By Duncan Mackay

Jim Scherr_head_and_shouldersJanuary 4 - Jim Scherr, the former chief executive of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), has been appointed as the first Commisioner of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference that is due to launch in 2013.

He was introduced today by Brian Faison, University of North Dakota Athletic Director, at a news conference at Penrose House in Colorado Springs, the headquarters city of the conference.

Scherr served as the chief exeuctive of the USOC from 2005 to 2009, overseeing 45 Olympic sports, having previously served in the role on an interim basis for two years and worked as the organisation's chief of sport performance. 

He was also executive director of USA Wrestling from 1990 to 2000, and founder and chief executive of 776 Original Marketing in Colorado Springs, a company he started in 2009 to provide marketing and public relations services, and whose clients include the British Olympic Association.

He will step down as chief executive of that company.

"I am honoured to have been selected by the National Collegiate Hockey Conference to become its first Commissioner," said Scherr, who represented the United States as a wrestler at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

"I am grateful to the athletic directors and coaches of our conference's member institutions for their support, confidence and trust.

"We have just 21 months before we drop the puck to launch our first season and there's a lot to accomplish.

"This is a once-in-a-career opportunity and I look forward to leading a conference, including the eight outstanding hockey programs with their coaches, staffs, student-athletes and fans, that has the potential to become the premier single-sport conference in intercollegiate athletics."

The eight member institutions of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference are Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Nebraska Omaha, University of North Dakota, St. Cloud State University and Western Michigan University.

Scherr will immediately begin building a staff and working on several key organizational functions and projects, including hockey operations and competition, business development and marketing initiatives.

"The selection of Jim Scherr as our first commissioner is the culmination of a thorough, national search to identify an exceptional sports business executive who will provide the leadership, vision and credibility to make our new conference the benchmark for excellence in collegiate hockey," Faison said.

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