May 01, 2015

Tommy Bell Appointed Athletics Director at Southern Illinois University Carbondale

James T. “Tommy” Bell will return to Southern Illinois University Carbondale as its new director of intercollegiate athletics.

Bell, currently athletics director at Western Illinois University, replaces Mario Moccia, who left the university to take the top athletics position at New Mexico State University. His appointment as SIU’s 13th athletics director requires approval of the university’s Board of Trustees, which meets May 14.

SIU President Randy Dunn said Bell brings to the role leadership and fundraising experience in addition to a commitment to Saluki athletics.

“Tommy Bell knows and cares deeply about SIU and its athletics program,” Dunn said. “He understands the value of a Division 1 program to a major research university, he knows the Missouri Valley Conference, and he is well equipped to tackle challenges and embrace opportunities to move us forward.”

Bell, who was associate director of institutional advancement for Saluki athletics from 2001 to 2007, said he looks forward to his return to campus.

“This is a huge day for our family,” he said. “We have deep, long ties to SIU. I look forward to working with the athletics staff, our student athletes, the university community, and our many friends and fans to support and continue to grow a Saluki athletics program that is successful at all levels.”

Bell has been at Western Illinois, where he is responsible for 20 NCAA Division 1 sports programs in two conference, since 2013. His accomplishments include developing a master athletics facility plan, initiating a stadium renovation project, and establishing a corporate sponsorship program.

From 2007 to 2013 he served as director of intercollegiate athletics recreation and intramurals for Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he launched a branding campaign, expanded donor relations and served as the athletics consultant for a $42 million addition to the Gates Athletics Center.

While at SIU in an athletics fundraising role, Bell developed and implemented the Saluki Athletic Scholarship Fund and oversaw the athletics program’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Prior to coming to SIU, he served in multiple roles for the Department of Athletics at Northern Illinois University and was an athletic trainer and physical education teacher in Illinois, Maryland, Montana, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Bell holds a master’s degree in health and physical education from Radford University, a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Virginia Tech and an associate of arts degree from Ferrum College in Virginia.

Dunn said the university is still working to finalize his contract and starting date.