COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Chris Graham is the new Commissioner of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (NCAA Division II) as announced by RMAC Presidents' Council Chairman Dr. Stephen Jordan. Graham was selected after a nationwide search and is the sixth Commissioner in the 104-year history of the conference. He will start his duties on December 1.
"We are very excited to have Chris Graham as our new Commissioner. He has a proven record in the NCAA and a great vision for the RMAC. We consider ourselves fortunate to have him leading our conference and look forward to working with him," said Jordan, who is also the President of Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Graham is currently serving in his tenth year as Executive Director of the Midwest Conference (NCAA Division III), located in Ripon, Wisc. Graham worked to advance legislative standards, policy making, technology, communications, officiating, marketing, student-athlete awards and recognition, and a focus on diversity and student-athlete well-being. Under his guidance the MWC became the first league in Division III to establish a conference-wide webcasting agreement providing live video of league contests to over 50,000 parents, alumni and fans to date. Elevated membership standards, standing committee development and more stringent student-athlete safety measures were key legislative areas developed with Graham's leadership and experience.
"I am delighted to be joining the RMAC. Building off its rich history and tradition, there is great potential for growth and success in the coming years. I would like to thank Dr. Jordan and all the Presidents and Directors of Athletics for their support. There is no question they embody the Division II philosophy and I look forward to leading the continued development of our athletic and academic pursuits," said Graham.
Prior to serving as Executive Director of the MWC, the Ripon College graduate spent four years as the league's Assistant Commissioner and Sports Information Director. He also enjoyed a standout career as a student-athlete in the Midwest Conference, earning all-conference accolades in basketball and baseball during his time at Ripon College. As a co-captain on the basketball team and outfielder on the baseball squad, Graham was a part of three Midwest Conference championship teams, winning the league title in baseball in 1990 and basketball championships during the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons. In 1995, two years after graduating from Ripon with a BA in Business Management, Graham became the Sports Information Director and Assistant Baseball Coach at his alma mater before joining the Midwest Conference office in 2000. Graham holds a Master's of Science Degree in Higher Ed Admin from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is joined by his wife Penny and three daughters Alaina, Sydney and Nora.
The RMAC Commissioner seat was vacated after Joel R. Smith accepted the Athletics Director position at RMAC member Chadron State College in June. Smith spent 12 years at the helm of the RMAC. Interim Commissioner Eric Danner will return to his role as Associate Commissioner.
The RMAC is the most historic collegiate conference in the western U.S. Founded in 1909, it has 14 member institutions located in the states of Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and South Dakota.