Spencer joined UE in 2014
University of Evansville President Dr. Thomas A. Kazee has announced a contract extension for Purple Aces Director of Athletics Mark Spencer.
“The University of Evansville is excited that Mark Spencer will continue in his leadership role,” Kazee said. “Since coming to Evansville in 2014, Mark has established a strong foundation, and we look forward to what the future holds.”
Spencer began his tenure as the fifth Division I Athletics Director at UE in September of 2014 after working for eight years at Oregon State University where he served as the Associate and Senior Associate Athletic Director for Business Operations.
“I would like to thank Dr. Kazee and the University of Evansville for their commitment to our department and the direction that we are leading it,” Spencer said. “We are only beginning to scratch the surface of what Purple Aces athletics can become. I am very excited about the future and look forward to working with Dr. Kazee, the University and the athletics department for years to come.”
In just over two years of work in Evansville, Spencer has directed the department to great success on and off the playing field. One of his first priorities was to focus on a unified branding campaign within the athletic department. The new branding became a reality when Spencer inked a deal with NIKE to be the exclusive apparel provider for each of the Aces sports programs. This was the first such deal in program history.
He has also directed several impactful projects within the department. Most recently, his efforts have resulted in a renovation of the Armory building on campus. This project featured new netting, turf and signage for a facility that impacts over half of the Aces’ 14 sports programs. Other projects he has directly worked with include: a new scoreboard for soccer and softball, windscreens at soccer, baseball and softball, an updated sound system and press box renovation at soccer and an updated ticketing plan for men’s basketball.
Other projects are on tap, including renovating Meeks Family Court in the Carson Center in preparation for hosting women’s basketball beginning next season.
On the playing field, Spencer’s first season featured the men’s basketball team winning the 2015 CIT Championship before winning 25 games last season. The women’s soccer team defended its home field to win the 2015 MVC Tournament and advance to play Florida State in the NCAA Tournament.
His first coaching hire at UE – head men’s soccer coach Marshall Ray – led the Aces to the second-largest single-season turnaround in school history, pacing the squad to a 10-8-3 mark in 2016. On the women’s basketball side, he recently announced the hiring of Matt Ruffing as the permanent head coach. Ruffing has already doubled the UE win total from last season.
Another hire under his tenure – women’s tennis coach Jayson Wiseman – has already made a huge impact. His 2016 recruiting class was in the top 35 in the nation. Spencer extended the contracts for head baseball coach Wes Carroll and head softball coach Mat Mundell since his arrival. Carroll led the Aces to 29 wins last year while Mundell and his staff were named the 2016 MVC Coaching Staff of the Year after engineering a 14-game turnaround.
As part of the Carson Center renovation, the UE volleyball team will play on a new floor beginning next season and will benefit from the major additions to their facility. The swimming and diving and golf teams have each enjoyed unparalleled success during Spencer’s tenure while the future of the cross country program has never been brighter. In 2016, Spencer and head coach Don Walters announced the addition of men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field.
“When I started here, it was my goal to make this a better place for all of our student-athletes,” Spencer continued. “I feel we have moved towards that goal and am very excited about the direction of the department.”