Mike Harris' background prepared him well for his assignment as Towson's Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Operations, a former Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Communications at the University of Cincinnati, has been appointed Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Operations, Towson University Director of Athletics Mike Waddell announced.
A former Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Communications at the University of Cincinnati, Harris' current duties include the supervision of all external athletics areas encompassing marketing, ticketing, communications, multimedia development, corporate sales, licensing and all departmental video services.
"I am excited to have Mike Harris join our athletics team here at Towson University," said the Tigers' Director of Athletics, Mike Waddell. "Mike's reputation as an innovative communicator and creative professional will be a great match for Tiger Athletics. Every stop in his career has been paced by record-setting results and I am proud to welcome him and his wife, Sue, to our Tiger Athletics Family."
Harris directed Cincinnati's sports communications department and assisted with the continued development of UC Athletics multimedia, most notably GoBEARCATS.com, from 2007 until his Towson appointment in December, 2010. While at UC he also served as a media contact for the Bearcats football and basketball programs.
A native of Springboro, Ohio, the1995 graduate of Miami University (Ohio) worked at his alma mater for 10 years (1995-00; 2001-2007) where he was named an assistant director of athletics for external affairs in 2001, overseeing various marketing and media relations roles. Harris helped the RedHawks realize unprecedented growth in season ticket sales and attendance numbers, doubling the season ticket base and setting all-time highs for ticket revenue.
In addition to his marketing accomplishments, Harris guided the school's athletic media relations, television, web content and radio to new heights. He incorporated a 24-hour/seven-day-a-week internet radio station with coaches' shows, live games and re-aired games (classics) that enabled the site to grow to include the most streaming video among all of the College Sports Television web sites. It grew into one of the nation's Top 50 collegiate web sites, bringing fans new and innovative ways to follow their team.
The site's visibility grew exponentially, from 12,000 visitors a month to 75,000. In 2003, he led a national media campaign, utilizing Miami's web site, promoting Ben Roethlisberger, who was named a Top 10 Semifinalist for the Heisman Trophy.
In 2006, Miami entered into a three-year television agreement with the Ohio News Network (ONN) that contained a combination of 20-plus RedHawks' football, men's and women's basketball and ice hockey games throughout the state reaching 1.6 million homes.
With Harris at the helm of the RedHawks media relations department, Miami athletic teams received national coverage by ESPN, ABC Sports, The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, USA Today and the New York Times -Sunday Edition.
In 2001, Harris served as director of communications for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association where he was responsible for all of the league's media relations and marketing activities. Among his achievements at the CCHA were designing and maintaining a web site that set all-time highs for hits during the 2000-01 season, assisting in the development and production of the league's first weekly radio and television shows and coordinating a CCHA Tournament Weekend that credentialed a five-year high of more than 120 media members.
In recognition of his efforts, Harris was named a finalist for Detroit Media Relations Person of the Year by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.