INDIANAPOLIS - University of Washington president Mark A. Emmert is the NCAA's new chief executive.
Emmert will become the NCAA’s fifth chief executive. He is expected to assume his duties no later than November 1.
"No reservations about taking the job, great reservations about leaving the university that I love. It's this difficult challenge of leaving a great job for another great job," Emmert said at a press conference.
Emmert succeeds Myles Brand, who died last September from pancreatic cancer. Brand was the first president to die in office. Jim Isch has served as interim president since Sept. 22.
"It's a perfect job for him and his skill set, the abilities that he has, I couldn't be more happy and more proud for him," said UW Athletic Director Stott Woodward.
Emmert was a surprise choice. The early front-runners were University of Hartford president Walter Harrison, Georgia president Michael Adams and NCAA executive Bernard Franklin.
In a letter addressed to UW students, faculty and staff, Emmert said, in part, "It has been my honor to serve you. I am very proud of what we have accomplished together these past six years. Our university is a special place--by any measure one of the world's leading research universities--because of all of you and the work you perform every day. I cannot thank you enough for your dedication, energy and enthusiasm. It is never a good time to leave one great job for another. I relish the challenges at the NCAA but will always love my time here. DeLaine and I always have been, and always will be, Huskies for life."
Emmert became Washington's 30th president in June 2004. He is one of the highest-paid public college presidents in the nation. He came to Seattle from LSU, where he was chancellor.
A native of Fife, Wash., he graduated from Washington in 1975 with a degree in political science. He received his master's degree in 1976 and his doctorate in 1983, both in public administration from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.