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Longtime MVC commissioner Doug Elgin announces retirement

MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin presents Bradley forward Elijah Childs with the Arch Madness most outstanding player award on March 8, 2020. Photo courtesy of MVC.

After 33 years at the helm of the Missouri Valley Conference, commissioner Doug Elgin announced on Wednesday that he will retire following the conclusion of the 2020-21 school year. 

Serving since May of 1988, Elgin is the longest-tenured commissioner in any of the NCAA’s multi-sport conferences and is the longest-serving commissioner in MVC history. 

“I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to work in a conference that has valued the academic and competitive success of its student-athletes,” Elgin said in a statement. “We’ve had very committed campus leadership and great coaches during my time here. And the continuity and extraordinary dedication of our staff has played a major role in keeping the MVC in a position of prominence.”

Elgin’s accomplishments as commissioner are numerous. 

In 1991, Elgin was instrumental in moving the conference men’s basketball tournament to St. Louis, where it became known as “Arch Madness” and flourished into one of the premier mid-major conference tournaments. Under Elgin, the Valley hosted the NCAA women’s Final Four in 2001 and 2009 and the men’s Final Four in 2005. 

The Maryland native was a member of the NCAA Men’s basketball committee from 1999-2002, and the National Invitational Tournament committee from 2016-2019. 

Additionally, Elgin worked to add Loyola-Chicago and Valparaiso to the conference following the departure of powerhouses Creighton in 2013 and Wichita State in 2017.

Following Wednesday’s announcement, expressions of gratitude to the commissioner poured in on social media from across The Valley. 

“Doug Elgin has done so much for not only the Missouri Valley Conference but for college basketball,” Bradley men’s basketball head coach Brian Wardle said in a statement posted to Twitter. “I’ve learned what a first-class league the Valley is and a big reason is due to his impact.”

The number of people Doug has impacted over his 33 [years] as MVC commissioner, not to mention his pre-commish career, is pretty staggering,” Bradley Associate AD for Communications and Event & Facility Operations Bobby Parker said in a tweet. “I’ve always appreciated our many conversations over the years. Not sure commish-SID friendships are common, but they are for Doug.”

Parker Executive Search will coordinate the conference’s nationwide search for its 10th commissioner.

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