Murray Steps Down as NEAC Commissioner; Dutton Named Interim Commissioner for 2019-20

Murray Steps Down as NEAC Commissioner; Dutton Named Interim Commissioner for 2019-20

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – After 14 years at the helm of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC), Candice Murray will be stepping down as conference commissioner as of July 31. The NEAC Presidents’ Council has also announced that current Assistant Commissioner Stephanie Dutton will assume the role of Interim Commissioner for the 2019-20 academic year, effective August 1.

Candice Murray, NEAC's only Commissioner since it was founded in 2004, brought 10 years of NCAA Division III Athletic Director experience to the role. Under her leadership, the conference solidified its policies and procedures; developed and worked through two five-year strategic plans with successful completion of many important items; established strong guidelines for sportsmanship; navigated shifts in membership with creative solutions and commitment to the NEAC’s values; and developed the NCAA's only Presidents’ Cup Award to honor institutional commitment to athletic and academic success of student-athletes, sportsmanship and community service.

Murray has served on numerous NCAA committees and working groups, including the Olympic Sports Liaison Committee, the Division III Strategic Planning and Finance Committee, the Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Working Group, the Convention Planning Subcommittee, and the Athletic Direct Reports’ Institute Working Group. She also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Division III Commissioner Association (DIIICA), as well as the DIIICA’s Conference Grant and Sportsmanship committees. Murray received the Women Leaders in College Sports Award for Outstanding Conference Administrator in 2007 and the DIIICA 10-Year Service Appreciation Award in 2015.

“I would like to thank the many NEAC colleagues who have supported me over the last 14 years and have appreciated the leadership from them, as well as their friendship," said Murray, who will spend time with her two children while determining the next step in her successful career. "It has been a tremendously fulfilling experience. I have learned so much during my time and am grateful for these experiences. I am proud of what I have done for the NEAC and what the NEAC has accomplished under my leadership. I wish the NEAC all the best.”

“A leadership transition is the time to celebrate the success of the past and the opportunities for the future,” shared Dr. Davie Gilmour, Penn College President and Chair of the NEAC Presidents’ Council. “Thank you to Candice for her service to the NEAC and I look forward to working with Stephanie as well as the Conference AD’s, Presidents and staff to continue to position our conference as an ideal representative of Division III athletics for our student-athletes.”

Dutton will move into her new role for the upcoming year after serving as the NEAC Assistant Commissioner since January 2017. Prior to joining the NEAC, Dutton spent over six years at Plattsburgh State and held a number of titles including Sports Information Director, Assistant Athletic Director and a seven-month stint as Interim Athletic Director. Outside of intercollegiate athletics, Dutton’s career in athletics began with front office roles for three seasons in Minor League Baseball.

“I want to thank the Presidents’ Council for the opportunity to lead the NEAC through this period of transition,” Dutton added. “I also want to acknowledge the efforts of Candice [Murray] as she worked to build the foundation of what the NEAC is today. We have a great group of administrators around the league who continue to keep the needs of our student-athletes at the forefront of all we do and I look forward to the progress we can make in the upcoming year to help the NEAC continue to evolve.”

An interim assistant commissioner will be named in the coming weeks to oversee all aspects of conference communication and the NEAC awards program.


The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Morrisville State, Penn College, Penn State Abington, Penn State Berks, Penn State Harrisburg, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Poly, and Wells College. Associate members are: Alfred State (M Lacrosse), Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), College of Saint Elizabeth (M Tennis & M Volleyball), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), SUNY Potsdam (M Volleyball) and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has also partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and women’s tennis. For more information, please visit: