The Southwestern Athletic Conference's fifth Commissioner since its founding in 1920. Duer M. Sharp enters his second year as the Conference's full time commissioner. He has guided the SWAC to new heights in technology and national media exposure, while preserving the rich tradition of SWAC athletics and academics by developing its "Honor the Heritage" brand.
Some of the accomplishments and enhancements that the conference has benefited from under Sharp's leadership, since his arrival, have included:
· Implementation and execution of the SWAC strategic and vision plan for 2008-2011
· Implementation of conference-wide video editing and exchange solution (LRS/Dragon Fly Storm-digital) in the sport of football.
· Development of a comprehensive program to improve overall team and officials' performance in the sport of football.
· Negotiated exclusive conference-wide footwear agreement with Nike USA, Inc. in 2008.
· Restructured exclusive conference-wide apparel and equipment agreements with Russell Athletic, Inc. and Spalding providing all member institutions with game uniforms, sideline apparel and game products in football, baseball, softball, men's and women's basketball.
· Implementation of Internet video exchange in the sports of men's and women's basketball
· Negotiated extension with ESPN for the annual MEAC-SWAC Challenge in the sport of football.
· Established weekly conference television show, "Inside SWAC", with a viewing area of 7.7 million throughout southeast.
The 40-year old Sharp is a native of Camden, New Jersey. He received an undergraduate degree in Afro-American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991 and a graduate degree in Afro-American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992. Sharp was also a four-year starter for the Badger football team (1988-1991). He was the recipient of Jay Seiler award for team leadership and was the recipient of Kappa Alpha Psi Tom W. Shick Scholarship awarded for intellectual vigor, concern for social justice and equality
Sharp launched his athletic administration career at the Big Ten where he served as a Sports Management administrator from 1998-2003. Since then, Sharp has worked at the SWAC (assistant commissioner, associate commissioner), including a stint at Grambling State University as Interim-Director Athletics. Sharp was named Commissioner of the SWAC on January 2, 2008.
Sharp is actively involved in the Birmingham community. In 2009, he was named to the Birmingham Business Journal's "Top 40 under 40 List". Sharp is also actively involved in youth clinics, the Worship Center Christian Church and is a past Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Trustee.
Sharp and his wife, Sandy have a son, Sidney. The Sharps reside in Birmingham.
Full name: Duer M. Sharp
Hometown: Camden, New Jersey
Wife: Sandy Sharp
High School: Woodrow Wilson High School; Camden, New Jersey
College: University of Wisconsin, 1991; Bachelor of Arts, Afro American Studies
Graduate: University of Wisconsin, 1992; Masters of Arts, Afro American Studies
1988-1991 University of Wisconsin football team
Four-year starter (linebacker)
Athletic Administration Experience:
2008- Present Southwestern Athletic Conference - Commissioner
2007-2008 Southwestern Athletic Conference - Interim Commissioner
2005-2007 Southwestern Athletic Conference - Associate Commissioner
2005- 2006 Grambling State University - Interim Director of Athletics
2004-2005 Southwestern Athletic Conference - Assistant Commissioner
1998-2003 Big Ten Conference - Sports Management Administrator
1997-1998 Big Ten Conference - C.D. Henry Intern
Current Memberships, Boards and Committees
Collegiate Commissioners Association - 2008 to present
Football Championship Sub-Division of Collegiate Commissioners Association-Vice President 2009-2010
Sports Management Institute - 2010
Division I Committee on Academic Performance, member - 2007 to 2011
Minority Opportunities Athletic Association - 2007-present
Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee, member - June 2007 to 2009
NCAA Championships/Sports Management Cabinet 2007-2009
NCAA Leadership Institute for Ethnic Minority Males - 2003
Black Coaches' Association - 1998 to present