COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The National Collegiate Hockey Conference, the new eight-school, Division I men’s hockey conference that will start play in the 2013-14 season, on Wednesday announced highly respected veteran sports executive Jim Scherr as its first commissioner.

Scherr, who has more than 20 years in sports management leadership including as the chief executive officer of the United States Olympic Committee and executive director of USA Wrestling, was introduced by North Dakota Athletic Director Brian Faison at a news conference.

“The selection of Jim Scherr as our first commissioner is the culmination of a thorough, national search to identify an exceptional sports business executive who will provide the leadership, vision and credibility to make our new conference the benchmark for excellence in collegiate hockey,” Faison said. “While the position attracted dozens of very impressive candidates, Jim distinguished himself as someone who exceeded the leadership criteria established by our athletic directors. Jim’s depth of experience will serve the conference well and we are delighted he has agreed to accept this important position.”

“I am honored to have been selected by the National Collegiate Hockey Conference to become its first commissioner,” Scherr said. “I am grateful to the athletic directors and coaches of our conference’s member institutions for their support, confidence and trust. We have just 21 months before we drop the puck to launch our first season and there’s a lot to accomplish. This is a once-in-a-career opportunity and I look forward to leading a conference, including the eight outstanding hockey programs with their coaches, staffs, student-athletes and fans, that has the potential to become the premier single-sport conference in intercollegiate athletics.”

The eight member institutions of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference are: Colorado College, Denver, Miami (Ohio), Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota, St. Cloud State and Western Michigan.

Scherr will immediately begin building a conference staff and working on several key organizational functions and projects, including hockey operations and competition, business development and marketing initiatives.

New conference steeped in hockey tradition