Anucha Browne Sanders has been selected as the NCAA’s vice president of women’s basketball championships. In this role, Browne Sanders will set the strategic direction for, and oversee the operation and management of, the Division I, II and III women’s basketball championships.
Browne Sanders was previously the University at Buffalo senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator, where she supervised men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, softball, swimming, diving and rowing. She was also responsible for marketing and ticket sales efforts, corporate partnerships, community relations, event presentation and operations for revenue sports.
“Anucha’s experience not only in basketball, but also in management – as well as her history as an NCAA student-athlete – brings a unique and valuable skill set to this important position,” said NCAA Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances Mark Lewis. “Her credentials are impressive and I know that she will bring a clear vision of how to put on exciting championships and continue to grow women’s basketball.”
“It’s an exciting time for the game of women’s college basketball and I am thrilled and honored to have been selected for the challenge of leading the championships into the next phase of growth and development,” said Browne Sanders. “Basketball has provided me with numerous opportunities in my life and I hope to take that experience and build upon it as we enhance the student-athlete experience at all championship levels.”
Browne Sanders will be responsible for the NCAA’s relationship with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), will serve as the primary liaison to the Division I, II and III women’s basketball committees and provide strategic oversight of the site-selection process for each championship.
“Anucha brings a wealth of experience to the NCAA and the membership. Her background in marketing at the NBA and collegiate level are strong assets that will enhance the growth of women’s basketball,” said Bernadette McGlade, commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference. “But more importantly, she is passionate about women’s basketball and understands its unique place of importance within the national landscape.”
During her tenure at Buffalo, Browne Sanders was instrumental in producing higher ticket, suite and sponsor revenues, as well as spearheading a new community service approach that enabled the Buffalo student-athletes to participate in a variety of impactful service initiatives.
Prior to her service at Buffalo, Browne Sanders was the senior vice president of marketing and business operations for the NBA’s New York Knicks.
In her collegiate career, Browne Sanders was a highly decorated women’s basketball student-athlete at Northwestern University, earning all-Big Ten team honors three times and Big Ten Player of the Year twice. Browne Sanders holds the all-time conference records for scoring (2,307 points) and rebounds (951). In 1985, she led all Division I women’s basketball players in scoring average with 30.5 points per game. She was twice named as a Wade and Naismith Trophy Finalist and was a three-time member of the All Big Ten Conference and Women’s Sports Federation All-American teams. Browne Sanders was inducted into Northwestern’s Hall of Fame, and was also named as Northwestern University’s Athlete of the Century #4, Northwestern’s Athlete of the Decade and to the Big Ten Conference All Decade Team.
Browne Sanders is a board member of both the Black Coaches Association and the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators. She earned her master’s degree from Florida State University.
“Women’s basketball has seen incredible growth through the years and we were looking for someone who could not only continue that positive movement, but also improve the game,” said Carolayne Henry, chair of the search committee and the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, as well as senior associate commissioner and SWA of the Mountain West Conference. “Anucha is a proven leader at understanding basketball at all levels of the game and was the best choice to continue the positive growth of the championship.”