Combined efforts with Rice Alumini Association and Collegiate Consulting yeild high numbers
Expanded role includes community, promotional and marketing involvement
Rick Mello, who has 30 years of experience in collegiate athletics, including 11 years as a Director of Athletics, joined the Rice University Athletic Department staff as Senior Executive Athletic Director in June 2010. He served as the interim athletics director from July-September of 2013 and assumed the role of Deputy Athletics Director in July of 2014.
In his new role, Mello oversees facilities, sports medicine, athletic training, and equipment and serve as the administrative liaison to football, men's basketball, and baseball.
Mello joined the Rice staff after serving as Associate Commissioner/Sports Administration & Championships for the Sun Belt Conference since December, 2006. Prior to joining the conference office, he was the Director of Athletics at two Sun Belt member institutions (Florida International 2000-06 and Arkansas-Little Rock 1995-2000).
In six years as the Director of Athletics at FIU, Mello oversaw the progress of intercollegiate football and transitioned the program to its current FBS status faster than any school in NCAA history. He spearheaded program and stadium improvements for that sport while making strides for improvement in the areas of gender equity and fund-raising.
Mello received approval from FIU's Board of Trustees on the university's stadium project, which opened in 2008. He also increased funding for academic support including $500,000 for summer and 5th year aid.
Additional facility improvements under his watch included a state of the art training room, softball/tennis complex and locker rooms for men's and women's basketball, women's soccer and volleyball. Under Mello's watch, the FIU athletic program had five consecutive years of balanced budgets resulting in an operating reserve in 2006.
The California native served as the director of athletics chair of the Sun Belt Conference Executive Committee from 1996-98 and aided in the development of the locally syndicated Sun Belt Conference basketball television package. He also served two consecutive terms as the SBC representative on the NCAA Division I Management Council and has been chair of the NCAA Administrative Review Subcommittee for four years.
Mello spent five years as director of athletics at UALR where he successfully negotiated a five-year contract with the Alltel Arena that generated upwards of $200,000 in preferred seat license revenue for the university. He also enhanced the UALR Sports Hall of Fame and established the UALR Trojan Foundation and its athletic booster club.
Prior to his tenure at UALR, Mello served three years at the University of Miami (1992-95), where he was responsible for all outside revenue generation as the associate athletic director for external operations (development, ticket operations, marketing and promotions and special events).
Before Miami, Mello spent eight years at the University of California (associate director for media relations, 1984-87; football recruiting coordinator, 1987-90; and assistant athletic director for marketing and promotions, 1990-92). Additionally, Mello was the media relations director at the University of the Pacific (1983-84), assistant executive director of the Cal State Fullerton Titan Foundation (1982-83) and director of marketing and media relations for women's athletics at UCLA (1981-82).
Mello graduated cum laude in journalism from Utah State University in 1980 where he served as assistant sports information director for two years.
Soccer Season Opener Cancelled
08/19/2016 - W. Soccer - The Rice soccer team's 2016 season opener Friday at SMU was cancelled due to weather. The match will not be made up.
Training Camp 2016 Second Scrimmage Report
08/18/2016 - General Release - Rice Football held its second scrimmage of Training Camp '16 on Thursday.
Soccer Opens Season Friday Night At SMU
08/17/2016 - W. Soccer - The Rice soccer team opens its 2016 season this Friday (Aug. 19) at longtime rival and state powerhouse SMU. Start time is slated for 7 pm in...
Football Preview Set for August 24
08/17/2016 - Football - ans of Rice Football will have a chance to get preview of the 2016 season on Wednesday, August 24 when the Owls host the 2016 Rice Fall Football...
Two Games to Air on Campus Insiders
08/16/2016 - Football - Conference USA and Campus Insiders have entered into a partnership to produce and stream live content from the league, including a pair of football...
Rice Trio Set for U.S. Amateur
08/14/2016 - M. Golf - A trio of Rice golfers will begin play at the prestigious U.S. Amateur on Monday when Mario Carmona, Mitchell Meissner and Kevin Reilly tee off at ...
Training Camp 2016 First Scrimmage Report
08/13/2016 - General Release - Rice held its first scrimmage of Training Camp 2016 at Rice Stadium on Saturday
Owls Complete Second Preseason Exhibition
08/12/2016 - W. Soccer - The Rice soccer team completed its 2016 preseason schedule with an exhibition match Friday night against longtime state rival Stephen F. Austin.
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