Brian Faison is in his seventh year as athletics director at the University of North Dakota. Faison assumed his duties at UND in May of 2008.
During his tenure UND has successfully completed the five-year reclassification process to Division I. Alumni and fan support have continued to grow: Champions Club and endowment giving have enjoyed eight straight record years; $17.8 million in private funding has been secured for the first phase of the UND Athletics High Performance Center; and last year women’s ice hockey finished third and men’s hockey finished first nationally in total home attendance.
Media coverage has continued to grow with multi-year, multi-sport broadcast agreements with Midco Sports Network and Fox College Sports for television, Clear Channel for radio with continuing expansion of all social media platforms.
In the classroom, student-athletes have continued to excel: this past year a record number of student-athletes were named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for the Fall and Spring semesters resulting in the highest GPA for the year in the history of the program; nearly 200 earned academic all-conference honors; six received CoSIDA All-District honors; four student-athletes were named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans; and, volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s track and field all were recognized nationally for their academic performance.
Competition for UND last year resulted in three teams advancing to post-season play -- men’s basketball for the third straight year to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, women’s basketball to its first Division I NCAA tournament, and men’s ice hockey to its 12th straight NCAA tournament and its 20th Frozen Four appearance. Nearly 170 student-athletes earned all-conference, regional or national honors for their athletic accomplishments.
Faison has helped secure membership in the Big Sky Conference (BSC) for 14 UND teams and landed men’s and women’s swimming and baseball in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). He also played a leadership role in the formation of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) partnering with Colorado College, Denver, Miami, Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State, Western Michigan and Nebraska Omaha.
With over 30 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics, Faison has served on several conference, regional and national sports committees. Most recently he chaired the NCHC Board of Directors for two years and chaired the BSC Joint Council last year. Faison currently serves on the BSC Administration Committee, and the NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Committee.
Prior to joining UND Faison served as special assistant to the president (2004-08) and director of athletics (1999-04) at New Mexico State University. Before that, he was national director of development for the National Children’s Cancer Society (1995-99). Faison also served as director of athletics at Indiana State University (1988-95), assistant athletics director for development at the University of Louisville (1984-88) and assistant athletics director for promotions and fund raising at Illinois State University (1979-84). He also had stints as assistant manager for athletics public relations (1978-79) and assistant director for alumni activities (1974-78) at the University of Missouri.
Faison is a 1972 graduate of the University of Missouri. He and his wife Donna have three sons: Jonathan, Matthew and Bradley, and a grandson Harrison.