Mario Mercurio spent five years as Xavier University's first-ever Director of Basketball Administration under head coach Sean Miller and is in his sixth year under head coach Chris Mack. He spent three years as a student working with Thad Matta's staff and also worked as a student for two years under the late former head coach Skip Prosser.
"I've been working with Mario since the 1999-2000 season at Xavier," said head coach Chris Mack. "He's sharp, innovative and understands the landscape of college basketball. I don't think there's a better administrator in the country. To top it off, he bleeds Xavier basketball like the rest of us."
Among other things, Mercurio's responsibilities include Xavier's non-conference scheduling. Since taking over scheduling with former Xavier head coach Sean Miller in 2004, Xavier has added home-and-home series with Florida, Purdue, Memphis, Vanderbilt, Gonzaga, Virginia, LSU, Kansas State, Arizona State, Butler, Georgia and Auburn.
With high profile exempt events becoming an important staple in Xavier's non-conference slate, Mercurio has worked hard to secure spots in some of the country's top events. Xavier, which participated in the Paradise Jam last year, is also scheduled to participate in the 2012 ESPN Puerto Rico Tip Off, the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis and the 2014 ESPN Old Spice Classic.
For the past eight years Mercurio has served as Xavier's liaison to Nike Basketball. 2011 will mark Xavier's third year as a Nike NTS School. The Nike NTS Contract, which covers customized uniforms, gear and equipment, is the highest level of Nike Contract you can obtain without winning a basketball national championship. Xavier is one of only six schools without BCS football that are at the NTS level, joining Gonzaga, Marquette, St. John's, Georgetown and
In addition to his work at Xavier, Mercurio has also been a part of Larry Brown's and John Calipari's yearly basketball retreat. Mercurio was selected to produce a book compiling notes from the retreat. The hundred-plus page book is distributed only to members of the retreat, and consists of ideas, thoughts, philosophies, and plays from some of the greatest basketball minds today. Attendees of the retreat in the past three years have included Jerry West, Isiah Thomas and Jeff Van Gundy among others.
A Cincinnati St. Xavier High School graduate, Mercurio, 31, graduated in 2003 from Xavier's Williams College of Business with a double major in finance and marketing. Mercurio, who was born on December 7, 1979 in Cincinnati, also received his MBA at Xavier. He and his wife Meghan were married this past summer in Santorini, Greece.