Amy Huchthausen, director of academic and membership affairs at the NCAA national office, has been named commissioner of the America East Conference.
Huchthausen replaces Patrick Nero, who resigned in April to become director of athletics at George Washington University. Associate Commissioner Shonna Brown, also a former NCAA staff member, has been serving as interim commissioner.
Huchthausen will be the league’s CEO and oversee all facets of the nine-member Division I conference, which conducts championships in 20 sports. America East, which was originally formed as an association of men’s basketball institutions in 1979 and served in that capacity until 1987, began its 24th year as an all-sports conference in the fall.
Huchthausen becomes the fourth commissioner in America East history and will be the first woman to lead the league. She spent five years at the NCAA national office, the last four as director of AMA.
Before joining the NCAA staff, Huchthausen was an assistant commissioner with America East, where from 2004-06 she provided governance and compliance services for member schools, oversaw the conference academic awards program and provided operational support at championships. She was the primary liaison to conference’s compliance directors, academic advisors, Life Skills directors and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, among other duties.
Before that, Huchthausen was an assistant director of compliance and governance at the Atlantic Coast Conference (2002-04), director of compliance at the Missouri Valley Conference (2002-04) and a compliance assistant at the Big East Conference (2000-01).
Huchthausen has served on several NCAA committees, including the Division I Academics/Eligibility/Compliance Cabinet, the Division I Legislative Review and Interpretations Committee and the Division III Management Council.
Huchthausen graduated from University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, in 1999 with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science and was an all-conference softball player and team captain for the Eagles. She served on the SAAC all four years there.
Mark Huddleston, president of the University of New Hampshire and chair of both the America East board of presidents and the search committee, said Huchthausen’s skill set, experience and knowledge of the national landscape of college athletics “elevated her to the top of an impressive field of candidates.”
University of Hartford President Walt Harrison, longtime chair of the Division I Committee on Academic Performance, called Huchthausen “one of the brightest rising stars in intercollegiate athletics.”
“I have worked with Amy in two contexts – at the America East Conference several years ago and more recently at the NCAA,” Harrison said. “I believe that, with her superb analytical skills and understanding of the national scene, the conference will thrive in the years ahead.”