Tap on a name to read their bio.

Val Ackerman

Commissioner, Big East Conference


Val Ackerman was named the fifth Commissioner of the Big East Conference on June 26, 2013. She was the founding President of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and a past President of USA Basketball, which oversees the U.S. men's and women's Olympic basketball program. She has had a long and accomplished career in the sports industry and is one of the few sports executives who has held leadership positions in both men’s and women’s sports at the collegiate, professional, national team and international levels.
In 2016, Val was recognized by Sports Business Journal as one of the 50 most influential people in the sports business and received the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Billie Jean King Contribution Award for significant contributions to the development and advancement of women’s sports.
Val attended the University of Virginia as one of the school's first female student-athlete scholarship recipients. She was a four-year starter, three-time captain and two-time Academic All-American for the Cavaliers’ women’s basketball team and the first 1,000-point scorer in the program's history. She graduated with high distinction with a degree in political and social thought in 1981 and played one year of professional basketball in France before earning a law degree from UCLA in 1985.
Val started her legal career as a corporate and banking associate at the New York law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and joined the National Basketball Association as a staff attorney in 1988. She was as an executive at the NBA for eight years, serving as Special Assistant to NBA Commissioner David Stern and Director (and later) Vice President of Business Affairs before being named the WNBA's first President in 1996. She guided the league to a much-heralded launch in 1997 and headed its day-to-day operations for its first eight seasons.
In 2005, Val was elected President of USA Basketball for the 2005-08 term, leading the organization to an overall competitive record of 222-23 and gold medal performances by the U.S. men's and women's basketball teams at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She was one of the NBA's original appointees to the USA Basketball Board of Directors in 1989 and served as an organizational liaison with USAB during the early years of NBA participation in FIBA

competitions, including the 1992 and 1996 Olympics and 1994 World Championships. A USA Basketball Board member for 23 years, Val played a key role in the long-standing success of the U.S. women's national basketball team program, which won gold medals at the 1998, 2002 and 2010 FIBA World Championships and the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. In 2013, Val was named the recipient of USA Basketball's Edward S. Steitz Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions in international basketball.
Val also served two terms (2006-10 and 2010-2014) as the U.S. representative for men's and women's basketball on the Central Board of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the sport's world governing body. She was a member of FIBA’s Competition Commission and served on the Central Board of FIBA Americas, FIBA’s zone authority for North, Central and South America.
Val is a member of the Board of Directors for the U.S. Soccer Federation and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, which inducted her as a contributor in 2011, and is a Lifetime Trustee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which presented her with the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. She has done consulting work for the National Hockey League, which she assisted in formulating a long-term plan to support women's ice hockey, and the NCAA, for which she prepared a comprehensive white paper in 2013 on growth strategies for women's college basketball. She also worked as a free-lance columnist for espnw.com, where she authored a series of articles on the subject of women and sports and participated as a member of the espnw Advisory Board.
Val’s accomplishments in the sports business have earned her numerous awards, including the University of Virginia’s Distinguished Alumna Award; the March of Dimes Sports Achievement Award; induction into the GTE Academic All-America Hall of Fame; the Girls Scouts of America National Women of Distinction Juliette Award; the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund Equal Opportunity Award; inclusion on the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 50th Anniversary Women’s Basketball team; induction into the International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame; the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association President’s Citation; the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award; the International Olympic Committee Women and Sport Achievement Diploma; the Sports Business Journal Champions in Sports Business Award; inclusion as a Women’s Sports Foundation/espnw 40 for 40 Honoree; induction into the National Consortium for Academics and Sports Hall of Fame; the Women in Sports and Events (WISE) 20th Anniversary Women of Distinction Award; the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health Sports Ball Award; the Marquette School of Law Master of the Game Award; and the Emily Couric Leadership Award.
Val is married to Charlie Rappaport, a retired tax partner of Simpson

Thacher & Bartlett. They have two daughters, Emily (a 2014 graduate of Yale) and Sally (a 2017 graduate of Wesleyan).

Katrice Albert

Executive Vice President, Inclusion and Human Resources, NCAA


Dr. Katrice A. Albert is executive vice president of inclusion and human resources at the NCAA. In this role, she leads efforts to enhance diversity, inclusion, leadership development, and community engagement such that each of the 500,000 student-athletes across the country might have equitable experiences in the classroom and in competition. Additionally, she is responsible for leading national office employee relations, performance management, professional development, and compensation and benefits programs.

Prior to joining the NCAA, Dr. Albert served as vice president for equity and diversity of the University of Minnesota System from 2013-2017.  She was responsible for leading the efforts across five campuses to reach the University of Minnesota’s most ambitious diversity goals. Her strategic priorities included: Recruiting and retaining underrepresented faculty and students; Addressing issues of climate for diverse individuals and communities; and creating and enhancing strategic partnerships both within and outside of the University.

Dr. Albert also served for eight years as vice provost for equity, diversity & community outreach at Louisiana State University (LSU). As LSU’s chief diversity officer, she was responsible for developing and implementing strategic initiatives and policies aimed at cultivating a campus environment that embraces difference, sustains inclusion, and enhances institutional access and equity.

She also served as an adjunct faculty member in the LSU College of Human Sciences and Education’s Department of Educational Theory, Policy & Practice where she taught the graduate course, “Multicultural Counseling.”

Dr. Albert is the founder and managing member of Third Eye Consulting Group, LLC—a diversity management consulting firm.  In this capacity, she assists educational entities, non-profit outfits, and civic organizations reach their inclusive excellence goals.

She writes, speaks, an consults on issues of cultural competence, corporate social responsibility, educational and workforce diversity, gender and dynamics of power, the complexities of diverse populations, educational access, community university partnerships, and the application of psychological knowledge to ethnic minorities and other underserved populations. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Civic Engagement and Scholarship, and her works have been published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology and the Journal of Counseling and Development.  She is the co-editor of two volumes — Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice: Writing Wrong (2014) and Racial Battle Fatigue in Higher Education: Exposing the Myth of Post-Racial America (2015). 

Committed to and engaged in the local community, Dr. Albert has served numerous boards of directors including Volunteers of America—Minnesota/Wisconsin and Penumbra Theatre, and was also a commissioner on the Board of Zoning Appeals for the City of St. Paul.  She was also a member of the Generation Next Leadership Council and the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable. Nationally, she served on the Volunteers of America National Board of Directors.

Dr. Albert has also previously served on the board of directors for Volunteers of America–Greater Baton Rouge (Past Chair), the Baton Rouge Achievement Zone, Mid-City Dance Project, Inc. and was a facilitator for Greater Baton Rouge YWCA Dialogue on Race.

Because of her outstanding community involvement, Dr. Albert was also honored as the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the Kiwanis Club of LSU (2013), and recognized by the National Diversity Council as one of Louisiana’s Most Powerful and Influential Women (2010).

Dr. Albert was named an Outstanding Diversity in Business honoree by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal (2015), and was named both an HBCU Digest Genesis Scholar (2014) and an Auburn University College of Education Young Alumni of the Year (2014).  She is also a graduate of the prestigious HERS Bryn Mawr Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education (2008). In 2005, the Baton Rouge Business Report named her one of Baton Rouge’s Top Forty under 40.

Dr. Albert’s professional associations include the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American Psychological Association (APA). Respected by her peers, Dr. Albert has chaired the Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium (SECAC) Diversity Initiative Task Force made up of the twelve SEC chief diversity professionals and served as Vice President for NADOHE, Southeastern Region.  Her civic affiliations include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and The Links, Incorporated. 

Dr. Albert completed her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology at Auburn University. Her clinical internship was completed at Boston Medical School’s Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology. She earned her Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. She graduated magna cum laude from Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.

She is a native of New Roads, Louisiana in Pointe Coupeé Parish.

Ray Anderson

Athletic Director, Arizona State University


Ray Anderson was named Arizona State University’s Vice President for University Athletics and Athletics Director on Jan. 9, 2014, and has quickly redefined the collegiate athletics landscape over the course of his tenure at ASU.

“At ASU, we have three priorities for our athletic director,” said University President Dr. Michael Crow, “help our student-athletes maximize their academic achievement and ensure they graduate on time; win; and win within the rules.  Ray has the skills, experience, and enthusiasm to accomplish those goals.  Under his leadership, ASU student-athletes will continue to perform at the highest level both on the field and in the classroom.  Ray will also play an important role in the university’s campaign to improve and expand its sports facilities through the development of the ASU Athletic Facilities District.”

Anderson was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential Minorities in Sports in February 2016, noting that he had “helped position the Sun Devils as one of the most innovative brands in college sports.” He received an extension in spring of 2018 through 2022. 

“It is an honor to receive this extension and I am humbled to be entrusted by Dr. Crow and the University to continue to lead Sun Devil Athletics,” said Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson in April of 2018. “The volume of success our teams have achieved in competition and in the classroom during my tenure at ASU is commendable and I unequivocally believe the future is even brighter. I look forward to working with our remarkable staff, coaches, student-athletes and esteemed colleagues on-campus to continue to build top caliber facilities and results for all our athletics programs.”

Highly influential in the world of collegiate athletics, Anderson is a board member of the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame, a member of the NCAA Football Oversight Committee, Chair of the new Ad Hoc NCAA Competition Committee, and most recently the Green Sports Alliance. Anderson was also one of a group of minority athletics directors to meet with NCAA President Mark Emmert and NCAA Leadership at the 2016 College Football Playoffs in Phoenix and encouraged the creation of a collegiate "Rooney Rule" to encourage diversity and inclusion in the hiring of athletics leadership. The initiative led the NCAA Board of Governors to create a pledge for university chancellors, presidents and conference commissioners to publicly express their support for diversity and inclusion efforts within intercollegiate athletics.

While national trends lean toward downsizing athletics departments and eliminating non-revenue generating sporting programs, Anderson has made it his mission to not only add NCAA Division I sports at Arizona State but expand educational and scholarship opportunities for future Sun Devil student-athletes.

The 2016-17 academic season and four-year Academic Progress Rate under Anderson continued to demonstrate his dedication to the “student” in student-athlete. From 2013-14 through 2016-17, the department recorded a record APR of 992 – second only to Stanford in the Pac-12 -- and up again from the previous four-year stretch of 990. In 2015-16, ASU's single-year overall APR reached an all-time high of 990.

In May 2016, Sun Devil Athletics announced the reinstatement of the men's tennis program at Arizona State – an act made possible through a $1M lead gift from Anderson himself and his wife, Buffie. The donation came just a month after Sun Devil Athletics announced a strategic alliance with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) to leverage the resources of a research-based University to grow the sport of tennis locally, nationally and globally. In June of 2018 he was named to the ITA board of directors.

In November 2014, Anderson announced the addition of the Men’s Ice Hockey program, which was made possible through a record-setting $32 million donation, the largest in Sun Devil Athletics history. This gift provided mechanisms to fund the addition of both women’s lacrosse and women’s triathlon, which were both announced in the fall of 2015. The addition of these programs not only helps Arizona State maintain equity among scholarships, but also creates new opportunities to attract and retain diverse talent, both academic and athletically.

Anderson has also clearly defined his expectations for Arizona State to be nationally competitive in all 26 varsity programs, and has parlayed this vision into a number of world-class head-coaching hires unseen at the collegiate level, including USA Swimming Coach Bob Bowman, a hall of famer and mentor to the world’s most decorated Olympian, to head up the men and women’s swimming program; Zeke Jones, USA Wrestling’s National Freestyle Coach, to take over the wrestling program and lead it to a Pac-12 Championship in 2017; Bobby Hurley, one of the most decorated college basketball players in history, to coach the men’s basketball program; Tracy Smith, a two-time conference coach of the year and experienced fundraiser, to revitalize the baseball program; Matt Hill, a three-time coach of the year with experience at three different Top 25 programs, to lead the reinstated men’s tennis program; Matt Thurmond, the 2009 National Coach of the Year and seven-time national Top-10 finisher, to take over ASU’s surging men’s golf program; former assistant Missy Farr-Kaye, the eventual National Coach of the Year and national champion head coach for the Devils in 2017; Greg Powers, who led the ASU club team to its first National Championship in 2014, to continue the growth of the new Sun Devil men's ice hockey program; and Cliff English, USA Triathlon’s Elite National Team Coach, to lead the very first Power-5 women's triathlon program which captured the 2016 & 2017 Women's Collegiate Triathlon National Championship. Most recently, in December of 2017, Anderson hired former NFL head coach and defensive back Herm Edwards as the new head coach of Sun Devil Football. 

Anderson is in the midst of an athletics’ facilities renaissance with the $307 million reinvention of Sun Devil Stadium and the University land development project known as the Athletic Facilities District or The District. The District is comprised of 330 acres of ASU-owned land that the University plans to lease long term to developers, while Sun Devil Athletics will receive annual payments in-lieu of property tax traditionally paid on privately owned land. Anderson, along with University officials, is leading the charge to reinvent Sun Devil Stadium into a community facility and use the 55,000-plus-seat venue to generate additional revenue for ASU. The Sun Devil Stadium 365 Reinvention seeks to blend athletics, student life, and the community into an interdisciplinary facility that will have utility beyond six or seven days a year. In addition, Anderson oversaw the baseball program’s celebrated move into Phoenix Municipal Stadium, and the men’s and women’s golf programs transition to Papago Golf Course. 

Since his arrival, Anderson has emphasized his commitment to the Olympic movement as a university and athletic department. Through this vision, the city of Tempe hosted the 2017 Women's Triathlon National Championship and an affiliated Age Group Race, and will welcome the events yet again in 2018. Most recently, the NCAA has announced ASU and Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale will host the 2020-22 NCAA Men's & Women's Golf National Championships, becoming the first university and course to host three-straight golf championships.

Not only has Anderson put an emphasis on the continued development of Sun Devil Athletics facilities, but to ensure that it is being done in the most sustainable and eco-friendly way possible. As a result, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USG Corporation announced Arizona State as the winner of the 2016 USG NACDA Sustainability Award for its work on Sun Devil Stadium and the Weatherup Center. The USG NACDA Sustainability Award was designed to recognize NACDA member institutions across all divisions, honoring athletics directors and their universities for incorporating sustainable practices and materials into their athletics facilities.

The ‘Sun Devil Way’, a mission statement that encompasses the goals of athletics at Arizona State – Sun Devils Win, Sun Devils Graduate, Sun Devils Serve, Sun Devils are for Life, and Sun Devils compete with Passion and Character - has served as the template for Anderson’s leadership philosophy. He has placed a strong emphasis on student-athlete development with a number of unique and creative initiatives, including the creation of the Senior Championship Life Experience program, which launched with a special showing of the play ‘Black Angels Over Tuskegee’ in January 2016 and the documentary ‘Last Gold’ following the 2016 Rio Olympic games.

