The guest lineup includes MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin, Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall, Loyola head coach Sheryl Swoopes, and SIU coaches Barry Hinson and Cindy Stein.
Under the leadership of Director of Athletics Mario Moccia, Saluki Athletics has built state-of-the art facilities that serve its football, basketball, track & field and tennis programs, while a new baseball stadium is under construction and scheduled to open in 2014.
Shortly after Moccia arrived on campus in 2006, he charted the course for Saluki Way -- an ambitious $80 million facilities campaign featuring a new football stadium, renovated arena and 50,000-square foot team facility. The new facilities opened in 2010.
Among Moccia's fund-raising accomplishments at SIU, the Saluki Athletic Scholarship Fund more than doubled its annual donations, and the department signed a seven-figure multimedia rights agreement with Learfield Sports. Moccia also secured an exclusive all-sport agreement with Under Armour for team footwear and apparel, a rarity for a school of Southern's size.
The Salukis have been successful across the board, winning conference championships in football, men's and women's basketball,women's golf, men's cross country, men's tennis, softball, women's track and women's swimming & diving in his tenure at SIU.
Equally impressive are the marks Saluki student-athletes have posted in the classroom. The cumulative GPA of all student-athletes is above 3.0 and the graduation rate exceeds the general student body.
The department has expanded its broadcast footprint under Moccia's leadership, creating the school's first-ever TV and radio networks, that extend throughout southern Illinois and also reach St. Louis, Kentucky and Indiana.Moccia is an active member of numerous NCAA and MVC committees. In 2011, he began serving a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet as the men's basketball committee liaison. The cabinet oversees six committees and reports directly to the Division I Leadership Council regarding policy and legislative issues. He also served two years on the NCAA's Academic Enhancement Committee for men's basketball. Moccia was named First Vice President of the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) in 2012. He is also on the MVC Legislative Review Committee.
Moccia was named a 2012-13 Under Armour AD of the Year and was one of four Football Championship Subdivision ADs to earn the award, which was announced by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
Prior to SIU, Moccia was the Senior Associate AD at Missouri, where he worked for seven years and oversaw all components of Mizzou's vast external operations. Before joining the Tigers in 2000, Moccia served as the Associate Athletic Director for External Operations at Southwest Texas University and the Director of Sales at the University of New Mexico.
Moccia is a 1989 graduate of New Mexico State University, where he was the most valuable player of the Aggie baseball team in 1988 and 1989. As a senior he was a preseason All-American and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers. He spent two years playing professional baseball before beginning his sports administration career. In 1998, he was named to the New Mexico State University Athletics Hall of Fame.
Mario and his wife, Heidi - a former All-American women's soccer player at UMass - reside in Murphysboro with their daughters, Addie and Gemma.
History of Athletic Directors at SIU
1890-1913: William McAndrew
1913-1943: Glenn "Abe" Martin
1945-1953: Carl Erickson
1957-1972: Don Boydston
1972-1976: Doug Weaver -- including interim Bill Brown
1976-1981: Gale Sayers
1981-1985: Lew Hartzog -- including interim Dean Stuck
1985-1988: Jim Livengood -- including interim Charlotte West
1988-2000: Jim Hart -- including interim Harold Bardo
2000-2006: Paul Kowalczyk
2006-Present: Mario Moccia
History of Women's Athletic Directors at SIU
1975-1986: Charlotte West
The men's and women's departments merged in 1986