|College:||University of Memphis, 2004|
|Position:||Director of Athletics|
Ryan Ivey was introduced as the Texas A&M
University-Commerce Athletic Director at a press conference on
January 7, 2013.
“We are excited to welcome Ryan and his beautiful family to Commerce,” said President Dr. Dan Jones. “Ryan has the rare combination of passion, business savvy and competitive spirit it will take to move our athletic program to its next level of achievement and excellence. Most important, his highest priority is the welfare and success of our student-athletes.”
“I am extremely honored and humbled at the opportunity to lead the Texas A&M University-Commerce athletic department,” Ivey said. “I am excited about becoming an integral part of both the Commerce and campus communities and can’t wait to work with our coaches, administrators and staff as we move forward toward future success and growth.”
Ivey comes to A&M-Commerce from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he has been an integral member of the Cowboys athletic department since 2007. He has served as Associate Athletic Director since August 2010, handling the day-to-day operations of the department both in an internal and external capacity.
Internally, Ivey’s key contributions have come in overseeing McNeese State’s nearly-eight million dollar athletic budget, handling the business operations on a day-to-day basis. He has also been responsible for implementing new money saving initiatives within the department as well as providing fiscal responsibility.
Additionally, Ivey has overseen McNeese’s game day operations, helping to provide an entertaining and memorable experience for fans at Cowboy home athletic events while also handling the responsibility of scheduling for all 16 Cowboy and Cowgirl athletic programs. Working directly with head coaches, Ivey has also played a key role in helping 15 of McNeese’s athletic programs increase their Academic Performance Rate to .925 or higher, improving from just four when he arrived.
Externally, Ivey has handled the responsibilities of
McNeese’s corporate sponsorship program. Since taking over
the program, corporate sponsorship revenue has increased over 80%,
bringing in over $750,000 per year. Ivey authored a revenue
generating master plan for the Cowboy athletic department as well
as spearheading two different marketing campaigns which resulted in
record-breaking results for the Cowboy football and basketball
In addition to his McNeese State responsibilities, Ivey has assisted in the execution of the 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 State Farm Southland Conference Basketball tournaments. Ivey has also made his mark spearheading postseason events, serving as the tournament director for the 2008 and 2012 Southland Conference Women’s Soccer tournament, the 2009 Southland Conference Softball tournament and most recently, the 2011 and 2012 FCS National Championship games.
Prior to his time at McNeese State, Ivey spent two seasons as the Director of Operations for the women’s basketball team at the University of Memphis, his alma mater. He also has experience serving as the Marketing and Promotions Coordinator for the University of South Dakota as well as a Stadium Operations Assistant for the Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League.
A native of Mayfield, Kentucky, Ivey was a four-year letterwinner at Memphis as a punter and holder on the Tiger football team, seeing action in both the 2003 New Orleans Bowl and the 2004 GMAC Bowl. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management in December 2004, followed by his master’s degree in sport and leisure commerce in August 2010. He met his wife, Kelley, while attending the University of Memphis and has two sons, Jett and Ace.
Ivey was selected from more 50 applicants in the nationwide search by a committee that included representation from athletics, the university, alumni and the community.
“I want to thank Dr. Jones and the entire search committee in their confidence in my abilities to lead the department, as it is a responsibility I do not take lightly,” said Ivey. “This is an exciting time in A&M-Commerce athletics and I look forward to building upon the rich tradition and history that has been laid from past generations.”
|Position:||Associate AD for Academic Services/Senior Woman Administrator|
Judy Sackfield joined the Texas A&M University-Commerce Staff January 2008 as the Associate Athletic Director for Academic Affairs and Senior Woman Administrator.
As the Associate Athletic Director for Academic Affairs, Sackfield manages the academic support services for student-athletes and is the advisor to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Sackfield oversees the NCAA degree progress, academic planning, and postgraduate opportunities for A&M commerce student-athletes. Sackfield has been instrumental in implementing academic support service initiatives and developing relationships within the academic departments throughout the A&M Commerce campus.