Positioning Sun Devil Athletics as a community asset has stayed at the front of Anderson’s strategic plan and he has led a number of unprecedented community initiatives, including the creation of the Honor Row for military veterans at multiple Sun Devil facilities. With 100 percent participation in community service by Sun Devil student-athletes, coaches and staff in 2016, Sun Devil Athletics helped to serve 276,099 community members over 7,046.25 hours – both all-time highs for the department. Sun Devils Serve projects took place in four states (Arizona, California, Nevada and Louisiana) and three Native American Nations (Colorado River Indian Tribe, Gila River Indian Tribe, and Havasupai Tribe). Understanding the importance of building fan affinity, Anderson created the Sun Devil Caravan when he arrived in Tempe to reward Sun Devil Nation’s loyalty and enthusiasm. The caravan brings the Sun Devil Athletics experience directly to the fans and allows Sun Devil Nation to connect one-on-one with coaches, student-athletes, and administrators.

Anderson has implemented an innovative business model at Arizona State to foster growth and to create sustainable revenue sources for Sun Devil Athletics. Less than a year into his tenure, Anderson negotiated an industry-impacting apparel partnership with adidas in December of 2014. The eight-year, $38M agreement not only set provisions for wholesale apparel, but adidas also provided additional funding for marketing, facility improvements, marching band and spirit squad apparel. Anderson also strategically eliminated third-party partnerships and aligned Sun Devil Athletics’ ticketing and multimedia rights with the Pac-12 Sales Co., becoming the first member school to partner with the conference to bring sponsorships and licensing in-house.

He was recognized during the week of Super Bowl XLIX by the National Football League for his outstanding leadership with a desire to improving his community as he was presented with both the 2015 Paul J. Tagliabue Award and the John Wooten Lifetime Achievement Award, two of the NFL’s most prestigious honors.

Anderson joined the Sun Devil Family after serving as the executive vice president of football operations for the National Football League (NFL) since August 2006.

“In evaluating the next step in my career, I could not imagine a better, more exciting opportunity,” said Anderson.  “I am thrilled to become part of the team at Arizona State and energized by the academic and athletic mission of this great university.  I am eagerly looking forward to the challenge of not only continuing the success of Arizona State athletics but also building on it to accomplish even more in line with President Crow’s priorities.” 

He served as the executive vice president and chief administrative officer of the Atlanta Falcons for four years and began his professional career as an attorney at Kilpatrick & Cody in Atlanta, Georgia, where he worked primarily in labor law litigation.

A Los Angeles, California native, Anderson earned a BA in political science from Stanford in 1976 and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1979.  He was an all-league high school quarterback and shortstop, and a three-year football letterman and two-year baseball letterman at Stanford.

Anderson co-founded the sports law practice at Heller, Ehrman, a prominent San Francisco firm, in 1980 and entered the sports agency business in 1984 when he opened the West Coast office for Sports Advisors Group.  In 1987, he launched his own agency, AR Sports, specializing in the representation of NFL coaches and players and later adding Major League Baseball players. Anderson merged his agency with Octagon in 2001.

As an indication of the high regard in which Anderson is held, he was appointed to the NFL Committee on Workplace Diversity and was named to the Sports Illustrated list of the "101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports."  He was also named to the prestigious "100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.", a group dedicated to providing support and improving the quality of life for African-Americans, and to the Board of Governors of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.

In April 2014, it was announced that Anderson would be a professor of practice in ASU’s new sports law and business program, a collaboration of the highly ranked Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and W. P. Carey School of Business.

He and his wife, Buffie, have one son, Bryant, and one daughter, Kimberly.

Mike Aresco

Commissioner, American Athletic Conference


Michael L. Aresco

Commissioner, American Athletic Conference   

Mike Aresco has established himself as one of the leading figures in intercollegiate sports as commissioner of the American Athletic Conference.

Aresco was named to his current position Aug. 14, 2012, and had his contract extended by The American’s Board of Directors in 2017. He has overseen a strategic reinvention of the conference, which, in the course of only five years, has become one of the premier conferences in the nation.

American Athletic Conference teams have won four NCAA Championships and three New Year’s Six bowl games since the 2012-13 academic year. The American was named in 2016 as a finalist for the Sports Business Journal Sports League of the Year award, the only entity from college athletics to be so honored. The formation of the conference was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the 10 best decisions of college football’s last 10 years.

Among the milestones reached during Aresco’s tenure have been the introduction of the American Athletic Conference Football Championship in 2015 and the launching of a dynamic Power 6 branding campaign, which aligns The American with its peer conferences and celebrates the competitive success that the conference has enjoyed at the highest level of collegiate competition.

Aresco has played an active role in the formation of the College Football Playoff, serving on the College Football Playoff Management Committee and helping to select the 13 members of the CFP Selection Committee. Aresco also serves on the College Football Playoff Strategic Planning, Site Selection and Public Relations committees and is the current FBS conference chair.

Aresco is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Tufts University (B.A., magna cum laude, history), The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts (M.A., international relations), where he held a John Moors Cabot Scholarship, and the University of Connecticut School of Law (J.D.). He practiced law privately in Hartford, Connecticut, for several years.

Aresco and his wife, Sharon, have two adult sons: Matthew, an Emmy-nominated television producer who lives in Connecticut with his wife, Elizabeth; and Brett, an actor who lives in New York City.


Ross Bjork

Athletic Director, University of Mississippi



Ole Miss, Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics


Ross Bjork and his wife, Sonya, have two boys: Payton (12) and Paxton (8). Bjork was announced on March 21, 2012 as the seventh full-time Director of Athletics at Ole Miss and, at the time, was the youngest AD among power five conference institutions. In October 2016, he was named the university’s first Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics.

Upon his arrival, Bjork reorganized the external relations structure of the department, headlined by a new partnership with multimedia rightsholder, IMG Properties, and the rebranding of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation. He also created the unit for Health and Sports Performance, which combined sports medicine, strength and conditioning, nutrition and counseling services and added a local orthopedic sports medicine component that provides primary sports medicine care for all student-athletes.

Bjork’s vision in facilities has transformed the athletics footprint on campus. The basketball programs moved into the nation’s finest new arena in January 2016 with the opening of the $94.5 million Pavilion at Ole Miss. More than $65 million was infused into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium including a new north end zone, new field club, new and renovated suites, natural grass playing surface, new sound system, new lights, new entry plazas, and three new video boards. A development plan for the Manning Center saw the facility renamed to honor Olivia and Archie Manning while undergoing a $12.5 million renovation and expansion. A $13 million overhaul of the Gillom Center was completed in 2017, a new $11 million indoor tennis facility opened in January, and a $20 million baseball project was concluded this year.

Bjork arrived in Oxford after a stint as Director of Athletics at Western Kentucky University, where he was the youngest A.D. tor of the 120 NCAA FBS programs when hired. His extensive career in intercollegiate athletics includes more than two decades of experience as an administrator and student-athlete, having worked on the senior staffs at UCLA, the University of Miami and the University of Missouri. Bjork, 46, is a native of Dodge City, Kan., and received his bachelor’s degree in recreation administration from Emporia State University in 1995 where he was a two-year starter at fullback.

George Bodenheimer

Former President & Executive Chairman, ESPN




George Bodenheimer is an ESPN and cable industry pioneer and, as the company’s longest-tenured President (13 years, 1998-Dec. 31, 2011), he led an unprecedented period of global growth.  He oversaw all multimedia sports assets of The Walt Disney Company from March 3, 2003 – December 31, 2011 and was co-chairman, Disney Media Networks from April 20, 2004 – December 31, 2011.

On January 1, 2012, Bodenheimer assumed the newly created position of Executive Chairman, ESPN, Inc.  In that capacity, he provided strategic direction for ESPN’s global business until he chose to leave the company May 31, 2014.

From December 2017 into March 2018, Bodenheimer served as Acting Chair of ESPN.  He continues to serve as an advisor.

Bodenheimer strongly believes that ESPN’s culture is the company’s strategic advantage.  As President, he viewed his primary role as working hard to preserve and enhance that culture while emphasizing career development for all of ESPN’s people.


Bodenheimer began his ESPN career in the administration department as a driver in the mailroom just 16 months after the launch of the network.  He learned the company from the ground up by taking positions in the affiliate sales and marketing department throughout the country – Dallas, Chicago, Denver, Bristol and New York.

He was strategically involved in the development and distribution of the ESPN domestic networks including ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes and ESPNU, as well as ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com and ESPN Radio. 

As President, Bodenheimer elevated the company’s numerous corporate outreach initiatives, most notably The V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was founded by ESPN and the late basketball coach and commentator Jim Valvano.  Bodenheimer has served on the board of directors for many years and continues to play an active role in its fundraising activities.


Bodenheimer’s leadership has been recognized throughout the industry.  In April 2005, he received a Vanguard Award, the industry’s highest honor, from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.  He was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame in 2008 and in 2012 into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. 


Bodenheimer was graduated from Denison University in 1980 with a bachelor of arts degree in economics. He is married with three children.

Bob Bowlsby

Commissioner, Big 12 Conference


Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Commissioner

Bob Bowlsby, one of the most respected athletic administrators in the nation, was named the fourth full-time Commissioner of the Big 12 Conference on May 4, 2012.  The hire was praised throughout college athletics circles as yet another step in the continuing strength and stability of the Big 12. 

Bowlsby has been at the forefront of change in collegiate athletics and was appointed to the inaugural NCAA Division I Council in 2015. The Division I governance body establishes and revises new governance rules that will oversee and guide all of college sports. He is also the chair of the Football Oversight Committee which oversees all aspects of collegiate football and reports directly to the NCAA Division I Council. 

In 2014-15, the Big 12 introduced “State of Collegiate Athletics” forums to examine the issues facing college athletics. Seven events have been conducted in four different cities across the nation – New York City, Washington DC (2), Dallas (3) and Atlanta – with panelists including respected authorities from intercollegiate athletics, university leadership, student-athletes, media members and activists. 

Big 12 Champions for Life, another initiative of the Conference, will begin its fourth year in 2018-19. It features student-athletes, selected by Big 12 institutions, in a series of public service announcements highlighting the positive impact an athletics scholarship has had on their lives leading to stories of personal growth and success.

In his tenure with the Conference, Bowlsby finalized one of the most lucrative television deals in college athletics and played a key role in the formation of the College Football Playoff that began in 2014-15, the first postseason playoff in the history of the sport. He also negotiated a partnership with the Southeastern Conference in which both leagues’ champions will meet each year in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in addition to confirming the league’s other bowl partnerships, giving the Big 12 some of the premier postseason destinations in college football.  Additionally, under his leadership, the Big 12 Football Championship Game was reinstated beginning with the 2017 season.

Improved scheduling has been another priority under Bowlsby which resulted in a men’s basketball Big 12/SEC Challenge that was staged for the first time in 2013-14. Women’s basketball also created a Big 12/SEC Challenge that expanded to full conference participation in 2016-17. A non-conference scheduling requirement was added in football in which every team must annually play at least one non-conference game against an autonomy conference institution (ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC) or Notre Dame.

In his first six years, Bowlsby has seen 15 national championships added to the Big 12 trophy case and 120 NCAA individual event crowns. Seventeen additional conference squads finished as runner-up in NCAA competition. Six teams have competed in College Football Playoff New Year’s Bowls in the four years of the structure with Oklahoma making the Conference’s first appearance in the CFP semifinals in 2015 and a repeat showing in 2017. National titles were captured in 2017-18 by Texas men’s swimming & diving and Oklahoma State men’s golf. The Big 12 also added a Heisman Trophy to its collection with the selection of Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield in 2017.

The Big 12 was the only conference in 2017-18 that placed a team in the College Football Playoff (Oklahoma), Men's Final Four (Kansas), Men’s College World Series (Texas and Texas Tech) and Women’s College World Series (Oklahoma).

Bowlsby has led the Big 12 Conference to record revenue amounts during his tenure. This is in addition to monies received directly by each institution for its third-tier media rights. 

Prior to his role at the Big 12, Bowlsby spent six years directing a Stanford University athletics department that sponsors 35 varsity sports and claimed an unprecedented 17 consecutive Learfield Sports Directors Cups, emblematic of the top overall athletics program in the country. 

Bowlsby arrived at Stanford after a 15-year stint as the Director of Athletics for the University of Iowa. In his final four years, he guided and supervised the merger of the Hawkeye men’s and women’s athletic departments that included 24 varsity sports. 

Throughout his career, Bowlsby has emerged as a national leader in intercollegiate and amateur athletics. He was appointed to the United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors in 2007 and completed that term at the 2014 Winter Olympiad in Sochi, Russia. In 2002, President George W. Bush chose Bowlsby to be a member of the Commission on Opportunities in Athletics, which reviewed the first 30 years of Title IX.

Bowlsby has previously served as president of the NCAA Division I-A Athletics Directors’ Association, chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee (2003-04, ’04-05) and chaired the NCAA Management Council.  In addition, he has also chaired the NCAA Wrestling Committee, served on NCAA committees on Financial Aid and Amateurism, the Special Committee to Review Amateurism Issues and the Special Committee to Review Financial Conditions in Athletics.

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) named Bowlsby in 2001-02 as Central Region Athletic Director of the Year and Sports Business Journal selected him from the four regional award winners as the National Athletics Director of the Year. The award highlights the efforts of the athletic directors for their commitment and positive contributions to campuses and their surrounding communities.

Before his stint overseeing the Hawkeye athletic department he served in the same role for seven years at the University of Northern Iowa.  A native of Waterloo, Iowa, Bowlsby was named to that post in 1984.  He was previously in the role of Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities at the school. 

Bowlsby earned his bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University (Moorhead) in 1975 and his master’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1978.  In February 2013, he was named to the NCAA 40th Anniversary Tribute Team, which recognized the 40th anniversary of NCAA Division II competition.  He was a four-year letterwinner in wrestling at MSUM and served as captain during his senior year when he won a NSIC title, and in 2013 he received the Alumni Achievement Award. Bowlsby was inducted into the Dragon Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and the University of Northern Iowa Hall of Fame in 2007. He also serves on the National Advisory Board of the Positive Coaching Alliance and the Board of the National Football Foundation.

Born on January 10, 1952, Bowlsby has been married to his wife, Candice, for over 40 years.  They have four children and five grandchildren.

Mike Brey

Men's Basketball Coach, The University of Notre Dame


“He is so normal, he is abnormal,” ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg often says about Glenn and Stacey Murphy Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Brey. Perennially voted as one of the most likeable and easy to work with coaches in college basketball, Brey’s accomplishments - both on and off the court - are anything but normal.

Entering his 19th season on the Notre Dame sidelines, Brey is the all-time winningest men’s basketball coach in school history while becoming the only Irish head coach to reach 400 victories under the Golden Dome.

Boasting 403 wins at Notre Dame and 502 in his career, Brey has led the Irish through the program’s most sustained period of excellence since his hiring in July of 2000. Under his leadership, Notre Dame has competed in the postseason 17 of 18 seasons with 12 NCAA tournament berths, three Sweet 16 trips, two Elite Eight appearances and the 2015 ACC Championship.

Brey was named head coach at Notre Dame on July 14, 2000. In his first season with the Irish, he led the team to the 2001 BIG EAST West Division championship and quickly established his program as one of the best in the BIG EAST.

