August 10, 2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) The executive director of the National Junior College Athletic Association is retiring next summer after a 28-year career with the organization.

Mary Ellen Leicht has been the NJCAA's chief executive since 2009, and was instrumental in developing the association's current structure for 28 sports.

The announcement was made Wednesday by NJCAA President Bryce Roderick.

Among her accomplishments as executive director are securing long-term contracts for the NJCAA's Division I men's basketball championship in Hutchinson, Kansas, and the Division I Baseball World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado. Both included multimillion facility improvements. She started out in 1989 as an eligibility administrator.

Leicht also oversaw the launch of NJCAA TV, which will cover 22 national championships in the next year.

In 2009, Leicht became the first female chief executive of any national college athletic association, according to NACDA, the national association for college athletic directors.

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