About the Conference

Celebrating its 20th season of competition in 2022-23, the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) has established itself as one of the most balanced NCAA Division I conferences in college hockey. Currently, the AHA includes 11 institutions spanning five states from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. The membership includes the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy, American International College, Bentley University, Canisius College, College of the Holy Cross, Mercyhurst University, Niagara University, Robert Morris University (returning to competition in 2023-24), Rochester Institute of Technology and Sacred Heart University.

The (AHA) has seen its teams earn 19 NCAA tournament bids since Holy Cross earned the conference’s first spot in the NCAA postseason in 2004, that list includes seven teams that went on to reach a regional final and 2010 Frozen Four participant RIT. Since its inception, Atlantic Hockey has placed as much emphasis on off-ice achievements as they have on-ice accolades. In addition to its 17 All-Americans, nine student-athletes have earned CoSIDA Academic All-American honors while five have been awarded the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award and two have received the Hockey Humanitarian Award. At the conference level, current and former student-athletes have earned more than 2,800 Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team honors for their work in the classroom. In addition to hundreds of alumni who have skated in the AHL, ECHL and top professional leagues in Europe, 10 former Atlantic Hockey players have skated in the National Hockey League. Two recent alumni, RIT’s Chris Tanev (Calgary) and Sacred Heart’s Justin Danforth (Columbus) were their teams’ finalists for the 2022 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

Established in the fall of 2002, College Hockey America (CHA) participates in NCAA Division I as a Women’s only ice hockey conference. Currently, the CHA includes six institutions spanning three states from the Midwest to the East Coast. The membership includes Lindenwood University, Mercyhurst University, the Pennsylvania State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Robert Morris University (returning to competition in 2023-24) and Syracuse University.

Prior to the 2014–15 season, the CHA did not have an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for its conference tournament champion. At that time, with membership having remained stable at six teams for two consecutive seasons, the auto bid was granted. Since 2005, the CHA has qualified a representative to the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship 19 times. Mercyhurst has qualified 14 times and has made four appearances in the Frozen Four, one of which included an appearance in the NCAA championship game. Individually, the CHA has been represented among the finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award 14 times since 2005, including five Top-Three finishes and one winner.

About the Position

The AHA/CHA Commissioner is the CEO for both the Atlantic Hockey Association and the College Hockey America Conferences. The Commissioner will report to the Association Board of Directors for each conference, made up of one representative from each member institution who reports directly to the President and/or his or her designee. The Board is subject to the ultimate direction of the Chancellors/Presidents of the member institutions. The Commissioner will also serve on the Board for College Hockey Inc.

The AHA/CHA is looking for a long-term strategic thinker whose decision-making will move the associations to the forefront of college hockey.  The ability to navigate the ever-changing environment of college athletics will be paramount and will require a leader that is patient, deliberate and disciplined. In order to navigate these changes, the commissioner needs to have a pulse on the national landscape to help design the future for the AHA/CHA. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide vision, leadership, and sound decision-making with regard to all Association matters including fiscal affairs, personnel, strategic planning, marketing, multi-media partnerships, public relations, post season tournament planning, and general operation.
  • Maintain and strengthen the AHA/CHA positions in Division 1 Men’s and Women’s ice hockey conference.
  • Provide a progressive approach to the student athlete experience with awareness of issues facing student athletes today to include mental health and well-being, DEI, and social justice.
  • Negotiate and manage linear and digital media agreements for regular season and championship packages to boost revenue and exposure.
  • Responsible for hiring, supervising, and development of AHA/CHA employees.
  • Regularly communicate effectively with membership on national topics and the impacts to AHA/CHA Hockey.
  • Serve as AHA/CHA’s liaison with other Hockey organizations such as:
    • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
    • Ice Hockey Commissioners’’ Association
    • NCAA Ice Hockey Championship Committee
    • NCAA Ice Hockey rules Committee
    • American Hockey Coaches conference
    • USA Hockey
  • Enforce, interpret, and maintain the Conference bylaws, Policies and Procedures Review, update, and maintain all conference governance documents.
  • Along with Director of Officials, provide leadership, and direction, consistent with the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules committee and AHA/CHA, to the on and off-ice officials retained to work the Association’s hockey games.
  • Along with Director of Officials, oversee all game supplemental discipline and manage all other disciplinary matters within the association among student athletes, coaches, and institutional staff.
  • Foster a commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout all levels of the organization and act as a national leader for these critical priorities within college hockey.
  • Serve as tournament director for the Association Championships – operate and market the Championship weekend. 
  • Effectively plan and facilitate all association meetings with various association groups to include Directors, Presidents (if necessary) and coaches.
  • Assist with the development and provide oversight of the association budget. Prepare annual budget for Board of Directors approval, monitor and report current financial position and initiate Annual Financial Audit.
  • Maintain and support a realistic operating budget with support from sponsorships and corporate partnerships, to include support of minority run businesses.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred
  • High degree of integrity
  • Ability to communicate vision and unique qualities of the AHA/CHA
  • Ability to collaborate, market, and promote the league to external constituencies
  • Must possess a deep understanding of the Hockey coaching landscape through hands-on coaching, on-campus supervision, or hockey conference affiliated work.
  • Knowledge of the rules and bylaws of the NCAA and Conference
  • Knowledge and experience with the NCAA structure and committees and able to represent the interest of the Association at the National level.
  • Ability to identify, attract, lead, and manage staff to operate the AHA/CHA office.
  • Ability to work with diverse groups of individuals and interest groups

Application Process:

The AHA/CHA invites nominations and applications or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the Conference. Applications must include a cover letter, resume or curriculum vitae, and list of references. For full consideration, application materials should be submitted to Parker Executive Search’s website by December 28, 2022. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made.

For additional information, please contact:

Daniel Parker, Vice President and Managing Director
Grant Higgison, Principal
Parker Executive Search
danielparker@parkersearch.com | ghiggison@parkersearch.com
770-804-1996 ext. 116 | 770-804-1996 ext. 118

The AHA/CHA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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