Notre Dame finished in the top five of the final BIG EAST conference standings eight times in 13 seasons, advancing to the conference tournament semifinals six times. Brey finished his time in the BIG EAST Conference fourth on the all-time wins list (he is currently tied for fifth).

Notre Dame moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2013-14 season and after a single season of adjustment, Brey quickly established that the Irish were ready to compete in the best basketball conference in the nation.

The 2014-15 team compiled a program-best 32-6 overall record, eventually advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight. It was on ‘Tobacco Road,’ however, that the Irish announced their presence to the new league by defeating Miami (FL), Duke and North Carolina in the Greensboro Coliseum to claim the 2015 ACC Championship.

Since that first 2015 ACC crown, Notre Dame has appeared the conference tournament final (2017) and semifinal (2016) to further reinforce its position as one of the top program’s in the ACC.

In 2011, Brey was the recipient of both the Associated Press and the Henry Iba/USBWA National Coach of the Year award after leading the Irish to a 27-7 record, perfect 17-0 record at home and finishing second in the BIG EAST.  Brey also was named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2008.

In 2017-18, Brey became the 11th active Division I coach to earn 400 or more victories at his current institution. Entering the 2018-19 season Brey is tied for 23rd on the active career wins list at the Division I level with 502.

Before arriving at Notre Dame, Brey was the head basketball coach at the University of Delaware, where he compiled a 99-52 mark from 1995-2000 and won America East Co-Coach of the Year honors in 1998.  

Leading into his time at Delaware, he was an assistant coach at Duke University. During his eight years at Duke, the Blue Devils advanced to the Final Four six times and won back-to-back national championships in 1991 and 1992.  

Prior to entering the collegiate ranks, Brey played for and coached with legendary high school coach Morgan Wootten at DeMatha High School. He played two years at DeMatha, helping the Stags to a 55-9 record. After his graduation from George Washington, Brey spent five seasons as an assistant coach at his high school alma mater, helping DeMatha compile a 139-22 record, four league titles and a number-one ranking by USA Today in 1984.

Brey serves on the Coaches vs. Cancer National Council and has helped raise over three million dollars for the organization.  He also has partnered with the American Heart Association to create the Men of Heart initiative, raising funds and awareness for men’s heart health.  Brey is on the National Advisory Board of the Positive Coaching Alliance. He has also been inducted into the University of Delaware and the George Washington University Athletics Halls of Fame.


Brey was a standout guard in his collegiate playing days, competing for three seasons at Northwestern Louisiana State (now Northwestern State) from 1977-80. He led the team in assists and steals all three years and still ranks among the top 10 in career assists at Northwestern State. He played his final collegiate season at George Washington in 1980-81 after sitting out the 1979-80 season as a transfer. He averaged 5.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Colonials, serving as team captain and eventually earning the team’s Most Valuable Player Award.

Brey comes from an athletic family of educators. His late father, Paul, was a high school athletics director in Maryland while his mother, the late Betty Mullen, was the women’s swimming coach at George Washington.

Betty was perhaps the family’s most accomplished athlete, as she attended Purdue University and swam for the AAU team in West Lafayette, Indiana. For a time, she held a world record in the butterfly events and competed for the United States at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. Betty’s brother, Jack Mullen, played guard at Duke University and was a member of the school’s first ACC championship team in 1950.

Brey’s mother passed away on March 21, 2015, hours before Notre Dame defeated Butler 67-64 in overtime of the NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He coached the game that night as a tribute to his mother and the inspiration she provided to him throughout his career, with the Irish team only learning of his mother’s passing after the conclusion of the game. Brey’s father, Paul, passed away on Dec. 20, 2015.    

Brey’s younger sister, Brenda, swam competitively at LSU and is a physical education teacher in the Rockville, Md., area. His younger brother, Shane, was a high school standout at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Md.

Born March 22, 1959, Brey is a 1982 graduate of George Washington with a degree in physical education. He has two children - Kyle and Callie - and a granddaughter, Olivia Marie. Kyle was a tight end and fullback for the University of Buffalo from 2006-09, then moved into the coaching ranks as a quality control coach at Kansas, Youngstown State and Ohio State. He is currently the head football coach at Ardery Kell High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.


  • 2000-01

Brey inherited a talented roster, including All-American Troy Murphy and current Director of Basketball Operations Harold Swanagan. Coming off a 22-15 mark from a season before and just missing out on a berth to the NCAA Championship, Brey helped Notre Dame take the next step and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 1988-89 season, finishing 20-10 overall, 11-5 in the Big East Conference and winning the Big East West Division Championship. The Irish defeated Xavier 83-71 in their first appearance in the NCAA tournament in 12 years, then fell to Mississippi in the second round.

  • 2001-02

If 2000-01 marked the return of Notre Dame basketball to the national scene, the 2001-02 season verified that the program was there to stay. A third straight 20-win season (22-10), a 10-6 mark in the Big East (good for second in the division) earned the team a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Irish defeated Charlotte in the first round, then battled No. 1 seed Duke into the game’s final moments before falling to the Blue Devils 84-77. The season featured six sold out games in Purcell Pavilion (the most in six seasons) and Notre Dame’s first appearance in the Big East tournament semifinals. Current Irish assistant coach Ryan Humphrey served as one of Brey’s three team captains during the season and earned first team All-Big East honors.

  • 2002-03

It was another giant step forward for the program in 2002-03, as Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 1987, defeating Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Illinois in the first two rounds of the tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana, before falling to Arizona in Anaheim, California. The 24-10 campaign featured a program-first three consecutive wins over top-10 ranked teams, as the Irish defeated No. 10 Marquette, No. 8 Maryland and No. 2 Texas in consecutive outings.

  • 2006-07

Notre Dame returned to the NCAA Tournament with a 24-8 overall record and 11-5 mark in the Big East, as Brey earned his first Big East Coach of the Year award. The Irish began the season with a 15-2 record, the program’s best start since 1978-79, and finished the year 18-0 at Purcell Pavilion - the first undefeated season at home since 1968-69.

  • 2007-08

A 25-8 record, along with a 14-4 final total in Big East play would earn Brey his second straight conference coach of the year award and the Irish returned to the NCAA Tournament to defeat George Mason before falling to Washington State in the second round. During the season, the Irish pushed their home-court winning streak to 37 games.

  • 2008-09

The run of postseason appearances continued for the Irish, with a trip to the NIT semifinals capping a 21-15 overall record. The team was led by Ryan Ayers, a current assistant coach with the Irish, and Luke Harangody, who became the first player to lead the Big East in scoring and rebounding in back-to-back seasons. The season was highlighted by the team’s 39th consecutive home court victory over Furman on Nov. 30, 2008, eclipsing the 60-year old school record that was set at the Notre Dame Fieldhouse from 1943-48. The team eventually pushed the home court win streak to 45 games, the longest in the nation at the time, before it was ended against Connecticut on January 24, 2009.

  • 2009-10

Notre Dame returned to the NCAA tournament for the sixth time in 10 years, finishing the season with a 23-12 record and a 10-6 record in the Big East. The Irish won six of their last eight games, including three victories over ranked opponents and advanced to the Big East tournament semifinals for the third time. Senior point guard Tory Jackson became the second player to lead the Big East in assists for three consecutive seasons, joining Syracuse’s Sherman Douglas.

  • 2010-11

A fifth consecutive 20-win season culminated with a 27-7 record, 14-4 in Big East play, that earned Brey the Associated Press Coach of the Year Award. Reaching as high as fourth in the national polls during the year, the Irish would finish ranked 14th, the program’s highest mark since the 1978-79 campaign. Notre Dame also received a No. 2 seed to the NCAA Tournament, the highest seed earned in the Brey era at Notre Dame. For the third time in five seasons, the Irish finished undefeated at home with a 17-0 record.

  • 2011-12

Poised to take another step forward, a key injury to All-America candidate Tim Abromaitis in the preseason forced Brey to reset the roster. The reset worked, as the team finished 22-12 overall and returned to the NCAA tournament for the eighth time in 12 years under Brey’s leadership. The Irish advanced to the Big East semifinals for the third consecutive season and won a program-best nine consecutive conference games. Another highlight of the season was Notre Dame’s 67-58 victory over No. 1 Syracuse at Purcell Pavilion on Jan. 21, 2012, the 10th win over a top-ranked team for the Irish and the sixth straight at Purcell (an NCAA record).

  • 2012-13

The final season of Big East competition for the Irish saw the team finish 25-10 overall and advance to their fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance. The Irish finished 5-4 against nine ranked opponents during the year and advanced to the semifinals of the Big East Tournament for the fourth time. Brey finished his time in the Big East as the league’s fourth all-time winningest coach with 146 wins, behind Jim Boeheim (416), Jim Calhoun (309) and John Thompson (231).

  • 2014-15

After missing out on the postseason for the first time in the Brey era, the 2014-15 team bounced back in memorable fashion, compiling perhaps the finest season in Notre Dame basketball history. Led by seniors Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton, the Irish finished 32-6, won the ACC Championship tournament in just the second year in the conference and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight to battle number-one seed Kentucky in the most-watched collegiate basketball game on cable television. The Irish ended up as just the third team to win the ACC tournament in the state of North Carolina by posting wins over Duke and North Carolina along the way.

  • 2015-16

Working off the momentum of the 2014-15 season and the NCAA Elite Eight run, the Irish owned March again to become the only school in the country with back-to-back visits to the Elite Eight in the past two seasons. Rallying to defeat Michigan, Stephen F. Austin and Wisconsin, the Irish would fall to North Carolina in the East Regional Final. The season also featured the program’s first victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium over Duke and a victory over number-one ranked North Carolina in Purcell Pavilion.

  • 2016-17

The Irish posted a remarkable 9-0 start to the 2016-17 season, the best nine-game start to a season of the Mike Brey era at Notre Dame. The run included a perfect 4-0 record through the Legends Classic to mark the third in-season tournament title of the Brey era. The team then posted a 5-0 start in ACC play to set the program standard for a conference record through five games. Memorable home court victories over No. 9/9 Louisville and No. 14/15 Florida State set the stage for a run to the ACC Championship game.

Karen Brodkin

Executive Vice President, Content Strategy and Partnerships, Endeavor


Karen Brodkin

Executive Vice President, Content Strategy & Partnerships, Endeavor

In her role as executive vice president, content strategy & partnerships at Endeavor, Karen Brodkin leads business development and strategy for a range of business areas across the Endeavor portfolio. Her purview includes partnerships with sports leagues, federations, conferences and teams; content licensing and development; sports naming rights and venue programming, strategy and development; Endeavor Experiences; and eSports partnerships and events, including ELEAGUE, a joint venture with Turner Sports.

Before joining Endeavor, Brodkin was executive vice president of business and legal affairs at FOX Sports Media Group. While at FOX, she oversaw the business and legal affairs team that negotiated professional and collegiate media rights acquisitions with organizations including the NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, NHL, UFC, MLS, Pac-12, Big 10, Big 12, Big East and the ACC,  as well as all FOX Sports’  production, programming and talent agreements. Brodkin was part of the team that launched the Big Ten Network in August 2007, and FOX Sports 1, which launched in August 2013 in over 70 million homes.

Prior to joining FOX, Brodkin spent five years as an entertainment attorney at two Los Angeles-based entertainment firms, where her clients included Garth Brooks, Spike Lee, Warner Brothers, and New Line Cinema. She began her career as a corporate attorney specializing in labor and employment matters in the Los Angeles office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker.

Brodkin received a B.A. in Political Science/Art History from the University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she graduated Order of the Coif.

Brodkin is the chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Sports Council and serves on the Sports and Entertainment Leadership Council for Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and the LA Leadership Committee of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. She also previously served on the Southern California Advisory Board for CAL Athletics. In April 2015, Brodkin was honored by LA Family Housing for her work helping families transition out of homelessness and poverty, and in June of the same year, joined LA Family Housing’s Board of Directors. Brodkin has been recognized by the Alliance for Women in Media (Women in Sports Honoree, October 2015); the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks (#WeAreWomen Honoree, August 2015); Women in Sports and Events/WISE (Los Angeles Woman of Inspiration, December 2011); SportsBusiness Journal (“Game Changer,” October 2011); and Broadcasting & Cable (“Women in the Game,” July 2011). Brodkin was a featured columnist in the Summer 2015 edition of CSQ: C-Suite Quarterly (“Los Angeles: My Kind of Sports Town”).  In June 2016, Brodkin was honored by WISE-National as “Woman of the Year.”

Brodkin resides in Pacific Palisades, California, with her husband, Chris Watson, their son, Quincy, and two adopted beagles.                                                                                      

Greg Brown

President & CEO, Learfield


Greg Brown



In his nearly 35 years with Learfield, Greg Brown has not only helped lead a remarkable evolution of the company, but of the collegiate sports landscape as well. Since 2009, he has served as Learfield’s President and CEO, overseeing a growing sports marketing firm anchored by its core business of managing the multimedia rights and sponsorship initiatives for roughly 130 collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas nationwide.

Upon earning a degree from Truman State University, Brown’s Learfield career began in 1984 selling sponsorships for the Iowa State Cyclone Radio Network. Over the years, he continued to make his mark within the company. In 2004, Brown led the company’s college business as it experienced unprecedented visibility and growth in a 10-year timeframe, from representing just six partner universities to more than 50 schools, conferences and associations.

More recently, Brown has directed Learfield into its next growth phase focused on creating dynamic solutions for its collegiate partners. Through targeted acquisitions and innovations, Learfield can meet the needs of its partners by providing access to professional concessions and ticket sales; branding, licensing and trademark consulting; best-in-class digital and social platform expertise; campuswide business and sponsorship development, and sophisticated venue and technology systems.

Brown, appointed to serve on the National Football Foundation Board for 2018, was recognized by SportsBusiness Journal as No. 22 in the publication’s “50 Most Influential People in Sports Business” for 2017. As an extension of his commitment to Learfield and to the industry, Brown accepted top honors as a Southwest winner in EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award - Technology & Media Services category. The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame also honored Learfield as a corporate inductee in its 2018 HOF class.

Throughout his career, Brown has been recognized in other ways for leadership in the college sports business. Additionally, he remains deeply involved with numerous organizations, events and platforms that are vital to collegiate athletics’ development overall.


De'Arius Christmas

Student - Athlete, Grambling State University


National Scholar-Athlete and Campbell Trophy Finalist De’Arius Christmas is an All-American linebacker at Grambling State who holds a 3.82 GPA in Engineering Technology. He has earned Grambling State Student-Athlete of the Year and SWAC All-Academic Team honors. He has led the Tigers in tackles for two consecutive seasons, and he was the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2017. A two-year team captain, he volunteers with the Special Olympics.

Dr. Scott Cowen

President Emeritus, Tulane University


Scott S. Cowen

is President Emeritus of Tulane University and the author, most recently, of Winnebagos on Wednesdays: How Visionary Leadership Can Transform Higher Education. He served as Tulane’s 14th president from July 1998 through June 2014 and has been named one of the top college presidents in the nation by Time. Newsweek twice declared Tulane, under his leadership, one of the “Hottest Schools in America.”

