About the Conference

The Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) was founded in 1907 and is the nation's second oldest Division I athletics conference. The MVC continues to be a leader in college athletics and is one of the nation’s most progressive conferences, celebrating its 114th season in 2020-21.

League members include Bradley, Drake, Evansville, Illinois State, Indiana State, Loyola Chicago, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois and Valparaiso.  Dallas Baptist is an affiliate member for baseball; Arkansas-Little Rock is an affiliate member in women’s swimming and diving; Stony Brook competes as an affiliate member in women’s tennis; and SIU Edwardsville will begin its second stint as an affiliate member in men’s soccer in 2021.

Today, the MVC sponsors the following sports:  baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country and track & field (indoor and outdoor), men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, women’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball. While the MVC no longer sponsors football, seven league members compete in the sport at the Football Championship Subdivision level as Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State, University of Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois play in the 11-member Missouri Valley Football Conference with North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Western Illinois and Youngstown State. Drake and Valparaiso play non-scholarship football in the Pioneer Football League.

Over the years, the MVC Television Network has blossomed into a revenue-generating vehicle and the MVC’s most visible marketing tool.  The MVC continues to be proactive in upgrading the production and marketing of both institutionally-produced and Conference-produced events. The summer of 2015 yielded two major announcements on the TV front, as ESPN and the MVC announced a 10-year extension to their current media rights agreement that will provide increased coverage of Conference events across ESPN platforms through 2023-24.  As part of the agreement ESPN, the MVC and its 10 institutions will work jointly to develop in-house production capabilities at each campus that will provide significant national coverage for multiple sports and hands-on educational opportunities for students. Additionally, CBS Sports and the MVC are in a multi-year agreement to televise MVC basketball games on the CBS Television Network and CBS Sports Network. The agreement, which began in 2015-16 and continues through 2023-24, is through a sublicense agreement with ESPN.

The MVC brand remains very strong, both regionally and nationally, and the great athletic tradition of the MVC remains a compelling force in recruiting student-athletes and in marketing all the MVC programs.  League members have worked together to focus on common goals and objectives, placing a high value on league harmony, while continuing to invest in athletic programs to compete at the highest level. 

Position Overview

The Commissioner serves as the chief administrative officer of the Conference, reporting to the President’s Council. The Commissioner will work with the Presidents, Chancellors and Athletic Directors of each member institution to create and implement innovative initiatives and strategies designed to achieve the mission and vision of the MVC.

Duties/Responsibilities

The Commissioner has primary responsibility for the supervision of MVC staff and oversight of Conference office operations.  Specific duties include:

  • Serves the Presidents Council, while serving as the liaison with the Athletics Administrators Committee and the Joint Committee.
  • Builds and strengthens the MVC brand on a national basis by enhancing relationships with external entities and governing bodies.
  • Provides a clear vision for the MVC’s future by providing innovative and forward-thinking leadership and direction for the Conference.
  • Serves as primary spokesperson for the MVC.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to diversity, gender equity, and inclusivity that creates a welcoming environment for all Conference members and Conference office staff.
  • Oversees Conference budgetary and financial matters in collaboration with the MVC Finance Committee, managing revenue generation and the receipt, deposit and disbursement of funds, and has signature authority for all contracts.
  • Stays current with national conference trends, implements and executes necessary changes in relation to those trends and informs the President, Chancellors and Athletic Directors of needed changes.
  • Leads Conference strategic planning, making strategic decisions and leading others toward strategic decisions for the MVC.
  • Implements and leads a transparent and forward-looking Conference evaluation process that aims high, projects clear outcomes and evaluates achievements with clearly defined metrics and goals.
  • Negotiates contracts and manages relationships with partnering television networks, State Farm and with Learfield Sports, the MVC’s multimedia rights holder.
  • Direct oversight of men's basketball and the State Farm MVC Tournament, and has responsibility for negotiating contracts with the St. Louis Blues, Enterprise Center and other local corporate entities and St. Louis organizations involved in the championship.
  • Interacts with other conference basketball administrators and with early-season tournament promoters in efforts to assist MVC basketball programs in identifying scheduling opportunities. 
  • Serves as organizational chair of St. Louis’ Local Organizing Committee in the Conference’s host role in conducting NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournament events.
  • Represents the MVC in Collegiate Commissioners Association and NCAA affairs. 
  • Oversees policies and administration of MVC officiating programs.
  • Employs and oversees Conference office personnel, including staff benefits programs and policies, and overall office administration.

Qualifications/Experience

  • A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.
  • Substantial experience in collegiate athletics administration or equivalent experience in a related field.
  • Ability to articulate a clear vision for the future of the Conference.
  • Strong knowledge and advocacy for diversity, equity and inclusivity initiatives.
  • Track record of hiring and mentoring staff members from underrepresented groups.
  • Strong public relations, oral communication and written communication skills. The Commissioner must exhibit the ability to promote the distinctive qualities of the Conference in a proactive and professional manner.
  • Demonstrated experience working with a diverse group of constituents that brings people together for the greater good of the Conference.
  • Ability to serve as the public face and constantly represent the brand of the Conference.
  • Working knowledge of branding, social media, television and multimedia platforms – experience in related contract negotiations.
  • Must possess national connections with NCAA and conference officials.
  • Demonstrated experience as an effective leader of an organization with organizational skills and the ability to lead, motivate and mentor a staff.
  • Strategic planning and revenue generation experience is required.
  • Keen knowledge and understanding of NCAA basketball.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to the rules and bylaws of the NCAA and the Conference.
  • Strong skills in financial management.
  • Strong moral character and unwavering integrity.  
  • Strong and consistent work ethic.

Application Process

The MVC 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, and list of references. For full consideration, application materials should be submitted to Parker Executive Search’s website by February 1, 2021. 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 x118

The MVC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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