At A&M-Commerce, Sackfield is the sport administrator over the men’s and woman’s basketball and volleyball programs. She also serves as the UIL Championship Director for basketball, track & field and volleyball. In addition, Sackfield is an instructor within the A&M Commence Health and Human Performance Department in the College of Education.
Prior to Sackfield’s arrival at A&M-Commerce she was the Associate Athletic Director for Academic Services at UAB where she served 10 years directing the academic support unit. While at UAB, Sackfield was instrumental in developing a comprehensive advising unit with her primary focus dealing with the total development of the individual student-athlete. She was responsible for the student-athlete advisory committee and the CHAMPS/Life Skills program coordinator. She also served on the faculty within the Department of Human Studies in the School of Education.
Prior to her academic support services position, Sackfield was the head volleyball coach at UAB from 1992-99 and Georgia Tech from 1985-91. She is an active member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA), and National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A). In addition, she has served on the CHAMPS Advisory Board for the Division IA Athletic Directors Association. Currently Sackfield serves on the NACWA Awards Committee and the NACWA 2010 Local Organizing Committee. She has served as the chairperson on multiple job search committees as well as academic enhancement committees within the university.
The native of Scarborough Ontario, Canada, Sackfield is a graduate of Clemson University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management. Sackfield earned her masters degree from UAB in Education with an emphasis in Sports Administration. Sackfield played volleyball for the Clemson Tigers, where she was a four year letter winner and a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection.
|Position:||Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance|
Hill came to A&M-Commerce after serving as compliance officer for Texas Southern University for the previous four years.
At Texas Southern, he planned, administered and monitored all aspects of compliance for the athletic department in accordance with university, NCAA and conference policies, regulations and procedures. He was also responsible for the oversight, monitoring and education related to NCAA personnel, recruiting, playing and practice seasons and sport sponsorship. Hill also was involved with the coordination between the University’s registrar and athletics’ academic department for certification of student-athlete eligibility.
Prior to that, he worked at NCAA Division I members, Florida Atlantic University as a compliance coordinator for nearly two years and Marshall University and Troy State University as an assistant compliance director.
In 2005, he took part in the NCAA Leadership Institute which is a year-long program to develop experience, knowledge and skills that enhance effective leadership.
Hill graduated from Auburn University with his bachelor’s degree in arts history and spent a year studying abroad in France before earning his law degree from Southern University in 2000. He recently completed a master’s of science degree from Troy in sports and fitness management.
|College:||Nebraska-Wesleyan University, 2003|
|Position:||Assistant Athletic Director - External Affairs|
Joshua Jorgensen was hired on April 1, 2013 as the Lions’ new Assistant Athletic Director for External Affairs. Under this new position, Jorgensen will handle all of the A&M-Commerce Athletics marketing, promotional and game management efforts, as well as overseeing the Lions’ social media platforms.
Jorgensen comes to Commerce after spending the past year overseeing the Athletic Operations department at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. There, he was the event coordinator for all athletic facilities as well as assisting with the Lumberjacks’ marketing and promotional activities.
Jorgensen and Ivey previously worked together as the duo spent two years together at McNeese State University. There, Jorgensen oversaw the facility management and coordinated game management operations for all Cowboy and Cowgirl home events.
Prior to his time at McNeese, Jorgensen served as the Director of Stadium Operations for the Lincoln Saltdogs of American Association, an independent baseball league while also spending one season as the Director of Ticketing. He also spent time as the Director of Ticketing at Northwestern State University.
Jorgensen earned his degree in sports management from Nebraska-Wesleyan University in 2003, followed by his master’s degree in sport administration from Northwestern State University in 2011. He married his wife, Angela, in 2009 as the couple has one son, Duke, born in 2011.
|Position:||Director of Athletic Media Relations (Sports: FB, VB, MBB, GLF)|
Rand Champion is in his third season as A&M-Commerce's Director of Media Relations. He oversees media efforts for all 11 of the Lions' athletic teams, serving as the primary contact for football, volleyball, men's basketball and men's and women's golf, as well as assisting with UIL events hosted by A&M-Commerce.
