Q&A with Marvin Lewis


President Gregory Washington has said he believes you are the right person to take Mason Athletics to the next level. What does that look like to you?

It’s three things. One, it’s transformational experiences for all of our student-athletes. It’s developing a championship culture throughout our department, and it’s telling our story and getting our message out there. We’re a young university, a little over 50 years old. There are a lot of great things happening here, and we’ve got to get the word out, not just locally but nationally and internationally.

Marvin Lewis
Photo by Ron Aira

Mason Athletics had a lot of success in the spring 2023 semester, with Atlantic 10 championships in women’s track and field, softball, and baseball. How does an athletic director help continue and expand that success?

My job is to make sure our student-athletes have the resources to not only compete at a high level but to make sure they graduate. It takes fundraising and being creative with resource generation, as well as optimizing how we use our resources. My goal is to make sure the resources we provide allow us to sustain success, so all programs feel really confident with the direction they are headed.

What mentor in your career taught you the most?

I start with my father, a high school history teacher and a basketball coach. He’s my first true mentor. But I’ve been truly blessed to have had a number of athletic directors that have really impacted my leadership, specifically [former University of Maryland athletic director (AD)] Kevin Anderson, [former Georgia State University AD] Cheryl Levick, and [North Carolina State University deputy AD] Todd Stansbury.

Is there a common thread that runs through all of their advice that has become a core value for you?

I would say teamwork. I’ve told multiple individuals that I don’t have all the answers. It’s going to take a team effort. All of those leaders relied on their senior leadership teams, campus university leadership, donors, and, more importantly, students to understand how to better [the student] experience.

What is the most important thing you take from being a player that you can apply to your job now?

I remember what it’s like to play in an Atlantic Coast Conference championship while having a final and needing to study in the hotel. Because of that, I truly respect what [student-athletes] do and appreciate how challenging it is. Having that experience gives me compassion, empathy, but also an intensity to make sure they have the resources to be successful.