Mark Hollis announces his retirement as Michigan State athletic director. Matt Charboneau, Detroit News
Former Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis has found his next job, as a consultant to Dan Gilbert and Gilbert's family of companies.
A Quicken Loans spokesman confirmed the development late Wednesday night, in response to inquiries from The Detroit News earlier in the day.
"Mark’s decades of experience and skill creating numerous unique and innovative events will help elevate Detroit’s and our brand’s joint mission to attract national exposure and positive impact," a Quicken Loans spokesman said. "Mark is the perfect fit to help us continue to raise the national awareness of the many opportunities and the diverse, highly skilled talent found in Detroit’s new era of growth and optimism."
Hollis, 55, was Michigan State's athletic director from 2008 until this past January, when he resigned amid fallout from the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse scandal. Hollis resigned shortly before ESPN published a story on its website questioning how Michigan State's athletic department handled complaints of sexual abuse.
Hollis has stayed mostly out of sight since his January resignation, which he called a retirement, though he was spotted in Detroit on Monday night at an event featuring NCAA officials, members of the Detroit Sports Commission and MSU officials regarding the city's bid for another men's basketball Final Four. Hollis was working on the bid — Michigan State would be the host school — before he resigned from Michigan State.
Quicken Loans said Hollis "currently serves as a sports and entertainment consultant" for Gilbert's wide array of companies. He is "providing counsel and advice on sports marketing and sponsorship initiatives."
Among those initiatives Hollis is expected to be involved with: The PGA Tour's return to Michigan. The PGA Tour confirmed last week it is coming to Detroit in June 2019, on a four-year contract, with the tournament to be held at Detroit Golf Club.
Quicken Loans — founded by Gilbert, a Michigan State alum — will be the tournament's title sponsor, and is planning a multi-week event, featuring big fan-friendly events (concerts, festivals, etc.), with the golf tournament the anchor event.
Hollis' specialty long has been as a big, outside-the-box thinker, which led to marquee events during his time at Michigan State such as the "Cold War" hockey game at Spartan Stadium, which eventually led to the NHL's obsession with playing annual outdoor games; as well as a basketball game played aboard a Navy aircraft carrier. He also was at the forefront of basketball games being played in football stadiums, which now is the norm for the NCAA Final Four.
A Michigan State grad, Hollis returned to his alma mater and the athletic department in 1995, then was named athletic director in 2008, after the retirement of Ron Mason.
During his resignation announcement in late January, he said he would cooperate with any and all investigations at Michigan State, including from the NCAA. It's unclear if he's met with the NCAA. Hollis was one of several university dignitaries to leave Michigan State amid the Nassar scandal, including president Lou Anna K. Simon, who resigned six days earlier.
Bill Beekman is Michigan State's interim athletic director, and also was at Monday's NCAA event.
Hollis hasn't spoken publicly since he resigned.