University of Evansville Director of Athletics Mark D. Spencer announced on Friday that he is stepping down to pursue other opportunities after eight years of leading the Purple Aces. Spencer has served as athletic director at UE since September 2014.
“I am very proud of what I was able to accomplish during my tenure at the University of Evansville,” Spencer said. “The commitment, dedication and collaboration of the entire athletic department led to incredible growth and numerous memorable accomplishments during my tenure. With that said, it is time for a new voice to lead UE Athletics, and time for a new opportunity for my family and me. I look forward to being a fan and supporting Purple Aces Athletics as they are poised for great success.”
While at the University of Evansville, Spencer’s accomplishments included:
- The women’s golf team winning its’ first ever Missouri Valley Conference championship and advancing to the NCAA tournament for the first time, the women’s volleyball program advancing to the 2021 NIVC Quarterfinals, marking the programs first post-season appearance ever, the men’s basketball team winning at Rupp Arena against #1 UK and the 2015 Collegeinsider.com post-season tournament, which is the first men’s basketball post-season tournament championship since the 1971 NCAA College Division National Championship, and adding the men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field programs.
- An unwavering commitment for Purple Aces student-athletes to fulfill the University’s academic mission. During the 2020-21 academic year, 55% of all student athletes made the Dean’s List and all seventeen of UE’s Division I sports teams earning a GPA over 3.0. UE was recognized for having the highest Graduation Success Rate of any school in the Missouri Valley Conference.
- Facility and rebranding of athletic and University marks, transforming the Meek’s Family Fieldhouse for women’s basketball and volleyball, including an Olympic grade TaraFlex volleyball competition floor. The installation of new scoreboards and sound systems for the baseball, softball and soccer facilities as well as a state-of-the-art Field Turf on German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun stadium.
- Negotiating the University’s beverage provider agreement with Pepsi, as well as the multi-year Learfield IMG College and Nike/BSN Sports athletic department contracts generating significant revenues and cost savings across the University and athletic department.
“I greatly appreciate Mark’s contributions to the University of Evansville and UE Athletics, especially as colleges navigate all of the changes to higher education and collegiate athletics,” UE President Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz said. “The department has seen a tremendous transformation during his tenure, and we are enormously grateful for his dedication, hard work, and teamwork. I wish Mark well in his future endeavors and am eager to watch his success.”
A national search for the next director of athletics will begin immediately.