LANCASTER, Pa. - The Centennial Conference Presidents’ Council has selected Portia Hoeg as the second full-time Executive Director in the 26-year history of the Conference. She will replace Steve Ulrich, who will retire from the position this June after serving as the only Executive Director in the Conference’s history.
Hoeg is one of 18 female conference commissioners in NCAA Division III athletics and becomes the first African-American woman to ascend to the commissioner’s chair at the Division III level. Throughout all NCAA divisions, she is one of two African-American women and five total African-Americans at the position.
“We are thrilled to have attracted Portia Hoeg to the Centennial Conference as our next Executive Director," said Janet Riggs, President of Gettysburg College and Chair of the Centennial Conference Presidents' Council. "Her expertise, experience, and enthusiasm made her an obvious choice, and we look forward to her leadership as she builds on the legacy left by Steve Ulrich.”
A veteran in Division III athletics with more than 15 years of experience in the field, Hoeg has worked in a variety of capacities while rising the administrative ranks at four different institutions. She joins the Centennial after most recently serving as the Executive Director of Athletics at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn. and the Director of Athletics and Recreation at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa.
Hoeg also boasts a lengthy list of NCAA committee and professional association experience throughout her career, including stints on the Division III Management Council (Vice Chair in 2014), the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) executive board, the Division III Interpretations and Legislation Committee, and the NCAA National Leadership Selection Committee (Chair in 2010).
"Thank you to search chairs President Roger Casey and Adam Hertz and the entire search committee," said Hoeg. "It is an honor to follow Steve Ulrich and lead one of the premiere Division III conferences that not only promotes academic excellence, but also excels athletically on the national stage. I will continue to lead the conference forward while working collaboratively with our presidents, athletic administrators, coaches, student-athletes, and alumni. It is a thrill to blaze a new and exciting trail while joining a conference leader known to be an innovator and trendsetter in intercollegiate athletics."
In her six years at Allegheny, Hoeg oversaw 23 varsity sports, clubs, and recreational programs, in addition to serving on the Allegheny Administrative Executive Committee (AEC), which consisted of the president’s leadership team. She oversaw the enhancement of multiple facilities on the college's campus, including complete renovations of the athletic training center, weight room, and the football locker room. She also provided the strategic leadership and plan to add two new sports to the school’s offerings: men’s lacrosse and field hockey, including staffing, budgets, facility additions and upgrades.
Prior to joining Allegheny, Hoeg was the Associate Athletic Director at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Ill., from 2008 to 2012, and the Assistant Athletic Director at the college from 2005 to 2008. She also served as the Interim Assistant Director of Athletics at Vassar College from 2004 to 2005.
Hoeg received her bachelor's degree in marketing and management from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, before earning her master's in business administration from North Park University in Chicago, Ill.
A standout basketball student-athlete, Hoeg helped her high school team to a 40-0 record and the Texas state championship during her senior year. She then went on to letter at Trinity, where she still ranks among the program’s all-time leaders in steals.
Hoeg is set to begin her tenure as Executive Director on April 15. Ulrich will remain with the Conference through June, allowing for some overlap between the two Executive Directors to facilitate a smooth transition.
About the Centennial Conference
The purpose of the Centennial Conference is to provide for athletic competition among institutions that share high academic aspirations and are committed to the importance of the total educational experience for students engaged in sports. Its full-time members include Bryn Mawr, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Haverford, McDaniel, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, Ursinus and Washington colleges, along with Johns Hopkins University.
The Conference was founded in 1981 as the Centennial Football Conference and began competition as an all-sports conference in the fall of 1993. The Conference crowns champions in 24 sports.