The Southwestern Athletic Conference Council of Presidents and Chancellors – Chairman Ronald Mason Jr. – has announced the selection of Duer Sharp as the new Commissioner of the SWAC.
Sharp, who begins his duties immediately as the SWAC’s fifth commissioner, succeeds Robert C. Vowels, Jr. who stepped down in June to become the vice-president for educational services with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
“I am honored and excited to lead the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and I am grateful to the Council of Presidents and Chancellors for giving me this opportunity to be a part of the exciting future of the SWAC. Robert and the Council have done an outstanding job of establishing a solid foundation in regards to the enhanced athletic experience of our student-athletes and fans and improving the academic mission of our member institutions,” said Sharp. “The Conference office will continue to address issues such as sportsmanship, corporate sponsorships, developing new revenue sources and working with member institutions to ensure adherence to SWAC and NCAA rules compliance, academic progress and student-athlete graduation.”
The 38-year-old Camden, New Jersey, native joined the SWAC staff in January 2004. As assistant commissioner, he was responsible for overseeing the conference governance structure and officiating programs for football and men’s basketball.
Named associate commissioner in June 2005, Sharp served as the coordinator of the football championship and basketball tournament director as well as managed the day-to-day operations of the SWAC office. His duties also included the enforcement of 18 intercollegiate sports in accordance with SWAC and NCAA policies. While at the SWAC, he has served as an alternate on the NCAA Division I Management Council and was a member of the FCS Regional Advisory Committee. Currently, Sharp is a member of the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance and Minority Opportunity and Interest Committee (MOIC).
From October 2005 to June 2006 Sharp was the interim athletics director at Grambling State University.
Prior to joining the SWAC, Sharp spent six years as a sports management administrator at the Big Ten Conference. During that time Sharp worked with a number of coaches and administrative groups as a staff liaison.
Sharp received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Afro-American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was a four-year starter for the Badger football team (1988-1991). He was the recipient of Jay Seiler award for team leadership and was the recipient of Kappa Alpha Psi Tom W. Shick Scholarship awarded for intellectual vigor, concern for social justice and equality.