Jan. 25, 2013
Hollis outlined his plan last fall regarding the transition of the Varsity `S' Club into being a fully integrated part of the MSU Athletics Department. The Varsity `S' Club currently consists of more than 1,500 members and was previously run entirely by volunteer Spartan letterwinners. With the utilization of the resources of the athletics department, the collaboration enhances the club's ability to gather and engage all Spartan letterwinners through more involved interaction.
Haller, who joined the athletics department as an associate athletics director for administration in 2010, will direct and oversee all areas of the Varsity `S' Club as part of his role as associate AD. The biggest initiative ahead for the MSU Varsity `S' Club is to increase membership by reaching out to past Spartan student-athletes, as thousands of letterwinners are not currently enrolled in the organization. In addition to serving as the executive director of the Varsity `S' Club, Haller will continue to be the department's student-athlete ombudsman and the liaison to other departments on campus. Haller's office will also remain in the athletics director's offices at Jenison Field House.
"Former student-athletes play an important role in the success of current student-athletes," said Haller. "Together, with the help of the Varsity `S' Club Board, I hope to celebrate the tradition of Spartan Athletics, reconnect letterwinners with teammates, and build a strong nationwide family of Spartan letterwinners."
"Spartan student-athletes are the core of our department," said Hollis. "As we look to support our current student-athletes, it is critical that the connection and engagement with those that previously wore the Michigan State uniform are strong. Alan Haller has already walked this path, first as a student-athlete, then as an alum and police officer and today as an associate athletics director. Alan now has an opportunity to engage today's student-athletes during their journey through graduation and provide assistance as they transition into their chosen profession. The engagement and connection between the student-athlete and institution should last a lifetime. His experience of playing in the NFL and working on the MSU campus has prepared Alan for this role: to bring Spartans together. He is a great leader, who cares about everything associated with Michigan State University and understands what being a student-athlete is all about.
"When you are a Spartan student-athlete, you are also a member of a specific team," Hollis continued. "Upon graduation, you continue to be on the Spartan team and the connection needs to remain as strong. The friendships and bonds that develop during the student-athlete experience should continue throughout your life. The support and encouragement that each student-athlete received must now be passed onto others. The connection we have, regardless of the sport we played or the year we graduated, will make all of us stronger collectively. As a former student-athlete and a Spartan for life, we all must play a role in our collective future as we continue to support those that walk our campus today. That is the goal of the Varsity `S' Club, and there is nobody better suited to pull us all together than Alan Haller."
The MSU Varsity `S' Club will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2015.
"Founded in 1915, the MSU Varsity `S' Club has grown and expanded throughout the years since its inception and is steeped in outstanding history and tradition," said MSU Varsity `S' Club President Cheryl Gilliam. "We feel the proper place for our club belongs within the athletics department and we are privileged to finally find a home after nearly a century. As letterwinners at Michigan State University we embrace being a family and supporting each other for life: Once a Spartan, Always a Spartan.
"Alan Haller, a fellow letter winner at MSU, is well versed in this history and will bring his passion and drive to further grow our club and continue to embrace this tradition. Now that our club is within the athletics department, we will have the resources to extend our network beyond the campus. This will provide our members with even more opportunities to connect and fellowship. As student-athletes we were part of a team, as alumni-athletes we are family.
"We also want to encourage our current student-athletes to strive to become part of this family once they earn their degrees and leave their playing fields. Our goal is to create a letterwinners club that is the gold standard in the NCAA. On behalf of our board of directors and our membership, we send congratulations to Alan as he now becomes the first-ever executive director. Alan has the full support of the Varsity `S' Club Board of Directors. The future is now even brighter for our letterwinners club."
Prior to his appointment in athletics, Haller was a 1st Lt. for the MSU Police Department and served on the force for 13 years.
A four-year letterman as a cornerback for Coach George Perles from 1988-91, Haller earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors as both a junior and senior. His career totals include 199 tackles, eight pass break-ups and three interceptions. He made three postseason bowl appearances with the Spartans (1989 Gator, 1989 Aloha and 1990 John Hancock).
The former Lansing (Mich.) Sexton star was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round of the 1992 National Football League Draft. Haller spent three seasons in the NFL, playing for Cleveland (1992), Pittsburgh (1992-93) and Carolina (1995).
While serving as a 1st Lt. for the MSU Police Department, Haller was in charge of the Uniform Division, which is the largest component of the department.
During the football coaching search in 2006, Haller played a key role in the hiring process of Mark Dantonio, joining former MSU Athletics Director Ron Mason, head men's basketball coach Tom Izzo, and Hollis on the selection team.
Haller holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Michigan State and a master's degree in human resources from Central Michigan.