By Kendall Gregory
Co. Sports Editor
Mike Morrison has been named the new Director of Athletic Development. The purpose of this position is to raise money in order to support Sacred Heart University’s Division I athletics.
“Sacred Heart is an incredible institution that is on the rise. To be a part of something that is transformational I wanted to be a part of it during this time,” said Morrison. “It’s been such a welcoming community and I’m excited to learn more about the Sacred Heart experience and culture.”
Before coming to Sacred Heart, Morrison worked in a variety of different roles from 2002 to 2006 with athletics for Boston College, the University of New Mexico, Rhode Island College, and the University of Connecticut (UCONN).
Morrison spent the past 11 years working for the UCONN, where he completed his undergraduate degree in 2000 and his Master’s degree in 2002. In his time there, he served as the Associate Director of Athletic Development, where he focused on bringing funds into their men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, and softball teams.
“I’ve had the opportunity to run the spectrum in terms of athletic programs, so I know what the needs are,” said Morrison. “If you are able to raise money through telling a story and getting people excited, it is a transferable skill set from one institution to the next. I’m just excited to do it here.”
Through Sacred Heart’s Athletic Communications, Morrison will be working closely with Brad Hurlbut, Deputy Director of Athletics, Nicholas Wormley, Executive Director of University Advancement, and Chris O’Connor, Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs.
“Our offices are about six feet apart so we will be working very closely together,” said O’Connor. “We will work in conjunction on corporate partnerships and creating packages for companies and donors that support Sacred Heart athletics.”
Morrison was named to this position on Sept. 11. Though only being with Sacred Heart for a little over two weeks, he has full support from his colleagues.
“He has a tremendous track record of success in development at the highest level of Division I athletics. Mike will play a major role in continuing our department’s impressive fundraising growth,” said Hurlbut, in a press release from Sacred Heart athletics.
The job does come with its challenges, but Morrison believes he is well prepared for whatever tasks he will have to face.
“I think the challenging part will be the patience aspect,” said Morrison. “When you come into a new role, you immediately want to hit the ground running, but it’s really important to understand the culture, what the mission is, and what we’re building towards before I can get people excited to want to give back.”
There are no plans currently in progress that Morrison could report on.
“This position is important. Everyone is trying to be smart financially. This job allows the university to make the advancements that they are,” said O’Connor. “You’ve seen the success that we’ve had already with athletics and we believe that Mike will help us keep making those changes and improvements.”