By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The proposed Mountain East Conference announced on Tuesday the selection of its first commissioner. Reid Amos, vice president of broadcasting at West Liberty University near Wheeling, will be in charge of running the new league.
His appointment was unanimous, according to a press release distributed on Tuesday. It said the 12 presidents of the institutions that are forming the new league met last month at Fairmont State University.
The Mountain East Conference (MEC) will include Concord University, West Liberty and seven other institutions that are currently members of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It also will include the University of Virginia’s College at Wise and two Ohio institutions, Notre Dame College and Urbana University.
The schools are planning to start league play in August.
Concord’s president, Dr. Gregory Aloia, wrote Tuesday via email, “Reid has served in NCAA governance, collegiate athletics, and broadcasting. He also has an extensive background in marketing and communications.”
“Within today’s athletic landscape, these skills will play a vital role in moving the MEC toward our goal of becoming an NCAA model conference. Reid has provided outstanding leadership throughout this entire process.”
Concord athletic director Kevin Garrett said, “Reid Amos has an extensive background in college athletics. He’s been a coach, he’s been a broadcaster, he’s been involved in social media and web development, he’s done marketing — he’s done a lot of things that a person needs to be able to do these days to work effectively at the conference level.”
“He has shown a lot of leadership as we have continued toward our ultimate goal, to be a model D-2 conference.”
West Liberty president Robin Capehart, the interim chairman of the Mountain East Conference board of presidents, said in Tuesday’s release, “In addition to his longstanding business relationships with many of our members, Reid has provided excellent leadership for all of us throughout this process and we have every confidence he will continue to do so as we forge ahead on this new path.”
Capehart cited Amos’ “nearly two decades of experience with NCAA Division II athletics.”
Amos has been spokesman and recording secretary for the conference since the decision to form a new league was reached. He has also been working as a liaison between the MEC athletic administrators’ committee and the board of presidents.
Reid said in a prepared statement, “With the great athletic histories of our institutions, I am honored to be named the first commissioner of the Mountain East Conference by our board of directors as we move forward into a bright future.”
“The MEC will value providing a quality experience for its student-athletes in a highly competitive conference. Our institutions are committed to moving forward as a model conference guided by NCAA standards which enable our best programs to rank among the nation’s best.”
The proposed conference also announced on Tuesday that it met the Dec. 1 deadline to submit its application to the NCAA in order to be approved as a new league in Division II. If approved, the MEC stated it will begin competition starting with the 2013-14 school year.
The release stated that the MEC’s formal application, signed by the presidents of all 12 institutions, was hand-delivered to NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis on Friday along with all supporting documentation.
The national organization required, among other things, the presentation of a conference constitution and by-laws and a feasibility study, Garrett said. He praised the process that mandated that each institution have input from a variety of campus constituencies into the proposal.
Garrett said that when he got word that the deadline was met on Friday, “I was relieved and very excited. A lot of people put a whole lot of work into the process, and I was very relieved that it got there in time.”
In the months to come before July 1, he said, “We have to finish up scheduling for all the sports. There are different jobs that will be (filled) in the conference office. Policies will have to be developed and filed.”
The league is now at the point in which, Garrett said, “one section of it ends, and another whole section begins. We want to ensure that when the new season starts, we are ready to go with everything that makes the conference run smoothly.”
Aloia wrote, “We are very excited with the direction of the Mountain East Conference and look forward to providing a quality experience for all of our student-athletes in a highly competitive conference.
“Our institutions are committed to moving forward as an NCAA Division II model conference.”
Pending NCAA approval, the MEC will meet requirements for conference championships in 16 sports — men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track and field, and volleyball.
— Contact Tom Bone at firstname.lastname@example.org