WINTHROP, Mass. – Feb. 2, 2023 – Following a thorough national search, the Atlantic Hockey Association and College Hockey America have named Michelle Morgan as their next Commissioner, the AHA and CHA Boards of Directors announced Thursday.
“I am honored to be named the next Commissioner of Atlantic Hockey and College Hockey America,” Morgan said. “I’d like to thank the search committee for their dedication throughout the process. I’m excited to get back to my roots in the sport of hockey, to serve our member institutions, student-athletes, coaches and fans at the highest level.”
Morgan, who has served as the Senior Director of Athletics at John Carroll University since 2018, becomes the second commissioner in Atlantic Hockey history and the third commissioner in College Hockey America history. She replaces outgoing AHA and CHA commissioner Robert DeGregorio, who is retiring from both roles at the end of the 2022-23 season after 20 years with Atlantic Hockey and 13 years with the CHA.
“After an exhaustive search by our selection committee, the conference is extremely excited to have Michelle Morgan to lead Atlantic Hockey and College Hockey America into the future,” Atlantic Hockey Selection Committee Chairman and Air Force Senior Associate Athletic Director George Nelson said. “She highlighted herself to be the best of the best throughout this process and we look forward to the impact she will make on both our men’s and women’s programs.”
“In Michelle Morgan, College Hockey America and Atlantic Hockey have found a prepared and proven leader that will provide a strategic vision for our future,” CHA Board Chairman and Syracuse Senior Associate Athletics Director Jamie Mullin said. “Michelle demonstrated many qualities that resulted in her selection as commissioner and those qualities will enable her to build upon our established success. I’m confident that the future is in good hands with Michelle.”
Morgan, who will begin her duties with the AHA and CHA on April 17, has overseen a period of tremendous growth and success for John Carroll athletics during her tenure at the University Heights, Ohio school. The Blue Streaks have won 39 Ohio Athletic Conference championships and have made 37 NCAA postseason appearances. Under her leadership, JCU won the OAC All-Sports Men's Trophy in 2018-19, 2020-21, and 2021-22, and came within a point of the program's first-ever OAC All-Sports Women's Trophy in 2020-21.
During the celebration of 100 years of Athletics at John Carroll, Morgan helped to establish a $500,000 fund for the creation of the Champions Endowment, which will help to sustain success at a national level for all Blue Streak athletic programs. Her tenure also saw the addition of women’s wrestling as JCU’s 24th varsity sport and $4 million in athletic facility improvements of the university’s athletic facilities that greatly enhanced training, competition and quality of experience for the more than 700 student-athletes under her oversight. The university is also breaking ground on a new athletic, wellness and event space that is slated to open in Fall 2024.
In recognition of her efforts on behalf of JCU athletics, Morgan was presented with an Honorary ESPY as the Administrator of the Year in July 2022.
Morgan is also an active associate member of the Chicago Blackhawk Alumni Association. As the Association’s Director of Events, she spearheaded efforts for a pair of alumni games prior to the National Hockey League Outdoor Stadium Series game in 2016 in Minneapolis and the 2017 NHL Winter Classic in St. Louis. In this role, she served as the liaison to the NHL, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, and the Chicago Blackhawks organizations for the alumni weekends at both events. The two games, held at TCF Bank Stadium and Busch Stadium, respectively, hosted nearly 40,000 fans for contests featuring the Blackhawk alumni.
An active member on the national intercollegiate athletics scene, Morgan was appointed to a four-year term on the NCAA Division III Management Council in 2019. She assumed the role of Chair of the council in January 2022, which is a one-year appointment. Previously, she served as the Vice Chair of the Management Council.
Morgan also serves on the NCAA's Division III Championships Committee, Division III Advisory Council, Division III Administrative Committee, NCAA Strategic Planning and Finance Committee, Division III Joint Legislative Steering Committee, NCAA Convention Planning subcommittee, the Division III Football Concussion Task Force, and the Division III Strategic Positioning Platform Working Group. She holds membership in NACDA, the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA), and Women Leaders in College Sports.
Morgan spent eight years at her alma mater, the University of St. Thomas, with her last position being the Senior Woman Administrator and Associate Athletic Director. In that role, she served as the athletic department's liaison to the university's Marketing, Insights, and Communications team, leading external relations, branding, and marketing initiatives. She led negotiations for the first department-wide athletic apparel contract at St. Thomas in 2014, which outfitted all athletes in Nike apparel and accessories.
One of Morgan's biggest achievements occurred in 2017 when she played a key role in the Tommie-Johnnie Football game. She negotiated an agreement with the Minnesota Twins organization for the game to be played at Target Field, securing Oppidan Investing Company as the game's presenting sponsor. She guided the planning and execution of all game operations, including fan experience, ticket sales, merchandise and marketing for the largest football game in Division III history at that time. The record crowd of 37,355 outdrew 28 FBS games and 56 of 57 FCS games that took place the same weekend.
Prior to St. Thomas, Morgan worked for the NHL's Minnesota Wild as an Account Executive for Corporate Sponsorships. During her five years with the organization, Morgan’s responsibilities included corporate sponsorships sales for the Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Swarm of the National Lacrosse League, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five, and Minnesota State High School League boys and girls state hockey tournaments, as well as negotiated annual suite leases. She held positions in corporate partnerships with the Minnesota Vikings and marketing with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Morgan currently serves as an adjunct at John Carroll teaching graduate-level coursework in Sports Studies. Additionally, she serves as a Board Member of Women in Sports and Entertainment (WISE), Cleveland.
The Brookfield, Ill., native holds a degree in Business Administration – Marketing Management, with a minor in Public Relations and an Executive Masters of Business Administration degree from St. Thomas.
An accomplished student-athlete, Morgan played on two Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season championship teams in her four years as a member of the St. Thomas women’s ice hockey team.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT MICHELLE MORGAN
About the Atlantic Hockey Association
The Atlantic Hockey Association is marking its 20th season of competition in 2022-23. The 10-team NCAA Division I conference consists of, American International College (Yellow Jackets), Bentley University (Falcons), Canisius College (Golden Griffins), The College of the Holy Cross (Crusaders), Mercyhurst University (Lakers), Niagara University (Purple Eagles), Rochester Institute of Technology (Tigers), Sacred Heart University (Pioneers), the United States Air Force Academy (Falcons) and the United States Military Academy (Black Knights). The AHA will grow to 11 teams with the return of Robert Morris University (Colonials) for the 2023-24 season. For more information, visit atlantichockeyonline.com.