COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), in which Miami will play in the inaugural season in 2013-14, announced Friday that NCHC Commissioner Jim Scherr has resigned effective immediately in order to accept the position of Chief Operation Officer for the inaugural European Games.
Scherr, who has served as NCHC Commissioner since January 2012, will oversee the operation of the 49-nation Games in Baku, Azerbaijan -- which will feature up to 10,000 athletes -- in June 2015.
“We knew when we hired Jim that there would come a time when there would be competing bids for his services,” said NCHC Chairman of the Board and University of North Dakota Director of Athletics Brian Faison. “We are grateful for what Jim has done in his time with the NCHC and we are very happy that he has the opportunity to return to the Olympic sports world with the European Games in Baku. We know his expertise will greatly benefit their event.”
Prior to his appointment with the NCHC, Scherr served as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Chief Executive Officer. During his tenure in that role, he oversaw the U.S. contingent at the 2004 Summer Olympics (Athens), 2006 Winter Olympics (Turin), and the 2008 Summer Olympics (Beijing), while managing a budget in excess of $150 million. Scherr was appointed USOC CEO after having served for 10 years as the Executive Director of USA Wrestling. A former wrestling standout himself, Scherr was a three-time national champion and a 1988 Olympian.
“Jim was presented with what is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Ken Ralph, NCHC Treasurer and Colorado College Director of Athletics. “While it is difficult to see him go, we understand his decision. With what has already been done with our bylaws, operating manuals, office setup and personnel, officiating program, and championship site, we are in a great position for our inaugural season.”
“Serving as commissioner of the NCHC has been a tremendous experience and it is a difficult position to leave behind,” said Scherr. “I want to express my sincere appreciation to the Board for understanding the opportunity presented to me, and for working with me to make it a reality. I regret that I will not be there to lead the conference through its inaugural season, but I have full confidence in the coaches, administrators and conference staff that the NCHC will set the standard for excellence in college hockey.”
Faison said that a search for a new commissioner would begin immediately.
Along with Miami, the NCHC includes member institutions Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska Omaha, North Dakota, St. Cloud State, and Western Michigan.