St. Cloud State athletic director Heather Weems has been named the new commissioner of the NCHC, replacing outgoing commissioner Josh Fenton.
Fenton announced he would be leaving the NCHC at the conclusion of the 2021-2022 season to take a position as commissioner of the Summit League.
Weems has been the athletic director at St. Cloud State for the past 10 years. In addition to leading one of the NCHC’s eight members schools, Weems also has experience working at the University of Denver, where she worked various positions from 1999 to 2008, including helping the school transition their athletic director to full Division I membership. She has also served on a number of leadership and committee positions within the NCHC over the past few years, giving her a solid understanding of the inner workings of the league, which should make for a smooth transition when she officially takes over the role on July 6th of this year.
Weems comes to the position at a potentially very interesting time in the league’s history. While the NCHC is on solid footing overall as arguably the strongest conference in men’s college hockey, and has had unparalleled success on the ice, there will likely be some major decisions to be made in the near-future when it comes to conference membership. At the least, the league will likely be making decisions on whether to add any of the growing group of independent programs—Augustana, Lindenwood, Arizona State, etc.—to the eight-team conference, with the possibility that college hockey could undergo a more major realignment similar to what it did in 2013.
Regardless of how the future unfolds, having someone with Weems’ experience in that head position should be a huge plus. After the NCHC’s initial hiccup in hiring their first league commissioner, they hit a home run by hiring a well-respected athletic department veteran in Josh Fenton, who many would argue went on to set the gold standard for college hockey commissioners. The hiring of Weems makes for a natural transition that should help the league continue on that same successful path.