Dr. Cowen is the recipient of several national awards, including the Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award and the TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education, as well as honorary degrees from the nation’s top institutions including the University of Notre Dame, Brown University, Yeshiva University, the University of Connecticut, and Case Western Reserve University. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions, which advised President Barack Obama on the needs of disconnected youth.

He has been a leader in New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina, which inflicted more than $650 million in damages to Tulane alone, and has been widely praised for helping to transform New Orleans’ K-12 public schools and health care system after the storm.

Dr. Cowen currently serves on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. He is a former member of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and the NCAA Executive Committee and a former board chair of Conference USA. In 2003, Dr. Cowen led efforts to change the state of intercollegiate athletics in Division I and created the Presidential Coalition for Athletics Reform made up of presidents from more than 40 non-BCS schools. In 2012, he was part of the 12-member presidential oversight committee that voted to do away with the BCS and replace it with the College Football Playoff (CFP).

Dr. Cowen received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and his master’s and doctorate in business administration from The George Washington University.

Jason Coyle

CEO, Stadium TV Network


Jason Coyle is the CEO of Stadium, a first-of-its-kind, 24/7, multi-platform sports network that brings together exclusive live games and events, extensive highlights, classic games, original programming and daily live studio programming.  Stadium is the industry’s only national sports network designed and fully cleared for distribution across both digital and television platforms.  Coyle has an extensive background and expertise across both digital and televised sports media, where he has overseen all aspects of business operations, development, and monetization. Stadium is owned by a collection of leading sports media entities including BamTech, Meredith Corporation, the NHL, PGA TOUR, Silver Chalice and Sinclair Broadcasting Group.

Coyle formerly was a co-founder of Silver Chalice and later served as the President of 120 Sports, a digital sports network that wove world-class technology into television-quality video productions.

Prior to Silver Chalice, Jason served as President of Media at Intersport, overseeing both the company’s television and digital operations.

Jason is a 1996 graduate of the Harvard Law School and a 1993 graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

Pat Coyle

Senior Associate Athletic Director & Chief Revenue Officer, Texas A&M University


Pat Coyle, an innovations leader in sports venue technology, has been named Senior Associate Athletics Director and Chief Revenue Officer for Texas A&M Athletics.
“Pat is widely recognized as a visionary business technologist in team sports,” Woodward said. “He brings a unique perspective and the practical know-how we need to extend our leadership position in college athletics.”
Coyle comes to Aggieland from AmpThink, a leader in sports venue technologies, and a technology partner to Texas A&M. At AmpThink, Coyle led marketing and product development for the company’s Wi-Fi analytics group. He also led the development of monetization strategies for AmpThink’s clients across sports & entertainment, aviation, and retail.
“Joining the Aggie athletics department is a rare opportunity to work with the best people and strongest brand in college sports,” Coyle said. “I’m grateful for the confidence Scott Woodward and Stephanie Rempe (Deputy Athletics Director at A&M) are placing in me, and I relish the chance to help elevate Aggie Athletics to new heights in the years to come.”
Coyle has a versatile background in the athletics and technologies space. Prior to his time at AmpThink, he served as Senior Vice-President of Marketing and Audience Technology Platforms at InStadium, a venture-backed sports media company that manages a video network encompassing more than 500 professional and college stadiums in the U.S. While at InStadium, Coyle spearheaded the development of a short form video entertainment program, InStadium.tv, and a companion mobile fan engagement platform, FanX.
Before joining InStadium, Coyle spent five years running his own firm, Coyle Media, where he consulted and trained NBA, NHL, and NFL teams in digital media sponsorship sales. At Coyle Media, Pat developed the Sports Marketing 2.0 Conference series, hosting annual events in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. That enabled Coyle to build strong ties in the technology startup scenes on both coasts.
Prior to Coyle Media, Coyle spent eight seasons leading marketing and digital media for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. Under his leadership the Colts custom-built the NFL’s first team-branded social media network, as well as the first – and only – social media platform for high school football in Indiana. Both products were forerunners to Facebook, allowing the Colts to reach digital media levels in 2008 that many teams still haven’t achieved today.

A 1988 graduate of Hamilton College, where he earned a degree in English literature, Coyle is a native of Winnetka, Illinois. Pat and his wife, Amy, are the parents of five children. The family is moving to College Station from Indianapolis, where Pat served as a board member for the local youth football league and where he and Amy were heavily involved in church activities. In recent years, the couple has traveled to Thailand, Africa, and Jamaica Queens (New York) on short-term mission trips, serving as small group leaders and local outreach trainers. Pat also spent five years as a volunteer Bible study leader at Jesus House prison ministry.

Kim Damron

President & CEO, Paciolan


Kim Damron

President & Chief Executive Officer

As President and CEO of Paciolan, Kim manages the direction and vision for the company, including client satisfaction, retention and direction of all products, services and solutions. She has cultivated an inclusive and supportive corporate culture at Paciolan, encouraging employee growth and development. Kim is also the liaison to our parent company, Learfield, and is charged with being more integrated with the other divisions within the Learfield family. Before she was named President, Kim was managing most of the company in her role as COO, and developed many of the teams within the company that exist today. Before Paciolan, she has also served in leadership positions at Tickets.com, Buy.com and Paramount Studios. In 2017, Venues Today recognized Kim as a Woman of Influence, honoring female leaders in the sports and entertainment industry. Kim earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications and Sports Studies from University of Southern California.

Nick Dawson

Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions, ESPN


Nick Dawson

Vice President, Programming & Acquisitions, ESPN

Nick Dawson was promoted to vice president, programming and acquisitions in August 2015. He oversees college football programming, college basketball, NCAA Championships and additional college sports across the ESPN networks and leads the team that serves as the daily contact for all major areas and businesses both within the company and externally, including all leagues, conferences, schools, bowls, and the College Football Playoff. Nick expanded his oversight beyond just college football in April 2017.

Prior to August 2015, Dawson was a senior director, overseeing ESPN’s college basketball programming and acquisitions. In that role, he was charged with maximizing games and content across ESPN platforms while leading major rights acquisitions for the category.  Over his seven years in the position, Dawson led ESPN’s men’s college basketball game coverage to its six most-viewed seasons ever and played an integral role in the creation and launch of two signature owned and operated events, the Champions Classic and Armed Forces Classic.

Dawson moved to ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., campus in August 2004, where he has held several positions in the programming and acquisitions department. He has managed relationships with MLS, US Soccer, USATF, MLL and various billiards properties. He led successful rights negotiations for the FIBA Americas Championship, NBA Europe Live, NBA China, USATF and multiple billiards events, while assisting on ESPN’s 2007 NBA rights extension. He was also the lead on program scheduling for NBA, soccer, Olympic sports, billiards and Black History Month.

In January 2002, Dawson began his ESPN career working for ESPN Regional Television in Lawrence, Kan., as a sales associate/account executive.

A native of Hutchinson, Kan., Dawson earned a bachelor of science in education from the University of Kansas with Highest Distinction Honors. He also received an associate of science degree from Garden City Community College (Kan.) in May 2000, where he earned NJCAA Academic All-American honors as part of the football program.

Chris Del Conte

Athletic Director, The University of Texas


Chris Del Conte was named vice president and athletics director at The University of Texas at Austin on December 9, 2017.

Del Conte previously served as director of intercollegiate athletics at Texas Christian University since 2009 and is nationally recognized for developing winning programs, upgrading facilities, improving the fan experience and helping student-athletes excel on and off the field.

"Chris has the experience, vision and character that's needed for Texas to build on the Longhorns' rich legacy and to continue winning with integrity for years to come," UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves said. "He knows the state of Texas, supports student-athletes, understands the media landscape of college sports, and is one of the best athletics directors in the country."

"I would first like to thank the TCU Board of Trustees, Chancellor Boschini, the student-athletes, coaches and staff and all TCU constituents for the wonderful opportunity to serve them these past nine years. The time has come to take on a new challenge," Del Conte said. "After being with President Fenves and hearing his vision for the future of The University of Texas, I couldn't be more honored to join his leadership team. I can't wait to get down to Austin and meet all the student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans."

During his eight years at TCU, Del Conte oversaw a series of historic moments for TCU Athletics that include the Horned Frogs' July 1, 2012 entrance into the Big 12 Conference. He oversaw nationally competitive teams in football and other sports and upgraded facilities for football, basketball, baseball, track and field and volleyball, among other sports. He also increased donations to the athletics department and hired several world-class coaches.

While at TCU, Del Conte managed over $300 million in construction projects that were all donor funded. He took the Horned Frogs to new heights under his leadership, as the 2017 fiscal year saw a new record-breaking Frog Club Annual Giving total. The three highest totals in overall athletic giving at TCU happened in the last four years of his tenure in Fort Worth.

Academics were a main focus of Del Conte’s time at TCU. Under his leadership, TCU student-athletes attained their highest grade-point averages in school history. In the final three semesters (Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017), TCU student-athletes posted the top-three cumulative grade-point averages in program history. 

Under his guidance, five TCU head coaches (Gary Patterson, football; Jim Schlossnagle, baseball; Karen Monez, rifle; David Roditi, men's tennis; Haley Schoolfield, equestrian) were named National Coach of the Year in their respective sports. Jamie Dixon, hired in March 2016 as head men's basketball coach, received National Coach of the Year accolades at Pittsburgh.

During Del Conte's time in Fort Worth, two national team championships and five individual NCAA track and field titles were won. In its opening five years of Big 12 play, TCU captured conference team championships in football, baseball and men's tennis. Overall, 10 sports (baseball, women's basketball, football, women's golf, rifle, men's swimming and diving, men's tennis, women's tennis, women's indoor and outdoor track and field) won conference titles under Del Conte, who saw 17 of 21 sports represented in NCAA postseason play.

Del Conte was the recipient of a 2015 NACDA Under Armour AD of the Year Award and the 2010 Bobby Dodd Division I-A Athletic Director's Award. In February 2015, he was named to the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Committee.

During his tenure as Athletics Director at Rice (2006-09), Del Conte had responsibility for 16 intercollegiate programs, 350 student-athletes, along with coaches and staff. Del Conte also designed, developed and managed the Rice Vision for the Second Century Campaign, which raised over $90 million. The Second Century Campaign included athletic facilities such as the Tudor Fieldhouse and Youngkin Center for Student-Athlete Excellence as well as upgrades to the football stadium. Del Conte also secured a marketing sponsorship and broadcast rights contract for Rice and maintained a focus on student-athlete academic achievement, resulting in numerous public recognition awards from the NCAA for the academic progress rate of student-athletes.

Prior to Rice, Del Conte was the senior associate athletics director for external operations and sports programs at the University of Arizona (2000-06). In that role, Del Conte had responsibility for the planning, management and oversight of the day-to-day operation for the department of intercollegiate athletics. He also functioned as the chief financial officer; managed external operations; had oversight and management of all contracts, ticket sales, broadcast rights fees, corporate sponsorships, and trademarks and licensing; and oversight of all facility construction.

Del Conte also served as an assistant athletics director for external operations at both Washington State (1998-99) and Cal Poly (1994-98).

Del Conte received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from UC Santa Barbara, where he was a track and field student-athlete, and a master's degree in education, administration and supervision from Washington State.

Del Conte is married to Dr. Robin Ward and has two daughters, Sienna and Sophia.

Jim Delany

Commissioner, Big 10 Conference




Only the Big Ten’s fifth commissioner since its founding in 1896, James E. Delany is in his 30th year with the conference. He has led the Big Ten through significant periods of growth that have helped the conference maintain its preeminent position as one of the nation’s leaders in providing quality academic and athletic experiences for young men and women.

The Big Ten has grown to 14 member institutions during Delany’s tenure, including the additions of Penn State in 1991, Nebraska in 2011 and Maryland and Rutgers in 2014. With the conference’s footprint now stretching from the Colorado border to the Atlantic Ocean and more than five million alumni across the country, Delany continues to work toward strengthening traditional relationships while building a presence in a new region.


The Big Ten maintains offices in Rosemont, Ill., and New York City, with satellite office space in Washington, D.C. Big Ten events are scheduled to be held throughout the country, with the football championship game in Indianapolis, basketball tournaments held in Chicago, Indianapolis, New York City and Washington, D.C., and the baseball tournament in Omaha, Neb. In addition, the Big Ten features the largest and most diverse postseason football lineup in conference history, with 16 potential bowl destinations spread across the nation.

Under Delany’s guidance, the Big Ten has been a national leader in providing opportunities for students to earn a degree while competing in intercollegiate athletics, maintaining broad-based programming, supporting gender equity and continued innovation. The Big Ten will administer over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on more than 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten now sponsors 28 official sports, more than every conference except the Ivy League.

Under Delany, the Big Ten has been a champion for Title IX. The conference was the first to voluntarily adopt participation goals for female students competing in intercollegiate athletics as the Big Ten initiated the Gender Equity Action Plan in 1992. The Big Ten leads all conferences with more than 4,600 female students playing sports and features more than 900 televised or streamed women’s athletic events. Big Ten women’s teams have claimed more than 120 national titles.


The Big Ten also developed the first collegiate football version of instant replay, which was implemented during the 2004 season. The conference has applied numerous initiatives under Delany’s leadership, including Sportsmanship Awards beginning in 2003 and Postgraduate Scholarships starting with the 2012-13 academic year. In the summer of 2012, the Big Ten announced a partnership with the Ivy League to study the effects of head injuries in sports.


The Big Ten has seen unprecedented levels of national television coverage during Delany’s tenure, highlighted by the creation of the Big Ten Network (BTN). Launched in August 2007 as a joint-venture with FOX, BTN was the first national conference-owned television network. Delany has also negotiated media agreements with ABC, CBS Sports, ESPN and FOX. Through these agreements, more than 1,800 events are produced and distributed annually.

Big Ten teams have won national championships in 28 different sports since Delany joined the conference, including a Big Ten record of 10 in 2014-15. The top 10 single-season football attendance records have been established in his tenure, while men’s basketball has led the country in attendance for the last 42 seasons through the 2017-18 campaign. Each year more than 11 million patrons attend Big Ten home contests, as the conference leads the nation in attendance for hockey, volleyball and wrestling in addition to men’s basketball. The Big Ten has also added tournaments for men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse, as well as challenge series with various conferences.


Delany and the Big Ten have been active in the community, creating the school outreach program SCORE (Success Comes Out of Reading Everyday). For more than 25 years, the conference has partnered with Chicago elementary schools to improve reading performance. The Big Ten has also established numerous community programs surrounding its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and football championship game.


The 70-year old Delany is a native of South Orange, N.J. He received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of North Carolina in 1970 and juris doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1973.  At UNC, Delany was a three-year member of the varsity basketball team, serving as tri-captain in 1970 and twice participating in NCAA Final Four competition. In September 2012, Delany received the UNC Distinguished Alumni Award.                                                                                                                            

After earning his law degree, Delany served as counsel for the North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee from 1973 to 1974, and was staff attorney for the North Carolina Justice Department from 1974 to 1975.


