Heather Weems, who has been St. Cloud State's athletic director for the past 10 years, on Thursday was named commissioner of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Weems replaces Josh Fenton, who left the NCHC to become commissioner of the Summit League.
Weems will start her new job on July 6 and has familiarity with the conference, which includes St. Cloud State as one of its eight members. She served as chair of the NCHC Athletic Council in 2021-22 and has been a member of the NCHC's Student-Athlete Well-Being Task Force since its formation in 2019. During her tenure at SCSU, the Huskies won three Penrose Cups as NCHC regular-season champions and advanced to their first NCAA Frozen Four championship game in 2021.
"As both a participant in and observer to the growth of the NCHC during my time as director of athletics at St. Cloud State University, I am both grateful and excited to transition into this new role as the leader of the conference,'' Weems said in a statement. "The hockey community is tightly connected, and I look forward to upholding the strong tradition and innovative spirit that has defined the NCHC and its member institutions."
Under Fenton, the NCHC quickly became a power on the ice and a success off it. The league has won five of the eight NCAA championships contested since its inaugural season in 2013-14, with North Dakota (2016), Denver (2017, 2022) and Minnesota Duluth (2018, 2019) securing titles. The NCHC Frozen Faceoff tournament has been a success at Xcel Energy Center. It's the only Division I conference in the West to still hold a four-team, neutral site conference tournament.
"We are thrilled to welcome Heather Weems as the next Commissioner of the NCHC," Andy Armacost, chair of the NCHC board of directors and president of the University of North Dakota, said in a statement. "Her record of exceptional leadership and her vision for the future of the conference stood out to the members of the Board. Heather will undoubtedly take the NCHC to new heights, building upon its success as the premier conference in college hockey."
Added Josh Berlo, Minnesota Duluth AD and co-chair of the NCHC's search committee with Armacost: "Heather will be an exceptional leader for the NCHC. She is a talented athletic director, has detailed knowledge of the league and will incorporate her passion for hockey to sustain and advance the NCHC as the model conference in college hockey. I am personally and professionally excited to work with her in this role.''
Weems, who earned a bachelor's degree in psychology at Iowa and a master's degree in higher education at Denver, previously served as an associate AD at both Drake and Denver, helping the Pioneers athletic program transition from NCAA Division II to Division I.