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Mike Racy, vice president for Division II, announced he will leave the NCAA in July to become chief strategy officer at the University of Central Missouri.
Under Racy’s leadership, Division II developed and implemented a groundbreaking strategic-positioning platform; created a National Championships Festival series; and passed landmark “Life in the Balance” legislation that reframed the educational and athletics experience for Division II student-athletes, coaches and administrators.
In addition, Division II student-athletes became the first to create a national charitable outreach through their association with Make-A-Wish. Division II also identified and then followed through on a need to build stronger bonds among Division II athletics programs, their institutions and the communities in which they are located.
“It has been my pleasure to work with Mike Racy for the past six years,” said West Texas A&M President Pat O’Brien, chair of the Division II Presidents Council. “Throughout this period, I have admired Mike’s visionary leadership, his dedication to enhancing the welfare of our student-athletes and his management style. I have grown to respect Mike not only as a colleague working to enrich student-athletes’ experience in Division II, but also as a friend.”
At Central Missouri, Racy will serve as the primary facilitator of the university’s strategic leadership team. He also will have responsibilities for governmental relations and community/economic development, in addition to some teaching duties.
“Since adopting our new strategic-positioning initiative in fall 2012, UCM has continued to move forward at a rapid pace on several initiatives that will further strengthen the institution,” said Central Missouri President Charles Ambrose. “We’re extremely fortunate to take advantage of Mike Racy’s many years of experience as an innovator, effective leader and strategist to keep us on course and continue our progress. We look forward to having Mike as a member of the university’s leadership team.”
Racy said he has been privileged to serve the Division II membership in a leadership position and to help enhance the collegiate experience for Division II student-athletes.
“I believe we have accomplished many important strategic initiatives during the past few years,” he said. “It is an appropriate time for Division II to experience new leadership, and I believe I am ready to experience new professional challenges.”
Racy joined the NCAA in November 1993 after having worked at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and a Kansas City law firm. As an NCAA legislative assistant, he served as special liaison to the NCAA Presidents Commission for Governance Restructuring, which eventually developed legislation that led to a new membership structure for the NCAA in 1997.
In 1996, Racy was named assistant chief of staff for Division II (the equivalent of Division II director in today’s terminology). He was named Division II chief of staff (subsequently retitled as vice president) in 1999, succeeding Nancy Mitchell.
Other key Division II accomplishments during Racy’s tenure have included:
Within the national office, Racy chaired the search committees for general counsel (2010) and chief medical officer (2012).
Racy served as an American Council on Education Fellow at Central Missouri in 2011-12 and was selected to participate in a U.S. Department of Defense Joint Civilian Orientation Conference in 2012. The Division II Conference Commissioners Association presented Racy its Award of Merit in 2003, and the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.