SIU's Moccia accepts director of athletics position at New Mexic - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIU's Moccia accepts director of athletics position at New Mexico university

Mario Moccia has been appointed the new director of athletics at New Mexico State University. (Source: New Mexico State University) Mario Moccia has been appointed the new director of athletics at New Mexico State University. (Source: New Mexico State University)
(KFVS) -

The director of athletics at Southern Illinois University has been appointed New Mexico State University's new director of athletics, the university announced on Monday, Nov. 24.

Mario Moccia had been with SIU since 2006.

New Mexico State University says Moccia graduated from there in 1989. He was captain of the Aggie baseball team and went on to play in the Detroit Tigers minor league system.

Moccia was inducted into the NMSU Hall of Fame in 1998.

"This is an exciting day for me and my family," Moccia said. "Returning to one's alma mater is an opportunity not afforded to many people and to come back to Las Cruces and New Mexico State University where I have so many fond memories as a student-athlete makes me a very fortunate individual. I know my wife, Heidi, and children Addie and Gemma are excited as well."

Moccia also said there are mixed emotions of leaving a the athletic staff, program and so many friends in the southern Illinois area.

"After eight plus years you create many close friendships and both Heidi and I hope that the distance won't be an obstacle to continuing them," he said.

SIU President Randy Dunn released the following statement on Monday:

"We congratulate Mario on his appointment as director of athletics at his alma mater, New Mexico State University, and thank him for his significant service advancing the SIU Carbondale athletics program over the past eight years. His vision and leadership developing Saluki Way ensures that our student-athletes, as well as our community members and fans, will benefit from state-of-the-art facilities for many years to come. We also value his focus on the success of student-athletes in the classroom as well as in competition.

We will move forward within the next week to identify an interim athletics director pending a permanent search."

Moccia will take over NMSU's Athletics Department, effective Jan. 5, 2015.

As part of his contract, Moccia will make $240,000 per year, plus incentives.

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