Spry is thrilled to celebrate the many successful women in the sports industry. We are proud to work with many of these women and can’t wait to share their stories and successes with you!
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Megan Morrison. Morrison has enjoyed many accomplishments throughout her athletic career. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Middle Atlantic Conference.
Please give me a brief history of your life/career.
“I grew up in the tiny town of Norwich, Vermont, which was just a few miles from Dartmouth College. We didn’t even have cable for much of my childhood, so needless to say, the college and its athletics programs were the biggest show in town. Both of my parents worked at Dartmouth so I spent a lot of time watching their teams play sports growing up. I was also active as an athlete myself. As a young child, my dad bought me a set of skis and golf clubs and by third grade, I was playing both basketball and softball, so I suppose athletics was destined to end up being a big part of my life. After high school, I attended Bowdoin College in Maine and I had an opportunity to be a student-athlete there.”
Morrison lettered in three sports while at Bowdoin — ice hockey, softball, and golf. After graduation, she moved to New York, where her career would take a fortuitous turn.
“I began working as a paralegal at a law firm in New York and one year I organized the firm’s softball team. I guess one of the partners at the firm was impressed with my organizational skills and said, ‘You should really do this sports thing for a career.’ At the time, I didn’t fully appreciate that sport management was a discipline and wasn’t familiar with all the jobs that existed in that space. After doing some research, however, I eventually enrolled in the Sport Management Masters program at Florida State. One semester, I took an NCAA Compliance course that was taught by their Associate AD for Compliance at the time, Bob Minnix. Bob offered me an internship that summer. That internship eventually turned into a full-time compliance position and that was the start of my administrative career in athletics. I loved my experience at FSU, however, being the product of a small town and a small Division III college, I decided that major college athletics wasn’t necessarily my sweet spot.”
After leaving FSU in 2006, Morrison joined the Ivy League where she led the conference’s compliance efforts, managed conference governance, and oversaw the conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. After 14 years at the Ivy League, Morrison was selected to be the MAC’s fifth Executive Director in 2020.
“The beauty of working at the conference level is that you feel you can be more helpful in some regards, as opposed to a campus setting where you can sometimes feel like Dr. No.”
What advice would you offer to aspiring young professionals?
“Know yourself. Know your communication style and what your preferences are. Take the time to understand yourself. It’s important to know what it takes for you to be successful.”
Who have been your role models/mentors professionally? Personally?
“Personally, my parents were my most influential mentors. I gained my outlook on life from them. They encouraged me to be the kind of person that values lifelong learning and prioritizes mental and physical health.”
“Professionally, Bob Minnix was extremely influential in that he gave me the opportunity to learn about compliance and get a foot in the door in athletics. Even as an intern, he would always allow me to sit in on staff meetings and he made every situation a learning opportunity.”
“Also, Carolyn Campbell-McGovern was a tremendous mentor once I arrived at the Ivy League office. She molded me and pushed me to do things outside of my comfort zone. All the experiences she encouraged me to have ended up being helpful to me in the long run.”
Finish this sentence. The best part of my job is …….?
“Just getting to work with good people and helping students has been the most rewarding aspect of my career. While I miss being able to have more individual relationships with student-athletes on campus, I enjoy having a broader reach and impact through the work I do at a conference office.”
What Women’s History Month Means To Me…
“It caused me to reflect on how lucky I was to grow up in an era when I could take being able to participate in athletics for granted. I’ve known and worked with a lot of women who didn’t have those opportunities. I remember being in the third grade when a parent group stepped up and asked the school why they had a basketball team for the boys but not for the girls. So, Women’s History Month is a time to reflect on where we’ve come from. But there’s still more work to be done in order to achieve full equity. Even this conversation has renewed my vigor to continue doing that work.”
Whether on campus or at the conference level or in small towns like Norwich, VT or big cities like New York, Megan Morrison’s leadership skills and her love for sports have always remained constant. Her commitment to providing student-athletes with the very best experience possible has earned her the respect of colleagues throughout the industry. For this reason, Spry is proud to honor Megan Morrison as part of our Women’s History Month celebration!