The new Big East hires commissioner, begins operations today
The ten new Big East schools announced that Val Ackerman, the founding president of the WNBA, would be the conference’s new commissioner as league operations started today.
A 2011 inductee into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Ackerman led the launch and presided over the expansion of the early WNBA. Then, as the president of USA Basketball, she oversaw gold-metal performances by the United States Men and Women’s teams at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“Val has achieved great success within every element of the sports business industry. With the psyche of a former Division I athlete, she has marshaled operations that directly resulted in elite levels of play, lucrative sponsorship deals, and lasting partnerships,” Georgetown President Jack DeGioia said in a press release. “We are thrilled to welcome her to the Big East.”
The “Catholic seven” schools, Georgetown among them, announced their departure from the old Big East conference last December over concerns that the desertion of its central members, such as Syracuse and Pittsburgh, would damage the standing of the league in in the long term. This March, the original seven schools announced that they would add Xavier, Butler, and Creighton as full members. The new league retained the “Big East” name and will begin play this coming academic year.
Image courtesy Big East communications department