NM State Hires Chet Savage As Deputy Athletic Director

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - NM State Athletics has appointed Chet Savage as the Aggies new Deputy Athletic Director, NM State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia announced on Friday.

Savage will primarily direct annual fundraising for the Aggies through the Aggie Athletic Club among other duties closely tied with donor related functions.

Savage comes to NM State from Southern Illinois University where he served for the last eight years and as Deputy Athletic Director since 2010.

“I am pleased to welcome Chet to our Aggie Family,” said Moccia. “I have worked closely with Chet for many years and he is an outstanding professional. He has a proven record of success in overseeing annual giving programs as well as capital projects. I’m very happy he’s decided to join us at NM State.”

“I see a great opportunity at NM State,” said Savage. “The sports programs are doing really well right now and Mario has a great track record of growth. I’m looking forward to getting in on the ground floor, building the team and moving forward.”

Savage directed all revenue production for the Salukis, including capital fundraising, the Saluki Athletic Scholarship Fund, marketing, licensing, multimedia, media services, broadcast / video operations, special events and ticket sales. He also provided administrative oversight for the men's and women's golf programs and baseball.

Under his direction, SIU raised more than $11 million in private giving for the “Saluki Way” capital campaign, and helped increase cash contributions to the Saluki Athletic Scholarship Fund 129%.

Savage also worked in the negotiations of contracts for multimedia rights, all-school apparel and outbound ticket sales for SIU.

Savage served from 2002-2007 at the University of Missouri. In his role as Director of the Tiger Scholarship Fund, Savage oversaw growth in the fund of $2.5 million during his tenure.

He also played an integral part in Missouri's Champions for Life capital campaign, in which more than $120 million were raised to fund capital projects such as Mizzou Arena and the Mizzou Athletic Training Complex.

Prior to his tenure at Missouri, Savage was a Development Assistant for the Mike Ahearn Athletic Scholarship Fund at Kansas State University from 2001-02.

Savage, a native of Riverside, Calif., received his bachelor's degree in Public Relations (2000) and master's degree in administration (2002) from Kansas State, where he was a two-year starter at catcher for the Wildcats' baseball team (1998-99).

“I’m originally from the west, so I’m very comfortable with the area: the mountains, the climate, the people,” said Savage. “It’s very familiar to me. No adjustment to it at all.”

Savage also brings a tie to NM State through Aggie baseball coach Brian Green. Green, an NM State alumnus, was an assistant coach for Riverside (Calif.) Community College team when Savage played at RCC.

“It’s great to get back on the same team as Brian,” said Savage.

At the same time, Moccia announced David McCollum has moved into a new role that will oversee a new entity dealing primarily with former Aggie student-athletes from all sports.

McCollum will assist in building data bases for former student-athletes from all sports that will allow for much better communication. He’ll also oversee the dissemination of information to the former Aggies, including current events, reunions and targeted sport-specific fundraising projects.

“I want to thank Dave for taking on this new and very important role to Aggie Athletics,” said Moccia. “Over the last few months we’ve found that we haven’t always connected back with our former student-athletes and this is a role that Dave and I feel is important for us right now. A strong varsity club is vital to the outreach portion of our mission in the NM State Athletic Department.”

“I’m sincerely pleased to be part of the athletics team and support the Aggies in this role,” said McCollum. “The energy and excitement for the projects that we have underway is contagious and we’re headed in direction.”

McCollum has been with the Aggies since 2013.