Champion comes to A&M-Commerce
after spending the past three years as an Assistant Director of
Athletic Communications at Northwestern University in Evanston,
Ill. There he worked primarily with the Wildcats’ seven-time
NCAA champion women’s lacrosse team and nationally-ranked
women’s volleyball team, while also overseeing media efforts
for the women’s golf and women’s fencing programs.
Champion also assisted with game day responsibilities for football
and men’s and women’s basketball at Northwestern.
Prior to joining the staff at Northwestern, Champion worked as a media relations assistant at North Dakota State University, handling responsibilities for the wrestling and women’s soccer teams as well as assisting with all Bison home football and basketball events. He got his start in the field of media relations at Vanderbilt University, covering the Commodores’ women’s lacrosse team while serving as a media relations intern.
Champion began his career in television, spending three years at KZTV-10, the CBS affiliate in Corpus Christi, Texas. During his tenure, he filled a number of different roles, ultimately serving as the weekend sports anchor.
A native of Sandy, Utah, Champion earned his bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Brigham Young University in 2002. He then achieved his master’s degree in sport administration from Belmont University in 2007, fulfilling internships with Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University and the Tennessee Titans as part of his curriculum.
|Position:||Director of Sports Medicine (Sports: FB, GLF)|
Dustan Thrift was named the
director of sports medicine in November 2010 after spending
his first two years as an assistant athletic trainer at Texas
A&M-Commerce at Texas A&M-Commerce. As the director of
sports medicine, he serves as the head trainer for the football
Prior to his promotion, he served as the head athletic trainer for men's basketball and the men's and women's golf teams and as an assistant with the Lions' football team.
He has bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University and went on to earn his master's degree from the University of Arkansas.
Thrift is a licensed athletic trainer in the state of Texas and certified nationally by the NATA. He, his wife Joanna, and his daughter Sophie live in Commerce.
|Position:||Director of Business Operations|
Sammy Morrone is in his first season as the Director of Business Operations for the A&M-Commerce Athletic Department. He also oversees game day operations for home football games as well as assisting with operations for all of A&M-Commerce’s home events.
Morrone comes to A&M-Commerce from the business world, working as an associate accountant at Tetrick & Bartlett, PLLC and as a financial processor at Centra Bank in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Morrone earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from West Virginia University in 2008 where he also was a four-year member of the Mountaineer football team, including the 2005 Big East championship and 2007 Fiesta Bowl championship teams.
A native of nearby Paris, Morrone is a 2004 graduate of Paris High School where he was a member of the Wildcat football and baseball teams.
|Position:||Athletic Accounts Payable|
|Position:||Administrative Assistant to the Athletic Director|
Christi Spruill came to A&M-Commerce in December of 2010 and serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Athletic Director. Spruill has handled a number of duties within the department, assisting with day-to-day office operations, handling ticketing responsibilities, coordinating special events and assisting with game operations for both A&M-Commerce and UIL events.
Prior to coming to A&M-Commerce, Spruill spent nine years in the private sector, gaining experience as a business manager, human resources coordinator and personal assistant. She also gained valuable experience serving as the Assistant to the Athletic Director for the City of Arlington Parks and Recreation department from 1997-2001.
A native of Fort Worth, Spruill attended Howard Payne University, majoring in physical education with an emphasis on strength and conditioning. Following her time at Howard Payne, she spent four years as a gymnastics coach and instructor for the YMCA of Arlington.
|College:||Texas Christian, 1973|
|Position:||Assistant to the Athletic Director (Special Projects)|
Guy Morriss, the former head coach of the A&M-Commerce football team, stepped into a new role following the conclusion of the 2012 season. Morriss stepped aside from his coaching duties to fulfill a new role within the Athletic Department as the Assistant to the Athletic Director for Special Projects.
