WCC commissioner Stu Jackson named to NCAA men’s basketball committee

Jackson will take on the role immediately and through the 2028 NCAA Tournament

West Coast Conference commissioner Stu Jackson was appointed to the NCAA Division-I Men’s Basketball Committee, the NCAA announced Friday.

Jackson, who is in his second year as WCC commissioner, will be more involved in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament selection process until his term expires following the 2028 NCAA Tournament. In August of last year, Jackson was appointed a role on the Division-I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee. He will no longer serve in that position.

Jackson will take over Renee Baumgartner’s spot on the committee after she stepped down from her role as the Santa Clara athletic director.

“I am honored to be invited to join the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and represent the West Coast Conference," Jackson said in a news release from the WCC. "I appreciate Renee Baumgartner’s service and am humbled to be appointed to complete her term with this esteemed group. I am anxiously looking forward to the opportunity to work with the existing committee members and NCAA staff under Dan Gavitt’s stellar leadership on basketball’s premier event and contribute to the Men’s Basketball Championship and other future initiatives."

Jackson’s new title comes after a busy five-month stretch in which he expanded the WCC to 11 members starting next season (13 in 2025-26). Following the Pac-12’s demise, he extended a life preserver to Washington State and Oregon State by adding both schools as affiliate members for two years in December. Then, the WCC added Grand Canyon and Seattle U as full-time members starting in 2025. 

Jackson was also responsible for securing the league an expanded partnership with ESPN to include men’s and women’s basketball games on the ESPN+ streaming platform. 

The WCC has sent at least two teams to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last six postseasons. In that stretch, Gonzaga has appeared in six Sweet 16s, two Elite Eights and a national championship game in 2021. Saint Mary’s advanced past the first round in 2022 and 2023 before falling to GCU in 2024.

More WCC representation in the big dance could be on the horizon once the new members join in the coming years. GCU has made the tournament in three of the past four seasons under Scott Drew. WSU won its first NCAA Tournament game in 2024, though it remains to be seen if David Riley can continue to build what Kyle Smith started.

Jackson has served in collegiate athletics administration or as a NCAA Division I men’s basketball coach for more than 15 years. Prior to taking over the WCC, Jackson oversaw men’s basketball operations for nine years at the Big East and helped the league grow in notoriety through TV exposure. He also served in the NBA league office and as an NBA head coach and general manager before returning to collegiate athletics as an executive with the Big East.

Oregon State Director of Athletics Scott Barnes, a Spokane native, has been a member of the men’s basketball committee since February. Barnes was the director of athletics at Pitt after serving a seven-year stint at Utah State. He's also served as athletic director at Cal Poly Humboldt and Eastern Washington, in addition to roles at Washington, Iowa State, Pacific and San Diego. 


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Cole Forsman

COLE FORSMAN

Cole Forsman is a reporter for Gonzaga Nation, a member of Sports Illustrated’s FanNation network. Cole holds a degree in Journalism and Sports Management from Gonzaga University.