Mark Orr was named the Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports on March 28, 2006. Orr oversees the Saint Mary's College Department of Athletics' 17-team intercollegiate athletic program and the College's recreational sports program.
During his tenure as athletic director at Saint Mary's, a number of changes have been made to the school's existing athletic facilities, including $2 million dollars of renovations to McKeon Pavilion, Saint Mary's Stadium, Madigan Gym and the Korth Tennis Complex.
In May, 2011 the College official broke ground on a new $30 million Athletics & Recreation Corridor, which includes the 50,000 square-foot Joseph L. Alioto Recreation Center and a 1,500-seat baseball stadium.
Orr also spearheaded McKeon Pavilion renovations that included chair back seating behind the team benches, reconditioning of the VIP section and installing a new sound system. McKeon also received new locker rooms and offices for men's and women's basketball along with volleyball. The stadium field was replaced with a new bermuda playing surface, the upstairs bleachers in Madigan Gym have been converted into a cardiovascular fitness area and the Timothy Korth Tennis Complex has been altered to make watching events more spectator friendly. Also a new Student-Athlete Academic Center was added to Madigan Gym. The Pat Vincent Rugby Field also welcomed a new surface as well.
Other accomplishments during Orr's tenure include the development of a new athletics branding effort, highlighted by the launch of a dynamic new logo through Osaki Designs in the summer of 2007. Orr was instrumental in working out the largest television agreement in school history with Comcast Sports Net. Since Orr's hiring, SMC has earned its highest finishes in the West Coast Conference Commissioner's Cup since the inception of the award.
Under Orr's leadership, Gaels sports teams have qualified for NCAA postseason 16 times, including the men's basketball team advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2010 and the men's golf team's qualification to the NCAA finals in 2008 and 2013. Seven teams have won conference titles during Orr's tenure and from 2008-13, the school has enjoyed its highest men's basketball attendance averages.
Orr successfully negotiated marketing partnerships that have tripled the department's corporate sponsorship revenues and led a NCAA Certification effort in 2010 that pass without condition.
He has served the chair of the WCC Executive Council, Athletic Directors' Council and Basketball Cabinet and presided as president of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference. Through 2015, he serves as the chairperson for the NCAA's prestigious Amateurism Cabinet.
Prior to his appointment as Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports, Orr served as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Finance and Internal Affairs at Saint Mary's for two years. Orr ran most of the day-to-day activities, which included coordinating the internal administrative affairs for the department, facilitating the Men's and Women's Tennis Fund Raising Association, coordinating all departmental travel, negotiating department guarantees, preparing department contracts, and assisting with the development of the Strategic Plan for the Department of Athletics and Recreational Sports.
During his tenure at Saint Mary's, Orr handled almost every facet to the Department of Athletics. In addition to the management of the department's $9.1 million budget, he served as the lead sport administrator for football, women's basketball, women's volleyball, and men's and women's tennis. Additionally, he was responsible for compliance, sports medicine, strength and conditioning, and ticket operations. In February of 2003, Orr assumed the position of Associate Director of Athletics for Business and Finance, before being promoted to the Senior Associate Director of Athletics in October of 2004.
Orr came to Saint Mary's College on August 4, 2000 as the Assistant Director of Athletics for Student Support Services, responsible for overseeing eligibility for student-athletes, the Champs Life Skills program, and assisting with compliance.
He came to SMC from the University of California at Berkeley, where he served as the Compliance Assistant and the Interim Eligibility Assistant in 1999-2000. He also served as a peer advisor and senior tutor for two years and was a teaching assistant and graduate student instructor that same year. Orr completed his bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley in Social Welfare in 1999 and earned his master's degree in education in 2000.
Orr is a native of Sacramento, where he attended Christian Brothers schools throughout his childhood and graduated from Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento in 1994. He earned a scholarship to play football at Cal, where he played from 1994-98. A four-year letterman defensive back on the California football team, Orr was an Honorable Mention All-Academic Pac-10 selection in 1997 and 1998. He was awarded the Pappy Waldorf Honorary Scholarship for Academic Excellence in 1998 and received the Tiny Bates Memorial Award for Leadership in 1998. Orr and his wife, April, have two children, Tyson Mark and Jacob William.