2012 marked Morriss' final season on the Lion sideline, highlighted by a return trip to Cowboys Stadium for a nationally televised game against Midwestern State, as well as a thrilling overtime victory against Texas A&M-Kingsville at Memorial Stadium on September 29th. Morriss also oversaw the development of linebacker Danny Mason, who was named the Lone Star Conference Linebacker of the Year as well as a first team Daktronics All-Region selection.
Despite battling a myriad of injuries and setbacks in 2011, Morris’ A&M-Commerce team saw a handful of bright spots. The Lions participated in the Lone Star Football Festival at Cowboys Stadium on September 17, becoming the first Division II team to suit up in the world’s preeminent sporting venue. The Lions saw a pair of players rack in All-Lone Star Conference accolades as Cory Whitfield was named first team with Taylor Fore being named honorable mention.
A pair of Morriss’ players closed out their career by inscribing their names in the A&M-Commerce record book as well. Fore closed out his career ranked fourth all-time in receptions (125), including 58 in 2011 which tied the single-season record, while Marcus Graham closed out his career ranked eighth all-time in rushing yards with 1,990.
In 2010, Morriss led a young Lion squad to a 3-8 mark on the season, with five games being decided by five points or less. With 18 freshmen seeing significant playing time, Morriss called the development of those young Lions the most memorable aspect of the 2010 campaign and a source of extreme optimism for the upcoming seasons.
Morriss made an immediate impression in his first season on the Lion sidelines, leading A&M-Commerce to the Lone Star Conference North Division title, posting a 5-0 division mark en route to being named the 2009 LSC Coach of the Year. It marked the first outright divisional title for A&M-Commerce since 1990. The five victories by Morriss in his Lion debut were the most since J.V. Sikes won six in his first season on the Commerce sidelines in 1954. A&M-Commerce closed out the 2009 season on a five-game winning streak, the longest run in the program’s history since Eddie Vowell led the Lions to five consecutive victories in 1992.
The Lions had 11 players earn all-Lone Star Conference North Division honors, including R.J. Brisbon, who was selected as the co-Offensive Lineman of the Year, William Green as the Defensive Lineman of the Year and Cory Whitfield as the Linebacker of the Year. Two members of the team were selected to the Lone Star Conference All-Academic Team for their efforts on the field and in the classroom. Three members of the team - Brisbon, Green and Chad Washington - were selected to participate in the 2010 Cactus Bowl, with Green receiving multiple All-America honors.
Morriss’ hiring in 2009 drew attention from the national media as he made his homecoming to Northeast Texas. Upon Morriss’ hiring, Texas A&M University-Commerce Athletic Director Carlton Cooper said, “We are very excited to have Guy Morriss join our Lion athletic family. He brings a wealth of football knowledge and relationships to our program. When we started this search, we were looking for a football coach to take our program in a new direction and build a program nationally recognized. We have selected the right person by choosing Guy Morriss to lead our football program.”
The former head coach at Baylor University from 2003-2007 and the University of Kentucky from 2001-2002 brings an impressive background that includes a 15-year playing career in the NFL. Morriss attended Sam Houston High School in Arlington and later Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, where he was a three year letterwinner and two-time All-Southwest Conference selection. The Horned Frogs’ team captain, he was selected to play in four all-star games following his senior season (Blue-Gray Game, Senior Bowl, Coaches’ All-America Game and College All-Star Game). Morriss was inducted into the TCU Hall of Fame in 1997.
Morriss was a second-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1973 where he played 11 seasons at center in the city of Brotherly Love. A five-time team captain, he helped the Eagles to four consecutive playoff berths (1978-82) under coach Dick Vermeil, as Philadelphia won the NFC East title in 1979 and 1980. Morriss was the starting center on the Eagles’ 1980 NFC Championship team, quarterbacked by Ron Jaworski, and played in Super Bowl XV.
