DANBURY, Conn. – Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Commissioner Dr. Kevin T. McGinniss announced Northeast Conference (NEC) Commissioner Noreen Morris as the inaugural winner of the ECAC Conference Commissioner of the Year Award. Morris will be recognized at the 2014 ECAC Honors Dinner on September 28th at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth, Mass.
Morris, who just completed her fourth full year as the Commissioner of the NEC, has guided the conference to unprecedented levels of notoriety and success. The Northeast Conference will be entering its 34th season of existence this coming fall.
A significant moment of Morris’s success at the NEC came in 2012 with the creation of NEC Front Row, a state-of-the-art, interactive website that allowed fans to view live coverage of NEC games free of charge. The site received a significant upgrade for the 2014-15 season with the implementation of HD video, real-time rewind, in-game highlights and instant archiving.
Also in 2013-14, Morris helped negotiate the NEC’s new TV rights agreement with ESPN. Additionally, the Conference made its debut on CBS College Sports and for the first time, saw every football and basketball televised game air on a national carrier. In March, the Conference launched a NEC app that provided fans with live NEC action on their mobile devices. NEC student-athletes have benefitted greatly from the Conference’s increased exposure. 20 NEC student-athletes were named All-Americans in their respective sports in 2013-14.
Beyond the field of play, Morris has made the NEC a pillar of success in both the classroom and the community. Last year, 39 NEC teams were honored with NCAA Public Recognition Awards for exceptional academic performance. NEC student-athletes also combined for a 3.16 grade-point average and all 10 of the league's core member institutions finished the year with at least a 3.0 GPA. Additionally, NEC members logged nearly 28,000 hours of community service over the course of the 2013-14 academic year.
Morris has also made an impact on the national landscape, spending the last two years as Chair of the NCAA Division I Leadership Council.
Prior to her arrival at the NEC, Morris spent five years as a member of the Northwestern University Athletic Department executive staff. She also served eight years at Conference USA and five years as a Compliance Coordinator and Sport Administrator at the University of Connecticut.
“I am humbled and honored to be the first recipient of this prestigious award, and thank Kevin McGinniss and the entire ECAC community for this recognition,” said Morris. “But we all know that college athletics administration is a team sport; and with that said, I would like to thank my very talented staff for their continued support and dedication to enhancing the NEC on a daily basis. And, finally, I would like to recognize and congratulate the ECAC and its members for their continued commitment to developing student-athletes and promoting the ideals of collegiate athletics.”