INDIANAPOLIS — Southwestern Athletic Conference commissioner Charles McClelland and Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard have been named to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. Their five-year terms will begin in September.
McClelland has been at the SWAC since last summer, having previously served as vice president of intercollegiate athletics at one of its member schools, Texas Southern, for a decade. During his tenure at Texas Southern, McClelland guided the Tigers to unprecedented success, with notable academic improvements, an increase in brand visibility and significant achievements across the athletics department. This included Texas Southern advancing to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship four times in McClelland’s final five years at the school, with the Tigers earning their first tournament win in 2018. In addition, Texas Southern co-hosted the 2016 Final Four, which was played in Houston, with McClelland serving on the Local Organizing Committee.
“I’m extremely humbled and honored to be selected to serve as a member of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee,” McClelland said. “The committee has a long-standing tradition of excellence, and I’m very excited to begin working with the other members of the committee as we collectively seek the continued advancement of men’s basketball at the collegiate level.”
Before starting at Texas Southern in 2008, McClelland was the director of athletics at his alma mater, Prairie View A&M, overseeing a department that captured 18 SWAC championships during his seven years at the helm. McClelland earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and his MBA from Prairie View. He received his doctoral degree in higher education administration from Texas A&M.
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McClelland is a past member of the NCAA Division I Leadership and Management Councils and was honored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics as one of their Athletics Directors of the Year in 2007, becoming the first person from the Southwestern Athletic Conference to earn that award. He is the second SWAC commissioner to be a member of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, joining Robert Vowels, who served for one season in 2005-06.
Pollard, who Wednesday was named one of the winners of NACDA’s Under Armour Athletic Directors of the Year, has been at Iowa State since 2005. He is the second Iowa State athletics director to serve on the committee; Gene Smith was a member during the 1999-2000 season.
Under Pollard’s leadership, the Cyclones have earned a spot in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship six times in the past seven seasons, earning a No. 5 seed in 2017, a four seed in 2016 and a No. 3 seed in 2014 and 2015. Iowa State advanced to the round of 32 in 2012, 2013 and 2017 and reached the Sweet 16 in the 2014 and 2016 tournaments. Across all of its sports, Iowa State has upgraded its facilities and achieved all-time program bests academically, and is one of two schools to average at least 50,000 football fans, 14,000 men’s basketball fans and 9,000 women’s basketball fans in each of the past seven seasons.
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Before going to Iowa State, Pollard served as associate athletics director at Saint Louis (1989-94), Maryland (1994-98) and Wisconsin (1998-2003). Wisconsin promoted him to deputy athletics director in 2003.
A native of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Pollard was a standout runner for the Wisconsin-Oshkosh cross country and track and field teams. The cross country team finished in the top five in all four seasons of Pollard’s career, and he earned All-America honors as a senior in the fall of 1986. The following spring, Pollard won an individual national championship by winning the 5,000-meter race at the NCAA Division III Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
“It’s an unbelievable honor to have the opportunity to serve on this prominent committee,” Pollard said. “Many of my peers who have served previously said it is a once-in-a-lifetime professional opportunity that I will cherish forever. I look forward to giving back to our industry by serving on this committee. I want to thank Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby for supporting my candidacy, and I’m excited to represent our conference on this national stage.”
Pollard and McClelland will replace outgoing committee members Bernard Muir and Janet Cone. Muir, who is currently serving as the committee chair, is the director of athletics at Stanford, while Cone is the director of athletics at UNC Asheville. Other committee members include vice chair Kevin White, the director of athletics at Duke; Mitch Barnhart, the director of athletics at Kentucky; Tom Burnett, the commissioner of the Southland Conference; Bernadette McGlade, the commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference; Mike O’Brien, the director of athletics at Toledo; Jim Phillips, the director of athletics at Northwestern; Chris Reynolds, the direct of athletics at Bradley; and Craig Thompson, the commissioner of the Mountain West Conference.