NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Mario Morris, who has served as the chief financial officer (CFO) for the University of Wisconsin athletics department since 2015, has been named the University of Notre Dame’s deputy athletics director for business operations.
“We could not be more thrilled to welcome Mario (Morris) to the Notre Dame family,” said University Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. “We look forward to drawing upon Mario’s vast work experience in the private sector and collegiate athletics to help lead the development of a long-term financial model that responds to the dramatic changes which are reshaping collegiate athletics.”
Morris joins the Notre Dame executive team in a newly created position responsible for the planning, monitoring and managing of the athletic department’s financial activities. He also will be responsible for all of the department’s core business functions including financial forecasting, budgeting, business operations, facilities, technology and human resources.
“I am beyond excited to join the University of Notre Dame and the Notre Dame Athletics family,” Morris said. “Notre Dame is one of the nation’s finest academic institutions, and I am grateful to Jack (Swarbrick) for the opportunity to work with one of the nation’s elite athletic programs.”
Morris arrives at Notre Dame after holding 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 management, purchasing, accounting, finance and budget. 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 increase overall fundraising and ticket sales capabilities within the department.
While at Wisconsin, Morris was a part of a variety of committees to better the university mission including, but not limited to, the Vice Chancellor’s Administrative Council, the Clery Act Leadership Committee and the Financial Internal Controls Committee.
Morris started his career at Wisconsin as an athletics business intern in 2010. He went on to serve as the director of budget and camp administration before assuming the title of the athletic department’s director of financial operations prior to his role as CFO. Beginning in 2016, he became an adjunct professor in the Higher Education Athletic Administration graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he taught courses on NCAA governance structures, budget and financial management. Morris also was a primary developer of Wisconsin’s Beyond The Game Program, which aimed to strengthen the post-graduation opportunities available for student-athletes.
“Mario has done a terrific job managing and enhancing our business-related operations at Wisconsin,” Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. “He is knowledgeable and personable and always looked for ways to make our athletic department better. He has been a great asset for Wisconsin athletics. Notre Dame is getting a really good one in Mario.”
Prior to his tenure at Wisconsin, Morris worked for several years in the financial services industry.
Morris received a law degree from Wisconsin in 2006 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis from the institution.
In addition to his business acumen, Morris also had vast experience and success as a student-athlete. He was a three-year football letterwinner and a starting linebacker at Alabama, playing on the Crimson Tide’s national championship team in 1992.
“Being a former football national champion student-athlete himself, Mario fully understands the importance of maximizing the student-athlete experience athletically, academically and personally,” Swarbrick added.
A native of Decatur, Alabama, Morris received a bachelor of science degree in finance from the University of Alabama in 1994.