MAC COMMISSIONER JON STEINBRECHER SIGNS TWO-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION THROUGH THE 2015-16 ACADEMIC YEAR
MAC Council of Presidents Extends Steinbrecher's Contract For Two Additional Years
For Immediate Release-Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Cleveland, Ohio - The Mid-American Conference announced today that the Council of Presidents has extended the contract of Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher for two additional years through the 2015-16 academic year. Steinbrecher began as MAC Commissioner in May of 2009 with an original five-year contract and only two years into the agreement, the conference Presidents unanimously rewarded Steinbrecher with a two-year contract extension.
"I am very appreciative to the Council of Presidents and the confidence they have placed in me during my two years as Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. We share the same vision and I look forward to continuing to lead this conference, our members and our student-athletes," said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, Mid-American Conference Commissioner.
During his current two-year term as MAC Commissioner, Steinbrecher has expanded bowl opportunities for the conference and stabilized conference membership in football, increased national and regional television exposure, renegotiated the conference marketing rights agreement with ISP/IMG College and enhanced neutral site conference championships in basketball and volleyball.
"All of us on the Mid-American Conference's Presidents' Council are very pleased that Dr. Steinbrecher will continue as our conference commissioner," said Ball State University President Jo Ann Gora, who chairs the Council. "He was hired for his superior leadership skills and innovative thinking, and his first two years as MAC commissioner have demonstrated that leadership and innovation. In very tough economic times, Jon has led us through important financial decisions, while increasing national and regional television exposure for our student-athletes, focusing our marketing efforts, and positioning the conference office as a service organization to the member universities. The conference is stronger now than when he arrived in 2009, and I am confident that his experienced leadership will continue to lead the MAC to new heights."
Specifically in football, Steinbrecher has stabilized conference membership to 14 programs with the recent announcement of Temple being a sustaining member in football and the addition of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) to begin as a football-only member in 2012. This provides the conference the opportunity to balance divisions and to expand the conference footprint into New England and into the Boston and Hartford/Springfield markets.
From a football bowl perspective, Steinbrecher has built upon the conference bowl agreements to a conference-best three primary (Little Caesars Pizza Bowl; GoDaddy.com Bowl and uDrove Humanitarian Bowl) and four secondary agreements (New Mexico Bowl, Beef O'Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl, TicketCity Bowl and the BBVA Compass Bowl). These bowl agreements provide the MAC the opportunity to build on relationships with multiple bowl partners, expand national television exposure and broaden geographical opportunities to perform against other FBS conferences.
In the last three seasons, 10 of the 13 MAC football programs have appeared in a bowl game. The MAC will have sent five (2008), five (2009) and four (2010) schools to bowl games during the three-year span. Also in 2010, MAC programs featured wins over Big Ten, Big East, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Independent (Army) opponents.
"We are pleased that Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher has agreed to a contract extension through the 2015-16 academic year. Jon's leadership has given us terrific momentum as a conference. We look forward to him serving as our commissioner for many years to come," said Michael O'Brien, Toledo Director of Athletics and outgoing MAC Chair, Council of Director of Athletics.
During his time as MAC Commissioner, Steinbrecher has pioneered a new strategic planning process for the MAC, increased national exposure for the conference, as well as new opportunities for the conference in the areas of a new regional television network deal, marketing and sponsorships and securing long-term partnerships for MAC neutral site championship events.
In the summer of 2010, the MAC entered into a three-year regional television deal with SportsTime Ohio to expand its television coverage in football and men's and women's basketball. This provides the MAC a regional television presence for MAC programming throughout the year, and increases promotion and marketing opportunities for the conference.
"Jon Steinbrecher is a great role model," said Brad Bates, Director of Athletics, Miami University, and current MAC Chair, Council of Director of Athletics. "He attends conference competitions be they championships or weekly regular season matchups in less visible sports while always inquiring about our students by name. His vision, organization, assembled team and communication inspires us all and motivates our conference to excel nationally. We are very fortunate to have Jon (Steinbrecher) as our leader and look forward to his continued leadership of this great conference."
Last year, Steinbrecher also negotiated a new marketing agreement with ISP Sports for the conference marketing and sponsorship rights through 2019. Last fall, ISP Sports merged with IMG College and this long-term deal solidified the conference marketing partnership with the new IMG College brand.
Also, Steinbrecher negotiated a six-year contract extension with Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena to host the FirstEnergy MAC Men's and Women's Basketball Conference Tournament through 2017. The contract extension guarantees the continuation of the conference tournament at the same neutral site since 2000, originally Gund Arena and now named Quicken Loans Arena.
In addition, he announced this spring the MAC Women's Volleyball Tournaments in 2011 and 2012 will move to SPIRE, part of the GaREAT family, located in Geneva, Ohio, a state of the art facility only 30 minutes east of Downtown Cleveland.
Founded in 1946, the Mid-American Conference is an NCAA Division I, 12 full-member conference that sponsors 23 championships and is one of 11 members of the Football Bowl Subdivison (FBS). With total enrollment of nearly 300,000 students, the league represents institutions of higher learning in seven (7) states - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio. In addition, two universities - Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa., and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Ma. -- are members for football only.
Current MAC schools that hold full membership and the year they joined are -- East Division: University of Akron (1992), Bowling Green State University (1952), University at Buffalo (1998), Kent State University (1951), Miami University (1947), Ohio University (1946). West Division: Ball State University (1973), Central Michigan University (1971), Eastern Michigan University (1971), Northern Illinois University (1975-86, rejoined in 1997), University of Toledo (1950), Western Michigan University (1947).
Temple University (2007) and the University of Massachusetts (2012) compete in football only. The conference office is based in Cleveland, Ohio.