Marciani Presented with Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition | #schoolsaftey

06/01/2023 – 03:22pm | By: NCS⁴ Staff

Dr. Lou Marciani, Director and Co-Founder of the Innovation Institute for Fan Experience
(IIFX), will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2023 National
Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on June 27-29 in San Antonio.

The event is presented annually by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety
and Security (NCS⁴) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM).

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the long-term accomplishments and contributions
of an individual who has earned the respect and admiration of professional colleagues
in the sports safety and security community. The award was developed to commemorate
exemplary talents and contributions as demonstrated by the nominee’s dedication, loyalty,
ability, and integrity. The award is sponsored by Meridian Rapid Defense Group, which provides SAFETY Act Certified barriers for major sporting events across the

“I am grateful to my family and professional colleagues for this Lifetime Achievement
recognition by the University of Southern Mississippi, an institution I proudly served
for more than 30 years,” said Dr. Lou Marciani, Director and Co-Founder of the Innovation
Institute for Fan Experience (IIFX). “I’ve been honored to work with intramural, intercollegiate,
and professional sports leagues to help develop programs and best practices to ensure
the sports and entertainment industry is safe and secure. I fondly recall the more
than 50 years I’ve worked with government, the sports and entertainment industry,
academia, the United States Olympic Committee, Interpol, student-athletes, and so
many wonderful professionals and dear friends.”

Dr. Marciani has dedicated his life to improving and evolving sports management education,
safety, and security. His groundbreaking efforts reached across the globe and will
help shape the future of the security industry. His distinguished service to USM spanned
more than three decades and was highlighted in 2013 with his induction into USM’s
Alumni Hall of Fame.

“Dr. Lou Marciani has been a driving force for enhancing safety, security, and guest
experience within the sports and entertainment industry,” said Rick Fenton, CSSP,
Vice President/CSO, Corporate Security & Safety for Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “His leadership
has driven technological change within these industries while at the same time driving
enhanced education and training across all levels of professional sports, intercollegiate/interscholastic
athletics, marathon and endurance events, international sporting events, private sector
firms, and governmental agencies. Simply put, Dr. Lou has dedicated his life to enhancing
sports and entertainment management and safety.”

Dr. Lou Marciani joined USM in 1974 as the first full-time director of Intramural
Sports. Under his leadership, the department expanded to Intramural-Recreational Sports.
He served as president of the National Intramural Recreation Sports Association and
received the Honor Award.

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 served 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 returned to Southern Miss in 2004 to serve as director of the School
of Human Performance and Recreation. During this period, Dr. Marciani, alongside colleagues,
secured the first round of government funding to help establish the NCS⁴. Dr. Marciani
served as the first director of the NCS⁴ from 2006 to 2020 and secured more than $13
million in federal grants for homeland security.

Under Dr. Marciani’s leadership, NCS⁴ evolved into a highly respected national and international academic leader in the
sports, entertainment, and school safety and security industry. His vision, passion,
and keen insight created a global center that serves academic research and scholarship,
education, training, industry best practices, and innovative advancement in technology.

“Dr. Marciani is a visionary that always pushed for industry improvement,” said Dr.
Stacey A. Hall, NCS4 Executive Director and Professor of Sport Management. “I had the pleasure of working
alongside Dr. Marciani for many years as he helped grow the NCS4 from a well-known domestic resource center to an internationally recognized training
and education center. His service at USM in multiple roles and over his career in
athletics, education, and the safety and security space will have a lasting impact.
The NCS4 team endeavors to continue the good work and build upon the foundation he laid.”

Dr. Marciani expanded USM and the NCS⁴’s global reach by establishing a formal relationship
with the INTERPOL – Project STADIA program in 2012 to help create police capacity-building
training in sports safety and security for their 194 member nations. The courses helped
prepare Silver-level Police Commanders for their role in protecting 3.4 million spectators
attending the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Dr. Marciani recruited Fortune 500 global
technology corporations to form the NCS⁴’s Technology Alliance, and he has lectured
at universities in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

After leaving NCS⁴ in 2020, Dr. Marciani co-founded IIFX with the purpose of building
a global alliance to lead the next great leap in fan experience, steeped in safety,
security, and service. The Institute is bound together by the passion and skills of
visionary thought leaders throughout the international community, who, along with
technical and subject matter experts, are innovating new ways that address critical
safety and security challenges to change the world’s sports and entertainment fan
experience for the better.

Dr. Marciani’s family has been dedicated to USM for decades, as his four children
all graduated from USM. His grandson, Maddox, will join the Southern Miss family in
the fall of 2023. He remains actively engaged in the Hattiesburg community by supporting
numerous fundraising and USM sports programs.

“I am profoundly grateful for the love and support of my dear family – Sandi, Todd,
Chris, Jennifer, and Justin and their families. They continue to fuel my passion for
creating safe, secure, memory-making events at every stop of the fan journey. Our
work continues,” concluded Dr. Marciani.  

The award will be presented at an annual Awards Luncheon that takes place on the second
day of the conference. The luncheon is sponsored by Evolv Technology, which provides
weapons detection systems for security screening.

Please make plans to join us and register now. The deadline to register for the conference is June 8. For more information about
the awards, visit the awards website.

About the 14th Annual Conference:

The National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition will be held June
27-29 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, TX.
The conference will attract over 450 attendees and 70 exhibitors representing professional
sports, intercollegiate athletics, interscholastic athletics, marathon and endurance
events, sport and entertainment facilities, and those who provide safety and security
products and services to the industry. For more information, visit the conference website.

About NCS4:

Established in 2006, the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security
) is the nation’s only academic center devoted to the study and practice of sports
safety and security. The NCS
 is partially underwritten by grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The NCS
mission focuses on three key pillars – Training and Education, Research, and Outreach. For more information about NCS, call 601.266.6183 or visit the website.

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