BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Council of Presidents has announced that Dr. Charles McClelland will become the sixth SWAC Commissioner in league history since the conference began in 1920.
McClelland has served the past 17 plus years at the helm of two SWAC member institutions—Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics at Texas Southern University since April of 2008 and the prior seven years as Athletics Director at Prairie View A&M University. McClelland will succeed the role from Edgar Gantt, who has served the role of Interim Commissioner since December 31, 2017.
Chairman of the Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Dr. Andrew Hugine, thanked Mr. Gantt for his dutiful and steady leadership during the transition period. He further stated that the Council is looking forward to working with Dr. McClelland as SWAC charts a new course in athletic and scholarly excellence for the conference.
Among the job duties entailed, the Commissioner shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Conference and report to the Conference Council of Presidents & Chancellors of the member institutions. The Commissioner will work with the Council, Athletic Directors, and other key athletics administration staff of each member institution to create initiatives and strategies designed to achieve the mission and vision of the Conference.
“As a young person growing up in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, it’s a good feeling to be named commissioner,” Dr. McClelland said. “To have an opportunity to lead this conference in this era is overwhelming. I’ve been here at TSU [Texas Southern University] for 10 years and met a lot of friends. TSU is like family. I’m sad to close that chapter, but I’m excited to open a new one.”
A native of Jackson, Miss., Dr. McClelland earned his doctoral degree in higher education administration at Texas A&M University in 2011. A 1993 graduate of Prairie View A&M, McClelland earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and in 1997 received an MBA from Prairie View.
McClelland’s extra-curricular affiliations include membership in the Prairie View A&M University National Alumni Association, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Lambda and the National Association of Black Accountants.
McClelland is a former member of the NCAA Leadership/Management Council. One of the highest-ranking councils in the NCAA, the Leadership/Management Council is responsible for establishing direct general policy, the strategic plan for the NCAA and advises the board of directors on administrative bylaws and regulations.
He is also a past president of the Houston Touchdown Club and has served on the board of directors. Previously, McClelland served as chairman of the SWAC Council of Athletics Directors, a position he had held for 10 years.
McClelland is also currently a member of the Houston Final Four Organizing Committee.