Denver associate vice chancellor for sport supervision and deputy athletics director Ron Grahame has been named the second recipient of the NCHC’s Distinguished Service Award.
Wrapping up his term as the chair of the NCHC Athletic Council this month, Grahame has played a vital role, along with others, in the formation of the NCHC and has served on numerous conference committees since the NCHC began operations in 2011, helping get the conference off the ground, while also providing insights from his over 35 years of experience working in collegiate athletics.
“Ron Grahame has been integral to the success of the NCHC since day one,” NCHC commissioner Josh Fenton said in a statement. “He was a driving force and factor behind the conference’s formation and has had a hand in the success achieved thus far. Having someone who played, coached and worked as an administrator in our sport for many years gives us a tremendous asset among our member institutions. We are extremely appreciative of Ron’s commitment to the NCHC and he is very deserving to receive the conference’s Distinguished Service Award.”
Grahame has been a member on the NCHC’s athletic council (originally called board of directors) since the conference began, serving as treasurer on the council in 2014-15, vice-chair in 2015-16 and chair during the 2016-17 season. Grahame has also been a contributing member on the NCHC’s advisory committee each of the past three seasons, providing perspective to the commissioner and the conference as a whole when making difficult and important decisions. He has also volunteered to serve on the NCHC’s awards and membership committees over the course of the conference’s short history.
“Ron’s connections in all of hockey and intercollegiate hockey stand at the forefront of his ability to connect the conference and its individual members in ways that serve the whole with integrity and forethought,” wrote Peg Bradley-Doppes, Denver’s vice chancellor for athletics and recreation in her nomination. “Having served with Ron both at the conference level and within DU’s athletics department, it is clear that his unique ability to think through the bigger picture serves the NCHC to the benefit of all.”
“I am truly humbled to receive this honor from the NCHC. Having been involved in the development of the conference and then to see the tremendous growth and success is very gratifying,” Grahame said in a news release. “The NCHC has unparalleled leadership from commissioner Josh Fenton, as well as its membership, which has pushed us to the forefront of college hockey in four short years. With sincere gratitude, thank you for this recognition.”
Grahame will be presented the NCHC Distinguished Service Award in person at the NCHC’s annual meeting with athletics directors and coaches held in Naples, Fla., on April 25.
The NCHC’s Distinguished Service Award is not necessarily bestowed upon someone annually, but is presented to an individual who has served, supported and promoted the goals and ideals of the NCHC and who, through personal effort and dedication, has enhanced the ability of the conference and/or its member institutions to provide a positive experience for the student-athletes enrolled at NCHC member institutions.
The inaugural NCHC Distinguished Service Award was presented last year to Bill Hybl, the chairman and CEO of El Pomar Foundation.