NCAA Announces Mass. Governor Charlie Baker As Next President

Baker will assume the role in March 2023


December 15, 2022

The NCAA announced Charlie Baker as its next president. The 66-year-old will assume the role in March 2023.

Baker’s term as governor of Massachusetts will end in January with Democrat Maura Healey set to take over as 73rd governor of the state after winning the 2022 Massachusetts gubernatorial election.

Current NCAA president Mark Emmert announced he would step down from the position on April 26.

“We are excited to welcome Governor Charlie Baker to the NCAA and eager for him to begin his work with our organization,” Linda Livingstone, president of Baylor University and chair of the NCAA Board of Governors, who helmed the presidential search committee, said per a press release. “Governor Baker has shown a remarkable ability to bridge divides and build bipartisan consensus, taking on complex challenges in innovative and effective ways. As a former student-athlete himself, husband to a former college gymnast, and father to two former college football players, Governor Baker is deeply committed to our student-athletes and enhancing their collegiate experience. These skills and perspective will be invaluable as we work with policymakers to build a sustainable model for the future of college athletics.”

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“I am honored to become the next president of the NCAA, an organization that impacts millions of families and countless communities across this country every day,” Baker said in a statement. “The NCAA is confronting complex and significant challenges, but I am excited to get to work as the awesome opportunity college athletics provides to so many students is more than worth the challenge.  And for the fans that faithfully fill stadiums, stands and gyms from coast to coast, I am eager to ensure the competitions we all love to follow are there for generations to come. Over the coming months, I will begin working with student-athletes and NCAA members as we modernize college sports to suit today’s world, while preserving its essential value.”

The NCAA is dealing with potential conference realignment and the prominence of NIL deals that has created more player movement. Those are just a few of multiple issues the next NCAA president will have to contend with in their next tenure.

Baker played college basketball at Harvard before he became co-director of the newly founded Pioneer Institute in the late 1980s. He left state government in 1988 to become CEO of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and later was named president and CEO of Harvard Vanguard’s parent company, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, in May 1999. Baker became governor of Massachusetts in 2015 and after two terms announced he would not seek reelection.

Baker is the first NCAA president with no previous work at a college or in education.

Thumbnail photo via Joe Difazio/The Patriot Ledger via USA TODAY Sports Images
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