Brian Faison, the 2017 Under Armour FCS Athletic Director of the Year, is in his 10th year as athletics director at the University of North Dakota. Faison assumed his duties at UND in May of 2008.
The 2016-17 year was a banner one for UND as it collected the Big Sky Presidents’ Cup for the first time after becoming the first league school to ever claim four major conference titles in the same season (volleyball,
football, women’s basketball, men’s basketball). Academically, North Dakota also had the best APR rating for the fifth consecutive year since joining the Big Sky, scoring a 991.1. It also finished third in team GPA (3.31), with its women’s golf team recording a program-best 3.57 GPA.
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 10 straight record years; $18.8 million in private funding was secured for the first phase of the UND Athletics High Performance Center, which opened in Fall 2015; and last year men’s ice hockey led the nation in attendance for the sixth straight year.
Media coverage has also continued to grow with multi-year, multi-sport broadcast agreements with Midco Sports Network and FOX College Sports for television, iHeart Media and Midwest Radio Fargo-Moorhead for radio, and continuing expansion of all social media platforms.
In the classroom, student-athletes continued to excel. This past year, nearly 75% of UND’s student-athletes were named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for the Fall and Spring semesters, more than 200 earned academic all-conference honors, four received CoSIDA Academic All-District honors, two student-athletes were named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and two received NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships.
Additionally, nearly 8,000 hours of community service were provided to the community by UND student-athletes in 2016-17.
Faison has helped secure membership in the Big Sky Conference (BSC) and 13 teams will complete the move to a more regional footprint in The Summit League (basketball, golf, softball, soccer, tennis, track & field/cross country, and volleyball) in 2018-19 while football will take residence in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2020.
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 35 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. Faison also served on the BSC Administration Committee and the NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Committee, the latter of which he has also served as chair.
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 grandsons Harrison and Theodore.