Athletics News

Mann Tabbed to Lead Owls Athletic Development Efforts

March 2, 2018

by Chuck Pool ( -

Brian Mann, who has been an integral part of Rice’s Athletic Development office, has been named by Joe Karlgaard to serve as the new Senior Associate AD / Chief Development Officer for Rice Athletics, while David Pillen, who was responsible for record-setting marketing initiatives at Louisiana Tech, has been named the Owls’ new Assistant AD for Marketing.

Mann will lead all athletic development initiatives, including major gift and annual giving programs as well as leading the Owl Club staff. As a member of the Rice Athletics senior leadership, he will work closely with the University development leadership team to set strategy for the overall direction of the athletics development efforts in conjunction with the University’s V2C2 Campaign.

Pillen will be responsible for creating the marketing strategy and plan for Rice Athletics. He will administer game presentation, special events and promotions, digital marketing, advertising, and advertising Implementation and be responsible for increasing attendance and revenue, creating a positive and exciting game day atmosphere, increasing fan engagement and furthering the brand of Rice Athletics.

Mann came to Rice in November of 2014 as the director of development and was promoted to Associate AD in the summer of 2015. A 2002 graduate of Dartmouth, where he starred at quarterback, Mann played for the LA Avengers in the Arena Football League while also appearing in a number of movies playing quarterback the film "Invincible" starring Mark Wahlberg and "The Game Plan" with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and serving as Adam Sandler’s stunt double in the remake of “The Longest Yard”.

After retiring from football, he worked for three years in the private sector before returning to Dartmouth in in 2009 as the Director of Football Operations. He was named the Assistant AD for External Relations in 2011 and served in that capacity until coming to Houston.

Pillen joins the Owls after four years at Louisiana Tech, including the last three as the Assistant AD for Marketing. As with Mann, Pillen is a former student-athlete, having played at Abilene Christian for three years before graduating in 2012. He worked as a marketing assistant at McNeese for one year before joining the LA Tech staff in June 2014 as Director of Creative Services.

He was promoted to Assistant AD in 2015 and was responsible the all cross promotional marketing strategies for all 14 varsity sports as the Louisiana Tech Athletic Club with emphasis on generating revenue. His efforts resulted in three of the five largest football crowds in school history and was part of a development team that generated the highest amount of revenue at Tech.



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