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Volume 21 No. 11
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Dean of sports security

Lou Marciani / NCS4

Lou Marciani never planned on finding himself among the most recognized people in the field of security for public venues.

He joined the University of Southern Mississippi in 1974 as the first full-time director of intramural sports. Over the next three decades, he served as athletic director at Division III Salisbury (Md.) University, Division II East Stroudsburg (Pa.) and Division I schools Drexel and Western Kentucky. He was also associate athletic director for external affairs at Southern Miss and executive director of the Amateur Athletic Union.

In 2004, he was named the director of the School of Human Performance at Southern Miss.

MARCIANI
“My intention was to teach and continue my higher education administrative role,” he said. “However, early in my tenure at USM, several faculty colleagues started doing research in stadium security, and they needed academic support. My sport management background was very valuable in helping them to understand all the aspects of operating different programs and venues.”

He said that their research in the areas of risk modeling and stadium evacuation simulation modeling caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In 2006, the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security was created, partly underwritten by grants from DHS. NCS4 conducts research, provides professional development training and serves as a security consultant.

Marciani recently oversaw NCS4’s agreement to provide training to Interpol to help improve the organization’s ability to police international sporting events.

The two technologies that Marciani said are changing the security world the most right now are in the sky and in the cloud.

First, he expects that drones will eventually become a valuable resource for the sports world, rather than a security liability.

In the virtual world, the ability to connect all data sources in the cloud, then analyze them (aka the “internet of things”) will improve safety and security at sport venues.

“We will be seeing more things like artificial intelligence and predictive analytics where we’re not only identifying what’s happening now, but what may happen in the future based on patterns and things that happened yesterday or today,” he said.