Markus Jennings was hired as the Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs on July 7, 2014. Jennings came to Sacramento State from Kent State where he was the Assistant Athletics Director/Director of Athletic Advancement.
With the Hornets, Jennings oversees the department's external operations which includes fundraising, marketing, branding, promotion, media relations and ticket sales. In addition to oversight of Athletics’ External Relations, Jennings is the department’s liaison with Learfield Sports, Sacramento State’s corporate and media rights holder, along with serving as the liaison with the University’s Advancement office.
Since his arrival, Major Gift support of donors giving $25,000 or more has increased 50 percent. The Hornet Club, the annual fund for Sacramento State Athletics, has reached record levels of support, including generating an all-time high of better than 57 percent new donor membership from the previous year. Jennings has overseen the start of a capital campaign called the “Power of 1000 Hornets” which is a crowdfunding effort directed for an on-campus Events Center.
A former baseball player at New Mexico State, Jennings worked in the private sector for 14 years before returning to athletics as a special assistant to the A.D. at NMSU in 2007. The following year, he became the development director for athletics at Valparaiso University. While with the Crusaders, he spearheaded a capital campaign for the basketball program and also negotiated the department’s apparel and footwear agreement.
In 2011, Jennings moved to Kent State where he was part of a team which secured over $14 million towards capital, endowment and annual fund projects. During his time with the Golden Flashes, he also helped create and execute a donor based seating program for football and men's basketball and helped increase the Football Enhancement Fund by 269 percent.
Jennings currently serves on the Executive Committee for the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD). NAADD is an organization which provides educational and networking opportunities for Intercollegiate Athletic fundraisers across the United States and Canada. The purpose of the organization is to establish the overall prestige and understanding in the profession of athletics advancement and fundraising. He is also a two-time recipient of the NAADD Diversity Award.
Jennings earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from New Mexico State in 1994 and added an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Clark Atlanta University in 2001. He and his wife, Brenda, have two children (Masud and Basiana).