July 29, 2009
Courtesy of OVCSports.com
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - Elizabeth (Beth) DeBauche, Director of Division I at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) since 2002, has been named Commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference.
The announcement was made by Dr. Robert Bell, President of Tennessee Technological University and Chair of the OVC Board of Presidents. DeBauche will begin her duties at the OVC in mid-September.
"We are excited to have someone of the caliber of Beth DeBauche join the Ohio Valley Conference," said Bell. "She not only brings a wealth of experience from the NCAA, but she has also worked on campus and in the SEC office, covering all the bases. She is a truly outstanding find for the OVC."
DeBauche (pronounced De-BUSH) becomes the seventh full-time Commissioner in the 61-year history of the OVC. She follows Art Guepe (1963-75), Paul Dietzel (1975-76), Bob Vanatta (1976-79), Jim Delaney (1979-89), Dan Beebe (1989-2003) and Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher (2003-09), who left to become Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference in May.
DeBauche will be one of just five females to be the head of a Division I Conference in 2009-10, and one of just eight to lead a Division I Conference all-time.
"I am both humbled and delighted to have been selected by the presidents as the commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference, given its history of academic and athletic excellence," said DeBauche. "I am excited to have the opportunity to serve the presidents, administrators, faculty and student-athletes of the OVC and I am looking forward to a bright future for the conference."
Since August 2002 DeBauche, along with the vice-president of Division I, has been responsible for coordinating Division I initiatives through the NCAA governance structure, as well as helping to manage the Division I agenda. Her duties included developing agendas and providing leadership for the Division I Board of Directors, Presidential Advisory Group and the Leadership Council. DeBauche has overseen the entire Division I governance structure and worked directly with the Legislative Council, the six cabinets and the supporting communications and coordination committee.
She has also been a liaison to governance representatives, external constituent groups and NCAA staff regarding legislative and governance activities. That role required DeBauche to have regular interaction with the Collegiate Commissioner's Association (CCA), the CCA Compliance Coordinators, the Division I-A Athletics Directors Association, the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) and the Faculty Athletics Representatives Association (FARA). DeBauche has also served as a liaison to the Women's Basketball Issues Committee, the Presidential Oversight and Monitoring Group, the Men's Basketball Academic Enhancement Group, the Presidential Task Force on Commercial Activity in Intercollegiate Athletics and the Two-Year College Relations Panel.
In 2008, DeBauche was named the NACWAA Conference/Organization Administrator of the Year.
Prior to her work at the NCAA, DeBauche worked at the Southeastern Conference (SEC) from November 1996 through August 2002. As an assistant and later associate commissioner, she managed all aspects of the SEC's rules compliance program. DeBauche provided NCAA and SEC rules interpretations, developing rules education materials and programming, conducting compliance reviews and assisting member institutions with the NCAA certification program. At times during her tenure, she also served as the league's liaison to the faculty athletics representatives, the compliance coordinators, directors of academic support and Student-Athletes Advisory Committee (SAAC) as well as the sports liaison to the leagues women's golf, women's tennis and women's volleyball coaches.
From 1996 to 1998 DeBauche was the Director of the National Letter of Intent (NLI) Program for the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA). In that role she was the administrator in charge of issuing all NLI rules interpretations, creating rules education materials and providing NLI rules education presentations as well as being the primary information resource for parents, student-athletes and the media.
DeBauche got her start in collegiate athletics at Vanderbilt University where she was the Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance from August 1994 to November 1996.
DeBauche received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history and government from Saint Mary's College (Ind.) in May 1983 and earned her Master's Degree in communications from Notre Dame in 1985. After completing the Concannon Program of International Law in London, England, DeBauche received her Juris Doctorate from the Notre Dame School of Law in 1988.
A member of the Illinois, Wisconsin and Georgia Bar, following law school graduation, DeBauche worked as an attorney in each Green Bay, Atlanta and Marietta, as well as serving as a Judicial Clerk to P. Harris Hines, who is currently serving on the Georgia Superior Court.
DeBauche has been a member of the Notre Dame Club of Indianapolis Board of Directors, as well as a graduate of the Sports Management Institute and a participant in the Division I-A Athletic Directors Institute.
Full-Time Commissioners of the OVC
Art Guepe (1963-75)
Paul Dietzel (1975-76)
Bob Vanatta (1976-79)
Jim Delaney (1979-89)
Dan Beebe (1989-2003)
Jon Steinbrecher (2003-09)
Beth DeBauche (2009-present)
Current Division I Female Commissioners
Bernadette McGlade, Atlantic 10
Robin Harris, Ivy League (Executive Director)
Patty Viverito, Missouri Valley Football Conference
Beth DeBauche, Ohio Valley Conference
Carolyn Schlie Femovich, Patriot League (Executive Director)
Previous Division I Female Commissioners
Linda Bruno, Atlantic 10 (1994-2008)
Connie Hurlbut, Patriot League (1993-99)
Brenda Weare, Northeast Conference (2006-09)