BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The Western Collegiate Hockey Association today named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Flowers as its next Vice President and Women’s League Commissioner. Flowers will begin her duties in July.
Flowers joins the WCHA from the NSIC, where she has served as that league’s Assistant Commissioner for Membership Services since August 2016. She succeeds outgoing commissioner Katie Million, who served from 2016-19 before departing for a role with USA Hockey following the 2018-19 season.
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“Jennifer Flowers has a strong record of working with a diverse set of schools and of focusing on the student-athlete experience,” said WCHA Women’s League Board Chairman and University of Minnesota Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Perry Leo, who served as chair of the league’s search committee. “We had a strong pool of candidates, but Jennifer’s experience in key areas made her an ideal fit for this role. We look forward to her leading the WCHA Women’s League and enhancing its reputation as the best league in women’s college hockey.”
“I am honored and humbled to be chosen as the Commissioner of the Women’s League of the WCHA,” Flowers said. “I want to thank Dr. Leo and the search committee for this incredible opportunity. I am thrilled to work alongside our seven fantastic member institutions to continue the excellence that is synonymous with WCHA women’s hockey.”
Along with her duties directing the Women’s League, Flowers will work alongside WCHA President and Men’s League Commissioner Bill Robertson to drive the Association’s shared goals and vision.
— WCHA Women’s Hockey (@WCHA_WHockey) June 3, 2019
“I’m excited to have Jennifer on board with the WCHA,” Robertson said. “Her passion and commitment to the student-athlete experience, her familiarity with a number of our member institutions and her broad base of experience will benefit the WCHA. I look forward to collaborating with Jennifer to continue to grow and enhance our overall Association.”
At the NSIC, Flowers focuses on the internal service of the membership and league stakeholders. She serves as the office liaison in support of the NSIC senior women’s administrators, faculty athletic representatives, Student-Athlete Advisory Committees and officials coordinators. Flowers is responsible for assisting with strategic plan implementation with a commitment to academics and life skills, athletics operations and compliance, diversity and inclusion, game day, championships, membership and positioning. She also has championship oversight of volleyball, swimming & diving, basketball and softball. The Manson, Iowa, native was also closely involved in sponsorship and corporate partner initiatives during her time with the NSIC.
Flowers serves on the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Rules Committee, is the Co-Chair of the Minnesota Coalition for Women in Athletic Leadership and serves as a mentor in the Women Leaders in College Sports mentoring program.
Among the initiatives Flowers has spearheaded in her time at the NSIC, she led a committee that created the league’s first transgender student-athlete participation guidelines and coordinated the launch of the league’s SAAC Cup, which was designed to encourage engagement of campus Student-Athlete Advisory Councils. She developed and implemented the NSIC Women’s Coaches Symposium in 2017, which has since been rebranded the NSIC Women’s Leadership Symposium. Flowers also oversaw the creation of the NSIC Elite 18 Award, which recognizes the student-athlete with the top GPA in each of the league’s sponsored sports.
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Prior to her time at the NSIC, Flowers worked at Winona State University as the associate athletic director and senior woman administrator from 2012 to December of 2015. She also had a stint at WSU from 2006-09. Flowers oversaw internal aspects of the department, including compliance and budget coordination along with athletic department scheduling. She was the department’s liaison to the Winona State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as well.
Flowers was an assistant women’s basketball and volleyball coach at Simpson College during the 2005-06 season. She helped guide Simpson’s women’s basketball team to the Iowa Conference regular season and tournament championships while equaling the program’s record for wins in a season. Flowers helped coach three players to all-conference honors. She also helped guide the volleyball program to a 21-14 record and a second-place finish at the conference tournament.
She spent the 2004-05 academic year at the University of Minnesota where she was the assistant to the associate athletic director. At Minnesota she was the assistant championship manager for four NCAA Championships and one WCHA Championship. She also was the assistant game director for Minnesota’s Music City Bowl appearance in 2004.
Flowers and her husband, Jonte, reside in Burnsville with their two children — Ayanna and Kellen.
Flowers becomes the fourth commissioner in the 20-year history of the WCHA Women’s League, following Sara Martin (1999-2014), Aaron Kemp (2014-16) and Katie Million (2016-19).
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT JENNIFER FLOWERS
Josh Berlo, Director of Athletics, University of Minnesota Duluth (Selection Committee member)
“Jennifer Flowers is an exceptional hire for the WCHA. She will be a great leader for the league and a strong role model for the young women in our respective programs. Having worked closely with her during her time at the NSIC, I am confident in a bright future for the WCHA Women’s League under her leadership.”
John Harrington, Head Women’s Hockey Coach, Minnesota State University (Selection Committee member)
“Jennifer stood out among an outstanding group of finalists. Her previous experience in administration with coaches, athletic directors and faculty representatives shows she can build relationships and involve key stakeholders in the decision-making process. Her vision to continually address and improve the student-athlete experience in the WCHA is important as we move forward under her leadership.”
Erin Lind, Commissioner, Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
“I would like to start by thanking Jen for her service to the NSIC. She has been and will continue to be an outstanding leader. She elevated our league in many ways, but mostly importantly, she always puts the best interest of the student-athletes first. We wish her the best with the WCHA.”
Marc Ryan, Senior Associate Athletics Director, University of Minnesota
“This is a great opportunity for Jennifer and a tremendous hire by the WCHA. She is a talented, passionate and innovative leader who will help bring the league to even greater heights in the future.”
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Women’s League
The Women’s League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association will mark its 21st season in 2019-20. The nation’s premier women’s hockey conference, WCHA member institutions have won a record 17 national championships since the league’s inception in 1999 (including 16 of a possible 19 NCAA titles), while producing seven Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winners, 101 All-Americans and numerous Olympic and national team members. The seven-team, NCAA Division 1 conference consists of: Bemidji State University (Beavers), the University of Minnesota (Golden Gophers), the University of Minnesota Duluth (Bulldogs), Minnesota State University (Mavericks), Ohio State University (Buckeyes), St. Cloud State University (Huskies) and the University of Wisconsin (Badgers). For more information, visit wcha.com.