Longtime MAAC commissioner announces retirement


Photo courtesy of maacsports.com

Ensor also took MAAC basketball international, creating a men’s basketball All-Star team, who competed in an eight-game exhibition tour through Japan.  

Lachlan Wellington, Sports Editor

Richard J. Ensor, the longtime Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference commissioner, has announced that he will be retiring.  

Ensor made the announcement on Aug. 17, 2022, in Edison, New Jersey.  

Ensor became the MAAC Commissioner in 1988 and will retire after the 2022-2023 academic year is completed.  

Ensor, the longest tenured NCAA Division I multi-sport conference commissioner, has held the post since he was named the third commissioner of the MAAC back in August 1988.  

When Ensor retires next June, he will have served the MAAC for around 35 years, which is the longest Division 1 commissioner tenure in NCAA history, surpassing Doug Elgin of the Missouri Valley Conference, who held his post at the helm of the MVC for 33 years.  

“It has been a privilege to serve as Commissioner of the MAAC since 1988 and represent a conference dedicated to achieving success in academics and athletics,” said Ensor according to the MAAC website.  

“I want to thank the generations of coaches, athletes and administrators who have competed in the MAAC during my tenure for their commitment to those goals and the MAAC Council of Presidents for their on-going support,” said Ensor.  

The MAAC has thrived significantly under Ensor’s supervision and has undergone evolution during his tenure.  

When Ensor came into the job in 1988, the MAAC sponsored 13 sports and championships and held just two NCAA Championship automatic qualifications for men’s and women’s basketball.  

During Ensor’s time the number of NCAA Championships automatic qualifications has risen to 24 and 15 NCAA automatic qualifications during his time at the helm of the league.  

The MAAC has also previously sponsored both a football league and ice hockey league at a time when the MAAC sponsored a league-record 26 sports.  

Ensor has been involved with the growth of women’s sports, specifically women’s basketball.  

He served on the boards of Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, has been chairperson of the Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee and has been a part of the NCAA Division Women’s Basketball Committee.  

Ensor was also instrumental in combining the women’s basketball tournament with the men’s tournament back in 1992, which has led to the two events being run simultaneously at the same venue for 30 consecutive years.  

The MAAC announced a partnership with Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando in the summer of 1998.  

The partnership was part of the MAAC’s mission to provide a world-class sports championship experience for its student-athletes, their families and friends.  

The inaugural event was the 1998 volleyball championship, but since then MAAC and Disney have added men’s and women’s cross country, men’s soccer and women’s soccer all alternating in the fall, and men’s and women’s golf held annually in the spring. 

The MAAC has also been put on a national and regional broadcast scene under Ensor’s tenure.  

The league is currently displayed through top networks such as ESPN, MSG Network, SportsChannel-NY and more.  

Ensor is an alum of Saint Peter’s University (formerly College), where he graduated in 1975 and was awarded a master’s degree in sports management with honors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

Then in 1987, Ensor graduated from Seton Hall’s University of Law, and was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in June of 87. 

A national search is being conducted for a replacement. TurnkeyZRG is handling the recruitment of candidates and is coordinating the hiring process.