With the expansion of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee to 12 members in 2021-22, two existing members will have their terms extended for one year, while three new committee members will be added for the coming season.
Because the committee recently experienced significant turnover in its membership, having replaced five of its 10 members in summer 2020, the NCAA Division I Council Coordination Committee approved one-year extensions for committee chair, Nina King, deputy athletics director and chief of staff at Duke University and committee member Debbie Richardson, senior associate commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference. Both will continue with the committee through Aug. 31, 2022.
Joining the committee Sept. 1, 2021 will be three experienced administrators and former women’s basketball student-athletes; Amanda Braun, athletics director at Milwaukee; Janice Ruggiero, deputy director of athletics and senior woman administrator at New Mexico; and Lynn Tighe, senior associate athletics director and senior woman administrator at Villanova. The nominations were vetted by the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and endorsed by the Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee.
Braun, who has over 21 years of experience in college athletics, currently serves on the Horizon League Executive Council and Basketball Issues Committee. She has previously served on the Division I Competition Oversight Committee, Women’s Basketball Issues Committee, Women’s Ice Hockey Committee and Men’s and Women’s Skiing Committee.
Ruggiero has over 31 years of experience in college athletics and is the current sport administrator for women’s basketball at New Mexico. She is a former member of the Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee, Division I Women’s Basketball Committee (2002-04), Women’s Basketball Rules Committee and the Division I Legislative Council.
Tighe comes to the committee with over 30 years of experience in college athletics and is the current sport administrator for women’s basketball at Villanova and chair of the Big East Conference senior woman administrator group. She is a former member of the Women’s Soccer Committee and Division I Women’s Basketball Issues Committee.
“We are thrilled that Nina and Debbie were able to be extended for the coming year. Their experience and leadership of the committee have been crucial and to get them to serve for another year will be extremely helpful for a committee with so many new members,” said Lynn Holzman, NCAA vice president of women’s basketball. “Amanda, Janice and Lynn bring a combined 80-plus years of experience with them to the committee and we are ecstatic to welcome them to what will be a dynamic 12-member committee in 2021-22. We also want to thank Rhonda Lundin Bennett for assisting the committee this year. Her recent experience with the committee and knowledge of selections contributed to our success and we are forever grateful for her willingness to re-join the committee for this past year.”
Other members of the committee for 2021-22 will include Deneé Barracato, deputy director of athletics at Northwestern; Greg Burke, director of athletics at Northwestern State; Beth Goetz, director of athletics at Ball State; Kurt McGuffin, director of intercollegiate athletics at UT Martin; Lisa Peterson, deputy athletics director at Oregon; Derita Ratcliffe Dawkins, deputy athletics director at Arkansas and Jill Shields, deputy athletics director at Kansas State.
In January 2021, the Division I Council adopted the proposal to expand the composition of the Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Committees from 10 to 12 members in 2021-22. Both committees will consist of one member selected from each of the five autonomy conferences and three members selected from the seven highest-ranked non-autonomy conferences based on basketball success. The remaining four members will be selected from the 20 other conferences.