A Hat Trick for Mason Athletics


Mason Athletics has been building its leadership roster this spring with the addition of a new athletic director, a new men’s basketball head coach, and the extension of Mason’s women’s basketball head coach’s contract.

Headshot of Marvin Lewis
Marvin Lewis

Marvin Lewis is the new assistant vice president and director of Intercollegiate Athletics. The Germantown, Maryland, native boasts 15 years of athletic administrative leadership with various impressive NCAA Division I institutions. Lewis, who begins July 1, assumed senior leadership roles at Georgia Tech, University of Maryland, Georgia State, and most recently at Brown University as the school’s assistant vice president for athletics and recreation/chief operating officer.

Lewis is regarded as one of the nation’s most respected up-and-comers in athletics administration, having been named to the CollegeAD Next Up list in 2017 and the 2018-19 College Athletic Business Management Association (CABMA) Manager of the Year. He successfully completed the prestigious NCAA Pathway Program for aspiring athletics directors and conference commissioners in 2020.

“I am attracted to Mason because of its distinct blend of world-class academics, nationally competitive athletics, and the location in Northern Virginia,” says Lewis. “Mason is everything that is right about higher education, creating diverse and inclusive communities that enhance the experience for all students.”

headshot of Tony Skinn
Tony Skinn

Tony Skinn, BA Communication ’06, was named the 12th head coach in Mason men’s basketball program history. A key starter on Mason’s celebrated 2006 Final Four team and one of the best all-around guards in program history, Skinn returns to his alma mater after nearly a decade of collegiate coaching.

During that decorated coaching career, he’s guided three different programs, including University of Maryland, to the NCAA Tournament, been a part of six 20+ win campaigns, and established himself as a stout recruiter both within the talent-rich Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia region, as well as across the country. 

“It is with great excitement that I return home to Mason,” Skinn says. “I’ve had some of my greatest memories here and I’m looking forward to making new ones with our fans and our community. Our best days are ahead!”

Headshot of Vanessa Blair-Lewis
Vanessa Blair-Lewis

Women’s basketball head coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis’s contract has been extended through the 2027-28 season. The extension comes after the Patriots’ rapid improvement under Blair-Lewis’s leadership during her first two seasons in Fairfax.

The team saw victories in back-to-back Atlantic 10 Conference Tournaments while the number of regular season wins increased by double digits in a short time. Blair-Lewis has seen major success with the women’s basketball team as Mason finished 16-15 this season and 8-8 in Atlantic 10 play, the Patriots’ first winning season since 2017-18. In both seasons since her arrival, Blair-Lewis has led the Patriots to a win in the conference tournament, including a run to the A10 quarterfinals this year. In the upcoming 2023-24 season, Mason will return with its top four point scorers.

In a short period of time, we have built an amazing family environment and a strong culture in which everyone is loved, valued, and respected,” says Blair-Lewis. “I am proud to serve this great university and will continue to make Mason Nation proud. In all we do, excellence is our standard.”