Marcus Manning, director of athletics and recreation at Centenary College since August 2018, has been selected as the new executive director for the Durham Sports Commission in Durham, North Carolina. Manning begins his new position on October 19.
“Marcus Manning has been an outstanding leader for Centenary, both for the Athletics division and the campus as a whole,” said Centenary president Christopher L. Holoman, Ph.D.. “He has grown our athletic program and set a course for more success in the future. He has also been an invaluable contributor to advancing our strategic plan and a powerful voice for diversity and inclusion. We are excited to see what he will accomplish in his new role and wish him all the best.”
Manning, a St. Louis native, came to Centenary from Maryville University in St. Louis where he was the athletic director for six years. He served as interim athletic director from August 2018 until his permanent appointment in February 2019.
In his short time at Centenary, Manning oversaw 20 varsity sports and spearheaded the addition of two varsity sports – esports and STUNT, beginning fall 2021 – and one club sport – men’s competitive club volleyball, in the spring of 2020. Centenary made history as it became one of the first in the state of Louisiana to offer these sports under the direction of the athletic department.
The athletic department previously announced the additions of men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s track and field and competitive cheer and dance in 2019. In the spring of 2019, the Centenary athletic department launched the Centenary College Athlete Network, a branded and customized technology platform to organize, promote, and track the programs and services offered to all current and former student-athletes. Centenary became the first Division III program to adopt this groundbreaking technology.
Manning was also instrumental in the installation of a new playing surface at Mayo Field, home of Centenary’s men’s and women’s soccer teams and men’s lacrosse team. The new surface was installed prior to the 2019 soccer season, and was officially dedicated on Sept. 27, 2019.
In the summer of 2020, Manning was named the recipient of the College’s David Womack Award, giving to a Centenary faculty or staff member who gives attention to working across divisional and departmental lines, to building bridges, and to being intentionally inclusive of all members of the Centenary campus community.
“I can’t thank Dr. Holoman enough for his leadership and the opportunity to serve our coaches, staff, student-athletes, and entire campus community,” said Manning. “During my time at Centenary I’ve been able to witness academic success, community engagement, great individual performances, All-American performances, championship level team performances, coach of the year awards, and a NCAA Tournament appearance. The Centenary community welcomed me, provided learning opportunities, and great memories. And for that, I will forever be grateful and thankful.”
David Orr, Centenary’s assistant athletic director for recreation and facilities, will serve as interim athletic director following Manning’s departure.