Morriss then played for New England from 1984 to 1987, helping lead the Patriots to the playoff appearances in 1985 and 1986, playing in Super Bowl XX.
Following his playing days, Morriss began his coaching career as an offensive line coach with the New England Patriots from 1988 to 1989 under head coach and NFL Hall of Fame member Raymond Berry. After spending a season as the offensive coordinator at Mansfield High School in 1991, Morriss was selected as head coach of the Washington Marauders of the Professional Spring Football League in 1997, but the league ceased operations prior to the start of the season.
From 1992 to 1993, he coached the offensive line at Valdosta State University before returning to the NFL in 1994 as a member of Buddy Ryan’s Arizona Cardinals staff. Morriss then spent the 1995 campaign with the Canadian Football League’s San Antonio Texans, where they were second in the CFL in points scored and advanced to the semifinals of the Grey Cup playoffs. He spent the 1996 season as the offensive line coach at Mississippi State before moving on to the University of Kentucky. At Kentucky, he spent four seasons as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach before being promoted to head coach. In Morriss’ two seasons as Kentucky’s head coach, 10 Wildcats earned All-SEC recognition, three were named All-American and 43 garnered academic All-SEC honors.
Morriss was then named the head football coach at Baylor University on December 11, 2002. As the Bears’ head coach, Morriss was instrumental in raising over $10 million towards football projects including a new on-campus practice facility: The Highers Athletic Complex & Simpson Athletics and Academic Center also including the Lee and Elaine Harrington Recruiting Center. His student-athletes were successful on and off the field as 58 student-athletes earned academic all-Big 12 Conference honors and 37 earned all-Big 12 Conference athletic recognition. He also revised and improved the Baylor strength and conditioning, academic support services and disciplinary programs that have been carried on through the remainder of the athletic department.
During the 2008 season, Morriss served as the executive associate head coach for football development and offensive line coach at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. At KSU, he had an offensive lineman earn second team all-conference honors as well as another named to the all-academic team. The Thorobreds offensive line averaged 168.8 yards on the ground and another 183.4 yards through the air.
In 2004, when Super Bowl XXXVIII was played at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Morriss was honored by The Dallas Morning News, being named to the newspaper’s All-Texas High School Super Bowl Team.
The Colorado City, Texas native, Morriss earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from TCU in 1973. In August of 2011, he received his master's in education from Texas A&M University-Commerce as well. He and his wife, Jackie, are the parents of five daughters: Colleen, Melanie, Kerry, Savannah Rae and Austin Leigh. The couple is also the proud grandparents of four grandchildren.
Career Coaching Record
|College:||Eastern Washington, 2006|
|Position:||Director of Strength and Conditioning|
Lance Farmer is in his first season as A&M-Commerce's first-ever Strength and Conditioning Coach. Farmer will work directly with all 11 A&M-Commerce intercollegiate programs, overseeing weight lifting, conditioning, fitness and nutritional workouts for all Lion student-athletes.
Farmer comes to A&M-Commerce from Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina, where he spent three and a half years as the Saints’ assistant strength and conditioning coach. While at Limestone, Farmer designed and implemented programs for nine athletic programs, including men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, cross country, track and field, field hockey and wrestling. He also assisted with workouts for five other sports.
Prior to his time at Limestone, Farmer spent two seasons as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina where he was directly responsible for the strength programs for the wrestling, women’s field hockey, and the men’s and women’s tennis programs. He also assisted with the physical development of the Mountaineers’ 2006 and 2007 Division 1-AA national championship football teams. He also interned at the University of Washington as an undergrad.
A native of Washington State, Farmer received his bachelor’s degree in exercise sciences from Eastern Washington University in 2006 and earned his master's degree in exercise sciences/strength and conditioning from Appalachian State in 2008. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association as well as a sports performance coach through USA Weightlifting.