Setter Sports with Mark Brown
Athletic Director Mark Brown sits down with Opportunitas to discuss the exciting developments surrounding Setter sports.
Mark Brown is the director of Pace Athletics. Given all the goals that our sports teams are both scoring and accomplishing, we reached out to Brown and asked him a few questions about the department’s recent accomplishments and plans for future success.
Q: How has the state of Pace Athletics changed over the past few years? Have the new facilities provided a boost?
Our institution has made tremendous strides in every aspect of our athletic operation. The new Pleasantville athletic facilities, along with the new residence halls, have allowed us to expand our recruiting reach. This reach has allowed us to not only set athletic enrollment records, but also improve the academic profile of our student-athletes. Additionally, our teams are as competitive as they have ever been now—some even nationally. We are also growing a culture of philanthropy amongst our alumni and have seen significant growth with respect to donor participation and donor dollars. I sure hope these trends continue.
Q: Pace student-athletes combined for a 3.27 grade-point average for the 2016–2017 academic year, one of only four institutions in the Northeast-10 Conference to have each of its teams reach a 3.0 GPA or better. How has the department as a whole been able to stress the importance of academics?
It starts with a strong mission and the fact that academic achievement is one of our core values that permeates our operation in everything that we do. Also, our improved emphasis on specifically targeting recruits with a proven record of academic diligence helps as well. Last but not least, the Learning Center here in Pleasantville works so hard for all our student and student-athletes.
Q: Pace Football just celebrated its 50th anniversary. What is your favorite Pace Football memory?
I have many favorite memories surrounding Pace Football. I love a gathering of our campus community on a sunny but brisk fall afternoon, coming together to cheer for OUR school and OUR students. That sense of community and support is intoxicating. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose, but it’s the feeling of fellowship and friendship that really warms my soul.
Q: Are there any specific individuals, coaches, student-athletes that you’d like to recognize for their outstanding achievement?
I’m so happy you asked this question. Our institution is truly blessed to have what I consider to be the best athletic staff in all of Division II. Our coaches and administrators work tirelessly for the benefit of our students. It doesn’t matter if it's day or night or weekday or weekend. College athletics is not simply an occupation. It’s more of a lifestyle, and I am honored to work with the best in the business here at Pace.
Q: Where do you see Pace Athletics five years from now? Is there anything specific you hope to see from specific teams, or the department as a whole?
We are currently in our last year of a three-year strategic plan, so these next 12 months will be spent answering those very questions. The higher education model as it exists today has some challenges to figure out for sure, and how intercollegiate athletics fits within that larger model will be interesting to see develop. This next strategic planning process will define the direction we will go and the speed in which we will attempt to get there. The good news is we are really on solid footing, so it’s an incredibly exciting time for Pace.
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