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Lamar University names Marco Born as new athletic director

Marco Born has been named Lamar University Director of Athletics announced President Dr. Kenneth R. Evans Thursday morning. Born will take over for Norman Bellard who has been serving on an interim basis since November.

Marco Born has been named Lamar University Director of Athletics announced President Dr. Kenneth R. Evans Thursday morning. Born will take over for Norman Bellard who has been serving on an interim basis since November.

"Mr. Born brings the student-athlete perspective and excellent administrator experience to his new role as athletics director at Lamar University," said Dr. Evans. "His vision for the complementary relationship between athletics and academics is particularly impressive. Mr. Born has a passion for the role athletics can and should play in enhancing the overall university for students, staff and/or faculty as well as the community at large. I look forward to working with him as we build upon the rich tradition of Lamar University and its athletic programs."

"In addition, I would also like to thank Norman Bellard for his hard work as the interim during the transition. I am extremely grateful for everything he has done for the athletics department these past few months," added Dr. Evans.

Born comes to Beaumont after spending the previous four years at Louisiana Tech. He was named the senior associate athletics director for external affairs in August 2014 before being promoted to executive associate athletics director in July 2017. During his time in Ruston, Born oversaw the fundraising, marketing and promotions, ticket sales, multi-media rights, licensing and merchandising for Bulldog and Lady Techster athletics.

Born left a paper trail of success in Ruston as overall revenue for the department increased by 148 percent in fiscal year 2017, and overall fundraising revenue increased by 252 percent during that time.

Born also spearheaded a fundraising campaign that led to significant upgrades and renovations to the athletic facilities. Louisiana Tech opened the Davison Athletics Complex in September 2015, a 70,000-plus squad foot, $22-million facility located in the south end zone of Joe Aillet Stadium. The facility was referred to as a "game-changer" for Louisiana Tech University and its athletics department. Just a year after opening the complex, Louisiana Tech unveiled the plans for $18.6 million press box renovations and guest suite facility at Joe Aillet Stadium. In October 2015, Louisiana Tech also announced upgrades to their baseball and softball facilities, which included the installation of new playing surfaces at both venues.

"My family and I are very excited to be joining the Lamar University family," said Born. "(Louisiana Tech Athletics Director) Tommy McClelland spoke very highly of Lamar from his time in the Southland Conference. Lamar University has experienced a great deal of success in the past, and continues to be successful. The more research I did the more excited I became about this opportunity. I believe Lamar University has great potential."

A former standout tennis athlete at Middle Tennessee State, Born spent seven years at his alma mater serving in several different capacities. He joined MTSU athletics full time in June 2007 as a group sales and marketing representative before taking over as director of ticketing two years later. He was named assistant athletics director for ticketing and marketing in July 2011, and was promoted to associate athletics director in July 2013. During the 2013-14 season, MTSU increased overall ticket sales by 25 percent, and the women's basketball program broke a school record for attendance by averaging nearly 5,000 fans per game – a number which ranked among the nation's top 20.

Behind Born's leadership, MTSU also saw significant improvements to its athletics facilities. Those projects included $1.4 million for new football playing surface, $11 million basketball arena renovation and new softball hitting facility. Prior to joining the athletics staff, Born originally made a name for himself as a standout athlete with the Blue Raiders. During his career, Born won a NCAA Doubles Championship and received All-American honors for his work on the court. He is also a member of the MTSU Athletics Hall of Fame.

-LU CARDINALS-

What They Are Saying About Marco Born:

Tommy McClelland, Director of Athletics

Louisiana Tech

I commend Dr. Evans for an outstanding hire. It is important for Presidents to surround themselves with great people and Lamar University has accomplished that in its choice for AD. Marco is a rising star in the college athletics administration and, in my opinion, the ideal leader to advance Lamar's athletics program.

He possesses a high degree of integrity and work ethic. His interpersonal and relational skills are outstanding and will enable him to quickly connect with Cardinal fans as well as campus and community leaders.

Brooks Hull, Vice President University Advancement

Louisiana Tech

Marco's Leadership in fundraising has been a major contribution to the most significant period of philanthropic growth for athletics and the University. He is a valued colleague that will represent Lamar with the same energy he has always had working with us.

Chris Massaro, Athletics Director

Middle Tennessee State

Marco has been a winner in every facet of his life from his family, to his athletic accomplishments, and now his administrative prowess. I have never had easier decisions than to hire Marco and to rapidly promote Marco in our organization. Lamar has made a tremendous hire and I know he will bring them forward quickly.

Wren Baker, Vice President & Director of Athletics

North Texas

I've enjoyed getting to know Marco over the years. He's demonstrated a strong commitment to learning and growing as a leader. He's also demonstrated he is a smart, ethical, hard-working athletic administrator with a passion for setting the culture required to win championships and develop young people. Lamar is a getting a great leader and person.

Tom Burnett, Commissioner

Southland Conference

Congratulations to Lamar University on the announcement of Marco Born as its new athletics director. Through his accomplished background in athletics administration, Marco has earned the reputation of a rising star in this business. Also, as a former standout athlete himself, Marco will always have the best interests of Lamar's student-athletes in mind. We look forward to working with Marco and look forward to his contributions to the Southland Conference.

Lane Burroughs, Head Baseball Coach

Louisiana Tech

In my year and half working with Marco, I can honestly say he is a man above reproach. Tremendous family man that takes great pride in his work as an administrator. He displays a work ethic and professionalism that resonates throughout the department. He was continually checking on me and my staff daily for any areas we could improve. Marco is a winner and our loss is Lamar's gain. He is one of the young hungry lions in athletic administration. He is a star in the making and Lamar University got better today.

Mike Szul, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Finance, Administration and Planning

Rutgers University

I have known Marco Born since his collegiate playing days at MTSU. He brings the same intensity that he had on the court to his job every day. His impact will be felt throughout athletics and he understands how all departments interact to have a positive impact on the student athletes.

Graham Neff, Deputy AD

Clemson University

Marco and his wife Emily will be a perfect fit for the Lamar University family. His work ethic, strategic thinking, and relationships have made Marco a rising star in collegiate athletics. Proud to call Marco a close friend and colleague, and I am excited to watch him continue to build Lamar athletics.

Ryan Ivey, Athletics Director

Austin Peay

What a tremendous hire by Lamar! Marco is a phenomenal administrator, who I know will be a great Athletics Director. More importantly, Marco is a tremendous person, committed to doing things the right way with integrity, honesty and transparency. His journey through intercollegiate athletics has provided him valuable insights, abilities and a network of people that he can lean on to move Lamar athletics forward. I am excited for Marco and his family and for Lamar!

Judy MacLeod, Commissioner

Conference USA

Congratulations to Lamar University on the selection of Marco Born to lead their athletics program. Success has defined Marco's career to this point and I am sure there will be more to come. His experience as a highly accomplished student-athlete to his hands-on experiences in all aspects of administering a program have prepared him to excel as an athletics director. Marco has been a great contributor to Conference USA's efforts at both Middle Tennessee and Louisiana Tech. We will miss his expertise, positive attitude and accountability but are extremely happy for Marco and his family.

Steve Lopes, Senior Associate AD

University of Southern California

Lamar University has made a great decision in making Marco Born their next athletic director. Marco is rising leader in our industry.

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