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Richard J. Ensor, Esq.
Position: Commissioner
Experience: 28 Years
Phone: 732-738-5455 x 108
Email: rich.ensor@maac.org

Richard J. Ensor was named the third Commissioner of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in August 1988. In the 28 years since his appointment, Ensor has provided leadership to the conference in a period of transition and growth in intercollegiate athletics and the MAAC. During his tenure the MAAC has secured a strong brand identity built on its mission of promoting excellence in academics and athletics and its core sport of basketball.  The MAAC under Ensor has expanded the number of championships conducted and developed an extensive marketing program cemented with broadcast agreements with ESPN, a web paged hosted by NeuLion and partner championship venues such as the Times Union Center (Albany, NY), Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Disney Sports Attractions. During a time of tumultuous realignment within NCAA Division I conferences the MAAC remains a homogenous association of private institutions of similar size and funding, which are committed to student-athlete success both on the playing fields and in the classroom. Ensor is a past member of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee and past president of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA). He serves on the boards of the Sports Lawyers Association, WBCA, Philadelphia Sports Congress, NCAA MBOLLC and NACDA's IAAA ADs. In 2015 he began a four-year term on the NCAA DI Nominating Committee.

Under Ensor’s direction, the MAAC has focused efforts to showcase its member institutions in its annual men’s and women’s basketball tournament. Since 1990 with the support of the MAAC Council of Presidents and the league’s athletic administrators and coaches the MAAC has held its premier event in state of the art playing facilities such as the Times Union Center in Albany, NY, the Frist Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY, the Sun National Bank Center (Trenton, NJ) and the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. The 2017 championships will be hosted at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY where the MAAC has a hosting agreement with the TUC that runs through 2019.

Ensor has also been instrumental in the expansion of MAAC sports offerings. In 1992 the MAAC added women’s soccer, in 1996 men’s lacrosse, and in 1997 women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s indoor track and rowing. In 1998, the MAAC added outdoor track and field and women’s golf, and in 2002-03 it added women’s water polo. The league currently sponsors 25 sports and is awarded automatic or play-in bids to 14 NCAA championships [baseball, softball, tennis (m&w), men’s golf, basketball (m&w), outdoor track (m&w), lacrosse (m&w), rowing (w), soccer (m&w) water polo (w), field hockey (w) and volleyball (w)]. Additionally, MAAC men’s and women’s cross country have access to the NCAA championship through a regional qualifier race. Over half the MAAC sponsored sports now have direct access to NCAA Championships for the first time in the history of the conference. (Up from 13 sports and two automatic bids in 1988.)

To award its fans, arena partners and membership, the MAAC during Ensor’s tenure has been very aggressive in seeking out opportunities to host NCAA Championships in various sports. With member schools it has served as a co-host of the 1995, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds at the Times Union Center and the First Niagara Center (again the host for the 2017 1st and 2nd rounds), respectively, and the 2003 NCAA Men’s Basketball East Regional at the Albany, NY arena and the 2003 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four at the Buffalo venue. Additionally, the MAAC co-hosted the 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2014 NCAA Northeast Cross Country Regional at Van Cortlandt Park - Bronx, NY, where it will again co-host  in 2016.  In 2002, the MAAC was a co-host of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship at the Times Union Center, and it repeated as host in 2011 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. All the NCAA men’s championships the MAAC has hosted with its arena partners have been sellouts. The MAAC co-hosted the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, NJ in 2006 and then hosted the Trenton Regional at the same site in 2009. The MAAC has since co-hosted the NCAA Women’s Basketball Regional twice. In 2013 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT with Fairfield University, and in 2015 for the first time at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY with Siena College where it will again host in 2018.

Ensor, who spearheads the league’s branding and marketing efforts, has sought to tie the conference’s strong academic image into its marketing campaign. The MAAC has carved a well-earned niche as an athletic conference that balances quality academics and athletics. In 2016 the MAAC was ranked in the top quartile of the 31 NCAA Division I conferences in the NCAA’s Graduation Rate Success Report with 25 MAAC women’s sports teams and 13 men’s sports teams achieving a perfect APR score of 1,000. The marketing efforts have been timely, as it has highlighted the conference’s continued rise in the basketball standings. Ensor has aggressively pushed the MAAC into internet-based marketing through its award winning web page, www.maacsports.com, and other technology driven initiatives such as the league’s MAAC.TV.

