Middle Tennessee State University

Chris Massaro
Director of Athletics

Chris Massaro

During Massaro’s tenure, Middle Tennessee has realized its greatest athletic and academic successes as evidenced by the record-setting performances by all 17 sports.

Proving to be a true visionary, Massaro has helped revolutionize the Blue Raiders’ athletic department while helping pave the way for even greater success in future years. With Massaro’s leadership, that vision took a historical step on Nov. 29, 2012 when the University accepted an invitation to join Conference USA. The Blue Raiders became official members on July 1, 2013.

Academic enhancement has also skyrocketed under Massaro’s leadership. Massaro inherited a football program with a national-low score of 812 and saw it increase to 990 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2009. In November 2014, Middle Tennessee’s student-athletes posted a Graduation Success Rate of 87 percent which set a new school record and matched that mark again in 2015.

For the last six years, all 17 of Middle Tennessee’s athletic teams have earned a multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) of over 930. Football, men’s golf, women’s golf and women’s basketball have each received NCAA Public Recognition Awards for being ranked in the top 10 percent of their sport. Football continues to maintain a high level APR score of 978 (2014-15). In 2016, both basketball programs were recognized by USA Today for having a 100 percent graduation rate.

Massaro’s success at Middle Tennessee can also be seen in his hiring practices. There has been a tremendous track record for hiring quality coaches with head football coach Rick Stockstill, women’s head basketball coach Rick Insell, men’s golf coach Whit Turnbow, and men’s tennis coach Jimmy Borendame – all Massaro hires – each earning Coach of the Year honors in their first seasons. In all, Massaro’s guidance has provided coaches with the resources to produce 46 conference titles, 35 NCAA team postseason appearances, the 2007 NCAA National Championship doubles team of Marco Born and Andreas Siljestrom, two Conference Overall Athletes of the Year, the C-USA Female Athlete of the Year and 29 Coach of the Year awards.

Middle Tennessee can boast of a complete athletic department as evidenced by capturing six of a possible eight Sun Belt Conference All-Sports Trophies under Massaro. The Blue Raiders also have had their three highest NACDA Cup finishes in school history during Massaro’s tenure.

Massaro has also made a significant upgrade in the Blue Raider football schedule since his arrival. He brought Virginia out of the ACC to Floyd Stadium in 2007 and then inked Maryland to play in Murfreesboro in 2008. In 2009, Massaro had Mississippi State come to Floyd Stadium, which made it the first SEC program to play in a Sun Belt stadium. The Blue Raiders entertained Georgia Tech in 2011 and BYU in 2014. Future schedules will see the Blue Raiders playing home games against Vanderbilt (2015, 2017), Duke (2019), and Missouri (2022).

Along with growing the Middle Tennessee athletic program, Massaro has been instrumental on numerous national boards and committees. He was appointed to the NCAA Football Issues Committee in March 2008, served as a member of the prestigious NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee for the 2010-11 season, and was appointed to the NCAA Division I Leadership Council. He currently is on the state of Tennessee Hall of Fame Board after serving two years as the organizations president.

The Glenwood Springs, Colo., native earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Northern Colorado in 1983 and his master’s degree in sport administration from Ohio University in 1986. At UNC, Massaro was a five-year football team member.

Massaro is also heavily involved in community service projects and organizations. He is a member of the Rutherford County United Way Board, the Murfreesboro Tennis Commission, the Noon Rotary Club, and he served on the search committee for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce president. He has also served on the City Golf Commission and the Red Cross Board.

Massaro and his wife, Cindy, have four children: Hank, Lainey, Rachel, and Ben.