In Aaron Kemp, WCHA sees ‘passionate’ new women’s commissioner

Aaron Kemp, the senior associate athletic director at Mercyhurst, has been named the new commissioner of the women’s WCHA and will assume the position July 1 with a four-year contract.

The 38-year-old Kemp succeeds Sara Martin, who has served as the WCHA commissioner since its inception in 1999.

“I’m honored and excited for the opportunity to join the WCHA in this role,” Kemp said in a news release. “The WCHA has identified itself as the premier women’s hockey conference, producing some of the most elite players in the game today. I’m thrilled to begin serving the member institutions and student-athletes. I’m committed to the same tradition of excellence and look forward to enhancing the overall operation and image of the league moving forward.”

“Aaron is most passionate about hockey and has long been a strong proponent of student-athletes,” added St. Cloud State professor and search committee chair Bill Hudson. “He has overseen both women’s and men’s Division I ice hockey programs, he has a wealth of experience coaching both women’s and men’s collegiate teams, he has been involved in planning and organizing Frozen Fours and he has been a member of the NCAA hockey rules committee.”

Kemp joined the athletic administration staff at Mercyhurst in June of 2008. He was promoted to senior associate athletic director/Mercyhurst North East director of athletics in June of 2011 after serving as the associate athletic director/director of compliance on the Erie, Pa., campus.

Prior to joining the administration, Kemp was an assistant men’s hockey coach at his alma mater, Canisius, from 2002 to 2004 and was a member of the women’s hockey coaching staff at Mercyhurst from 2004 to 2008.

He has served on the executive committees for Atlantic Hockey and College Hockey America conferences, was on the local organizing committee for the 2003 men’s Frozen Four, was the tournament director for the 2011 women’s Frozen Four and currently serves on the NCAA hockey rules committee.

“I also want to take this opportunity to again thank retiring commissioner Sara Martin for all she had done to promote both the WCHA and women’s collegiate ice hockey over the past 15 years,” added Hudson. “Her commitment and dedication have been exemplary and we will always be grateful to her.”