CLEVELAND — The Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) has awarded Dr. Jerry McGee, former president of Wingate University, the 2020 D2 CCA Award of Merit. In light of COVID-19, the association has decided to recognize Dr. McGee in person at the association’s 2021 summer meeting in Asheville, N.C. The D2CCA also plans on recognizing the 2021 Award of Merit recipient at next year’s summer meeting as well.
“The D2CCA is honored to recognize Dr. Jerry McGee with the 2020 Award of Merit,” Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Commissioner and D2CCA President Erin Lind says. “Dr. McGee served as the President of Wingate University from 1992-2015 and during that time was very influential in helping Division II become what it is today. He served on the NCAA Division II Presidents Council for a number of years and helped establish the initial committee, championship and governance framework for the division when the NCAA restructured in 1996-97, as well as serving as chair of two Division II Football Task Forces in 2002 and 2006.”
With a career that spanned 40 years, McGee held various roles, starting back in 1975 as the assistant to the president at Gardner-Webb. From there, McGee served as vice president at two institutions before being named president of Wingate in 1992, where he finished his career in 2015.
While at Wingate, McGee moved the institutional membership from the NAIA to the NCAA. He also added 10 varsity sports which included five men’s and five women. McGee also built on-campus football, baseball and softball stadiums, soccer and tennis complexes, an outdoor track, a lacrosse field, an athletics office complex and an athletics training facility. In addition to serving as President of Wingate, McGee served the South Atlantic Conference (SAC). He served on the SAC Presidents Council for 23 years and was the chair of the SAC Presidents’ Council for five of those years. He led efforts for the SAC to purchase an office building for staff offices and operations while assisting with the move from eight to 12 member schools. McGee chaired the Conference Commissioner Search Committee in 2008 and championed the move to full NCAA scholarship equivalences for all SAC sports.
Beyond his administrative duties, McGee had the opportunity to serve on the DII Presidents Council, where he helped establish the initial DII structure. Later in his career, McGee also served as the liaison to the Infractions Committee and chaired two DII National Football Task Forces. He officiated over 400 college football games and 26 postseason games including many major bowls such as the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Cotton Bowl. Also, McGee is an accomplished hall of famer as he is a member of eight athletic, academic and business Halls of Fame including Wingate University, the South Atlantic Conference and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. Wingate won the South Atlantic Conference Excellence Cup in each of McGee’s final nine years as the school’s president.
The Award of Merit is the highest honor presented by the D2CCA and is reserved for individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the entire NCAA Division II membership and the Division II student-athlete experience.
McGee joins an extraordinary group of individuals who have been honored with the D2CCA Award of Merit: Noel Olson, former Commissioner of the North Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (1998); Bob Vanatta, former Commissioner of the Sunshine State Conference (1999); Fred Jacoby, former Commissioner of the Lone Star Conference (2000); Sonny Moran, former Athletic Director at Morehead State (Ky.) University (2001); Bill Moore, former Commissioner of the New England Collegiate Conference (2002); Mike Racy, former NCAA Vice President for Division II (2003); Dr. Adam Herbert, former President of the University of North Florida (2004); Dr. Kent Wyatt, former President of Delta State University (2005); Don Landry, former Commissioner of the Sunshine State Conference (2006); Dr. Charles Ambrose, former President of Pfeiffer University (2007); Arend D. (Don) Lubbers, former President Emeritus of Grand Valley State University (2008); Elwood “Woody” Hahn, former PacWest Commissioner (2009); Doug Echols, former SAC Commissioner (2010); Tom Brown, former GLIAC Commissioner (2011); Terri Steeb-Gronau, Vice President of NCAA Division II (2012); Nancy Mitchell, former Executive Director of the DII CCA (2013); Robert Hiegert, former CCAA Commissioner (2014); Butch Raymond, former commissioner of the NSIC (2015); Barry Blizzard, former WVIAC Commissioner (2016); Ruth Reinhardt, executive assistant for Division II at the NCAA (2017); Mike Marcil, former Sunshine State Commissioner (2018); and last year’s recipient Bob Boerigter, former director of athletics at Northwest Missouri State University and former commissioner of the MIAA (2019).