2015 to 2016 – National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators

NACWAA reached remarkable new heights under the direction of Lynn Hickey in 2016 as the organization hit the 3,200 membership mark, secured an all-time high 49 sponsors, and launched the organization’s first Executive Leadership Track and Presidential/Search Firm Roundtable in conjunction with the NCAA at the National Convention.

In the words of Lynn: “Prior to my tenure as President, NACWAA had started experiencing new growth and a new energy level. With this growth came a need to further determine what our primary roles should be for our membership—to further define our purpose. One of the most outstanding initiatives that was put into place was the Executive Leadership Track.”

The Executive Leadership Track was created to provide women at top leadership levels in athletics, business, or entrepreneurship an opportunity to access high-level leaders, grow their network, expand their knowledge, and raise their game as an industry influencer in a one-day program at the National Convention.

“Not only did this program help further educate and motivate our own members at the highest leadership levels, but it also opened networking avenues and engagement opportunities with women leaders in the business world. It was a great learning experience and a great investment in gaining new corporate support for our organization. We branched out more into the business world and this helped NACWAA grow in numbers and better showcase our significance/purpose nationally,” Lynn said.

The Presidential/Search Firm Roundtable was established in partnership with the NCAA Office of Inclusion to provide Executive Candidate List participants the opportunity to learn and hear directly from university presidents on hiring trends and the skills and experience they look for when hiring an athletic director.

“A key initiative during my presidency was to create programs to actively assist our membership that were ready to move into the Athletic Director Chair. It was determined that we needed to go right to the source of the decision makers and put them in the room with our top leaders. With the Presidential Search Firm Roundtable, our members got to hear from outstanding leaders concerning skill sets they are looking for when making hiring decisions, but most importantly, our members could ask direct questions, raise issues of concerns, and develop advocates that could go forward into the market place helping their colleagues better recognize the importance of being more inclusive in the search process,” Lynn said.

Other major accomplishments from NACWAA during this time:

  • Reached an all-time high membership revenue
  • Executed a successful 6-month rebranding process to be rolled out in 2017
  • Actively supported the revised Resolution put forth by the NCAA in 2016 to increase diversity and inclusion
  • In its third year, the Women of Color Joint Initiative reached more than 450 women
  • 34 women advanced into AD or Commissioner positions, 6 women of color advanced into AD or Commissioner positions

NACWAA continued to be committed to recognizing the achievements and successes of administrators working in athletics. Click here to view all NACWAA/ Women Leaders in College Sports award winners.

NACWAA Board Members 2015-16

Grace Calhoun, University of Pennsylvania
Lisa Campos, Northern Arizona University
Vicky Chun, President-Elect, Colgate University
Joni Comstock, NCAA, Ex-Officio NCAA
Missy Conboy, University of Notre Dame
Julie Cromer, University of Arkansas
Amy Huchthausen, America East Conference
Heather Lyke, Eastern Michigan University
Jacqie McWilliams, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Jane Miller, University of Virginia, Ex-Officio NCAA Dl Board Appointee
Julie Muller, North Atlantic Conference
Pennie Parker, Rollins College
Joan McDermott, Past President, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Julie Ruppert, Northeast-10 Conference
Cathie Schweitzer, Springfield College
Meg Stevens, Averett University
Tracy Warren, Buchalter, A Professional Corporation, Legal Counsel
Miechelle Willis, Ohio State University

NACWAA President 2015 - 2016

Lynn Hickey
University of Texas, San Antonio

Lynn Hickey has served as the associate vice president/director of athletics at Eastern Washington University since 2018.

Previously, Lynn served for 18 years as Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics at the University of Texas, San Antonio (UTSA) before leaving in 2017. During her tenure, the university experienced unprecedented growth by adding football and women’s soccer and golf. Lynn also developed a student-athlete centered program that combined academic success, leadership development, strength and conditioning, and life skills.

Prior to UTSA, Lynn served as Senior Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator at Texas A&M, College Station. She was head women’s basketball coach there from 1984-94, and at Kansas State from 1979-84. Lynn also was an All-America basketball player in college and was a member of the United States National Team.

Besides making student-athlete welfare one of her top priorities at UTSA, she also led the Roadrunners to new heights on the courts and fields of play. The school established its NCAA Football Bowl Division football program in 2010 and began playing games in 2011, and in just three years went from independent status to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and then to affiliation in Conference USA. The Roadrunners moved all 17 sports into C-USA on July 1, 2013, and in 2016 – just five seasons after playing their first game — qualified for a bowl game to tie an NCAA record by a start-up FBS program.

Among the many committees and associations she served on as an administrator, she spent five seasons from 2007-12 on the prestigious NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.

A native of Welch, Okla., Lynn graduated summa cum laude from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., with a bachelor’s degree in education. She was an All-American for OBU’s nationally-ranked basketball team and a member of the USA National Team in 1973.

She was inducted into the Kansas State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004, and two years earlier was tabbed for the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame.

Lynn and her husband, Bill, have a daughter, Lauren Hickey-Garcia. Formerly Lynn Sooter, her father, Kenneth Sooter, is a member of the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame. She scored 2,654 points for her father at West High School in Oklahoma, helping the school go 76-5 in her final three seasons.

Learn more about Lynn in her Women Leaders Podcast episode.

World News

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka became the first Asian to be named Newcomer of the Year after advancing to her first WTA final in 2016. She went on to defeat her idol, Serena Williams, in the US Open Championship in 2017.

In her short career, Naomi has become the first-ever female Asian to hold the national top-ranking spot in women’s tennis and has won four titles and reached six finals on the WTA Tour.

Born in Japan to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother, Naomi has lived in the United States since she was three years old.