Haglund To Retire As GNAC Commissioner In June

Monday, February 12, 2024

PORTLAND, Ore. – Dave Haglund, commissioner of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference since 2012, announced he will end a 47-year career in intercollegiate athletics when he retires this June.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to lead this outstanding organization and I want to thank everyone associated with the GNAC – student-athletes, coaches and administrators – for making this conference so special,” said Haglund. “I have treasured my time in this role and look forward to the GNAC’s continued rise in Division II.”

Haglund succeeded Richard Hannan as commissioner after spending 4 ½ years as the commissioner of the Cascade Collegiate Conference. “We deeply appreciate Dave’s unwavering dedication and the significant impact he has made as commissioner,” said Dr. Stefani Hicswa, chancellor at Montana State Billings and chair of the GNAC’s CEO Board. “As only the second commissioner in GNAC history, he leaves a legacy of stable leadership as a result of his many years of service to the conference. I have enjoyed working with him immensely and wish him well in his retirement.”

During his time in the GNAC, the conference expanded its championship offerings by adding postseason tournaments in women’s soccer, softball, baseball and women’s rowing; enhanced its free-to-view live-streaming platform; increased its membership with an additional full-time member and six affiliate members; and grew its reserve fund by 300 percent. A current member of the D2 Conference Commissioners Association executive committee, Haglund is a former chair of the NCAA Nominating Committee and has routinely served as a site representative for NCAA postseason championships in men’s basketball, women’s soccer and football.

Said Joel Pearsall, president of Northwest Nazarene University and immediate past chair of the GNAC CEO Board: “Dave has been a model for commissioners of athletic conferences across all NCAA divisions. Commissioner Haglund’s attention to detail, forward-looking focus, integrity, humility, and genuine care for the well-being of all GNAC student-athletes across the span of his service as GNAC commissioner has been unmatched – and this is why many of the GNAC athletic directors and presidents have opined that Dave is one of the best commissioners all of NCAA Division II. Every GNAC institution and its student-athletes owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dave for his exceptional service over the past 13 years. Dave’s retirement is well-deserved and we wish him nothing but the best.”

After a four-year stint as an undergraduate assistant in the Oregon State University sports information office, Haglund moved into full-time roles at Fresno State University and the University of Maryland. His career has included working with student-athletes and coaches in the ACC, Pac-10, Big West and WAC.

“I have been blessed beyond measure on my administrative path and this has never been truer than my association with the GNAC,” said Haglund. “I especially want to thank the CEO Board members and athletic directors for their guidance and support, as well as all my conference office colleagues, past and present, for their outstanding work and exemplary service to the membership.

“Lastly, I want to thank my wife, Cindy, who has provided unwavering support and assistance. She has been a willing and active partner at each of our stops, coast to coast to coast. Her behind-the-scenes contributions, which benefited student-athletes, coaches, officials and administrators, surely made me the luckiest administrator in college athletics in more ways than one.”