Mike Racy

Mike Racy

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Mike Racy was named the fifth full-time commissioner on Sept. 7, 2016 and began his tenure on Feb. 1, 2017 succeeding Dr. Bob Boerigter who announced his retirement in May 2016.

Racy is an accomplished education, legal and sports executive with more than 20 years of leadership experience in higher education.

Racy has used his higher education leadership positions to develop and implement innovative and strategic programming to enhance the learning environment for college students.  As an attorney, university vice president, American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow and higher education association executive, Racy has relevant experience in identifying and successfully addressing the challenging and complex issues facing higher education today.  

Racy attended college at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washburn with a bachelor of business administration degree in May 1987.  Following graduation, Racy went to work at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in Kansas City, Missouri.  He was employed by the NAIA as Director of Promotions and Marketing until 1990.  

In the fall of 1989, Racy enrolled in law school at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.  He obtained his Juris Doctorate degree in May 1992, graduating with honors.  Racy began his legal practice as a general litigation attorney with the Gage & Tucker law firm (now Lathrop and Gage law firm) of Kansas City, Missouri.    

In December 1993, Racy left private legal practice and began employment at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in Overland Park, Kansas, as a legislative assistant.  As a legislative assistant, Racy assisted with the development of NCAA legislation, interpreted NCAA rules for member institutions, the media and the public at-large, and reviewed and analyzed legal issues related to the application of NCAA rules and policies.

In the spring of 1995, Racy was assigned by the NCAA Presidents Commission to assist with a special project to reorganize the governance structure for all three NCAA divisions and to rewrite the NCAA Constitution.  After the successful restructuring of the NCAA in January 1996, Racy was promoted to Assistant Chief of Staff for Division II.

When the NCAA national office relocated to Indianapolis in 1999, Racy was promoted to Vice President for NCAA Division II.  Racy served in this role until the spring of 2013.  Racy's duties at the NCAA included serving as a member of the NCAA President’s Cabinet, managing the Division II governance structure and the division’s $35 million annual operating budget, providing leadership in the consideration of policies, legislation and issues that affect Division II member institutions and conferences, and coordinating the national office staff support and services for the 300 Division II member schools in the U.S. and Canada.

12757Division II achievements during Racy’s leadership included implementation of the Division II National Championships Festival, development of a Division II Strategic Positioning Platform and Identity initiative, increasing Division II membership by 20%, partnering with the Make-A-Wish Foundation through a $4.5 million national fundraising initiative, development of the Division II Game of the Week on the CBS Sports Network, and expansion of several championship brackets, including the Division II football playoffs.    

In 2011, Racy was selected as a 2011-12 American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow.   Since 1965, hundreds of emerging leaders in higher education have been selected to participate as an ACE Fellow, the nation's premier leadership development program for American colleges and universities.  Racy completed his ACE Fellowship placement at the University of Central Missouri, working in the President’s office.

In 2013, Racy became the University of Central Missouri’s first Chief Strategy Officer.  In this role, Racy was responsible for cultivating, strengthening and expanding relationships and strategic initiatives with federal, state and local governmental officials, as well as corporate and community partners in the Kansas City area.    

In 2014, Racy became the University’s Vice President for Law, Policy and Strategy/General Counsel.  In this role, Racy was responsible for decision support to the Office of the President on policy and strategy issues, provided leadership to the Office of Legal Affairs and Risk Management and served as Counsel to the UCM Board of Governors.

Racy is married to the former Kathleen Denise Hadel of Overland Park, Kansas.  Mike and Kathy have three sons, Cal, Zac, and Tyler.

Racy's Administrative Career
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
-Director of Promotions and Marketing (1987-1990)

Gage & Tucker Law Firm 
-General Litigation Attorney (1992-1993)

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
-Legal Assistant (1993-1996)
-Assistant Chief of Staff for Division II (1996-1999)
-Vice President for Division II (1999-2013)

University of Central Missouri
-Chief Strategy Officer (2013)
-Vice President for Law, Policy, and Strategy/General Counsel (2014-15)

Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA)
-Commissioner (2016-Present)