About the League

Since its inception in 1982, The Summit League has consistently proven itself to be a top-tier NCAA Division I conference. Located in Sioux Falls, S.D., The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of around 100,000 at 10 institutions, including five located in top 60 U.S. metropolitan populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: the University of Denver, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, University of Nebraska Omaha, Oral Roberts University, University of St. Thomas, University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University.

The Summit League was previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference before undergoing a rebrand in 2007. The Summit League has produced 15 NCAA National Champions with over 125 All-Americans and 100 Academic All-Americans including numerous student-athletes competing at the highest professional level, three Major League Baseball first-round picks, a pair of NBA first-round choices, and two WNBA selections. In addition, Summit Leaguers compete in the MLS, and on the PGA and LPGA Tours.

Each year, approximately 3,000 student-athletes continue to raise the bar and help The Summit League reach exceptional success and development. Within the past eight years alone, The Summit League has produced a national postseason team tournament championship, an NCAA semifinal appearance, a pair of Sweet 16 appearances and eight NCAA Champions. That level of success also carries into the classroom. The Summit League ranked first for NCAA Graduation Success Rate in women's basketball from 2014-16. A total of 21 Summit League teams achieved perfect NCAA Academic Progress Rate scores in the most recently released figures, while 23 other teams garnered NCAA Public Recognition Awards for top academic progress rates.

Position Overview

Reporting to the Presidents Council, the Commissioner is the Chief Executive and Administrative Officer of the League. The Commissioner will work with the Presidents, Chancellors, Athletics Directors, and Senior Woman Administrators of each member institution to develop and implement strategies designed to achieve the mission and vision of the League and ensure long-term viability while building consensus among all applicable constituencies.


  • Serve as the Chief Executive and Administrative Officer and primary spokesperson for the League.
  • Study the challenges and opportunities facing the League and advise and guide its members by recommending solutions and always promoting the general welfare of the League.
  • Foster a commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout all levels of the organization.
  • Serve as the principal enforcement officer for the League regarding League and NCAA regulations.
  • Provide vision, leadership, and sound decision-making regarding all League matters including fiscal affairs (creation, management, investment decisions, and reconciliation of the League’s budget), personnel, strategic planning, public relations, and general operations.
  • Administer and enforce the policies, rules, by-laws and regulations of the League and the NCAA.
  • Lead and execute all logistical planning, advertising and marketing, contract negotiations, and management of regional and national linear and digital media agreements for regular-season and conference championships to boost revenue and exposure.
  • Provide appropriate communication and guidance to various membership constituent groups, especially the League Presidents/Chancellors, on current events and the general pulse of the collegiate athletic environment.
  • Maintain an optimal balance between strategic and tactical responsibilities.
  • Maintain a positive working relationship with all segments of the active media.
  • Give support to the operating budget by soliciting and securing sponsorships and corporate partnerships.
  • Serve as an ex-officio non-voting member of the Presidents Council, Joint Council, Faculty Athletic Representatives Council, Sport Committees (or his/her designee), and all other League committees.
  • Conduct and maintain a continuous educational program for the development of scholarship, sportsmanlike conduct and understanding of the values of competitive intercollegiate athletics and exerting all reasonable effort to acquaint the public with the ethics and high ideals which motivate the League in its conduct of intercollegiate athletics.
  • Assume responsibility for the administration of League policies involving television, radio, and other media related programs, and serving as the primary League liaison with television, radio and other media bodies and individuals.
  • Assist the Joint Council, coaches, and other involved officials with the preparation of regular season and championship schedules in sports sponsored by the League.
  • Serve as the League representative and liaison with all organizations in which the League is a member.
  • Perform other duties as the Presidents Council may direct.


  • A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.
  • Substantial experience in collegiate athletics administration or equivalent experience in a related field.
  • Strong knowledge and advocacy for diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives.
  • Understanding of and ability to communicate the unique qualities of The Summit League.
  • Strategic planning experience is preferred.
  • Ability to collaborate, market, and promote to external constituencies.
  • Ability to identify, attract, retain, and manage staff.
  • Reputation of being ethical and maintaining integrity.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to the rules and bylaws of the NCAA.
  • Ability to serve as the public face and constantly represent the brand of the League.
  • Strong public relations, oral and written communication skills.
  • Working knowledge of branding, use of social media platforms, television, and multimedia platforms – experience in related contract negotiations.

Application Process

The Summit League invites nominations and applications or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the League. 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 November 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

DeLaina Jordan, Associate

danielparker@parkersearch.com | ghiggison@parkersearch.com | djordan@parkersearch.com

Parker Executive Search

770-804-1996 ext. 116 | 770-804-1996 ext. 118 | 770-804-1996 ext. 119


The Summit League is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse work environment.

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