MUNCIE – After an extensive career in collegiate athletics as a coach and an administrator, Ball State Director of Athletics Mark Sandy announced Monday that he plans to retire from his current position at the end of June.
“Kitty and I have enjoyed our time at Ball State,” Sandy said. “It has been a pleasure to serve with the student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff. Together, we have worked hard to improve our department and add to its successful history.”
There have been plenty of success stories on and off the field in Sandy’s tenure at Ball State. Eight teams have won MAC league championships or division crowns including women’s tennis, which has won back-to-back regular season MAC titles and earned its first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament in 2016. Meanwhile, both basketball teams are making waves on the hardwood this season. The men’s basketball team tallied its first win over a ranked opponent since 2001 when the Cardinals downed No. 8 Notre Dame on Dec. 5, 80-77. The women’s basketball team recorded its best start in program history by winnings its first 11 games of the season, highlighted by triumphs over Purdue, Vanderbilt and Butler.
In the classroom, around 200 student-athletes earned their collegiate diplomas the past 2.5 years. This past fall semester, 147 student-athletes qualified for the Dean’s List and the term GPA for all student-athletes was 3.228. Five student-athletes have been named Academic All-America with Sandy leading the department and three student-athletes earned prestigious NCAA postgraduate scholarships last spring.
Three facilities have been completed under Sandy’s guidance and one more facility is scheduled for completion this summer. Just this past Saturday, a dedication ceremony was held for the Earl Yestingsmeier Golf Center. Ribbon cutting ceremonies were held in 2016 for Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex (baseball) and the Ron and Joan Venderly Football Center. The Dr. Don Shondell Practice Center, for basketball and volleyball, will be ready for use by the 2018-19 academic year.
“I want to thank President Mearns and the University leadership for giving me the opportunity to share ideas in my role as Athletics Director,” Sandy said. “As Ball State prepares for its Centennial and formulates its next Strategic Plan, it does so with excellent leaders and a bright future. The timing just seemed right for me to make this decision now and provide adequate time for transition to a new director.”
Sandy stepped into his current role as Ball State’s Director of Athletics in February 2015 after spending 10 years as the Director of Athletics at Eastern Kentucky University. He began his career as a high school mathematics and history teacher, in addition to coaching basketball and baseball, and went on to serve as an assistant basketball coach at the University of Evansville, Wake Forest University and Virginia Military Institute. Sandy later served as associate athletics director at Miami (Ohio) University and senior associate athletics director at the University of Richmond.
“Kitty and I have no immediate plans other than to relocate to Virginia and live closer to our family,” offered Sandy. “We will miss our friends and the many loyal fans. Go Cards!”