EAST LANSING— If fans of Michigan State athletics were unsure of who new Athletic Director Alan Haller was before Tuesday, they shouldn’t be now.
On Tuesday afternoon, Haller was introduced to members of the media, fans and other distinguished guests, including Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren, at the Tom Izzo Hall of History pavilion located within the Breslin Center.
Many varsity coaches, including Mel Tucker (Football), Jacquie Joseph (Softball), Tom Izzo (Men’s Basketball), Suzy Merchant (Women’s Basketball), Damon Rensing (Men’s Soccer), Danton Cole (Hockey) and Cathy George (Volleyball) were in attendance, as was Michigan State President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. and various Board of Trustee Members, including chairperson Dianne Byrum and trustee Renee Knake-Jefferson. Former Board of Trustee member Joel Ferguson also attended the festivities.
Several student-athlete representatives, most notably Nia Clouden (Women’s Basketball), Lia Sinisi (Field Hockey) and Xavier Henderson (Football) were also in attendance, as were multiple members of the hockey, men’s basketball, softball and men’s and women’s soccer teams.
Although brief, Haller spent the majority of his time thanking his youth sports coaches, as well as former MSU head football coach George Perles and his family, for helping to mold him into the Spartans’ 20th athletic director in school history.
“I learned a lot of lessons from Coach Perles, (including carrying) a flashlight because it’s going to be a long day,” Haller said, much to the delight of the crowd.
He also pledged to be an athletic director that embraces feedback from the student-athlete body as well as an accessible university representative who embraces communicating with the fanbase via walking through tailgating gatherings before home football games on Saturday morning.
“I’m not the athletic director, I’m your athletic director,” Haller said to the student-athletes in attendance. “I work for you.”
Haller concluded by promising excellence both on and off the field while also calling for unity amongst the Michigan State fanbase, boosters, university delegates and other pertinent parties.
“This is my dream responsibility, this is not a job,” he said. “We are going to do some incredible things together and have a little fun while doing it.”
A former MSU football player, police officer and university administrator, Haller was unanimously confirmed by the Board of Trustees as the 20th athletic director in school history on Sept. 1.