contingency plan for this possibility? What would it look like?
  10. Are the on field/court competitive outcomes (i.e. win/loss record) produced by Tribe athletics over the last five years sufficient to produce the greater community engagement the College is seeking? Is this record indicative of what Tribe fans should expect over the next five years? Why or why not?
  11. In your estimation, which has a greater impact on increasing ticket sales/community engagement – win/loss record or the identity of the opposition? Why?
  12. Charleston’s new basketball coach said at his introductory press conference words to the effect of if Gonzaga can do it, why not here. What would your bumper sticker vision be for Tribe fans at your introductory press conference?

At first glance, we LOVE the hire and look forward to seeing Mann tomorrow in the ‘Burg.


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