In 2014 the MAAC announced a new sponsorship representation agreement with ANC Sports Enterprises, LLC which is an industry leader in team and venue services, providing integrated signage, design, and marketing solutions for sports and commercial facilities.  ANC maintains league-wide digital scoretable systems for the MAAC’s member schools.  In 2010, the MAAC announced a multi-year agreement with ESPN which includes 60 plus broadcasts annually on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 including men’ and women’s basketball and championships from ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.  Most recently, the league has guided member schools launches of ESPN3 school production facilities that provide academic training for future broadcasters while expanding the broadcasting base for MAAC sports.

In 1998 the MAAC under Ensor’s direction began a new marketing and championship initiative when it entered into a multi-year agreement with Disney Sports Attractions to host on a rotating basis at the Orlando, FL facility the conference’s volleyball, men’s soccer, men’s & women’s cross country and women’s soccer championships. In 2000 the partnership was extended to the conference’s annual men’s and women’s golf championship at Disney on its Magnolia and Palm courses. In 2006 the MAAC the partnership with Disney when it entered into a multi-year hosting agreement with ESPN to sponsor the Advocare Men’s Basketball Classic in Orlando.

A 1975 graduate of Saint Peter’s University, Ensor has served in many administrative capacities in college sports including positions at his alma mater, Saint Louis University and Seton Hall University. In 1982, Ensor holds a Master’s degree in sports management with honors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. An attorney, Ensor graduated from Seton Hall University’s School of Law in 1987 and was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in June of that year.  He has taught as an Assistant Professor in Sport Management at UMass, where his concentration was on sports marketing and sports law.

Ensor is a member of many professional associations, including the American Bar Association. In addition, Ensor is a member of sport-related associations such as the Sports Lawyers Association, the New Jersey Bar Association Sports Law Committee, the American Bar Association, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, NACDA and the CAANJ. His community work includes current stints as a board member of the Mercer County Sports & Entertainment Commission and the Monsignor Donovan High School Leadership Advisory Committee. He has published in the areas of Sport Law, and Sport Marketing. In 1994 Ensor served as chair of the New Jersey Bar Association Sport Law Committee.

A member of the Collegiate Commissioner’s Association (CCA), Ensor is a Past President (2007-09) of the association. Ensor has been very involved in NCAA governance since 1999 when he began a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Management Council, a segment of the new national governing system for the intercollegiate sports association. He currently is a member of the Council’s Administration Committee. Ensor had previously served on the old NCAA Council and in January 1996, he served as Chair of the Division I-AA NCAA Convention/Business Session. He previously served on the Division I Administration Cabinet and on the Championships Cabinet where he chaired the exempted events subcommittee. Ensor has also served on the NCAA Division IAA Governance Committee and on NCAA committees dealing with playing season exemptions, athletic certification, and the regulatory culture of the NCAA, governance restructuring and antitrust issues. Ensor was appointed in 1996 and 2003 to a one-year terms as the chair of the IAA commissioners.

In 2007 Ensor extended his involvement with national issues when he was appointed to a 5-year term on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. The committee is charged with annually selecting teams, seeding, bracketing and operating the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship including the Final Four.

In 2015 Ensor the WBCA awarded Ensor its President's Award which is presented to an individual who the President of the WBCA believes has contributed a great deal to the game of women's basketball.  In 2016 the WBCA again honored Ensor with its Administrator of the Year Award. Previously in 1999 he was presented a Distinguished Service Award from the Metropolitan Basketball Writers and in 1998 was inducted into the Saint Peter’s University Hall of Fame. He also is a member of the Monsignor Donovan HS Hall of Fame.  In 1996, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Sport Management Program named Ensor as the recipient of the VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 1989, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities named Ensor as one of the “Leaders of Service” in its Bicentennial Series publication. In 1993, Ensor was honored by NACWA as a “Good Guy” for his efforts in regards to gender equity. In 2004 Ensor received a Mouscar from Walt Disney World for his efforts to make dreams happen for the MAAC’s student-athletes participating in championships at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Ensor and his wife Deirdre, who is a Registered Nurse, are the parents of Kaitlin, Brendan, Kiernan, and Colleen. They reside in Lanoka Harbor, NJ.