BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Baker, who will be leaving office in less than a month, has been announced as the next President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Baker’s term as Governor will end on January 5th and he will be assuming his new role in March 2023. Baker will be responsible for building the NCAA’s ongoing transformation efforts. The organization is going through a sweeping reform, trying to decentralize the way college sports is governed.

“I am honored to become the next president of the NCAA, an organization that impacts millions of families and countless communities across this country every day,” said Governor Baker. “The NCAA is confronting complex and significant challenges, but I am excited to get to work as the awesome opportunity college athletics provides to so many students is more than worth the challenge.  And for the fans that faithfully fill stadiums, stands and gyms from coast to coast, I am eager to ensure the competitions we all love to follow are there for generations to come. Over the coming months, I will begin working with student-athletes and NCAA members as we modernize college sports to suit today’s world, while preserving its essential value.”

The search committee spent months searching for qualified candidates to become the next president. Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper is a member of the NCAA search committee and represents the Birthplace of Basketball and Division Three athletics.

“There’s a lot to like about Governor Baker. At this time for the NCAA, they need a transformational leader that has expertise in the bi-partisan world,” said Cooper. “The search committee feels very strongly about Governor Baker’s problem solving skills, consensus building and his ability to get the job done.”

Baker played basketball at Harvard while his wife competed as a gymnast at Northwestern University and their two sons both played Division Three football.

“We are excited to welcome Governor Charlie Baker to the NCAA and eager for him to begin his work with our organization,” said Linda Livingstone, President of Baylor University and Chair of the NCAA Board of Governors, who helmed the presidential search committee. “Governor Baker has shown a remarkable ability to bridge divides and build bipartisan consensus, taking on complex challenges in innovative and effective ways. As a former student-athlete himself, husband to a former college gymnast, and father to two former college football players, Governor Baker is deeply committed to our student-athletes and enhancing their collegiate experience. These skills and perspective will be invaluable as we work with policymakers to build a sustainable model for the future of college athletics.”

Baker succeeds Dr. Mark Emmert, who will continue to serve the NCAA as a consultant through June 2023. Emmert announced he would step down earlier this year after 12 years of leading the NCAA.

“Using his talents of organization, and his experience I think. Particularly coming from a state like Massachusetts that has so many colleges and therefore so many athletic activities related to colleges, I think again is something he’d be familiar with, but I’m very happy for him,” said Secretary of State Bill Galvin.