Mario Morris joined the University of Notre Dame Athletic Department in April 2019. He currently serves as Executive Deputy Athletic Director. Morris is responsible for all of the department’s core business and revenue generation functions including strategic financial planning, business operations, multi-media rights, apparel, fan engagement, corporate relations, business innovation, ticketing, marketing, hospitality, contracts, information technology, data analytics, athletic equipment, facilities, and events. Morris also has oversight of the Men’s Lacrosse program.
Morris serves as a principal advisor for financial strategic planning, financial forecasting, capital project financing, and contract management. Morris is a strong supporter for increasing fundraising, ticket sales and other revenue generating capabilities within the department. Alongside the athletic director and senior director of athletic advancement, Morris leads in developing strategic priorities for fundraising and actively engages in donor engagement activities.
Prior to joining Notre Dame, Morris held a variety of financial management roles at Wisconsin. As CFO, Morris had primary oversight of Wisconsin’s $150 million financial and operations budget. He was responsible for guiding the athletics business office, ticket office and data analytics staff in support of revenue generation, purchasing, accounting, finance and budget. Morris lead Wisconsin’s efforts to create a first-of-its kind, multi-year partnership between the school’s athletic department and Legends, to streamline initiatives across general ticketing, premium seating, annual fundraising, marketing and business intelligence capabilities into one integrated platform. The partnership is projected to generate over $130 million in new revenue for Wisconsin over the first 10 years of the agreement. Morris also served as an assistant sport administrator for the Wisconsin football program.
In the realm of data analytics, Morris helped increase business intelligence by working to develop a financial modeling tool with sensitivity analysis and “what if” planning. That data analysis was pivotal in Morris’ efforts to develop and execute a comprehensive strategic financial plan, implement an aggressive reserve policy and increase overall fundraising and ticket sales capabilities within the department.
Prior to joining Wisconsin, Morris worked for several years in the financial services industry. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin. As a part of his educational pursuits, Morris was a primary developer of the Badgers’ Beyond The Game program, which was an initiative that aimed to strengthen the post-graduation trajectories for student-athletes.
Morris is recognized as a growing leader in college athletics. In 2021, he was selected as the College Athletic Business Management Association’s Manager of the year. CABMA is an organization devoted to the establishment, maintenance and implementation of the highest standards of integrity and efficiency in the scope, policies and procedures involved in the management and administration of business in the athletics departments and associations of colleges and universities. In 2019, he was selected as member of NEXT UP by CollegeAD. NEXT UP honors senior-level administrators that have been handpicked by a panel of Power Five athletic directors. NEXT UP honorees are believed to be ready to take their place in the chair, leading their own departments. In 2020 Morris was selected to be a member of the NCAA Pathway Program. The Pathway Program is designed to elevate senior-level athletics administrators to the next step as directors of athletics or conference commissioners. Morris also regularly speaks nationally as a subject matter expert in college athletics.
Morris serves as an adjunct professor at Notre Dame where he teaches Athletic Administration in the MBA program in the Mendoza College of Business. He also continues to serve as an adjunct professor for multiple universities in the University of Wisconsin System, where he teaches courses in NCAA governance and compliance, budget and financial management, licensing, marketing and commercial sponsorship and legal issues in higher education.
Among his many interests, Morris is a regular international traveler having visited almost every continent. He has also served as a Board member for several community organizations. He recently joined the Board for the Boys and Girls Club of St. Joseph County. Morris, his wife Tetiana and their son Nicolas currently reside in Granger, Indiana.
Morris received his law degree from UW-Madison in 2006. He received his Bachelor of Science in finance from the University of Alabama in 1994, where he was a starting linebacker for the team that won the national championship in 1992.