Feb. 20, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS -- Three men with nearly 100 combined years of experience in athletics administration have been appointed to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. Ron Wellman, the director of athletics at Wake Forest University; Doug Fullerton, commissioner of the Big Sky Conference; and Big 12 Conference commissioner Dan Beebe received appointments that begin September 1, 2009.

Wellman assumed the top position in the athletics department at Wake Forest in 1992, and has seen Deacon athletic teams rise to national prominence in several sports during his tenure. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and was a pitcher on the baseball team. After earning a master’s degree from Bowling Green, Wellman joined the faculty and basketball, football and baseball coaching staffs at Elmhurst College in 1971. In 1977, he became the school’s director of athletics, serving in that role until being named head baseball coach at Northwestern University in 1981.

Wellman began devoting his energies to athletics administration on a fulltime basis in 1986 when he was named director of athletics at Mankato State University. A year later, he was named to the same position at Illinois State University, where he remained until moving on to Wake Forest.
 
Fullerton is in his 14th year as commissioner of the Big Sky Conference, taking over that position in 1995 after 11 years as director of athletics at Montana State University. He also spent three years as assistant athletics director and three years as assistant men’s basketball coach at MSU. He received his undergraduate degree from California Western University (now U.S. International), and earned his master’s degree from Montana State.

In 2003-04, Fullerton was selected by his fellow commissioners to serve as president of the Collegiate Commissioners Association, becoming the first Football Championship Subdivision commissioner to ever serve in that capacity. A year later, he was one of three commissioners invited to the Basketball Partnership Committee, a group formed to help improve and promote college basketball. In 2007, Fullerton was the first commissioner of a FCS league named to the executive board of NCAA football.

Beebe has been with the Big 12 Conference since 2003, first serving as senior associate commissioner and chief financial officer for the league before being named commissioner in 2007. He received degrees from Walla Walla Community College and Cal Poly Pomona, as well as a law degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1982.

From there he joined the NCAA’s enforcement staff for four years before taking over for one year as assistant director of athletics at Wichita State University. In 1988 he returned to the NCAA national office as director of enforcement, and from 1989-2003 Beebe was commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference. Upon his appointment to the OVC, he became the youngest leader of a Division I football-playing conference.

The 10-member committee consists of athletics directors and commissioners of Division I member institutions and conferences and oversees administration of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, including the selection, seeding and bracketing of teams for the tournament. The committee is the primary NCAA contact with CBS Sports, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and other key basketball organizations. Committee members oversee selected preliminary round sites, as well as the Final Four, and assign officiating crews for each game of the championship. The committee also serves as stewards for the good of the game, monitoring and taking action as appropriate regarding issues affecting college basketball.

Current committee members include chair Mike Slive, commissioner of the Southeastern Conference; Mike Bobinski, director of athletics at Xavier University; Dan Guerrero, director of athletics at UCLA; Jeff Hathaway, director of athletics at the University of Connecticut; Lynn Hickey, director of athletics at the University of Texas-San Antonio; Chris Hill, director of athletics at the University of Utah; Laing Kennedy, director of athletics at Kent State University; Stan Morrison, director of athletics at the University of California-Riverside; Tom O’Connor, director of athletics at George Mason University; and Gene Smith, director of athletics at Ohio State University.

Wellman, Fullerton and Beebe will replace Hill, Slive and O’Connor, whose terms expire September 1. Guerrero will be chair of the committee for the 2009-10 academic year.

“Ron, Doug and Dan bring tremendous experience and basketball knowledge to the committee,” said Tom Jernstedt, executive vice president of the NCAA. “It is rare to have to find successors to three members in a single academic year. Such a change to the makeup of the committee requires careful thought, and we are pleased our membership will represented by individuals who understand the important place college basketball has on the landscape of intercollegiate athletics.”