Having been a collegiate student-athlete himself, Marcus Bowman said he knows what a profound influence a positive experience in that area can have on a young person’s life — and he's happy to help.
This is the perfect opportunity for me both professionally and personally at this stage in my life. Professionally, I believe there is tremendous opportunity and potential at UNLV and I'm excited to be a part of it. I also believe in the vision and leadership of athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois. She understands the importance of the student-athlete experience and how a vibrant and successful athletic department can have a major positive impact on the entire institution and community.
We share similar core values and have both been positively impacted by this industry. The opportunity to work with her and serve the UNLV student-athletes and coaches was something I could not pass up. Further, this opportunity allowed me to expand my professional portfolio in working with a vibrant events center in the Thomas & Mack. UNLV has a strong national brand in collegiate athletics and the opportunity to help take it to the next level is exciting.
Personally, my family and I are excited about living in a vibrant city like Las Vegas and exploring another part of the country.
What is your current job title and what are a few of your duties?
Senior associate athletic director, chief financial officer. I am responsible for the fiscal oversight of the athletics department and Thomas & Mack Center. I am also the sport administrator for the men's basketball team and oversee our equipment operation.
What about UNLV strikes you as different from other places you have worked or where you went to school?
I think the way the city and institution embrace each other is unique and outstanding.
Where did you grow up and what was that like?
I was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. I am blessed with two loving parents and an older brother who really taught me the values of hard work and respect of others.
My parents kept me and my brother involved in various activities growing up. However, academics were always first and foremost in our household. We couldn't participate in sports or any extra curricular activities if our grades were not up to par. Therefore, I always took academics seriously and that is what led me to receive a full academic scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh where I walked on to the basketball team.
We were (and still are) very close as a family. We did everything together. What I miss most are our family get-togethers after church — and the holidays and birthdays with our extended family.
What inspired you to get into your field?
Working in college athletics allows you to positively impact the lives of young men and women. I am a product of the student-athlete experience in college so I know the life lessons it teaches you and how it can help you grow in college and prepare you for life after college.
As I transitioned to the administrative side, I realized quickly there is no better feeling than watching a young student-athlete come in as a wide-eyed freshmen and leaving four or five years later as a young adult ready to tackle the world. That transformation is why we do what we do. Ultimately, when they leave our institution, you want them to say, “I grew as a person. They cared about me. I graduated with a meaningful degree and I'm prepared for advancement. We won championships.”
What is the biggest challenge in your field?
The challenges are endless and the pressure to succeed is paramount. Doing what is right in the face of extreme pressure is what many people in our industry find challenging. Ultimately, it is important to know who you are and what your core values are and never waver on those. Keep those in the forefront and always do what is right by our student-athletes and everything else will take care of itself.
Finish this sentence, "If I couldn't work in my current field, I would like to...
Work in the front office of a professional sports organization. Sports is my love and passion.
Tell us about an object in your office that has significance for you and why.
A picture of my family. My family means everything to me. They represent who I am as a person and are always at the center of my life. My personal mission statement is to lead, love, provide for, and protect my wife and two kids.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I love to travel — domestically and internationally. Still have five states to go and I will have visited all 50 states in the U.S.
What books are on your bedside table?
How to Win Friends and Influence People and Start with Your Why.