Gov. Pawlenty names new executive director to Combative Sports Commission

  • Blog Post by: Kyle Shiely
  • October 25, 2010 - 4:04 PM


(New executive director RD Brown oversees last week's Minnesota Combative Sports Commission meeting in Blaine.)


After a five month wait, Governor Pawlenty announced today the appointment of R.D. Brown as the new executive director of the Minnesota Combative Sports Commission

Brown, 64 from St. Paul, replaces former heavyweight boxer Scott LeDoux. LeDoux announced his retirement in April, effective May 15.

The position had been vacent for the last five months after LeDoux retired due to his continuing battle against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

At the April commission meeting where LeDoux’s retirement was announced, commissioner Bob Dolan informed the public that the Governor’s office had instructed the commission to interview potential candidates and nominate a replacement. A three commissioner panel interviewed two candidates that were sent to them by the State’s human resources department. The full commission then voted 5-0 (with three abstentions) to nominate Brown at their regular meeting in June. That recommendation was sent to the Governors office the next day.

The Governor’s office sat on the recommendation for another four months before naming Brown as the new E.D. today.
With this appointment, Brown will be stepping down as chairman of the MNCSC. The executive director job will become a full-time paid position. Previously both the director job and office administrator job have been part-time positions.

According to the press release sent out by the Governor’s office, Brown “serves the community as a volunteer on numerous civic and community boards, including the Minnesota Board on Aging, Minnesota Supreme Court Task Force on Racial Bias in the Courts, Ramsey County Children’s Services Review Panel, and HealthPartners Patient Council and Regions Hospital Patient Council.”

The release goes on to say that Brown is a graduate of Central College in Pella, Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in businesses administration and management, and holds a masters in health services administration and business administration from Columbia Pacific University in Rafael, Calif. He most recently worked as the vice president of child and family support services for Children’s Home Society and Family Services, before retiring.

Brown was appointed as one of the commissioners with MMA knowledge in 2007. He has been the most active of the nine current commissioner since his appointment, overseeing the majority of mixed martial arts and boxing events held in Minnesota since 2007. He has also helped out office administrator Matt Schowalter while the commission waited for a new executive director to be named.

The MCSC was established in 2006 to oversee boxing after the previous commission was disbanded by Gov. Jesse Ventura in a cost cutting move. LeDoux was instrumental in its resurrection and then the expansion to overseeing MMA in 2007.

The commission regulated 45 events in fiscal year 2010 and licenses roughly 2000 individuals every year. Without an executive director, the majority of the work had fallen on Schowalter these past 5 months. 

According to Ben Pherson, editor of the Minnesota MMA news website, Brown’s appointment will become effective Nov. 1. A special meeting of the MCSC has been set for Wednesday night, Oct. 27, at the Schawn Center in Blaine to discuss what the salary should be now that it is a full-time paid position.

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