Birmingham, Alabama – The SWAC Council of Presidents/Chancellors and chairman George C. Wright, President of Prairie View A&M University, announced today that SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp and the conference have agreed to a contract extension through 2014.

Sharp joined the SWAC staff as assistant commissioner in January 2004 and was named associate commissioner in June 2005. He was promoted to commissioner in January 2008. Some of the accomplishments and enhancements from which the conference has benefited under Sharp’s leadership include:

· Implementation and execution of the SWAC strategic and vision plan for 2008-2011

· Implementation of conference-wide video editing and exchange solution (LRS/Dragon Fly Storm-digital) in the sport of football.

· Development of a comprehensive program to improve overall team and officials’ performance throughout all 18 SWAC sponsored varsity sports.

· Negotiated exclusive conference-wide footwear agreement with Nike USA, Inc. in 2008.

· Restructured exclusive conference-wide apparel and equipment agreements with Russell Athletic, Inc. and Spalding providing all member institutions with game uniforms, sideline apparel and game products in football, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s basketball, and volleyball.

· Implementation of internet video exchange in the sports of men’s and women’s basketball

· Negotiated extension with ESPN for the annual MEAC-SWAC Challenge in the sport of football.

· Implemented instant replay for the SWAC Football Championship Game.

“The presidents and chancellors of the SWAC member institutions are unanimous in their support of the progressive leadership Commissioner Sharp has provided this conference during his tenure,” said Wright. “Duer has been very successful in the developing the structure by which our athletic programs operate and those resources have greatly benefited our athletic programs and the thousands of student-athletes they serve.”

Only the SWAC’s fifth commissioner since its founding in 1920, the 41-year old Sharp has served as commissioner for nearly three years. During his time, Sharp has worked with president/chancellors, directors of athletics and senior woman administrators to provide a positive experience both academically and athletically for student-athletes at each member institution.

“I am excited and proud to extend my contract with the SWAC, “said Sharp. “I am fortunate to serve these 10 world-class academic institutions, and I look forward to continuing to enhance the experience of our student-athletes.”



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