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Jim Phillips to chair the men’s basketball committee in 2021-22

Northwestern’s athletics director will serve as vice chair for 2020-21 season

Jim Phillips, the vice president of athletics and recreation at Northwestern, has been named the chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee for the 2021-22 season. Phillips will serve as vice chair of the committee for the upcoming season, working with 2020-21 committee chair Mitch Barnhart, who is the director of athletics at Kentucky.

Phillips has served in his current role since 2008 and has served in several leadership roles over the past five years. In 2015, he was elected to be the first chair of the NCAA Division I Council. During his term, he became the first active athletics director to serve on the Division I Board of Directors and NCAA Board of Governors. He presently sits on the Fiesta Bowl board of directors and is first vice chair of the board of directors for LEAD 1, an organization made up of every director of athletics for all 130 Football Bowl Subdivision universities. He’s entering his fourth year of service to the Men’s Basketball Committee.

In May 2018, Phillips was honored as the Sports Business Journal Athletic Director of the Year and was recognized as the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics FBS Athletics Director of the Year in both 2012 and 2016. Last year he was recognized by the NCAA as a Champion of Inclusion, an honor that recognizes those who work to support ethnic minorities and other populations who are underrepresented among college athletics administrators. Earlier this year Phillips announced the creation of a new senior leadership position, the senior associate athletics director/chief diversity and inclusion officer, to lead the department’s foundational commitment to a world-class experience for Northwestern’s student-athletes. 

“Serving the NCAA, its member institutions and basketball student-athletes as a committee member these past three years has been an incredible honor, and I am extremely humbled that my esteemed colleagues have asked me to step into this new role,” Phillips said. “As a committee, we are driven by our shared passion for the game and understand the responsibility we have to diligently work to be stewards of college basketball and put on one of the most preeminent events in sports. I look forward to continuing to work and support Mitch, the rest of our committee, Dan Gavitt and the NCAA staff in the coming years.”

Phillips and Barnhart are joined on the committee by Craig Thompson, the commissioner of the Mountain West Conference; Tom Burnett, the commissioner of the Southland Conference; Bernadette McGlade, the commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference; Chris Reynolds, the director of athletics at Bradley; Mike O’Brien, the director of athletics at Toledo; Charles McClelland, the commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference; Jamie Pollard, the director of athletics at Iowa State; and Bubba Cunningham, the director of athletics at North Carolina. Current chair Kevin White of Duke will rotate off the committee Sept. 1.