Mario Moccia is an alumnus and former standout baseball player at New Mexico State where he now serves as Athletic Director. Moccia starts by sharing how he took a different path to the AD chair than former Mizzou colleagues Ross Bjork (Texas A&M AD) and Chris Del Conte (Texas AD) by heading to an FCS school. NMSU recently announced their transition from the WAC to Conference USA in all sports. This interview was recorded in the summer before conference realignment and I asked Moccia about the long-term plan for their independent football program and the positioning of the WAC, which will help the change make sense. He did say Conference USA and Mountain West were the only two likely FBS conferences after being asked to leave the Sun Belt previously.
Moccia also shares all the details on their unique approach to consumable product licensing, now boasting their own beer, wine, whiskey, tequila, coffee, and even a candle. This has been an incredible (and fun) revenue generator for NMSU athletics and has other ADs wanting in on the idea. And if you’ve ever wondered how a football schedule is created for an independent, Moccia talks about their strategy that they probably won’t miss once they begin conference play in their new conference.
SPECIAL ISSUE Call for Proposals: The Sports Innovation Journal, published by the IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute, is seeking commentary and empirical research submissions for a special issue on the changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics and the NCAA governance model.
The questions/topics show as chapters in the video above and separately linked with timestamp below:
- 0:10 AD Chair as an Alumnus
- 3:20 Differences in AD Jobs at Different D1 Levels
- 7:00 Dealing with Indirect Financial Implications in NIL for the Athletic Dept
- 13:50 Long-Term Strategy for NMSU Football
- 19:35 Scheduling Decisions of an Independent Football Program
- 24:15 College Football Playoff Expansion Changes to Scheduling Money Games
- 28:40 Innovating Licensed Consumable Products 37:40 Taste Test Event for Salsa as the Land Grant Institution
- 45:55 Other Potential Revenue Ideas for College Athletics
- 47:30 The Eventual Future of Sponsored Uniform Patches