Mark Orr, the athletic director at Saint Mary’s College for the past nine years, will be named Sacramento State’s new athletics director Monday at a 10 a.m. press conference at the Wellness Center.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the matter but unauthorized to speak on the record have told The Bee that university President Robert Nelsen selected Orr from a final group of qualified candidates. The short list included: former Sac State fundraising executive Solly Fulp, who is the executive director of University Business Partnerships and Services at UC Berkeley; Brian Wickstrom, the athletic director at the University of Louisiana, Monroe; and Mark Massari, the associate athletic director at Oregon State who withdrew his application within the past two weeks.
The Hornets’ AD position has been fluid since Terry Wanless retired in June 2014. During Wanless’ 11-year term, his accomplishments include upgrading the football stadium, soccer and track fields, and acquiring funding for construction of the Wellness Center. Assistant AD Bill Macriss succeeded Wanless on an interim basis and appeared to secure the job outright.
But Nelsen, as an incoming president and a strong believer in nurturing successful sports teams, determined the athletic department needed a major shakeup. Several weeks ago he reassigned Macriss to an administrative position and lured former Hornets football coach John Volek out of retirement to serve as interim AD. According to two sources close to the most recent developments, Macriss will be retained and Volek will be offered a position – possibly as a consultant, which would enable him to continue his aggressive fundraising efforts and retain a popular presence in the community.
Orr, who attended Christian Brothers High School, has strong ties to the area. His father, Greg, is a highly regarded Major League Baseball scout. While lettering in football during his four seasons as a defensive back at Cal, he earned a degree in social work….