Flowers named new WCHA women’s commissioner, will start duties in July


The WCHA on Monday named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference assistant commissioner Jennifer Flowers as its next vice president and women’s commissioner.

Flowers will begin her duties in July.

She becomes the fourth commissioner in the 20-year history of the WCHA women’s league, following Sara Martin (1999-2014), Aaron Kemp (2014-16) and Katie Million (2016-19).

Flowers joins the WCHA from the NSIC, where she has served as that league’s assistant commissioner for membership services since Aug. 2016. She succeeds Million, who departed for a role with USA Hockey following the 2018-19 season.

“Jennifer Flowers has a strong record of working with a diverse set of schools and of focusing on the student-athlete experience,” said WCHA women’s board chairman and University of Minnesota faculty athletics representative Dr. Perry Leo, who served as chair of the league’s search committee, in a statement. “We had a strong pool of candidates, but Jennifer’s experience in key areas made her an ideal fit for this role. We look forward to her leading the WCHA women’s league and enhancing its reputation as the best league in women’s college hockey.”

“I am honored and humbled to be chosen as the Commissioner of the Women’s League of the WCHA,” Flowers added. “I want to thank Dr. Leo and the search committee for this incredible opportunity. I am thrilled to work alongside our seven fantastic member institutions to continue the excellence that is synonymous with WCHA women’s hockey.”

Along with her duties directing the women’s league, Flowers will work alongside WCHA president and men’s commissioner Bill Robertson to drive the association’s shared goals and vision.

“I’m excited to have Jennifer on board with the WCHA,” Robertson said. “Her passion and commitment to the student-athlete experience, her familiarity with a number of our member institutions and her broad base of experience will benefit the WCHA. I look forward to collaborating with Jennifer to continue to grow and enhance our overall Association.”

At the NSIC, Flowers focuses on the internal service of the membership and league stakeholders. She serves as the office liaison in support of the NSIC senior women’s administrators, faculty athletic representatives, Student-Athlete Advisory Committees and officials coordinators. Flowers is responsible for assisting with strategic plan implementation with a commitment to academics and life skills, athletics operations and compliance, diversity and inclusion, game day, championships, membership and positioning. She also has championship oversight of volleyball, swimming and diving, basketball and softball. The Manson, Iowa, native was also closely involved in sponsorship and corporate partner initiatives during her time with the NSIC.

Flowers serves on the NCAA women’s volleyball rules committee, is the co-chair of the Minnesota Coalition for Women in Athletic Leadership and serves as a mentor in the Women Leaders in College Sports mentoring program.

Among the initiatives Flowers has spearheaded in her time at the NSIC, she led a committee that created the league’s first transgender student-athlete participation guidelines and coordinated the launch of the league’s SAAC Cup, which was designed to encourage engagement of campus Student-Athlete Advisory Councils. She developed and implemented the NSIC Women’s Coaches Symposium in 2017, which has since been rebranded the NSIC Women’s Leadership Symposium. Flowers also oversaw the creation of the NSIC Elite 18 Award, which recognizes the student-athlete with the top GPA in each of the league’s sponsored sports.

Prior to her time at the NSIC, Flowers worked at Winona State University as the associate athletic director and senior woman administrator from 2012 to 2015. She also had a stint at WSU from 2006 to 2009. Flowers oversaw internal aspects of the department, including compliance and budget coordination along with athletic department scheduling. She was the department’s liaison to the Winona State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as well.

Flowers was an assistant women’s basketball and volleyball coach at Simpson College during the 2005-06 season. She helped guide Simpson’s women’s basketball team to the Iowa Conference regular-season and tournament championships while equaling the program’s record for wins in a season. Flowers helped coach three players to all-conference honors. She also helped guide the volleyball program to a 21-14 record and a second-place finish at the conference tournament.

She spent the 2004-05 academic year at the University of Minnesota where she was the assistant to the associate athletic director. At Minnesota, she was the assistant championship manager for four NCAA championships and one WCHA championship. She also was the assistant game director for Minnesota’s Music City Bowl appearance in 2004.