1996 to 2009 – Executive Director, Jennifer Alley

After spending 25 years at NAIA and NCAA Division I institutions, Jennifer Alley was named the second executive director of NACWAA in the fall of 1966. With a background in teaching, coaching, marketing, fundraising, and athletic administration, Jennifer’s experience served as tremendous preparation for her time in the NACWAA executive director role.

In the words of Jennifer: “We are an organization united to empower women through networking, support, education and training, and we need to establish, promote, and maintain our networking forces in order for our voices to be continually heard. We must continue to pursue and promote our identity in the industry, bring together both people and ideas, and organize our talents and resources” (NACWAA Fall Issue 1996).

Over Jennifer’s extraordinary 13 years as executive director, NACWAA saw growth in membership, resources, national recognition, and sponsorship. One of Jennifer’s greatest accomplishments was the tremendous 143% increase in membership, from 700 to over 1,700 in the mid 2000’s.

Additional highlights over Jennifer’s 13-year tenure:

  • The National Office was established in Wilmington, NC
  • NACWAA staff expanded from one full-time with one intern to four full-time with two interns
  • NACWAA Foundation Fund was implemented
  • IAA (previously called NACWAA HERS) expanded from one offering to two per year (IAA West & IAA East)
  • The Institute for Athletics Executives (now called the Executive Institute) was implemented in 2001, which was funded by the NCAA
  • Leadership Enhancement Institute (LEI) was implemented in 2007 for women with 10-plus years of administrative experience
  • NACWAA and the Women’s Sports Foundation began co-sponsoring the Women of Experience Brunch at the women’s basketball Final Four
  • The Legacy and Lifetime Achievement Awards were established, and the Administrator of the Year award expanded from regional awards to divisional awards
  • NACWAA website capabilities expanded, creating the ability to pay membership dues, register for Fall Forum, and contribute to the Foundation Fund online
NACWAA Executive Director: 1996 - 2009

Jennifer Alley
Executive Director

Jennifer Alley served both the AIAW and the NCAA as a teacher, coach, marketer, fundraiser, and administrator for 25 years before serving as the NACWAA executive director for 13 years.

She coached the women’s basketball team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for nine years, capturing the ACC crown and guiding her team to the National Top 20 rankings and several NCAA National Tournament appearances. Jennifer was the first full-time female coach at UNC.

Before her tenure at UNC, Jennifer was the senior woman administrator, women’s basketball and volleyball coach, and held the rank of associate professor of physical education at High Point College. Over her career, Jennifer coached field hockey, tennis, volleyball, and basketball at the collegiate level.

Jennifer earned many accolades over her career, including receiving the Legacy Award at the NACWAA National Convention in 2010, being named Appalachian State University Alumnus of the Year, and named an ACC Legend for Coaching by UNC.