ARLINGTON, Va. – The newly formed Atlantic East Conference, a Division III league comprised of seven private institutions, has announced its first hire, as Jessica Huntley was named commissioner this past week.
"The President's Council unanimously supported the hiring of Jessica Huntley as our founding commissioner," said Marymount President Dr. Matthew Shank, Chair of the Atlantic East President's Council. "We have full faith and trust that Jessica will lead the Atlantic East Conference to be one of the finest conferences in DIII. We are very excited to have someone with her blend of skills and passion for the position."
Huntley comes to the AEC after a six-year stay at the Centennial Conference where she was the Assistant Executive Director for five years before being promoted to Associate Executive Director in July 2017.
During her time in the conference office, she was involved in the daily operations, including organization of 20 championship events, staff liaison to coaches' committees, administrator of the NCAA DIII Conference Grant Program, handling all officiating activities, awards administration, and served as the administrative liaison to the Centennial Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). She also coordinated special events, including managing all aspects of the NCAA Regional Rules Seminar in 2015 and 2018 at York College of Pennsylvania.
"As I say goodbye to the Centennial Conference, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for a great experience and for the professional support and friendship during my six-year tenure," said Huntley.
Her experience stretches much further past from what she acquired at the Centennial, holding the position of Director of Division III for the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) which moved her back to Pennsylvania. Additionally, she served as the assistant commissioner of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, assistant director of athletics/women's basketball coach at Bay Path College, and director of men's basketball operations at Harvard.
A former Division III student-athlete herself, Huntley was a four-year letter winner and captain on the York (Pa.) basketball team and graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in sport management and a minor in business administration. She also served on the NCAA Division III SAAC in her time as a Spartan. She continued her education at Boston College where she received a Master of Arts in higher education administration in May 2009.
Furthermore, Huntley is a Disney Institute trained ambassador for the NCAA's "Game Day the Division III Way" Program, a member of the NCAA DIII Membership Committee and serves on the Sport Management Advisory Board at York (Pa.). She has also been a member of the NCAA Woman of the Year Committee, NCAA Regional Advisory Committee for Women's Golf, and After-School All-Stars Philadelphia Advisory Board.
"The newly formed Athletic East Conference is about to make its mark in Division III sports and I am honored to be a part of this launch as the first-ever Conference Commissioner," added Huntley. "I want to thank President Shank, Chuck Sack, and the entire AEC for welcoming me to the team."
"It is an exciting time for all AEC members! I look forward to working with the AEC schools to provide a great collegiate sports experience for the student-athletes of the AEC."
The Atlantic East Conference is a Division III league formed of seven founding institutions including: Cabrini University, Gwynedd Mercy University, Immaculata University, Marymount University, Marywood University, Neumann University, and Wesley College. The conference is formed to foster athletic competition and cooperation among academically selective, private colleges located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The geographic focus brings together some of the top colleges in the region, while still allowing for a strong conference of like-minded institutions, all of which integrate competitive athletics into the student-athlete's university experience. The Atlantic East will initially sponsor and host championships for 19 sports within the NCAA Division III.