Austintown, Ohio—After a nationwide search, the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) has named Sarah Otey as its next conference commissioner. She will start her new post in June.
Otey, who currently serves as a director of academic and membership affairs at the NCAA, replaces Tim Gleason, who is retiring after 30 years leading the OAC at the end of June. She is only the second fulltime commissioner in the history of the conference and the first woman to hold the post.
As a former DIII athlete, coach, campus administrator and NCAA leader, Otey said she is keenly aware of the DIII student-athlete experience and “the benefit of genuinely integrating athletics into higher education,” supporting both excellence in the classroom and on the field.
As director of the NCAA’s academic and membership affairs, she has served as primary liaison to the Division I committee responsible for strategic governance in the areas of health and safety, inclusion and DI membership. She has also directed the student-athlete reinstatement team, and recently provided leadership on the NCAA’s DI COVID-19 project team.
Otey has taken on increasing responsibility since arriving at the NCAA national offices in 2012. Prior to assuming her current role, Otey was promoted from assistant director of AMA to associate director of the AMA (Division III).
Before joining the NCAA team, Otey served as assistant athletic director at Hollins University from 2010-2012, with a stint as interim AD.
Otey played basketball and graduated magna cum laude from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. She was twice named to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Academic All-Conference team and was a three-time winner of the Generals’ “Barry Machado Women's Basketball Award” for leadership.
She earned a Master of Education in exercise physiology from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 2010 before launching her career. She has since added a variety of certifications and athletics leadership training.
“The OAC is fortunate to find a candidate of Sarah’s caliber and experience to lead our conference moving forward during a time of change and innovation in college athletics,” said Baldwin Wallace University President Bob Helmer, who serves as Chair of the OAC Presidents Council.
Ohio Northern University President Dan DiBiasio served on the search committee.