Hornet Athletics’ new leader, no stranger on campus

State Hornet Staff

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Sacramento State appointed Interim Athletic Director Bill Macriss on July 1, after former Athletic Director Terry Wanless retired.

 “I’ve got a history with the university. I have kind of grown up around a lot of these coaches and a lot of the staff,” Macriss said. “So I have a perspective and a knowledge base that I think I bring to the program that is somewhat unique.”

As a member of the athletics department since 1996, Macriss has held multiple positions both in Hornet administration as well as within the campus and the city community.

Prior to his new leadership role, he was Deputy Director of Athletics for nearly seven years and served on the last two Strategic Planning Committees for the Sac State Athletics Department.

President Alexander Gonzalez said Macriss has been dedicated to Sac State and student-athletes and can often be found around campus all hours of the day.

“[Macriss] has helped to bring national events to our campus and improve the Hornet athletics and classroom performance,” Gonzalez said. “With so much new attention being paid to our teams, I appreciate Bill’s strong relationships with our fans and supporters in the community.”

The Sac State Athletics’ 5-Year Strategic Plan (2013-2018), strives to advance the program by focusing on supporting student-athletes’ well-being and academic success as well as improving athletic facilities.

Building a fan base and fostering a championship culture are also among the five goals of the plan.

Macriss said his focus is on educating young men and women and aligning the program with the overall University mission as well as the department’s strategic plan.

“I’m worried about our young student-athletes here and making sure that we are providing all that we can for them and for our coaches, as well [as] connecting with the community,” Macriss said.

First year women’s softball head coach Lori Perez said she is looking forward to working with Macriss and expects he will have open communication with the coaches about the direction of the programs as well as allocation of funds.

“[Macriss] has always been on the front lines fighting for the teams and fighting for our department,” Perez said. “He is not afraid to speak up, [and] he is not afraid to fight for things he believes in, which is extremely important in having a leader and being a leader within this program.”

Perez was assistant coach for nine years and prior to that competed as an athlete for four seasons, totalling 14 years of experience at Sac State.

“The thing that I am most excited about is that he is here for the right reasons,” Perez said. “He wants to be a Hornet. I think creating a family atmosphere is very important to him and I am excited to see where he takes that.”

Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Kathleen Raske said the qualities that make Macriss perfect for the position include the ability to build positive relationships around him and said she looks forward to the new philosophies and changes he will bring to the leadership role.

“He understands athletics and he understands the landscape of the community on campus and how to navigate that,” Raske said. “So I think it is going to be a smooth transition and it’s going to be great to have him, hopefully for the long haul.”

A scheduled timetable for the search of a permanent athletic director has yet to be announced.