MSU's Hollis to chair NCAA men's basketball committee

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis has been named chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee beginning with the 2016-17 season, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.

Hollis, who has served the past three seasons as a member of the committee, will be the vice chair for the upcoming 2015-16 season.

“I love college sports,” Hollis said in a statement. “Over the past 35 years, I have been afforded the opportunity to learn and collaborate with a diverse collection of individuals through sports on campus. Sharing the passion, integrity and dedication of the men and women serving on the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee, I look forward to continuing my commitment to the values of education and student-athletes.”

Hollis, the former basketball manager as a student at Michigan State, returned to his alma mater in 1995 as an assistant athletic director before taking over the top spot in the athletic department in 2008. During his time at Michigan State, the Spartans have reached 18 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, seven Final Fours and won the national championship in 2000 under coach Tom Izzo.

He is also the architect of many of college sports biggest games, including the practice of outdoor hockey in football stadiums and placing a basketball court in the middle of large stadiums, as Michigan State did against Kentucky in 2003 at Ford Field in a game dubbed “BasketBowl.” It’s the same practice the NCAA has adopted and used at the last seven Final Fours.

“Mark has been an outstanding member of the committee for the past three years and while he is known for his creativity and innovation, he is also exceptional when it comes to studying the game and doing what is in the best interests of the participating teams,” said Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s vice president of men’s basketball. “Mark offers unique perspectives and takes into consideration how every decision made by the committee impacts coaches and student-athletes, as well as our fans and media partners.”

The NCAA also announced Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione was named committee chair for the 2015-16 season.

“With a personal opportunity like this comes sacrifice for others,” Hollis said. “I appreciate the support of my family, (MSU) President (Lou Anna) Simon and our University faculty and administration, and our coaches and athletic department staff for allowing me to put in the hours to serve the NCAA membership. A great amount of work in East Lansing must be assumed by others, and what is done and how they do it is not taken for granted.”