Event raises funds for female student-athlete scholarships and facility improvements
Six Blazer programs score perfect 1,000 for 2010-11 academic year
Keith DePew, Kristina Vaughn and Rhiannon Johns win academic awards
Brian Mackin was named UAB's Director of Athletics on February 14, 2007. He moved into the position after spending five years as senior associate athletic director for external affairs for the Blazers.
A former UAB baseball letterman, Mackin has a deep-rooted passion for the University and its athletics program. With an eye on the future, his commitment to continue to grow the program has been clear in the time since he became athletics director.
Mackin's desire to see UAB excel both on and off the playing field was never more apparent than this past academic year when the Blazers turned in their highest finish in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings in 12 years.
He has made success in the classroom and improving athletic facilities two of his top priorities. Mackin was able to secure the first-ever naming rights for the athletics program with the generous gift from Don and Marsha Hire for the Hoke Hire Student-Athlete Academic Center. With the opening of the Academic Center, an abundance of new computer equipment has been added. Mackin has also strengthened the academic area by creating additional staff positions.
Under Mackin's watch, the Academic Reform Group (ARG) was initiated. This group is made up of athletics staff members and academic support staff. With its mission to create an environment of academic excellence in the department, the group addresses every aspect of a student-athlete's experience while at UAB.
Mackin has also demonstrated his commitment to academic success by initiating a penalty structure for student-athletes and making them accountable if they miss classes or tutorial sessions.
Mackin's priority on academics has paid dividends as the Blazers' Academic Progress Rates (APR) scores have improved each year under his tenure as AD. The most recent APR report released in June showed that all but three of UAB's teams have a multi-year rate of 950 or better.
Since Mackin became athletics director, a new 10,000-square foot weight room has opened. A new, spacious, state-of the-art athletic training facility opened in the fall of 2008. With the renovation of the Ullman Building, the Blazers' Olympic sports coaches have been able to relocate into brand new offices.
Other facilities improvements have included the resurfacing of the track for the Blazers' track and field team. The first phase of the new, on-campus UAB softball facility was completed prior to the start of the 2010 season. This past February, the Don and Alicia Huey Softball Hitting Facility was dedicated.
The upgrades and progress of the program under Mackin have not been limited to facilities and academics. In the last two years, the athletics program entered an agreement with Nike that provides apparel and equipment for all of UAB's athletics teams.
In his position as athletics director, Mackin has also been involved on various conference and national committees. He just completed his first year as a member of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee.
Mackin came on board at UAB in the spring of 2002 as senior associate AD for external affairs. In that role, he was responsible for fund-raising, corporate support and marketing for the athletic department.
In 2006, Mackin was named Division I-A Fundraiser of the Year by the National Association of Athletic Development Directors. Under Mackin's leadership, contributions to UAB athletics nearly tripled from $1.3 million in 2001 to about $3.7 million in 2006. Additionally, he has been responsible for the creation of several affinity groups including the Athletic Investors Group, the Champion Club, and the Blazer Club, which brought together the two annual funds supporting football and men's basketball.
Prior to joining UAB, Mackin served as Manager of Corporate Business Development at Vulcan Materials, where he was responsible for examining potential new markets for business development and locating growth opportunities in the industry.
Mackin earned his bachelor's degree in finance from UAB in 1983. He was a member of the Blazer baseball team four seasons and then moved into the Houston Astros baseball organization where he spent one season.
Mackin then joined Vulcan Materials, where he held management positions in sales and market analysis. In 1990, he joined Southern Ready Mix as sales manager before joining Dunn Construction in 1993 where he rose to vice president in 1999. His responsibilities included business development, sales and project management.
Mackin's community activities include the Birmingham Tip-Off Club, which hosts the State High School Final Four, the Monday Morning Quarterback Club and the Birmingham Rotary Club. He has served as the president of the Birmingham Tip-Off Club. In addition, Mackin is a member of the Public Athletic, Cultural and Entertainment Facilities Board of the City of Birmingham (PACE).
Mackin and his wife, Sally, have five children: Ragland (26), Brian Jr. (24), Ferrell (21), Mary Aileen (20), and Ella (18).