Creighton Names New AD

Creighton Names New AD

Blossom Excited for the Opportunity to Lead Creighton Athletics

By Rick Davis, BA’88

Marcus Blossom was introduced as Creighton’s new McCormick Endowed Athletic Director at an on-campus news conference on Aug. 31, and officially began his duties as the senior administrator for Creighton athletics at the end of September.

The former athletic director at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, said the welcome he received from the Creighton and Omaha communities was “nothing short of remarkable.” His two young daughters, Maya (8) and Mora (5), apparently agreed.

“I heard one of them say last night, ‘This is the best day ever!’ Blossom said as he opened his introductory news conference. “When your daughters say, ‘This is the best day ever,’ you did something pretty cool as a dad.”

Blossom steps enthusiastically into the role of athletic director — excited about the opportunity to lead a successful Bluejay program and to compete for BIG EAST and national championships.

“I’m extremely confident that we are going to win BIG EAST championships,” Blossom said. “That’s one of my expectations.

“And I think if you’re winning BIG EAST championships, you’re one of the best programs in the country, one of the best teams in the country, and you can make deep runs in the NCAA Tournament and compete for national championships.”

Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, said, the University has found in Blossom a collaborative and passionate leader, an individual called by faith, grounded in mission and family, familiar with Jesuit higher learning and committed to excellence.

“I am truly delighted to have Marcus directing the future of our program,” Fr. Hendrickson said. “Personally, I was struck by Marcus’ incredible level of thoughtfulness, preparation, and graciousness. He is clearly and certainly a very capable administrator with a masterful grasp of both the near- and long-term challenges facing college athletics.”

Blossom succeeds Bruce Rasmussen as Creighton’s athletic director. Rasmussen retired in August after 41 years at Creighton and 27 years as AD. Blossom and Fr. Hendrickson both praised Rasmussen for his incredible legacy of service.

“Bruce’s leadership of this department, what he’s done for Creighton, his impact on college athletics have been tremendous,” Blossom said. “That was one of the reasons that made me attracted to this opportunity.”

“I would like to thank Bruce for the blessing of his leadership, his legacy, and his service to Creighton,” Fr. Hendrickson said. “He has been the architect of an incredible athletics program here.”

Blossom’s selection as athletic director came after an expeditious yet thorough national search. Creighton trustee and alumnus Mark Walter, BSBA’82, co-founder of Guggenheim Partners and chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was a member of the search advisory committee and described the process as “smart, consultative and comprehensive.” Fr. Hendrickson said he reached out broadly in the process and thanked the advisory team for their intensive engagement, which, he admitted, included “some late-night calls from their president.”

Blossom said he was attracted to Creighton’s tradition of academic excellence and its firm commitment to its Jesuit mission and values. In Creighton, he saw a University not only committed to graduating student-athletes, but to “developing leaders through service to others and through a focus on the common good.”

During his two years at Holy Cross, Blossom oversaw an athletics program, with 27 Division I sports, that ranked first in the nation in overall graduation success rate, at 99%.

He also made eight head coaching hires, oversaw a football program that won consecutive Patriot League championships and led the development of the athletic department’s first strategic plan.

Before joining Holy Cross, Blossom spent five years at Boston College, another Jesuit school, where he served as senior associate athletics director for business and administration. There, he was a member of the executive team and assisted with all aspects of strategic planning and vision execution for the department of athletics.

His former boss at Boston College, current UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond, told the Omaha World-Herald that Blossom is a “natural born leader” and “always sees the bigger picture.”

Blossom also served in administrative roles at Providence College, a BIG EAST institution, Brown University and Central Michigan, and worked as an assistant director of championships for the NCAA.     

The 42-year-old holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Northeastern University, a master’s degree in sports management from West Virginia University and an MBA from the University of Rhode Island.

A collegiate athlete himself, Blossom played basketball at Northeastern in Boston, where he was a three-time GTE District I Academic All-American and three-time all-conference selection. A Chicago-area native and the youngest of eight children, Blossom was not highly recruited out of Rich South High School.

At least not to play basketball. He did receive a full-ride presidential scholarship from the University of Illinois for academics.

Instead, he decided to follow his dream and headed to Boston.

Through determination and a strong work ethic — traits that have carried over into his administrative career — Blossom not only earned a starting spot on the team, he led the Huskies in scoring his junior year and ranks 12th all-time among Northeastern’s leading scorers.

During the press conference, he reached out to Creighton’s current student-athletes and expressed his commitment to providing them with an excellent collegiate experience and an environment that is inclusive, equitable and “consistently lives by our great Jesuit principles on a daily basis.”

“I can’t wait to support you. I can’t wait to meet you. I can’t wait to do whatever I can to help your journey,” he said. “You’re the reason I got into college athletics. I was one of you. Being a positive influence on your journey is extremely, extremely important to me.”

To the coaching and administrative staff, he added, “I’ll be there. I’ll listen. I’ll challenge you. And I expect you to do the same for me.”

He also praised the Omaha community and the Creighton fan base for their support for Creighton athletics, saying that attendance at men’s basketball games, which pre-pandemic consistently ranked among the top 10 in the nation averaging more than 17,000 fans per game, is a “distinguishing factor for us.”

Finally, he addressed Creighton’s “great alumni” and former student-athletes, both in Omaha and points nationally and around the world. “If you see me, and I have on the Creighton Bluejay polo, please stop and say hello. I want to meet you. I want to get a chance to talk to you.”

Before heading off for a tour of campus with his wife, Karli, and two daughters, Blossom expressed his gratitude.

“I would like to thank the entire Creighton family for this amazing opportunity,” he said. “I can assure you that we’re going to do great things. We’re going to do spectacular things. We’re going to win championships. And we’re going to do it together. And I can’t wait to get to work. Go Jays!”