Jim Marchiony, KU Associate Athletics Director, Public Affairs

Jim Marchiony has watched men’s basketball grow from being locally televised to being available  everywhere, even on your phone.

Marchiony, KU Associate Athletics Director, Public Affairs, came to Lawrence in 2003. Prior to that he worked for the NCAA for 18 years, the last five of which he was media coordinator for the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament.

This isn’t Marchiony’s first time living in the Sunflower State. A native-New Yorker, Marchiony and his wife, also from New York, lived in Shawnee Mission prior to joining the NCAA. “We like to say we’re the only two New Yorkers who have moved to Kansas twice!”

Marchiony is proud to work for one of only 60 higher education institutions that are part of the Association of American Universities, which combined award 50 percent of all doctorate degrees nationally.

 “A University of this caliber deserves a successful athletic performance.”

Marchiony said that the priorities of his department are clear: the health, safety and well-being of the athletes, and education. “Even students with a professional future, we owe it to them to help keep them on track so if they don’t make it or after they make it they have something to fall back on.”

To that end, KU will cover tuition for any student that leaves early for a professional career and comes back later to finish their degree.

“Why is it important to have a good athletic department? Athletics can serve as a window to the university. We’d love it if 50,000 people crammed a stadium to listen to a lecture. With the society we live in, this is not going to happen. Athletics can draw people in and increase the pool of future students who come here.”

Marchiony said the department needs a significant increase in donations, especially for the football program. “Athletics funds itself. We have 5,000 to 6,000 donors right now and we need over 10,000.” In comparison to other Division 1 schools, KU has 10-12 fewer staff in football. “We are decades behind and it shows in our record.”