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Ted Tow remembered as ‘key employee in the Association’s history’

Former NCAA associate executive director of publishing dies at 84

Ted Tow, former NCAA associate executive director of publishing, died Aug. 25 at age 84 in Olathe, Kansas.

Tow arrived at the NCAA national office in the Kansas City, Missouri, area in 1972. He served as the assistant executive director of publishing until 1988 and then became the associate executive director of publishing until his retirement in 1994. These roles required Tow to be the main publisher of all NCAA publications.

“He is remembered for having an attention to detail and an emphasis on clear and concise communication that was unlike anybody else,” David Pickle, former editor of the NCAA News, said of Tow.

In the early 1970s, Tow was the publisher of the NCAA News, which was a newsletter for all internal and external information that was pertinent to the Association. Tow was also responsible for creating the writing style and formats that were used for all internal and external NCAA publications, as well as the publications used at the NCAA Convention. During his time with the NCAA, Tow also served as the primary staff liaison to the NCAA Council, which is now known as the Board of Governors.

His efforts as staff liaison are the work for which Tow might be most remembered, former colleagues say.  Along with the NCAA’s first executive director, Walter Byers, Tow was instrumental in drafting the legislation that allowed the NCAA membership to be more involved in the governance processes of the Association.

“His work allowed presidents to be active participants in the NCAA structure, and that structure has withstood the test of time,” said David Berst, former NCAA vice president for Division I. “It is because of contributions like this that Ted Tow is such a key employee in the Association’s history. The impact that Ted had on the NCAA is truly monumental, and he will be missed by the NCAA community.”

Tow was born Aug. 20, 1936, in Omaha, Nebraska. He attended Wayne State (Nebraska) for his undergraduate studies and received graduate degrees in journalism from both Wyoming and Iowa. He also received graduate degrees in education and educational public relations from Fort Hays State. Tow is survived by his four children, his longtime significant other, a sister and other extended family.