Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker To Succeed Mark Emmert As The Next NCAA President

By Tiffany Williams –

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is in the final days of his second and final term as Governor of Massachusetts, and the Republican who was first elected to his first term as Governor in 2015, is already turning the page to write his next chapter. 

On March 1, Gov. Baker, who played basketball for Harvard University, will become the next president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the organization that governs student athletics. 

The NCAA made the announcement on Thursday and said, “We are excited to welcome Governor Charlie Baker to the NCAA and eager for him to begin his work with our organization,” said Linda Livingstone, President of Baylor University and Chair of the NCAA Board of Governors, who helmed the presidential search committee. “Governor Baker has shown a remarkable ability to bridge divides and build bipartisan consensus, taking on complex challenges in innovative and effective ways. As a former student-athlete himself, husband to a former college gymnast, and father to two former college football players, Governor Baker is deeply committed to our student-athletes and enhancing their collegiate experience. These skills and perspective will be invaluable as we work with policymakers to build a sustainable model for the future of college athletics.”

“I am honored to become the next president of the NCAA, an organization that impacts millions of families and countless communities across this country every day,” said Governor Baker. “The NCAA is confronting complex and significant challenges, but I am excited to get to work as the awesome opportunity college athletics provides to so many students is more than worth the challenge.  And for the fans that faithfully fill stadiums, stands, and gyms from coast to coast, I am eager to ensure the competitions we all love to follow are there for generations to come. Over the coming months, I will begin working with student-athletes and NCAA members as we modernize college sports to suit today’s world while preserving its essential value.”

Following Thursday’s announcement, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said “Throughout the duration of his leadership as governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker has been an innovative and collaborative quarterback for the people of the commonwealth, guiding them through the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the implementation of transformative fiscal, education, and infrastructure policies. Our states have had a strong, collaborative relationship, and that is largely due to Governor Baker’s bipartisan approach with fellow governors like myself and others in our region and throughout the country. I applaud the NCAA for this appointment, and I fully believe that the shared vision of all the members of the NCAA will be achieved under Governor Baker’s leadership.”

Governor Baker’s term ends on January 5, 2023, and Governor-elect Maura Healey will become the first elected female governor of Massachusetts.

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