Mario Moccia returned to his alma mater on Jan. 5, 2015, as the 23rd Director of Athletics at New Mexico State University after serving for nine years as the Director of Athletics at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., and eight years as the senior associate athletic director at the University of Missouri.
Moccia led NM State into a multi-million dollar multimedia rights agreement with Learfield in 2015, a first in the history of the University. He followed that up in 2016 as he obtained a new exclusive five-year footwear and apparel contract with Under Armor. This new agreement more than doubled the University’s previous agreement.
In May of 2015, members of the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) elected Moccia the President of the Association for a two-year term. MOAA includes 1,000-plus minority athletic administrators nationwide and advocates for increased participation and administrative opportunities for minorities in athletics. Moccia recently received the 2019 Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given to individuals by the association. He also spent time serving as the Sun Belt Conference representative on the Lead1 Board of Directors.
Moccia was named an Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year in 2013 by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) at SIU as he directed the program to new heights.
He has also served on the NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet, was the FCS representative for the NCAA’s Administration Committee and served as liaison to Men’s Basketball Committee.
Moccia was previously the Associate Athletic Director for External Operations and then Senior Associate Director of Athletics at the University of Missouri from 1998-2006. He also worked as the Associate Athletics Director for External Operations at Texas State University from 1997-1998 and Director of Sales/Lobo Club assistant director at the University of New Mexico from 1993-1997.
In addition to his bachelor’s degree in psychology from NM State, Moccia was awarded a master’s degree in sports administration from the University of New Mexico in 1993. Moccia and his wife, Heidi – a former All-American women’s soccer player at UMass – are the parents of two children, Addie (11) and Gemma (6).