CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The University of Illinois has named John Marquardt as the Associate Athletic Director/Director of the State Farm Center, removing the interim title he has carried since last fall.
“We are very fortunate to have someone of John Marquardt‘s skill set and experience already on the State Farm Center staff,” said Marty Kaufmann, Executive Senior Athletic Director for Revenue and Fan Experience. “John knows the Central Illinois and UI campus community extremely well and has a pulse on the types of shows and entertainment the facility can best host. As concerts and shows start the return to normal scheduling, we are looking forward to robust offerings in the future, including many that are popular with our student body.”
Marquardt’s primary role is to facilitate the overall management of the 15,000-plus seat State Farm Center daily operations and events, including concerts, sporting events, and other shows and events. Marquardt is responsible for the general administration of the State Farm Center, and serves as a primary liaison for the facility to a diverse number of campus, community, and national constituents and clients. As part of a joint partnership with the University of Illinois Division of Student Affairs, Marquardt and the State Farm Center team work to develop a diverse variety of programming and collaborative partnerships to the University of Illinois student community, including concerts with the Star Course student concert committee and the annual Spring Jam concert on the Illinois Main Quad.
“For decades, State Farm Center has served as an iconic gathering place for the University of Illinois and Champaign-Urbana communities,” Marquardt said. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with our State Farm Center and Fighting Illini colleagues to continue the tradition of making State Farm Center home for many memorable sports and entertainment experiences for our University and community as we bounce back from time spent apart during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Marquardt becomes the fifth full-time director of the historic building following Tom Parkinson (1963-87), Wayne Hecht (1987-93), Xen Riggs (1993-97) and Kevin Ullestad (1997-2020).
A native of Urbana, Marquardt joined State Farm Center and Division of Intercollegiate Athletics as an event management intern in 2005 before serving as Event and Safety Coordinator for State Farm Center beginning in 2007. He was named Assistant Director for Event Management at State Farm Center in 2015, and promoted to Associate Director of State Farm Center in 2017.
Marquardt earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in 2006. He completed his master’s degree in sport management from Illinois in 2010, and his Master of Business Administration from the UI Gies College of Business in 2019. Marquardt is an active member of the International Association Venue Managers, where he is a graduate of Venue Management School (2013) and has earned his Certified Venue Professional (CVP) designation (2016).