Delany’s distinguished career in administering intercollegiate athletics began at the NCAA where he was employed as an enforcement representative from 1975-79. For the next decade, he served as commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference before joining the Big Ten in 1989.


In October 2014, Delany and the Big Ten were presented the Torch of Liberty Award by the Anti-Defamation League in honor of the conference’s commitment to diversity, equality and opportunity for more than a century. In February 2016, he was honored with the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award, the most prestigious award presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame outside of enshrinement. Most recently in May 2018, Delany was named to SportsBusiness Journal’s Twenty for 20, a list of the 20 most influential sports executives over the past 20 years.



Personal Information:

Full name:                           James Edward “Jim” Delany

Hometown:                        South Orange, New Jersey

Wife:                                    Catherine “Kitty” Fisher Delany

Children:                             Newman and James Chancellor



High School:                        St. Benedict’s Preparatory,

                                             Newark, New Jersey

College:                               University of North Carolina, 1970

                                             Chapel Hill, North Carolina

                                             Bachelor of Arts, Political Science

Graduate:                            University of North Carolina, 1973

                                             Juris Doctorate


Playing Experience:

1967-70                               North Carolina varsity basketball team

Two-time participant in the NCAA Final Four

1969-70                               Tri-captain of UNC varsity basketball team


Legal Experience:

1973-74                               North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee Counsel

1974-75                               North Carolina Justice Department Staff Attorney



Athletic Administration Experience:

1975-79                              NCAA Enforcement Representative

1979-89                              Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner

1989-present                      Big Ten Conference Commissioner


Boards and Committees:

BTN Board of Directors

Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA)

National Football Foundation Board of Directors

Various NCAA and CCA committees and working groups


Hall of Fame Inductions:

St. Benedict’s Preparatory Hall of Fame

Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame

Newark, N.J. Hall of Fame

Chicagoland Hall of Fame


Updated 2018

Mark Emmert

President, NCAA


Mark A. Emmert


National Collegiate Athletic Association

Mark A. Emmert became the fifth president of the NCAA in October 2010. As president, he has championed greater support for student-athlete wellness and academic success. His commitment to the academic success of athletes is reflected in newly heightened academic standards for initial eligibility. Additionally, he brought greater focus to health and well-being through the creation of the NCAA Sport Science Institute and increased student voice through a new Division I governance structure.

Before the NCAA, Emmert was president of his alma mater, the University of Washington, beginning in 2004. Under his leadership, the university rose to second among all public and private institutions in research funding with $1.3 billion in grants and contracts per year. Washington also concluded a $2.6 billion fundraising campaign during his tenure. Emmert is also president emeritus of Washington.

Throughout his higher education career, Emmert has served in many capacities. His administrative appointments include chancellor of Louisiana State University (1999-2004), provost and chancellor of the University of Connecticut (1995-99), provost and vice president for academic affairs at Montana State University-Bozeman (1992-95) and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Colorado, Boulder (1985-92).

Emmert is also a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues. He is the former chair of the executive group of the Worldwide Universities Network and served on the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and was previously an American Council on Education Fellow and J.W. Fulbright Administrative Fellow. Emmert has written extensively on higher education and public administration throughout his career.

A Washington state native, Emmert graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in political science and has both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University. He holds an honorary doctorate of humanities from Monmouth University and an honorary doctorate of law from Molloy College. Emmert and his wife, DeLaine, have two adult children and enjoy spending time with their three grandchildren.

Moderator: Paul Finebaum

Radio Host, ESPN


Paul Finebaum — a longtime sports talk radio host known by many as the leading sports authority in the South and the “Voice of the SEC’’ — joined ESPN in August 2013 as host of the The Paul Finebaum Show. The four-hour daily program, heard on ESPN Radio Monday – Friday from 3  – 7 p.m. ET and simulcast on SEC Network, showcases Finebaum’s compelling opinions and deep knowledge of the SEC as well as his interactions with his passionate callers, many of whom have followed him for years. On August 16, 2017, Finebaum will debut a TV-only hour of his show on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. ET.

In addition to hosting The Paul Finebaum Show, he serves as a weekly analyst on SEC Nation, the traveling pregame show for SEC Network. And he appears on a variety of other ESPN shows and outlets, including SportsCenterCollege Football LiveCollege GameDay and in ESPN The Magazine.

Prior to joining ESPN, Finebaum served as host of the Paul Finebaum Radio Network (2001- 2012). Finebaum arrived in Birmingham in 1980 and became an award-winning columnist and investigative reporter for the Birmingham Post-Herald and later the Mobile Press-Register. From 2011 – 2012, Finebaum wrote a college football column for SI.com.

Finebaum has received many honors for his work.  In March 2013, Sports Illustrated ranked him one of the 20 Most Powerful People in Sports Media nationally (#17).  Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic of ESPN (at No. 14) were the only other radio hosts mentioned on the list. In 2004, Sports Illustrated named the show as one of the top 12 sports radio shows in the United States.

In January 2012, The Bleacher Report named Finebaum one of the “25 Most Influential People” in college football. Bunn Sports, a regional website, listed Finebaum as “the No. 1 must-follow in college football’’ on twitter. In July 2009, The Orlando Sentinel named Finebaum one of the SEC’s “10 most powerful people.” In 2002, Finebaum was named by The Tennessean in Nashville as one of the “Southeastern Conference’s Top Power Brokers,” coming in at No. 4.

In 2008, Columbia University named Finebaum’s show a winner of its annual ‘Let’s Do it Better! Workshop on Journalism, Race and Ethnicity. Finebaum was selected for “providing a strong and sometimes controversial view on racial issues in sports through his multi-media contributions”  In particular, Columbia cited a poignant show on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday – which highlighted the slain Civil Rights leader’s still strong connections with today’s sports stars.

Finebaum has spoken and lectured at a variety of colleges including Columbia University, UMass-Amherst, Texas A&M and the University of North Carolina.

In March 2013, HarperCollins reached a deal with Finebaum to write a memoir about his radio show and how it intersects with the fan culture in the SEC. The book will be published in August 2014.

Finebaum is a 1978 graduate of the University of Tennessee and resides in Charlotte with his wife.

Moderator: Jack Ford

, Emmy and Peabody Award-Winning Journalist and Board Member, National Football Foundation


Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist, documentary producer, prominent trial attorney, author, and teacher, Jack Ford has had a unique and remarkably successful career.  Raised by a single parent, his journey has taken him from a small town in New Jersey to Yale University, where he was a scholarship student and three-year starter on the varsity football team, to the Fordham University School of Law, where he helped finance his legal education with winnings from three appearances on the television quiz show “Jeopardy,” to courtrooms and classrooms throughout the country, and, ultimately, to the upper echelons of television journalism.

Currently a CBS News Correspondent for “60 Minutes Sports” and the co-host of “Metro Focus” on PBS (WNET-New York), he is also the Co-Founder and Chief Anchor of the American Education Network.  Mr. Ford began his television news career in 1984 with WCBS-TV in New York.  In 1991, he was an original anchor at the launch of Court TV. He also appeared in Fred Friendly’s award-winning PBS Media and Society broadcasts, serving as Moderator for “That Delicate Balance II: The Bill of Rights.”

In 1994, Mr. Ford joined NBC News as Chief Legal Correspondent, reporting on major legal stories for NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, and Dateline.  In addition, he was the co-anchor for the Weekend Today Show and a substitute anchor for Nightly News and Meet the Press.  Mr. Ford joined ABC News in 1999 as an Anchor/Correspondent for 20/20, Good Morning America, and World News Tonight.  He also hosted the ESPN show, The Sports Reporters II, from 2002-2003.  During 2003-2004, he hosted a nationally syndicated morning show for CBS TV/King World before returning to Court TV in 2005 as the Host of “Courtside.” From 2009-2014 he served as a CBS News Legal Analyst.   He has also provided college football game commentary for ESPN, the Yes Network, and the American Sports Network.

Following law school, Mr. Ford spent three years as a prosecutor in New Jersey before entering private practice.  He became a prominent trial attorney, successfully handling such high profile cases as the Northeast’s first death penalty trial, one of the nation’s first corporate homicide cases, and the Wall Street insider trading scandal of the late 1980s.  During his legal career, he also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Fordham University School of Law.  He is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Yale University, New York University, and the University of Virginia and speaks frequently at colleges and professional schools across the country.  He is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, “The Osiris Alliance” and “The Walls of Jericho.”

Mr. Ford’s television journalism work has been recognized with a number of honors, including two Emmy Awards, a George Foster Peabody Award, four National Cable Television Awards, a National Headliner Award, and the March of Dimes FDR Award.  In 1997, he received an NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, which is presented to former outstanding college athletes who have achieved distinction in their professional lives.  In 1998, Mr. Ford was honored with a “National Father of the Year Award,” and in 2009, he was a recipient of Yale University’s highest athletic honor, the “George H.W. Bush Lifetime of Leadership Award.”

Mr. Ford has been awarded five honorary degrees, recognizing his professional accomplishments and his extensive public service work.  He has served as spokesperson, host and/or board member for a number of charitable causes and organizations, including the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, the N.J. Special Olympics, the Jimmy V Foundation, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, the Ivy League Football Association, the NCAA Honors Committee, the NCAA Division 1 Committee on Infractions, Meridian Health System, Monmouth University, and Yale University.

Mr. Ford resides in Spring Lake, N.J. with his wife, Dorothy. They have two children, Dr. Ashley Ford Haggerty and Colin Ford. 

Moderator: Pat Forde

National College Columnist, Yahoo Sports


Pat Forde has been with Yahoo Sports since 2011, where he serves as a national college columnist. He began his career in 1987 with the Louisville Courier-Journal where he won 18 national awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors writing contests. He worked for The Courier-Journal for 17 years, first as a sports reporter, and then 12 years writing a column.
               After freelancing for their website for seven years, Forde joined ESPN full-time in 2004, serving as a national columnist for ESPN.com and a contributor to ESPN The Magazine. He was also a regular on shows across the ESPN platform.
              Upon joining Yahoo Sports, Forde resumed his weekly “Forde Yard Dash,” focusing on college football
, and “Forde Minutes” column on basketball, both of which he popularized at ESPN.
              His work has twice been included in The Best American Sports Writing. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1990
has written two books: one co-authored with University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, “Rebound Rules: The Art of Success," in 2007; and "The Contract," on the life of former college star and current NBA player Jimmer Fredette.
               A native of Colorado Springs, Co., Forde is a 1987 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He and his wife Tricia have three children and live in Louisville, Ky.

Jeff Hathaway

Special Assistant to the President for Athletics, Hofstra University


     Jeffrey Hathaway has been serving as the Special Assistant to the President for Athletics at Hofstra University since July 2018.  Hathaway was the Vice President / Director of Athletics at Hofstra University for the past six years in which he served and lead an outstanding athletic program that enjoyed success in the classrooms, competitive venues and in the personal development of their student-athletes.

     He currently represents the Colonial Athletic Association on the NCAA Council while also serving as the Chair of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee.  Hathaway was selected to serve on the Commission on Basketball chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  He is also a past member of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee and served as its Chair in 2011-12.

     During his six-year tenure at Hofstra, there were 15 teams that qualified for NCAA Tournaments, eight CAA postseason championships, 10 regular season CAA titles and four other postseason tournaments including their first NIT appearance in nine years.  Hofstra’s student-athletes established a single semester athletic department record by posting an average GPA of 3.3 and an academic year record of 3.29 average GPA in 2016-17.   The Hofstra Division of Student Affairs honored Hofstra’s athletic program with their “Good Neighbor Award” for outstanding community service in 2014 and 2016.  In addition, Student Affairs presented their 2014 “Community Service Event of the Year Award” to Hofstra student-athletes for their Reading with Pride project in local schools.

     As the Director of Athletics at UConn, Hathaway and his staff negotiated the university’s first ever department - wide apparel contract resulting in a $46 million agreement with NIKE.  Hathaway also negotiated UConn’s first ever multimedia / corporate partnership contract with IMG which guaranteed more than $80 million with the opportunity for additional revenue sharing.  Nine national championships were won during his tenure – five in women’s basketball, three in the men’s basketball and one in men’s soccer.  The UConn football program was the first university to transition from Division IAA to participation in a Bowl Championship Series game when they accepted an invitation to play Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.  In UConn’s first eight years of being a BCS member the football team played in five bowl games and won two Big East Football Championships.

     During Hathaway’s UConn tenure the athletic program generated more funds for the University’s capital campaign than any other campus entity.  While serving as the Director of Athletics at Colorado State, the athletic program secured a record $15.2 million gift for football stadium renovations.

     Hathaway has been selected three times by the National Association of Collegiate Director of Athletics (NACDA) as an Athletic Director of the Year honoree.  He was also a finalist for the SBJ Athletic Director of the Year Award in 2008.

David Herman

Associate Sports Partnerships Manager, Twitter

Sarah Hirshland

CEO, United States Olympic Committee



Sarah Hirshland began her term as chief executive officer of the United States Olympic Committee in August 2018. As CEO, Hirshland oversees the USOC in its stewardship as both the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States, while leading the organization in delivering on its mission to support America’s elite athletes and inspiring all Americans. Prior to her role at the USOC, she served as the chief commercial officer for the United States Golf Association.

At the USGA, Hirshland was responsible for the company’s global media and content distribution, corporate partnerships, merchandise and licensing, marketing, communications, community outreach and Golfer Handicap Information Network. Among her accomplishments at the USGA, she established a centralized marketing function, transformed relationships and service offerings with the Allied Golf Associations, oversaw media rights negotiations, secured and managed global partnerships and guided the transformation of tournament management software services.

Prior to joining the USGA in 2011, she was senior vice president for strategic business development at Wasserman Media Group (now Wasserman). She also previously worked in Wasserman’s consulting division, leading the development of sports marketing strategies for clients such as American Express, Nationwide, Nokia, Scotts and Wachovia. In addition, Hirshland has served in key executive positions with sports and entertainment firm OnSport, and sports news and technology company Total Sports.

Hirshland is a graduate of Duke University. She and her husband reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and have three adult children.

Dean Jordan

Managing Executive, Properties, Wasserman


Dean Jordan

Managing Executive, Properties

Dean Jordan is the Managing Executive of Properties at Wasserman, leading all client media rights strategy and negotiation representation engagements and focusing on media rights negotiations, revenue growth and strategic analysis.

Jordan is currently the Atlantic Coast Conference’s representative in its partnership with ESPN for the ACC Network launch; manages several initiatives on behalf of the NCAA; and is driving the creation of the CFP Tech Expo during the CFP Championship Game in January 2019. 

He has previously led Wasserman’s successful media rights representation of such collegiate clients as the new College Football Playoff, the University of Notre Dame, the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12, and Mountain West, among others. He also directed Wasserman’s efforts with both media and non-media related engagements for clients such as the United States Golf Association, NASCAR, Major League Soccer, United States Tennis Association, United States Olympic Committee and private investors.

