Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will take over from NCAA President Mark Emmert when he steps down at the end of February, the organization announced Thursday.
A Republican and Harvard University graduate, Baker took office as governor in January 2015 and has held positions in other Massachusetts government offices, including secretary of health and human services and secretary of administration and finance.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
“I am honored to become the next president of the NCAA, an organization that impacts millions of families and countless communities across the country every day,” Baker said in a press release. “The NCAA faces complex and significant challenges, but I’m excited to get to work, as the incredible opportunity that college athletics brings to so many students is more than worth the challenge. And to the fans who faithfully pack stadiums, stands and gyms from coast to coast, I look forward to ensuring that the competitions we all love to follow are there for generations to come.In the coming months, I will begin working with student-athletes and members of the NCAA as we modernize sports university programs to adapt them to today’s world, while preserving their essential value”.
As the NCAA continues to develop and navigate the murky waters of name, image and likeness, the organization highlighted the governor’s history of “successfully forging bipartisan solutions to complex problems.”
The Athletic first reported on Baker’s new role.
UCLA AUTHORIZATION TO MAKE A BIG MOVE, PAY ‘BERKELEY TAX’
“We are excited to welcome Governor Charlie Baker to the NCAA and look forward to his work with our organization,” said Linda Livingstone, chair of the Baylor University and NCAA Board of Governors. “Governor Baker has demonstrated a remarkable ability to bridge divides and build bipartisan consensus, taking on complex challenges in innovative and effective ways. As a former student athlete, husband of a former college gymnast, and father of two former college football players, Governor Baker is deeply committed to our student athletes and enhancing their college experience. These skills and perspective will be invaluable as we work with policymakers to build a sustainable model for the future of college athletics.”
Emmert announced in April that he would be leaving his position by 2023. He has led some of the most transformative years in college athletics. The NCAA suffered a series of damaging court losses over the past decade, peaking with the Supreme Court’s 9-0 ruling against the NCAA in an antitrust case. The decision undermined the organization’s ability to govern college sports and prompted a total overhaul of its operation.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“Throughout my tenure, I have emphasized the need to focus on the student-athlete experience and priorities,” Emmert said at the time. “I am extremely proud of the association’s work over the past 12 years and especially pleased with the hard work and dedication of the national office staff here in Indianapolis.”
Emmert was appointed to the position in April 2010.
Associated Press contributed to this report.