With hopes of increasing revenue, UMKC Athletics Director Carla Wilson announced Brian Morris was hired as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics for external operations last month.
Wilson, named Director of Athletics last December, believes Morris has the experience to take the University’s athletic program to the next level and help UMKC get back on the map.
“Brian [Morris] brought a well rounded, broad base of experience,” said Wilson. “I really liked that he has been at different (collegiate) levels.”
Morris has vast experience with NCAA Division I universities, which is largely why UMKC decided to hire him.
“He was at Wichita State and helped them succeed in both their marketing, fundraising and corporate sponsorship efforts,” Wilson said. “I’ve also seen him make it all the way to the NAIA level. He knows how to think big and function big.”
Previously, Morris helped Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma State, Arkansas State and Oklahoma University increase fundraising and scholarship revenue.
After one month in Kansas City, Morris has already started working on the same at UMKC.
“Anytime we tell a story about one of our amazing student-athletes, people want to buy in and want to support us. Getting donors for the ’Roo Club to understand the importance of scholarship money and how that can overall impact the athletics department is my main goal,” Morris said. “There are a lot of corporate partners that are headquartered here in Kansas City that we currently don’t have a relationship with. That’s going to be one of our goals: we are going to try to build a positive and working relationship to get them to associate themselves and their brand with UMKC athletics.”
Just last week, the volleyball game between UMKC and Missouri took place at the Swinney Recreation Center in front of a record crowd of 1,217.
“Increasing all of our home games’ attendance and getting fans to buy in to our product has become our main objective,” Morris said. “We really need to connect with those potential fans.”
Both Wilson and Morris expect UMKC athletics to gain the attention of Kansas City, just like Missouri University and Kansas University do.