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Patrick Britz is currently in his 11th year as the Commissioner of the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) after being named the league’s second commissioner in May 2008.
Under Britz’s leadership, the SAC expanded to its largest membership ever with 12 (currently at 11) member institutions as Brevard College became a full-time member in 2008-09, Anderson University (SC) joined in 2010-11, and Coker College and Queens University of Charlotte in 2013-14. The SAC also expanded from 14 championship sports to 18 in 2013-14 as men’s and women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field were added. This number will increase to 20 in 2017-18 when the league will add men’s and women’s indoor track and field as championship sports. Britz has also overseen the revision of the conference bylaws and sports policies, as well as the development of two strategic plans.
Britz has led historic achievements in the overall success of SAC athletics in NCAA Championship participation. Wingate claimed the SAC’s first ever NCAA national championship in men’s soccer in the fall of 2016. Further, in the past five years, SAC teams from five different sports and four different schools have also advanced to the final game of the NCAA Championship – Lenoir-Rhyne, football and Carson-Newman, men’s soccer in 2013, Catawba, baseball in 2015, Lincoln Memorial, men’s basketball in 2016 and Carson-Newman, women’s soccer in 2017. Finally, SAC schools have won 20 NCAA regional titles in nine sports since 2008-09.
During Britz’s tenure, the league has started a formal compliance review process where an external entity visits each member institution and conducts an in-depth review. The first round of visits was completed in 2011-12 and the next round began in 2015-16. He also developed and implemented a new coaches’ orientation program that started in the fall of 2014.
He has also overseen the enhancement of the conference’s awards program and championship events, providing live video-streaming for most of the finals of the team championships starting in 2010-11. The league also began awarding an Elite 20 award in 2016-17 at each championship to the participating student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA similar to the NCAA’s Elite 90 award. He also secured a title sponsor – Pilot Flying J - for the conference baseball championship for 2016 through 2022, and for the basketball championship for 2019 through 2022.
In addition to Pilot Flying J, Britz has brokered numerous corporate sponsorship agreements including GEICO, AstroTurf, BB&T Insurance, Wilson Sporting Goods, Hasty Awards and Immersion Media. Further, he has maintained long-standing agreements with corporate partners such as Coleman Lew & Associates and McMillan Pazdan Smith.
Britz negotiated an agreement with Timmons Arena on the campus of Furman University to host the semifinals and finals of the SAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Conference Tournament through 2022. The contract extension guarantees the continuation of the conference tournament at the same neutral site since 2013. Britz negotiated to have the SAC Baseball Championship take place at Smokies Stadium in Kodak, Tenn., the home of the AA affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs for 2016 through 2022. In addition, the semifinals and finals of the SAC Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championship continue to be played at Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, S.C., the same neutral site this event has been conducted at since 2007.
Prior to joining the SAC, Britz served as the first Director of Division I Intercollegiate Programs for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) from 2005-2008. During his tenure with the NSCAA, Britz was responsible for raising the visibility of men’s and women’s Division I soccer. He played a vital role in the establishment and expansion of the Fox Soccer Channel College Match of the Week, including selling corporate sponsorships. He served as the liaison between the NSCAA and various constituent groups, including the NCAA, Division I men’s and women’s coaches and the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association.
Britz has extensive experience in collegiate administration. He served as the senior associate director of athletics for compliance and administration at Texas Tech University from 2001-2005 and worked for five years in the NCAA national office (1996-2001). He was assistant director of athletics for compliance and student services at East Tennessee State University for two years (1995-1996) and began his career as assistant commissioner for championships and compliance for the Southern Conference in 1991.
Britz has been highly involved within the NCAA committee structure. From 2009-2013, he served on the Division II Women’s Soccer Committee and was the Division II representative on the NCAA Woman of the Year Selection Committee from 2010-2012. In addition, he was the lone Division II representative on the CCA/NLI Football Recruiting Working Group to evaluate the possibility of an early signing period in the sport of football. While at Texas Tech, Britz served on the Division I Initial-Eligibility Waiver Committee and on the NCAA Athletics Certification Peer Review Committee.
Currently, Britz is in his fourth year on the NCAA Division II Championships Committee, second year on the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel and also is chair of the Division II CCA National Letter of Intent Review Committee. He currently serves as the President for the Division II Collegiate Commissioners Association.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from the University of North Carolina Asheville and an MBA in Sports Business from Saint Leo University. While at UNC Asheville, Britz was a four-time academic all-conference selection for the Bulldogs soccer team and graduated as the school’s second all-time leading scorer. Britz was inducted into the UNC Asheville Athletics Hall of Fame in February 2007 and was inducted into the Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School (Winston-Salem, N.C.) Hall of Fame in October 2011. In addition, he is the co-author of the book Athletic Scholarships for Dummies, published in December 2005.
Britz and his wife, Joanna, reside in Fort Mill, S.C. and have two daughters, Emersyn (6) and Delaney (5) and one son, Zach (3).
Britz follows Doug Echols, who served as the first SAC Commissioner from 1989-2008.