Conference USA and new commissioner Judy MacLeod made history earlier today when the latter was announced as the first female commissioner in Football Bowl Subdivision history.
MacLeod has an extensive athletic administration history, and keep in mind that she’s been the interim commissioner of C-USA since former commissioner Britton Banowsky stepped down in mid-september.
Previously to her interim responsibilities for the conference, MacLeod had worked with Conference USA since 2005, serving as the Executive Associate Commissioner and COO since 2006, per the press release.
“I feel very fortunate and appreciative of the confidence our member schools have placed in me to lead and serve the great group of universities in Conference USA,” MacLeod said, again per the release. “We have a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes and I look forward to facing the challenges and opportunities together with our members.”
Before working with Conference USA, MacLeod boasted extensive experience in college athletics at the University of Tulsa. She worked at Tulsa for 15 years, 10 of those as the Director of Athletics.
Obviously this is a huge step for women in sports, as sports administration (and coaching) is generally a field dominated by men. MacLeod’s big promotion just so happens to be a few months after Jen Welter was hired as the training camp/preseason intern for the Arizona Cardinals, which was a monumental move in the NFL as she was believed to be the first female NFL coach in any capacity.
MacLeod has the opportunity to make a huge impact in the world of collegiate sports and she seems to have a history and experience of success to back her up. The importance of this story can’t be understated, as it’s another big step forward as far as gender equality in sports is concerned.