Originally posted on Little Brother Blog  |  Last updated 5/24/12

Michigan State's athletic director Mark Hollis was named the top athletic director Wednesday night by SportsBusiness Journal in a ceremony in New York.Mark Hollis talks with Mark Dantonio before the Spartans game against Wisconsin last season. (AP Photo)

"Mark Hollis is a true visionary and innovative leader, and we take pride in this well deserved recognition for Mark and for Team MSU," MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said. "He's thoroughly engaged in his profession, combining a deep appreciation of the role of intercollegiate athletics in higher education with a flair for visualizing fresh ways to present it."

According to the Detroit Free Press, the Journal credited Hollisfor the growth in the Spartans' brand in things such as new facilities for baseball, softball and soccer, as well as events like the Carrier Classic.

“It’s very humbling to receive an honor like this,” Hollis said. “Individual awards are difficult to accept in higher education and athletics; however, they do recognize the innovation and teamwork necessary to achieve success. I value working with people at Michigan State University, the Big Ten Conference and the NCAA in providing educational opportunities for our student-athletes and engagement through sports for our alumni and supporters."

It also is worth noting, as Hollis receives national recognition, that he is the lowest-paid athletic director in the Big Ten. See this piece from January on Pat Narduzzi, with information about Hollis at the bottom. Chris Vannini at Green Thoughts broke this down further -- check it out.

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