Saint Mary's Hires Sisson

September 6, 2018

Dr. Timothy Gossen, Saint Mary's vice president for mission and student life, announced Wednesday that Brian Sisson has been named the Cardinals' new athletic director.
 
"With the addition of Sisson to our Cardinal staff, our athletic leadership team is once again complete," said Gossen. "We are excited to welcome Brian Sisson to Saint Mary's. He brings with him outstanding leadership abilities, a proven track record in fundraising, and a strong sense of character — all attributes we believe will benefit our athletic department, and most importantly, our athletes."  
 
Father James P. Burns, Saint Mary's president, said he is pleased with the wealth of experience Sisson brings to the role.  "I am looking forward to all he will bring to Saint Mary's and to our local community," Father Burns said. "I appreciate the work of the search committee and Dr. Tim Gossen and so many others who assisted with this important search."  
 
Sisson comes to Saint Mary's after spending the past four years as Lewis University's associate director of athletics and director of external relations, overseeing all athletic fundraising, alumni outreach, marketing, and promotions for the Flyers athletics department.
 
"I would like to thank Father Burns, Tim Gossen, and the entire selection committee for this amazing opportunity and for having the confidence in me to serve as director of athletics at Saint Mary's and move this department forward," said Sisson. "My family and I are ecstatic about the opportunity to join Saint Mary's University. 

"I am extremely blessed and honored to be chosen as the leader of Cardinal athletics," Sisson added. "I look forward to helping our student-athletes and staff develop, serve others, and find continued success on the fields of competition. It is such an exciting time at the institution, and I will work diligently to help carry out the university's mission to prepare our student-athletes for ethical lives of service and leadership." 

During his four years at Lewis University, Sisson spearheaded the Flyers' fundraising efforts and helped bring in over $2.3 million dollars for the athletic department. He launched the Flyer Friends and Family Fundraising Campaign that has brought in over $260,000 — which was the most successful athletics fundraiser in school history.

Sisson rebranded and relaunched the Flyer Athletics Fund, which increased annual donors by 75 percent, while also putting his stamp on the annual Lewis Athletics Golf Outing, which now annually attracts more than 200 participants.

Corporate partnership income was also on the rise during Sisson's tenure (with a 94 percent increase) and was highlighted by a five-year partnership with Loyola University Health Care Systems, as well as a three-year deal with Adidas for department-wide apparel.

Sisson assisted in re-launching the Lewis Athletics Hall of Fame after a seven-year hiatus and created the inaugural Flyer Red Dinner signature fundraising event in 2017 with more than 300 attendees.

Sisson also handled all promotional activities for each of Lewis' home events. His most successful one came during the 2017-2018 school year, as Lewis earned the NACMA Bronze 2015-2016 "Best Of" Award for Best Single Day Attendance/Game Day Entertainment for the inaugural Christian Brothers Bash, which was a promotion for men's basketball.
 
A native of Wheaton, Sisson spent two years serving as Benedictine University's assistant director of Athletics for Advancement from 2012-2014. There he was responsible for all athletic fundraising, corporate partnerships, and alumni events.

Prior to his stop at Benedictine, Sisson served as the promotions and ticket manager for Loyola University from 2007-2012. While there, Sisson not only led the Ramblers Athletics Department to record ticket sales, but also increased sponsorship and fundraising revenue. Sisson also improved online communications and social media outreach for alumni, sponsors, season ticket holders, and students.

In 2015, Sisson co-authored an article in Athletic Management about using crowdfunding. It can be viewed here

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