Dr. Lou Marciani has announced his retirement from his role as Director of The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) effective April 1, 2020. Dr. Marciani has served as NCS4 Director since its inception in 2006 following the United States Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) increased effort to defend potential soft targets for terrorism in the wake of 9/11.
“Since its inception in 2006, the NCS4 has played a critical role in assisting the ever-growing sports and entertainment safety and security industry through research, thought leadership, professional development, and hosting of industry and academic forums,” said Dr. Marciani. “There was an obvious need in the changing landscape of safety and security and NCS4 has admirably filled that need.”
Under Dr. Marciani’s leadership, NCS4 has evolved into a highly respected national and international academic leader in the sports, entertainment, and school safety and security industry.
NCS4 emerged from a 2006 doctoral dissertation about the standards required for effective security management at university sport venues. Building upon this fundamental research, NCS4 is now an international research and education center for sports safety and security. NCS4 collaborates with professional sport leagues and venues, intercollegiate and interscholastic athletics, marathon and endurance events, and international sporting events along with professional associations, private sector firms, and government agencies. Since 2006, Dr. Marciani has attained more than $13 million in federal grants for homeland security.
“The success of the National Center has been the strong relationship built within the safety and security industry,” Dr. Marciani said. “I want to thank all of the industry advisory council members who have and are contributing to the advancement of the profession”
Dr. Marciani’s distinguished record of service to USM spans more than three decades and was highlighted in 2013 with his induction into The University of Southern Mississippi’s Alumni Hall of Fame. Lou joined the University in 1974 as the first full-time director of Intramural Sports. Under his leadership, the program was enhanced and the department was expanded to Intramural-Recreational Sports. He served as president of the National Intramural Recreation Sports Association and received the Honor Award, which is the highest award given in that industry.
Under Dr. Marciani’s leadership, NCS4 developed a curriculum to teach police commanders and incident management leaders around the world how to deal with safety and security challenges they face when hosting a major international sporting event. NCS4 has the distinction of creating the first course ever accredited by INTERPOL. NCS4 has taught 131 police commanders from 58 nations since 2017.
Prior to his academic role, Dr. Marciani had extensive experience in managing several intercollegiate athletic programs and serving the United States Olympic Committee. Dr. Marciani was instrumental in creating USM’s student referendum that passed in 1984 for the purpose of constructing a campus recreation facility, later known to the USM campus as the Payne Center.
After serving as athletic director at Salisbury University and East Stroudsburg University, Dr. Marciani rejoined Southern Miss in 1989 as associate athletic director for External Affairs. In 1991, he was given the opportunity to serve as athletic director at Western Kentucky University, and Drexel University and as executive director of two governing committees for the United States Olympic Committee. Dr. Marciani’s family have been dedicated to USM as his four children all graduated from USM. The Marciani family remains actively engaged in the Hattiesburg community by supporting numerous fundraising programs.
He returned to Southern Miss in 2004 to serve as director of the School of Human Performance and Recreation. It was during this period that his research endeavors were the impetus for the formation of NCS4.