Another prospective athletic director gives their pitch
Marcus Manning is the second of three candidates for Humboldt State’s athletic director position. Manning, who began his athletics department work in recreation at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, said he saw the opportunity for HSU to excel in intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports.
“The vision that I have for Humboldt State athletics and recreation is to be a premiere program both in intercollegiate athletics and recreation,” Manning said. “Providing opportunities for our students that involve personal development, academic success and competitive excellence.”
Manning has also had experience at University of California, Irvine, Indiana University South Bend, and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in Kansas City, Missouri. Manning also has experience at Maryville University, the BASE Foundation in St. Louis, Missouri and Centenary College.
Manning was confident that the future of sports has great potential at HSU. He said the department should look toward students for what direction to take. One example he gave was the possibility of backing esports on campus.
“Young people have led us to competitive gaming,” Manning said. “They’ve shown us the way and so that’s an opportunity for us to look at that and say, ‘Okay, can competitive gaming—can esports—happen at Humboldt State University?’”
Manning said it would be a collective effort to involve student athletes in the campus and make sure they are an active part of the community.
“That means everyone within the campus community all-in in terms of that type of experience,” Manning said. “Our alumni base and surrounding community also playing a part in that student experience.”
When asked why he thought he would be the best candidate for the job, Manning pointed to his years of experience with athletics as a base for his merit.
“Seventeen years of broad-based experience,” Manning said. “I got a chance to work at University of California, Irvine in recreation, but it was under athletics. So I was director of club sports and specialty events. When you look at this unique opportunity at Humboldt, it includes recreation. I cut my teeth on rec sports and I had a blast.”
He also mentioned that he’s added programs for universities in the past and that he could do that for HSU too.
“I was charged with adding programs to help increase enrollment and doing that with strategic speed,” Manning said. “Also from a fundraising standpoint, taking our fundraising budget from a negative $11,800 to making sure we were in a surplus of $1.3 million.”
Manning said the signs he saw while researching the Humboldt area pointed to potential.
“Just doing homework. I’ve seen some of the new things that occurred in terms of partnership with local schools and scholarship opportunities,” Manning said. “Seeing those opportunities that Dr. Jackson has talked about, so that really put me on notice to say, ‘Okay, these are some potential opportunities that we can really take advantage of.’”