Pulling Back the Curtain : Part 2

Austin Lewis, Staff Writer
Go Middle

MT Media Relations

Too often, success is unnoticed and it’s often taken for granted.

For twelve years, Middle Tennessee athletic director Chris Massaro has successfully guided the Blue Raider athletic department. It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, though. Massaro has endured a national-low APR score of 812, a 2-10 football season in 2011, and underwhelming performances in volleyball, baseball and softball. On the flip side of the coin, Massaro has spent his fair share of time at the top of the mountain. During his tenure, Middle Tennessee has beaten multiple Power-5 opponents and enjoyed post-season success in women’s basketball, men’s basketball, and to a degree - football.

His tenure has been marked by renewed emphasis in academics for Blue Raider athletics. Blue Raider student-athletes have earned national recognition for their success in the classroom. Off-the-field, Massaro has supervised over $40 million in facility upgrades, an average of $3.07 million per year.

After twelve years on the job, Massaro has proven to be more than a capable administrator. He has provided a stable working environment and shown to be a patient athletic director. This strategy allowed Kermit Davis to turn Middle Tennessee into one of the nation’s hottest mid-major programs and gave Rick Stockstill time turn things around after an abysmal 2011 campaign.

While the high’s have been high, for this athletic department, it’s time for more.

It’s time for Chris Massaro to look to the future and provide Blue Raider lay out his vision. For far too long, rumors of facility improvements have circulated with no concrete plans revealed to the masses. Season ticket sales and revenue have been kept closer to the vest than a Cold War nuclear code, and Middle Tennessee has yet to carve a niche in the Nashville market.

To be blunt, some of MT’s athletic facilities are far behind their conference counterparts, season ticket sales are in decline, and the Blue Raiders remain the third-wheel in the Nashville media market.

These things need to change, and quite frankly, it’s about time.

For far too long, Middle Tennessee has stood by as conference mates built new facilities. Murphy Center is serviceable but lacks the amenities and luxury suites offered at newer arenas. Floyd Stadium, last renovated in 1998, needs a facelift in the worst way.

Massaro faces an uphill climb to catch up, but he’s confident it can be done.

Through a Freedom of Information Request, GoMiddle.com was able to ascertain a number of documents related to the topics above. During this process, we also met with Chris Massaro, where he laid out his plans for the future, described his vision for facility improvements and laid out his plans to increase BRAA donations and increase ticket sales.

Over the next two parts of the series, we’re going to show you the financial records for the Blue Raider athletic department and lay out Massaro’s plans to improve athletic department facilities.

You’ll see, for the first time, the season ticket records and BRAA donations. You’ll read Massaro’s preliminary plan to improve the athletic facilities. We've pulled back the curtain on Middle Tennessee athletics and I think you’ll enjoy it.

What to Read Next