The WCHA announced on Wednesday afternoon that the conference will be looking for a new commissioner as current commissioner Jennifer Flowers was resigning her position to take the athletic director job at Southwest Minnesota State University.
Flowers only served in the role of WCHA commissioner for three seasons, taking over the position in June of 2019 from much-respected former commissioner Katie Million. But there was a lot crammed into those three years, as Flowers helped guide the league through the Covid-19 pandemic, which prematurely cancelled one season, and presented major scheduling challenges for two others.
Flowers wasn’t with the league long enough to ascribe any causation to the league’s on-ice success during her tenure, but with the ascension of Ohio State to a national championship-level program this past season, the league once again returned to a position as the preeminent conference in women’s college hockey with multiple programs that could match up with any other program in the country. She also oversaw the addition of St. Thomas to the conference, which was a fairly natural decision to make, but one that should pay major dividends for the league in the future.
Her biggest impact came off the ice. In terms of league exposure, she helped negotiate a deal that saw the league’s streaming rights move from FloSports to BTN+, which was cheaper and more convenient for fans, especially at the league’s three Big Ten schools, and potentially leaves the conference in a better spot for the future, depending on where the Big Ten’s broadcast rights end up later this summer.
She also did a lot of work building up the league’s social media presence, including doing an excellent job of promoting the league’s players and their personalities.
The league will begin the search for a replacement in the coming weeks. Flowers’ departure creates a second opening among the women’s college hockey conferences after College Hockey America commissioner Bob DeGregorio announced his retirement after this coming season two weeks ago.