With the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex, the newest facility on campus, comes a new position and a new face to Missouri Western. Mike Halloran was selected this summer to be Western’s first-ever director of athletic facilities.
Halloran was selected out of hundreds of applicants and four finalists to supervise the maintenance, scheduling, and day-to-day operations of Western’s athletic facilities.
“With the new facility being built we needed to have somebody that was physically in that building all the time managing that facility,” said Patsy Smith, associate athletic director and a member of the panel that interviewed the nominees.
The four applicants went through an interview process and gave presentations that were open to the campus community highlighting how the indoor sports complex could best benefit Western. Halloran, who was formerly senior recreation supervisor for the St. Joseph Parks and Recreation Department, was selected out of the four finalists.
The selection was made in late May by Athletic Director David Williams and President Robert Vartabedian with advisement from Smith’s panel.
“Mike was selected partially because of his work with the community already,” Smith said. “We just felt like he had a good handle on recreation overall and what that building needed: to have somebody to contact [and] to be able to bring in things to make money off of that facility.”
Therein lays Halloran’s number one responsibility: being sure that the indoor sports complex generates enough revenue to pay for itself. As an auxiliary building the facility receives no funding from the university budget. Halloran is responsible for drawing in community events to the facility in order to raise these funds. Some of the ideas so far are for youth soccer, flag football leagues and trade shows.
“Those are opportunities for us to generate revenue that will help pay for the daily operations as well as develop a comprehensive maintenance program for the facility,” said Halloran.
So far the biggest investor to the complex has been the Kansas City Chiefs, who hosted their training camp in the indoor sports complex this summer. The Chiefs received $10 million in tax credits from the state of Missouri to move their training camp back to the state. In turn they donated these funds to Missouri Western, pending the construction of an indoor practice facility.
“We wouldn’t have the facility if the Chiefs hadn’t been able to the tax credits through the state to build it,” said Smith.
Halloran’s first duty as athletic facilities director was to make sure that everything at training camp went smoothly.
“Really, during camp I left the indoor sports complex very rarely. I dealt with football operations so I dealt with players, coaches, security, medical and equipment,” said Halloran. “That opportunity was pretty unique, and for somebody that likes sports, and particularly football, it was a pretty cool opportunity to have that interaction on a daily basis.”
Halloran has high hopes for his new position and is excited about the new Griffon Indoor Sports complex and how it is going to promote the university and community in the future.
“I think the bigger picture of what it’s going to do to morale and pride and what it means to Missouri Western and St. Joe is something that’s going to be very difficult to measure. But I think it’s going to be very noticeable as well,” said Halloran. “I think it already can be noticed.”