OVC Commissioner DeBauche speaker in Leaders for Life program at Tech

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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner Beth DeBauche was the featured speaker for Tennessee Tech's female student-athletes Wednesday evening, her presentation the latest event in the Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Female Student-Athlete Leaders for Life Program at TTU.

DeBauche, named in 2009 as the seventh Commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference, is one of just four women currently heading up Division I conferences nationwide and one of just nine female Division I commissioners all-time.

She spoke to a gathering of more than 120 student-athletes and administrators, presenting a variety of issues and discussing the expanded opportunities that Tech's female student-athletes  will enjoy because of their competition in intercollegiate athletics. She talked about professional and personal directions and how lessons learned through teamwork will serve them in their future lives.

Under DeBauche the league has started an extensive strategic planning initiative. In addition student-athletes in the OVC have also continued to achieve high levels of success not only on the field but also in the classroom. In 2009-10 the league had an all-time high number of honorees on both the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll and the OVC Medal of Honor lists. During the past two years 23 OVC student-athletes have been named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans.

DeBauche currently serves on the NCAA Committee on Athletic Certification and the NCAA Division I Leadership Council.

From August 2002 through August 2009 DeBauche, along with the vice-president of Division I, was responsible for coordinating Division I initiatives through the NCAA governance structure, as well as helping to manage the Division I agenda. Her duties included developing agendas and providing leadership for the Division I Board of Directors, Presidential Advisory Group and the Leadership Council. DeBauche has overseen the entire Division I governance structure and worked directly with the Legislative Council, the six cabinets and the supporting communications and coordination committee.

DeBauche received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history and government from Saint Mary's College (Ind.) and earned her Master's Degree in communications from Notre Dame. After completing the Concannon Program of International Law in London, England, DeBauche received her Juris Doctorate from the Notre Dame School of Law.

A member of the Illinois, Wisconsin and Georgia Bar, following law school graduation DeBauche worked as an attorney in each Green Bay, Atlanta and Marietta, as well as serving as a Judicial Clerk to P. Harris Hines, who is currently serving on the Georgia Superior Court.

DeBauche has been a member of the Notre Dame Club of Indianapolis Board of Directors, as well as a graduate of the Sports Management Institute and a participant in the Division I-A Athletic Directors Institute. She is a board member with the Nashville Sports Council and active in the Nashville Rotary.

Murphy, a former Tennessee Tech student-athlete who has gone on to become one of America's most respected collegiate athletics administrators, announced the establishment of the Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Female Student-Athlete Leaders for Life Program at Tennessee Tech in 2006. The program provides mentoring and networking opportunities for female student-athletes at Tennessee Tech with successful female role models. The Leaders for Life Program features keynote addresses by women in the sports industry and women in leadership positions, as well as social networking opportunities.

Murphy, currently the Director of Athletics at Columbia University, is a two-time graduate of Tennessee Tech, earning bachelor's (1972) and master's (1973) degrees in health and physical education. While enrolled at Tech, Murphy was actively involved with the TTU athletics program, as a student-athlete in three sports (basketball, tennis and volleyball) and as a graduate assistant coach (women's basketball). In 2005, she earned the school's distinguished alumni award for her professional achievements.


Tech president Dr. Bob Bell (above) was in attendance