Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mason Out at Michigan State, Hollis in.

In a press conference held on Wednesday, Michigan State announced Mark Hollis as their new Athletic Director, replacing the retiring Ron Mason. The switch will officially be made on January 1st, 2008.

“Throughout the search process, it became more and more clear that Mark Hollis is someone widely regarded, widely visible, and yes, widely sought,” noted Michigan State University president Lou Anna K. Simon during a Wednesday press conference.

Hollis, who has been a member of the Michigan State athletic department management staff since 1995, is widely credited as the man who first envisioned the “Cold War” game, which took place at Michigan State’s outdoor football stadium, Spartan Stadium, in 2001. The game, which broke world records as one of the largest-attended hockey games in history, drew over 74,500 people.

Hollis, possibly using the “Cold War” as his inspiration, would replicate a similar event, this time involving the Michigan State basketball team, in 2003. The “BasketBowl,” as it was known, also set attendance records, drawing over 78,000, at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

“This is a special moment for my family. I am thrilled with the opportunity to take over the leadership of the department of athletics. Continuity will be a strength, as I work alongside Ron Mason over the upcoming months and build a map to the future of Spartan athletics,” Hollis said during the Wednesday press conference.

Hollis replaces Ron Mason, who has held the athletic director job at Michigan State since 2002. Before taking the AD job at Michigan State, Mason was a highly-regarded hockey coach for the Spartans and for Bowling Green, becoming the winningest ice hockey head coach (924 wins) in NCAA history and taking Michigan State to a national championship in 1986.

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