Jordan’s career spans 35 years and includes senior executive experience across team sports and media. As a member of the Executive Management Team at OnSport, he led the firm’s sports properties and media consulting efforts until it was acquired by Wasserman in 2007. Prior to OnSport/Wasserman, he spent two years as President and COO of the Carolina Hurricanes. From 1991 to 1998, he concurrently held senior executive positions with Huizenga Sports and Entertainment (HSE) properties and Front Row Communications, a company created to manage HSE’s media investments and the collective marketing efforts for HSE properties. As President of Front Row, he led the successful development of the company’s regional sports network venture and oversaw other HSE media investments.

Jordan served on the National League Television Committee and a special MLB Committee convened to address Superstation policies. He also represented Huizenga’s position on board of the Baseball Network, the short-lived joint venture between MLB, ABC and NBC. As a hockey executive, he represented both the Panthers and Hurricanes on the NHL’s Board of Governors.

Dr. Renu Khator

, Chancellor, University of Houston System; and President, University of Houston


Chancellor, University of Houston System

President, University of Houston

Renu Khator

Renu Khator holds the dual titles of chancellor of the University of Houston System and president of the University of Houston. The UH System’s first woman Chancellor and the first Indian immigrant to head a comprehensive research university in the United States, she assumed her post in January 2008.

As chancellor of the UH System, Khator oversees a four-university organization that serves nearly 71,000 students, has an annual budget that exceeds $1.7 billion, and produces a $6 billion-plus economic impact on the Greater Houston area each year.

The UH System includes the University of Houston, UH Northwest and UH Sugar Land; UH-Clear Lake and UHCL Pearland; UH-Downtown and UHD Northwest; and UH-Victoria and UHV Katy, as well as Houston Public Media, home to KUHT-TV8, Houston’s PBS station and the nation’s first educational television station; KUHF-88.7, Houston’s National Public Radio station; and KUHF 88.7 HD-2, Houston’s digital classical music stream.

As president of the University of Houston, she is the chief executive officer of the largest and oldest of the four UH System universities. As the system’s flagship institution, UH enrolls approximately 44,000 students, offers 280 undergraduate and graduate programs and awards more than 9,200 degrees each year.

During her tenure, UH has experienced record-breaking research funding, enrollment and private support.  As part of an ongoing $1-billion campus construction program, UH launched its 74-acre Energy Research Park, which is now home to several start-up companies, research enterprises and academic programs.  UH also opened its 40,000-seat TDECU Stadium, home of the Cougar football team, and increased student residence hall capacity to 8,000, the second highest in Texas. In addition, UH has completed an $80 million expansion and renovation of its Student Center.

In 2015, UH was awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, one of fewer than 300 schools to earn that designation from the prestigious national honor society.  In 2011, UH earned Tier One status, with the Carnegie Foundation elevating it to the top category of research universities.  Princeton Review has recognized UH for excellence in undergraduate education and named it a “Best Value” university, and the Chronicle for Higher Education has cited UH as an exceptional workplace.  UH consistently places among the foremost universities included in the Top American Research Universities (TARU) rankings.  

Khator was born in Uttar Pradesh, India, earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of Kanpur. She received her master’s degree in political science and Ph.D. in political science and public administration from Purdue University. A noted scholar in the field of global environmental policy, she has published numerous books and articles on the subject. Prior to her appointment, she was provost and senior vice president at the University of South Florida, capping a 22-year career at that institution.

She is Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and serves as AAC’s representative to the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum. She is a member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Empowered Expert Committee, charged with selecting India’s 20 world-class “Institutes of Eminence,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Academic Advisory Council, the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities Council of Presidents, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Texas Medical Center Advisory Board, the Greater Houston Partnership and the Houston Technology Center, and is the former Chair of the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

She has been inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, and has received the Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award from the American Council on Education (ACE), the Excellence in Leadership Award from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the President of the Year Award from ACIU, the Association of College Unions International, and the President’s Award from NASPA, the national association of student affairs administrators. She is featured in the American Council on Education’s video “The Joys of the Presidency.”

Khator received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from the president of India, the highest recognition conferred on overseas Indians based on their "significant contributions" to their homeland.  In addition, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services included her among its Outstanding Americans by Choice awardees, recognizing her achievements as a naturalized citizen.

Purdue University awarded her with the Doctor of Social Sciences degree, honoris causa, and Swansea University with the Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

Khator’s husband, Dr. Suresh Khator, is associate dean of the UH Cullen College of Engineering. They have two daughters, both of whom are ophthalmologists, and two grandchildren.

Nina King

Deputy Athletic Director, Administration and Legal Affairs & Chief of Staff, Duke University


Nina King joined Duke Athletics in September 2008 and serves as the department's Deputy Director of Athletics for Administration/Legal Affairs and Chief of Staff.

In this capacity, she facilitates daily operation/oversight of the department, has oversight responsibilities for the Human Resource operation, the Recreation and Physical Education program, and all legal matters, including the development and execution of department contracts while serving as the liaison to the University Legal Counsel Office. She leads the senior staff/sport administrator group which is responsible for administration of Duke’s 27 varsity sports. In addition, she assists with oversight and planning for special projects within the department, coordinates strategic planning initiatives and is the primary contact between Duke Athletics and the university administration, including the Board of Trustees, President’s office, and senior administration. She has sport oversight for women’s basketball and football.

In addition, King co-teaches a sports business course in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business as part of Duke’s MBA program alongside Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White. She also championed the creation and launch of the Rubenstein-Bing ACE program, a collaboration between Stanford and Duke for global civic engagement for student-athletes from both athletic departments.

In February of 2018, King was named to SportsBusiness Journal’s Forty Under 40 Class of 2018. The annual list honors 40 executives for excellence and innovation in their respective careers, all before the age of 40. She was also recently tabbed to the Leaders Under 40 Class of 2018, honoring sports business executives from around the world.

King is currently serving a three-year term on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. The 10-person group is charged with, among many duties, the selection, seeding, and bracketing for the annual NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. King also serves on several ACC Committees and Duke University Committees and was previously a member of the NCAA Committee on Institutional Performance.

King received her bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Notre Dame where she participated as a student manager and eventually as the head manager for the women's swimming and diving program, and her juris doctor degree from Tulane Law School. She has served internships in the Notre Dame Athletics Department, NCAA and Nike, Inc.

Prior to joining Duke University, King served as the Director of Rules Education in the Notre Dame Athletics Department from 2005-08.

She is a member of Women Leaders in College Sports, Sports Lawyers Association, University of Notre Dame National Monogram Club and the Florida Bar Association, and serves on the Arizona State University College of Law Sports Law and Business Program Advisory Board.

King and her husband, Rick, reside in Durham and are the parents of Connor Stephan and Austin Casey.

Noah Knight

, Former Student - Athlete, University of Missouri - Kansas City; and Chair, Division-I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, NCAA

Bernadette McGlade

Commissioner, Atlantic 10 Conference


One of the most well-respected and experienced leaders in Division I athletics, Bernadette V. McGlade is in her 11th year as the Atlantic 10 Commissioner.

Hired in 2008, McGlade began working to shape the A-10 image and branding as one of the top 10 conferences in the country. McGlade negotiated a media rights package that enhanced the distribution, exposure and revenues for the conference through national media partners ESPN, CBS Sports Network and NBCSN. That exposure has expanded with Stadium and ESPN+. 

She spearheaded partnerships with Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh and Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., to hold the A-10 Men’s Basketball Championship in large media markets and destination cities.


McGlade is serving a five-year appointment through 2022 on the NCAA Men's Basketball Committee. She has also served on the NCAA Division I Council, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee and the NCAA Women's Basketball Selection Committee, which she chaired.

Prior to the A-10, she spent 28 years at the ACC and Georgia Tech. She was hired as women’s basketball coach in 1981 at the age of 23, becoming the first, full-time female coach at Georgia Tech. McGlade moved into administration and was the Tournament Director for the 1993 NCAA Women’s Final Four, and was appointed to develop a Strategic Plan for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. At the ACC she transformed the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, resulting in capacity crowds, while designing an extensive educational outreach program.  She also founded the South Atlantic Women’s Basketball Officiating program.

McGlade has been recognized as the WBCA National Administrator of the Year and the YWCA of Greensboro, N.C., presented her with the Kay Yow Outstanding Female in Sports award. A member of the Georgia Tech Athletic Association and the South Jersey Women's Basketball Hall of Fames, she was named an ACC Legend by UNC as a player in 2010 and by Georgia Tech as a coach in 2012, becoming the first person named an ACC Legend as both a player and coach. She also was honored by NACWAA as an Administrator of the Year and selected as a of Sports Business Journal’s “Game Changer.”

A native of Gloucester City, N.J., McGlade earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of North Carolina.

Gloria Nevarez

Commissioner, West Coast Conference


In April 2018, Gloria Nevarez was selected to serve as the fourth full-time Commissioner in the 66-year history of the West Coast Conference. Nevarez is one of 10 female conference commissioners serving in Division I Athletics and is the first Latin American to ascend to the commissioner's chair in Division I.  She is currently serving on the NCAA’s Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee, a group responsible for Division I men’s basketball policy.

Nevarez returned to the WCC following a successful stint at the Pac-12 Conference. She was named the Pac-10’s Senior Associate Commissioner, Senior Woman Administrator, in April 2010. In this role, Nevarez oversaw all sports and championships except football, while also serving as the Conference liaison for men’s basketball and tournament director the men’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas.  Nevarez had led all-star teams to China and Australia and brought conference teams to China for the first ever NCAA regular season game.  In her tenure at the Pac-12 Nevarez was instrumental in league expansion, relocation and success of the both men’s and women’s basketball tournament, creation and operation of the Pac-12 Networks, development of international initiatives and sustainability efforts. 

Prior to joining the Pac-10 staff, Nevarez served as Senior Associate AD at the University of Oklahoma. Her responsibilities at OU were wide ranging and included sport administration duties as well as other administrative responsibilities. Before her time at Oklahoma, Nevarez spent five years working in compliance at the West Coast Conference, with previous stops at the University of California and San Jose State University.

A four-year scholarship athlete and letter-winner in basketball at the University of Massachusetts, she graduated cum laude from UMass. She served on the board of advisors for the UMass sports management department, a division of the Isenberg School of Business.

Nevarez received her Juris Doctorate from the University of California. While a student, she served on the La Raza Law Journal and was a co-founder of the Boalt Hall Sport and Entertainment Law Society.

A native of Santa Clara, Calif., Nevarez is married to Richard Young.

Chris Norton

Former Football Defensive Back, Luther College (D-III)


Chris Norton suffered a spinal cord injury while playing football at Luther College (Iowa).  The doctors gave Chris a 3% chance of moving anything below his neck again.  Four years later, he defied the odds and walked across stage his college graduation. Three years later, Chris attempted another incredible feat – this time, perhaps the most important walk of his life – 7-yards down the aisle with his wife, Emily. 

In his inspirational address, Chris’ will share his story of no matter what you go through there is always hope. His message will focus on the fact that we all face challenges, but our circumstances should not define us – we should define ourselves.

Moderator: Dana O'Neil

Senior Writer, The Athletic


Dana O’Neil, a senior writer for The Athletic, has worked for more than 25 years as a sports writer, covering the Final Four, the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and NHL playoffs. She has worked previously at ESPN and the Philadelphia Daily News and has been honored with multiple writing awards. Her book, Long Shots, chronicling Villanova’s journey to a national championship, was published in 2017. 

Michael Nzei

Student - Athlete, Seton Hall University


Michael Nzei

Men’s Basketball, Seton Hall University

Michael Nzei, originally from Nigeria, West Africa, moved to the United States of America in November 2012 to play basketball at Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York. After two years in New York he received a scholarship to compete in Div. I basketball at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. At Seton Hall University he studied Economics at the Stillman School of Business and is now pursing his master’s in the same school with a concentration in Finance, while continuing to play for the Pirates men’s basketball team.

He always understood how his values have helped shaped his dreams and has used them in his successes. He believes in working hard to achieve whatever it is he wants, while also having faith in God. Leaving home and moving to the United States of America changed his views on a vast amount of topics. This along with new experiences and various learning environments have helped improve his personal core values.

Upon completing his Master of Business Administration, Michael plans on pursuing a career in finance and is open to other opportunities. A big goal of his is to make a difference in his community and become an effective role model to the children in Nigeria. He has participated with his local church to embark on multiple mission trips to West Palm Beach, Florida, where he spoke to the local community and children about his story. He also shared with them on how his faith in God gave him the confidence to leave home and follow his dreams. By also coaching in several basketball camps organized by the church, Michael has been able to use his basketball experiences to make a positive impact. In his last two visits home, he donated basketball shoes, which he received from teammates and friends, to peers back in Nigeria.

Doug Perlman

Founder & CEO, Sports Media Advisors


Doug Perlman has been the CEO of Sports Media Advisors since founding the company in 2009. He has worked on all of SMA’s client engagements.

Mr. Perlman began his career as an attorney at Proskauer Rose, a global law firm with the nation’s top sports practice. Shortly after joining the NHL’s legal department in the mid 90’s, he recognized the promise of digital media and segued into a business role in order to establish the NHL’s digital operations. He spent more than 10 years at the League, ultimately serving as Executive Vice President, Media and a member of the Commissioner’s senior management team. In this role he continued to oversee all digital businesses and was also responsible for the League’s television businesses. This included negotiating the League’s national television deals and partnerships, overseeing Club local television negotiations and deals, and launching The NHL Network - the League’s 24 hour cable channel.

Following the NHL, Perlman joined IMG as President of IMG Media, North America where he again oversaw the television and digital media businesses, including strategy, rights negotiations, new business initiatives, production and distribution. He was also a member of IMG’s six-member global leadership team until he left to establish his own firm.

Throughout his career Perlman has been recognized by multiple industry publications and organizations as a leader in the businesses of sports, media and technology. These include being named by The Sporting News as one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sports and being named to the Sports Business Journal 40 under 40 three times, earning a spot in their Hall of Fame.

Mr. Perlman is a graduate of Duke University where he received a BA, cum laude, in political science and of the University of Virginia where he received his J.D. He lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, with his wife, Lisa, and their three boys.

Jim Phillips

Athletic Director, Northwestern University


A native of Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood, Combe Family Vice President for Athletics & Recreation Jim Phillips joined Northwestern in 2008. His deep Windy City roots and family orientation are an integral part of a core philosophy of providing student-athletes with a "world-class experience" that enables them to thrive academically, socially and athletically.

Honored this spring as Sports Business Journal’s 2018 Athletic Director of the Year, Phillips was elected by his peers as the inaugural chair of the NCAA Division I Council, helping lead the most sweeping legislative reform in history for the benefit of student-athletes across the nation. He is currently a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, the group’s first Northwestern representative in 50 years, and is a past president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

During Phillips’ decade of leadership, Northwestern student-athletes and the department have reached new heights in the classroom, in the community and in competition.

