Pat O'Conner to Receive Third Annual Allan H. (Bud) Selig Mentoring Award|
March 24, 2010
CLEVELAND- Pat O’Conner, the president of Minor League Baseball, was voted the recipient of this year’s Selig Mentoring Award by the Division I-A Athletics Directors McLendon Scholarship Steering Committee, composed of the 15 minority Division I-A athletics directors. O'Conner will be honored at the 2010 John McLendon Minority Athletics Administrators Hall of Fame Induction Reception on Wednesday, June 23 at the Marriott Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., in conjunction with the NACDA Convention. For more information on the event, please click here.
The award was established in 2007 and named in honor of Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and is presented annually to a person in athletics administration who has been at the forefront in creating equal opportunities for minorities in the field of athletics. Selig has placed diversity and equal employment opportunity among his top priorities throughout the years to great effect in Major League Baseball. Today, 31 percent of all on-field coaching positions in baseball are held by minority group members and female front office representation throughout the league is 30 percent. During Selig's tenure as Commissioner, minority representation among front office positions has grown from two to 24 percent. The past two award recipients were Dan Rooney, Chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Vince Dooley, NACDA Past President and former director of athletics at Georgia.
O’Conner has spent 28 years in professional baseball, including the last 17 in the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) office. He joined the Minor League staff in May 1993 as Chief Operating Officer and added the title of Vice President, Administration in December 1995. He was elected the 11th president of Minor League Baseball in December 2007.
Under his guidance, Minor League Baseball announced a first-ever Diversity Initiative in 2009. Under this plan, Minor League Baseball will execute programs aimed at diversifying the ownership, executive and staff personnel, fan base and business-to-business relationships within the industry. O’Conner also embarked on a series of steps to introduce Minor League Baseball as an investment, career, entertainment and business option to the diverse community. O’Conner developed a speakers’ series at Historically Black Colleges and Universities as a means of educating and informing young people on the opportunities within Minor League Baseball, as well as practicum and internship experience opportunities for minority college students interested in a sports administration career.
"Pat O’Conner’s dedication to the integration of all levels of Minor League Baseball is truly amazing," said Keith Tribble, Chair of the Division I-A Athletics Directors McLendon Steering Committee. "The implementation of a Diversity Initiative as well as his foresight to get involved with HBCU’s with the hopes of further integrating the administrative ranks of Minor League Baseball is right in line with the core values of the McLendon Foundation."
O’Conner has also overseen a period when Minor League Baseball experienced staggering increases in revenue among its 160 teams. The organization set new attendance records for five consecutive years from 2004-08, including topping 43 million fans in 2008 for the first time since the organization was founded in 1901.
About the John McLendon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Program: The John McLendon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Awards are presented to senior-level minority students who intend to pursue a graduate degree in athletics administration. If you have any questions regarding this program, please visit www.mclendonminorityfoundation.com.
About NACDA: NACDA, now in its 45th year, is the professional and educational association for more than 6,500 college athletics administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 2,300 athletics administrators annually attend the NACDA Convention. Additionally, NACDA administers 11 professional associations that come under the umbrella of the athletics director. For more information, visit www.nacda.com.