Sports Lawyer Richard Ensor Announces Retirement as MAAC Commissioner

Sep 23, 2022

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Commissioner Richard J. Ensor, Esq., has announced his retirement, effective at the end of the 2022-23 season.

Ensor, the longest tenured NCAA Division I multi-sport conference commissioner, has held his post at the MAAC since August 1988. He has been active in the sports law community as a long-time member of the Sports Lawyers Association, where he currently serves as Treasurer.

He has attracted plenty of fans during his career, such as long-time sports lawyer Gregg Clifton, a partner at Lewis Brisbois.

“Rich is a true icon in collegiate athletics,” Clifton told Sports Litigation Alert. “Rich has focused his entire career on helping to grow and advance opportunities for all college athletes. In particular, while growing the national and international reputation of the MAAC conference and its individual member schools, he has pushed for the advancement of opportunities for women athletes and been a tireless leader pushing for equity while serving in various leadership roles on numerous boards and committees. His leadership of the MAAC stands as a role model for all conference commissioners. His commitment to college athletics will be severely missed.”

A pioneer of gender equity, Ensor has been involved with the growth of women’s sports and more specifically, women’s basketball. He serves on the boards of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, has chaired the Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee and has been a past member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. Ensor was instrumental in combining the women’s basketball tournament with the men’s basketball tournament in 1992 at what was then called Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, NY (currently MVP Arena), having both tournaments run simultaneously at the same neutral site for 30 consecutive years – the longest running combined neutral site basketball tournaments in DI. The WBCA has honored Ensor twice for his contributions to women’s basketball with the coach’s association’s Presidents Award in 2014 and as its Administrator of the Year in 2015.

Ensor is a 1975 graduate of MAAC charter member, Saint Peter’s University (formerly College). In 1982, he was awarded a Master’s degree in sports management with honors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and in 1987 he graduated from Seton Hall University’s School of Law and was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in June of that year. Ensor has served in many administrative capacities in college sports prior to his time as MAAC Commissioner, including positions at his alma mater, Saint Louis University and Seton Hall University.