Academically, Wildcats student-athletes posted
a record 3.33 GPA during the 2017-18 academic year, and Northwestern scored a 98 percent overall Graduation Success Rate (GSR) in the latest data released by the NCAA to lead all FBS institutions.

Northwestern continues to be among the nation's leaders in community service, and Wildcats student-athletes totaled more than 5,500 hours in service of more than 100 community organizations in 2017-18.

In competition, lacrosse, softball, golf, fencing, soccer, tennis, field hockey, swimming, diving and wrestling all have won conference or national championships during Phillips’ tenure, while the football program has posted three 10-win campaigns and three bowl championships over the last six seasons. Over his decade of leadership, Northwestern student-athletes have piled up 123 All-America honors, 39 Player of the Year awards and more than 2,200 Academic All-Big Ten honors. The Wildcats have also been recognized with 26 Coach of the Year awards, and have won 34 conference championships.

Mirroring the evolution across campus, Athletics & Recreation is in the midst of a facilities transformation, led by unprecedented support from the Wildcats community. Just this year the department officially dedicated the new Welsh-Ryan Arena, along with Walter Athletics Center and Ryan Fieldhouse, the new nucleus of the day-to-day student-athlete experience.

Phillips and his wife, Laura, have five children: Luke, Madeline, Meredith, John and James.

Dalton Risner

Student - Athlete, Kansas State University


2018 NFF National Scholar-Athlete and Campbell Trophy Finalist Dalton Risner is an All-American offensive lineman at Kansas State who holds a 3.60 GPA in Communication Studies. He has already earned his bachelor’s degree, and he twice earned First Team All-Big 12 honors and four times Academic All-Big 12 accolades. He has started every game of career, and he is only the only the fifth three-year captain in K-State history. A member of the AFCA Good Works Team, he started the RiseUp Foundation, which aims to inspire young people with special needs to fulfill their dreams.

Moderator: Ralph Russo

College Football Writer, Associated Press


Ralph Russo has been the national college football writer for The Associated Press since 2004, covering conference realignment, the creation of the College Football Playoff and every national championship game over the last 14 years.

He focuses on trends on and off field, from the rise of up-tempo offenses to the NCAA governance overhaul that created autonomy for the so-called Power Five conferences.

Russo has profiled Heisman Trophy winners and conference commissioners, and broken stories on the playoff, NCAA college basketball reform and coaching searches.

Every Sunday during the football season, he hears it on social media from fans unhappy about their team’s place in the AP Top 25 poll. And still reads his mentions.

Russo also developed the AP Top 25 College Football Podcast and is a regular host on SiriusXM’s college sports channels.

Russo, 48, is a native New Yorker and graduate of Fordham University, where he aspired to be the next Bob Costas at WFUV.

Instead, he landed in print journalism.

He has spent almost all of his 25-year career in with the AP, covering sports.

The exception was a two-year stint at the Denver Post, covering everything from high school sports to local sports media to the small colleges to pro teams.

Russo was drawn to college sports, despite growing up in the ultimate pro town, at a young age and then got hooked while working in SEC country for almost five years.

While living in Jackson, Mississippi, Russo covered the rise of Eli Manning at Ole Miss and Mississippi State’s hiring of the first African-American head football coach in the Southeastern Conference.

He also met his wife of 13 years in Jackson _ Sally Slavinski, who grew up in Long Island. They have a 12-year-old daughter, Sophia, who thinks football is silly, and live in Brooklyn with a dog and cat.

Greg Sankey

Commissioner, Southeastern Conference



Southeastern Conference

Greg Sankey became the eighth commissioner of the Southeastern Conference in June of 2015, having first joined the SEC staff in 2002 as Associate Commissioner for Governance, Enforcement and Compliance.  He was elevated to Executive Associate Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer for the league office in 2012, becoming responsible for the day-to-day operation of the SEC Office.

As commissioner of the SEC, Sankey has moved the conference forward while respecting the institutional traditions that make the Conference unique.  With an understanding of the highly competitive environment of college sports, he has fostered the collaborative culture of the SEC that sets the Conference apart and supports its continuing success.

Based upon the conference-wide success and growth, the SEC was the only college conference named a finalist for the Sports Business Journal’s League of the Year Award in 2017-18, a nomination shared with the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), Ladies’ Professional Golf Association (LPGA), National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Soccer (MLS).

Prior to joining the SEC staff, Sankey was Commissioner of the Southland Conference for nearly seven years.  He joined the Southland Conference staff in 1992 where he served as both assistant and associate commissioner before he was named commissioner in 1996 at the age of 31.

Prior to his term at the Southland Conference, he was Director of Compliance and Academic Services at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA. While at Northwestern State, Sankey also coached the Demons’ golf teams for two years, earning the Golf Coaches Association of America District VI Coach of the Year award in 1991. Before his tenure at Northwestern State, he was the Director of Intramural Sports at Utica College in upstate New York.

A native of Auburn, NY, Sankey earned his master’s degree from Syracuse University and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York College at Cortland. Sankey and his wife, Cathy, reside in Birmingham, AL, and have two adult daughters, Hannah and Moriah.

Moderator: George Schroeder

National College Football Writer, USA Today

Larry Scott

Commissioner, Pac-12 Conference


Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott


Throughout his career as a student-athlete, professional athlete, and sports executive, Larry Scott has been a game changer: a bold, innovative leader with a vision for transformative change — from expansion and revitalization of the Pac-12 to equal prize money at Wimbledon. Commissioner Scott’s firm belief that sport has the power to be a force for positive change has been the hallmark of his career.


In his nine years as Pac-12 Commissioner, Scott has orchestrated a rebranding of the conference; led the conference through an expansion for the first time since 1978 by successfully adding Colorado and Utah; added a Football Championship Game; transformed its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments into must-attend events; created a Student-Athlete Health & Well Being Initiative to identify ways to reduce injuries and conduct research to keep student-athletes as safe as possible; launched a global initiative that has expanded the conference’s and members’ footprint around the world, including through the first ever regular season men’s basketball game in China.


Scott has also led a transformation of the conference’s media posture by delivering record revenue, dramatically increasing exposure for women’s and Olympic sports, and establishing ever-evolving digital and mobile platforms for Pac-12 content. To achieve these goals, he delivered a landmark media rights agreement with ESPN and FOX and created Pac-12 Networks, the first-ever integrated media company owned by a collegiate conference. 


Commissioner Scott has led the way in ensuring that Pac-12 universities’ academic missions and the development of student-athletes remain the primary focus of intercollegiate athletics. Through a series of reforms, Pac-12 schools have committed to enhanced student-athlete benefits, including increasing scholarship limits to cover the full cost of attending college and adding student-athletes to the conference’s formal governance structure. 


Prior to joining the Pac-12, Scott served for six years as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Sony Ericsson Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour, where he helped generate unprecedented growth and popularity for women’s professional tennis on a global scale, including achieving the long-sought goal of equal prize money for women in tennis’ Grand Slam events.  Prior to that, Scott served as Chief Operating Officer and President of ATP Properties at the ATP men’s professional tennis tour, following having played tennis professionally on the ATP circuit.

Zach Seidel

Director, Digital Media, University of Maryland-Baltimore County


Zach Seidel directs all multimedia and social media for Athletic Communications as well as digital media for the Marketing department. 

Seidel was named the Director of Multimedia Communications/Sports Marketing Digital Media in July, 2014. Seidel oversees all broadcasts, video content and social media within UMBC’s athletic department. He also teaches undergraduate courses within the Media and Communication Studies Department, and works with the UMBC Sports Marketing department on digital and new media aspects of external engagements. 

He also live-tweeted UMBC Men's Basketball's historical upset of No.1 Virginia in March 2018, in turn helping the @UMBCAthletics account rise from 5,400 followers prior to the game to a little shy of 111,000 followers in just over 48 hours. He has spoken on several panels and at several summitts, conventions and colleges about social media. 

Seidel joined the UMBC Athletic Communications staff as an intern in the fall of 2007 while still a senior at Pikesville High School.  Once enrolled at UMBC in the fall of 2008 he began helping with the live video webcasts of volleyball, basketball and lacrosse. The role expanded over the next two years, culminating with a position on the staff as the Coordinator of Video Production in the fall of 2010.

In addition to his work at UMBC, Seidel has also worked with video operations for the Baltimore Orioles (Orioles productions), the Baltimore Sun and the Bowie Baysox. He also helped with gameday operations for the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships in 2010 and 2011.Seidel graduated from UMBC, Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor's degree in Media & Communication Studies, a minor in American Studies and an Honors College Certificate in May 2012. He earned an M.S. degree in Human-Centered Computing from UMBC in May 2015.

Enna Selmanovic

Student - Athlete, University of Cincinnati


Team Manager Swimming & Diving

2016-17: Did not swim… served on the executive board of UC SAAC… on June 1, 2017, was named the American Athletic Conference’s representative for the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee where she will be one of 32 student-athletes that will report directly to the NCAA Division I Council.

2015-16: Swam quickest times of rookie season in both the 100 breaststroke (1:04.63) and 200 individual medley (2:08.97) at the American Athletic Conference Championships ... Posted a trio of season-best times at the Hoosierland Invitational, including in the 50 freestyle (30.22), 200 breaststroke (2:18.06) and 100 butterfly (58.81/LCM conversion) ... Had quickest 200 butterfly of the season against Marshall, touching the wall in 2:11.84.

John Swofford

Commissioner, Atlantic Coast Conference


Now in his 22nd year as Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner, John Swofford continues to make a dramatic impact on the ACC and throughout college athletics. As the ACC’s longest-tenured Commissioner, Swofford has been part of the conference for nearly five decades as a student-athlete and administrator.
A native of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and a two-year all-state quarterback at Wilkes Central High, Swofford remains the only player to have his number retired by the school after earning Most Valuable Player honors in football, basketball and track.
After being recruited by numerous schools to play football, Swofford attended the University of North Carolina on a Morehead Scholarship as part of head coach Bill Dooley’s first recruiting class. In addition to earning a spot on the Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll as a student-athlete, he started at quarterback as a sophomore and part of his junior year, and then finished his career as a defensive back for UNC’s 1971 ACC Championship team. He played in the Peach Bowl as a junior and the Gator Bowl as a senior.
Swofford received his Master’s in Athletics Administration from Ohio University. His first job in college athletics came at the University of Virginia — where he worked under future ACC Commissioner Gene Corrigan — before returning to North Carolina. In 1980, at the age of 31, Swofford was named the athletics director at his alma mater. He held that post for 17 years, a period in which North Carolina claimed more ACC and NCAA Championships than during any athletics director’s tenure in ACC history, and claimed the 1994 Sears Directors’ Cup, awarded to the top overall athletics program in the nation. Swofford also hired six head coaches that went on to win national championships — five at North Carolina and football coach Mack Brown at the University of Texas.
As Commissioner, Swofford has successfully guided the Atlantic Coast Conference through turbulent times in college athletics and has led the league’s expansion from nine to 15 schools. Under his leadership, the ACC has remained at the forefront as a leader in college athletics. During his 21 years as Commissioner, ACC teams have won 85 national titles.
Swofford was a leading advocate for NCAA legislation approved in January of 2015 that allows Autonomy 5 conferences to better address the needs of their institutions, athletic programs and student-athletes. In April of 2013, Swofford and the leadership of the ACC’s member institutions spearheaded a grant of rights agreement that helped stabilize the college athletic landscape and further secured the league’s position as one of the nation’s premier conferences.
On July 21, 2016, Swofford announced that ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference would launch the ACC Network (Fall 2019) and ACC Network Extra (Fall 2016). The 20-year partnership will provide ACC fans unprecedented access to live events via a comprehensive, multi-platform network while extending the conference’s existing rights agreement with ESPN as the conference’s exclusive worldwide rights holder through 2036.
Swofford oversaw the creation of the ACC Football Championship Game and played a key role in the evolution of the postseason structure to today’s College Football Playoff. The ACC Bowl affiliations have been tremendously enhanced under his watch.
He was instrumental in starting the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, now an early-season staple for both men’s and women’s college basketball. He created the ACC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in 1999 and launched the ACC Community Outreach Program.
Swofford is a member of four Halls of Fame — the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame; the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame; the Chick-fil-A Bowl Hall of Fame; and the Wilkes County Hall of Fame. He has been awarded the Corbett Award, which is the highest administrative honor given nationally to a collegiate athletics administrator. Swofford has received the Homer Rice Award from the Division 1A Athletic Directors’ Association and is a recipient of the Ohio University Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2011, he also received one of Greensboro’s Father of the Year Awards.
Swofford and his wife, Nora, reside in Greensboro, North Carolina. Together, they have three children — Autumn and her husband, Sherman Wooden, who have three children, Maya, Lyla and Lincoln; Chad and his wife, Caitlyn, who have one child, Owen; and Amie and her husband, Mike Caudle, who have two children, Emerson and Colson.
Personal Information
Full Name: John Douglas Swofford
Hometown: North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Wife: Nora Swofford
Children: Autumn (husband Sherman Wooden), Chad (wife Caitlyn), Amie (husband Mike Caudle)
Grandchildren: Maya, Lyla, Lincoln, Emerson, Owen, Colson
High School: Wilkes Central High School, 1967, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
College: University of North Carolina, 1971
Morehead Scholarship Recipient • BA in Industrial Relations
Graduate: Ohio University, 1973 • MEd. in Athletics Administration
Playing Experience
• Two-time All-State QB and three-sport MVP at Wilkes Central High School
• North Carolina varsity football team QB and DB
• Peach Bowl, 1970
• Gator Bowl, 1971
• ACC Champions, 1971
• ACC Academic Honor Roll, 1970-71
Athletic Administration Experience
• Ticket Manager/Asst. to the Director of Athletic Facilities and Finance, University of Virginia
• Assistant Athletics Director and Business Manager, University of North Carolina
• Assistant Executive Vice-President of the Educational Foundation, University of North Carolina
• Director of Athletics, University of North Carolina
• Commissioner, Atlantic Coast Conference
Membership on Boards & Committees
• National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Board, 2016-present
• National Sports Media Association Honorary Board, 2009-present
• North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame Advisory Board, 2008-present
• Wyndham Championship Board of Directors, 2002-present
• Greensboro Sports Commission Board of Directors, 1997-present
• NCAA Men’s College Basketball Officiating, LLC Board, 2010-2012
• College Football Officiating, LLC Board of Managers, 2008-2012
• National Letter of Intent Appeals Committee, 2002-2012
• Sports Business Journal’s Sports Business Awards Committee, 2011
• BCS Coordinator, 2000-01, 2008-09
• IA Collegiate Commissioners’ Association (Chair), 2005-07
• NCAA Football Board of Directors (President), 2004-05
• NCAA Executive Committee, 1995-97
• NCAA Division I Championship Committee (Chair), 1995-97
• NCAA Special Committee to Study a DI-A Football Championship, 1994-95
• President of NACDA, 1993-94
• NCAA Special Events Committee, 1987-91
• NCAA Communications Committee (Chair), 1987-89
• NCAA Football Television Committee 1982-86; (Chair), 1984-86
Honors & Awards
• Corbett Award, 2011 (presented annually by NACDA as the highest honor in collegiate athletics administration)
• Achievement in Business Award, 2011 (presented annually by Ohio University’s College of Business)
• Father of the Year, 2011 (recognized by the Greater Greensboro Area Father’s Day Council)
• North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, 2009
• Homer Rice Award, 2005 (presented by the Division 1A Athletic Directors’ Association)
• Horizon Award, 2004 (presented by the Atlanta Sports Council recognizing the National Sports Business Executive of the Year)
• Chick-fil-A Bowl Hall of Fame, 2003
• Fifth most influential person in U.S. sports by The Sporting News, 2003
• Outstanding American Award by the Triangle Chapter of the College Football Hall of Fame, 2002
• North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame, 2002
• Ohio University’s Charles R. Higgins Distinguished Alumnus Award, 1984

John Thompson III

, Board of Directors, NABC Coaches, and College Sports Analyst, ESPN


John Thompson III

ESPN College Basketball Analyst

John Thompson III joined ESPN as an analyst in 2017 after nearly two decades as one of the most successful college basketball coaches in the country.

