Cassie Arner joined the University of Houston Athletics Department as associate athletics director for communications in July 2010.
"We are extremely excited to welcome Cassie and her son Cleve to the Houston Athletics family," Senior Associate Director of Athletics Darren Dunn said. "She has been an innovative leader throughout her professional career and will bring a new and fresh perspective to the Athletics Department."
Arner came to Houston after a 13-year career at the University of Illinois. She joined the Fighting Illini program in May 1997 and, two years later, was the youngest and only female sports information director for football in the Big Ten Conference.
"I am thrilled about this opportunity to join the University of Houston in a time when there is so much positive excitement surrounding the athletic department," Arner said. "There is a great deal of energy being put into improving not only athletics but the university as a whole. The philosophy of Mack Rhoades is very much in line with what I believe, and that is to promote the entire student-athlete and their contributions to the University."
Arner publicized Illinois' football program through local, regional and national coverage and led all media relations efforts when the Fighting Illini competed at the Rose Bowl in 2008. During her tenure, she served on many external relations committees, including many efforts in the $120 million renovation of historic Memorial Stadium.
"Cassie has been a big part of the Illini football family for a long time and has a lot of passion for college athletics," Illinois football head coach Ron Zook said. "She has always had strong relationships with the coaches and players which helps in the overall image of the program."
Most recently, Arner served as assistant director of corporate sponsorships, handling sales and affiliate relations for the 47-station Illini Sports Radio Network.
She received her bachelor's degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in sports administration from University of Southern Mississippi in 1995. As a student, she served as the primary contact for the Golden Eagle baseball and volleyball programs.
After graduating, Arner worked in the public relations offices at Mississippi State and Virginia Tech.
She is a member of College Sports Information Directors of America, the Football Writers Association of America and the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators.
Arner is single and has a 5-year old son, Cleve.