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.
Swinney Sound & Solid at U.S. Olympic Trials
06/26/2016 - W. Swimming - Rice sophomore Kaitlyn Swinney was sound and solid representing Rice in her first-ever appearance in the United States Olympic Swim Trials on...
Karakolis Named Academic All-American
06/24/2016 - M. Track - Rice senior thrower Evan Karakolis was selected to the 2016 Academic All-America Division I Track & Field/Cross Country First Team for a second...
Rice Swimmers Compete at 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials
06/24/2016 - W. Swimming - Rice’s Kiley Beall, Marie-Claire Schillinger and Kaitlyn Swinney are participating in the United States Olympic Swim Trials starting on...
Waite Set to Run at the British Championships
06/24/2016 - W. Track - Former Rice Owl Lennie Waite will get her opportunity to earn a trip to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil this Sunday when she'll compete in the...
Golf Signee Brown Takes Second at Western...
06/24/2016 - M. Golf - Rice golf signee Trevor Brown finished in second-place at the 99th Western Junior Championship, played at Red Run Golf Club in Royal Oak, Mich.
Soccer Schedule Announced; Season Tickets...
06/23/2016 - W. Soccer - Season tickets for Rice soccer, featuring home games at the Owls' new on-campus soccer venue, are now available for the team's 2016 schedule...
Two Owls Earn CSCAA Scholar All-America Honors
06/22/2016 - W. Swimming - Rice's Alicia Caldwell and Marie-Claire Schillinger have both been named to the College Swimming and Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar...
Expanded Selections Await at ShopRiceOwls.com
06/20/2016 - Marketing - Rice fans looking for a one-stop shopping option for the latest in Owls gear have an exciting new option with the launch of ShopRiceOwls.com, the ...
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