Thompson spent 12 years as the head coach at Georgetown, where he helped bring the program back among the elite programs in the country.  In just his third year at the helm of the program, he led the Hoyas to a 30-7 record as the team won the BIG EAST Tournament Championship, the NCAA East Regional and advanced to the Final Four for the first time since 1985.  The next year, in 2007-08, the Hoyas won back-to-back BIG EAST Regular Season titles, posting a two-year record of 28-6 against conference opponents.  He was named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year in 2012-13, when he guided BIG EAST Player of the Year Otto Porter Jr. and the team to 11 straight wins en route to his third conference title.

The Hoyas reached the postseason 11 times, including eight appearances in the NCAA Tournament.  In six of Georgetown’s eight NCAA Tournament appearances, Georgetown was selected among the top four teams in its region, earning three No. 2 seeds, two No. 3 seeds and a No. 4 seed. 

Prior to coaching at Georgetown, Thompson guided Princeton to three Ivy League Championships, two NCAA tournaments and an NIT appearance over his four years as head coach. He amassed a 68-42 record as Princeton’s head coach after serving as an assistant coach at Princeton from 1995-2000. As assistant coach, he helped lead the team to a top 10 national ranking and five-consecutive postseason appearances.

Princeton not only made the postseason eight of nine years during Thompson’s tenure, but he helped recruit and coach three All-Americans, three Ivy League Players of the Year, two Ivy League Rookies of the Year and 12 First Team All-Ivy League players.

In 17 years of coaching at the collegiate college, Thompson’s teams won 346 games, an average of more than 20 wins per season, six league championships and reached the postseason 12 times.

Thompson is also a two-time winner of the Black Coaches Association (BCA) Male Coach of the Year Award and was named the 2007 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coach of the Year.  In addition, he has international experience, serving as an assistant coach on the USA Basketball Men’s Under-18 National team that competed in the 2008 FIBA Americas U-18 Championship in Argentina and is on the staff for the 2017 and 2018 USA World Cup Qualifying Games.

Jaila Tolbert

Student - Athlete, Virginia Tech


Jaila Tolbert

Minneapolis, MN

Virginia Tech Volleyball Student-Athlete (ACC)

t-side hitter on Virginia Tech Women’s Volleyball team. Throughout her college career, she has enjoyed majoring in international studies with a concentration in business. In addition to her major, she also hopes to earn a minor in Chinese studies and has earned a cumulative GPA of 3.53. In her four years, the Minnesota native has earned a spot on the ACC Academic Honor Roll and the Virginia Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll each year. She also has made the Virginia Tech Dean’s List five times. As a captain on her team, Tolbert is a true example of a leader on the court and in Virginia Tech’s Athletics Department. Off the court, she acts as the student-athlete voice at the conference level and spearheads the Hokies at the national level. On campus, she has served on Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for three years and currently holds the role as president on the four-person executive team. She values improving herself by participating in voluntary leadership development workshops offered throughout the school year through the VT Athletics’ Next Level Leadership Institute. With this being said, Tolbert has taken her leadership even further by serving as a representative on ACC SAAC and NCAA Division I SAAC. Within these roles, Tolbert sits on multiple subcommittees including the Student-Athlete Experience subcommittee of the NCAA, the ACC Legislation Committee, ACC Transfer Working Group, and the President’s Council within ACC SAAC. Not only has she proven her commitment to improving the student-athlete experience on her campus and across the country, but she continuously seeks to be a student first and learn from others. Beyond school and sport, Tolbert enjoys traveling, is extremely passionate about food, and hopes to become a model servant-leader in her community. Currently, she is unsure of her plans following graduation.

Brock Warner

VP, Strategic Growth & Business Development, Advent




Brock Warner leads our strategic advisor teams, serving as a resource for enterprise vision and guiding healthy client relationships. A veteran Advent Strategic Advisor himself, his background in executive management equips him to help clients find effective solutions for their brands, to foster healthy partner relationships, and to work with internal teams in delivering stellar service and design.

He has worked on a number of notable Advent projects and considers the Dallas Cowboys Star headquarters, the TCU Hall of Fame, and the Creighton University basketball facility to be particularly successful examples of listening to clients, asking tough questions, resolving conflicts, and properly managing budgets.

Before joining Advent, Brock worked with software firms for over a decade and guided organizations through multi-million-dollar growth as an executive. He studied at Auburn University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism. Away from work and aside from his wife and four daughters, Brock gets his greatest personal reward from serving as a licensed soccer coach, preparing high school students for their own college careers.

Chad Weiberg

Deputy Athletic Director & COO, Oklahoma State University


A veteran of nearly 25 years in college athletics and one of the nation’s most respected administrators, Chad Weiberg has served as the Deputy Director of Athletics at Oklahoma State University since May of 2017.
In his role, Weiberg serves as OSU’s chief operating officer and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the athletics department. He serves as the sport administrator for football, men’s basketball, wrestling and equestrian. He is also responsible for football scheduling.
Weiberg is a 1994 graduate of Oklahoma State, with a bachelor of business administration degree, and he earned a Master’s in Business Administration from OSU in 2004. After earning his undergraduate degree, he served as the director of corporate sales and donor relations for OSU Athletics until 1999.
He was the senior director of field operations for the OSU Alumni Association from 1999-2002 before becoming the director of development for the OSU Foundation/College of Business Administration from 2002-03. He held a similar role for OSU Athletics from 2003-04 before moving to Kansas State.
At K-State, Weiberg served the KSU Foundation as Director of Corporate Relations for a year before becoming the Director of Major Gifts for K-State Athletics in 2005. Weiberg assumed the lead role for K-State Athletics’ Ahearn Fund in 2009 and, for his team’s efforts, was recognized as the National Fundraiser of the Year by the National Association of Athletic Development Directors in 2014.
Weiberg was the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development when he left K-State in 2015 to become Deputy Director of Athletics at Texas Tech University, a role in which he served for two years before returning to his alma mater in 2017.
Weiberg and his wife, Jodi, have two children, Ella and Grant.

Kevin White

Deputy Athletic Director & CFO, Northwestern University


Kevin White joined Northwestern as Deputy Director of Athletics & Chief Financial Officer in 2017.

At Northwestern, White is a part of the Executive Staff that helps to chart the path of the Department of Athletics and Recreation.  As CFO, he directly oversees the finance and business operations, including budgeting, financial reporting, short and long-term planning, and capital projects funding, while providing administrative oversight of human resources, information technology and purchasing.  He also is responsible for football scheduling and postseason bowl planning.  White also serves as a sport administrator for men’s soccer and women’s basketball.  He also represents the Department of Athletics and Recreation by serving on Northwestern University’s Committee on Institutional Efficiency.  

At SMU as the Senior Associate A.D./ Chief Operating Officer, the Chattanooga, Tennessee, native oversaw business operations, human resources and strategic planning, as well as the sports medicine, sports performance and equipment departments. In addition to operating as the sport administrator for SMU's women's basketball, and men's and women's soccer programs, White also served on the American Athletic Conference's soccer sport and championship committee.

Prior to joining SMU in 2014, White was the Associate A.D and CFO at Georgia State University where he helped launch the University's FBS football program in 2010. He served as a sport administrator for eight varsity programs in addition to providing oversight of the athletics department budget and football scheduling. Recently, GSU recognized his contributions to his profession, community, and to the university by naming him to its inaugural Forty Under 40, Class of 2018. White earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina in 2001. He was a graduate assistant at Georgia State for the men's basketball team while completing his masters of science in sports administration, and earned an MBA from Kennesaw State in 2012.

Over the course of his career, White has served on numerous committees for the Collegiate Athletic Business Managers Association (CABMA). He was selected to take part in the prestigious NCAA Leadership Institute, was a facilitator for the NCAA Career in Sports Forum, and he is a graduate of Division 1A Institute, LEAD1 Institute and the NACDA Senior Administrators Mentoring Institute.

Jay Williams

College Basketball Analyst, ESPN


Men’s College Basketball Analyst, Host

Former standout point guard Jay Williams, roundly considered one of the most prolific college basketball players in history, became an ESPN full-time game and studio analyst in 2008, after working for the network as a commentator in 2003. Williams joined at the start of the 2014-15 season as an analyst on ESPN’s College GameDay – the popular Saturday morning and evening college basketball program that originates from the Saturday Primetime game-of-the-week telecasts.

Williams is a constant on ESPN and ESPN2’s weeknight studio coverage, calls select game throughout the year and had previously called the ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball series. The Boardroom, which will be available exclusively on ESPN+, will be hosted by Williams with Jordan Schultz as a correspondent, and featuring Durant and Kleiman, who also serve as the show’s executive producers. The six-episode series will examine the ins and outs of sports business and illuminate the world of sports far beyond what fans ordinarily see. Additionally, he has served as a guest host on Get Up! and contributes to SportsCenter and other ESPN shows regularly.

Before joining ESPN, Williams was an analyst in 2007 for CBS College Sports Network, primarily working the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. He previously was a contributor to Fox Sports Radio 99.9 The Fan in North Carolina.

As a starter for three years at Duke, Williams won the Naismith College Player of the Year award, the John R. Wooden Award and the Oscar Robertson Trophy.

Williams averaged 19.3 points per game, 6.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds for the Blue Devils, while shooting .453 from the floor and .393 from 3-point range. He also led Duke to a 95-13 (.880) record and the 2001 NCAA National Championship. He averaged double figures as a freshman, which helped earn him the ACC Rookie of the Year award in 2000 and recognition as a first-team All-America player.

In his sophomore season with the Blue Devils, Williams shattered several school and NCAA records. With 841 points and a 25.7 ppg average, he topped Dick Groat’s 49-year-old record for most points in a season. Williams also set an NCAA Tournament record for 3-pointers attempted with 66. His 132 3-point field goals amounted to the sixth-highest total in NCAA history; his conference-leading 21.6 ppg designated him as the first Duke player to lead the ACC in scoring since Danny Ferry in 1989. Williams’ 6.1 assists ranked second in the league, while he also ranked second in 3-point field goal percentage (.427) and first in 3-pointers made (3.4 per game).

At the final game in his junior year, Williams’ No. 22 jersey was retired at Cameron Indoor Stadium. His jersey also has been retired and hangs from the rafters at his elementary school and high school, St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen, N.J.

Williams was drafted second by Chicago in the 2002 NBA Draft, just behind No. 1 pick Yao Ming, and started 54 of 75 games for the Bulls in the 2002-03 season. During his first season in the NBA, his most memorable performance was a game against his hometown team, the New Jersey Nets, during which Williams scored a triple-double. He also played for the U.S. National team in the 2002 FIBA World Championship.

An accomplished entrepreneur and spokesperson, Williams is the CEO and National Director of Special Events for Rising Stars Youth Foundation based in Long Island, N.J., using basketball as the vehicle to promote education and provide academic and financial assistance to students within the program. He is also the President and Chairman of his own company, Jay LLC.

He is a member of the NBA Retired Players Association, a voting member of the John Wooden Awards Committee and sits on the board of USA Basketball, and has been the spokesperson for Athletic Advantage, a sports physical therapy and performance development center in Durham, N.C.

In 2002, Williams was graduated from Duke with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and business, becoming the first athlete at the university to earn a degree in just three years.

The New Jersey native currently resides in Brooklyn, with his wife and newborn daughter.

Moderator: Dan Wolken

National Columnist, USA Today


Dan Wolken joined USA TODAY Sports as a national college football reporter in September 2012. In that role, he has covered the transition from the BCS to the College Football Playoff, NCAA realignment and reorganization and controversies involving high-profile players and coaches. Prior to joining USA TODAY Sports, Wolken was the national sports columnist for The Daily, the first national publication native to the iPad. In that role, his columns also appeared on FoxSports.com. Prior to that, he was a college basketball reporter and sports columnist for the Memphis Commercial Appeal, where he covered the University of Memphis' rise to the Final Four and subsequent NCAA scandal. Wolken began his career at the Colorado Springs Gazette, where he covered college hockey, the Denver pro sports scene and Air Force Academy athletics. Wolken's work has been honored several times by the Associated Press Sports Editors. Wolken is a 2001 graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he earned a bachelors in communication studies. He was also editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Hustler, and completed internships at the Charlotte Observer, New Orleans Times-Picayune and Riverside Press-Enterprise. A native of Hot Springs, Ark., Wolken now lives in Atlanta.

Dan Wolken, National College Football Reporter


Moderator: Glenn Wong

, Distinguished Professor of Practice (Sports Law) and Executive Director, Sports Law & Business Program, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University


Glenn M. Wong is the Executive Director of the Sports Law & Business (SLB) Program and Distinguished Professor of Practice-Sports Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. The SLB Program has added three new degree programs in the last two years, including a Veterans Sports Law & Business Program that launched in Fall 2018. Additional faculty members, drawn from the vibrant Phoenix sports landscape, have expanded the SLB program’s growing influence.

Wong is a Past President of the Sports Lawyers Association (SLA) and SLA Board member since 1998. Wong is also outside counsel for the Baltimore Orioles and formerly for the Boston Red Sox in salary arbitration matters. He is an arbitrator for the National Football League and the National Football League Players Association, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the American Arbitration Association. He served as outside counsel to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference from 2014-17, and is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Trustees and the Fiesta Bowl’s Board of Directors.

In addition, Wong is Professor Emeritus at the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts. A faculty member for 36 years in UMass’ Mark H. McCormack Department of Sports Management, Wong received two Chancellor’s Medals for his exemplary service and the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003. He was tabbed to serve as UMass’ Interim Director of Athletics in 1992-93. Wong then spent two decades as the UMass Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA (1993-2013). Wong was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University Law School in the spring of 2014, where he taught Sports Law in 2015.

Wong has authored several books and over 100 sport law articles and books, including the first sports law casebook.  He is a frequent speaker, panelist, and moderator at professional organization meetings, sports law and business conferences, and law schools.

Wong received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Sociology at Brandeis University, where he co-captained the basketball team, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Boston College Law School.