Posted: Oct 16, 2019
SACRAMENTO - Carlyle Carter, whose tenure as Executive Director & CEO/President of the California Community College Athletic Association has been marked by a dedication to the opportunities afforded by two-year colleges as well as several notable achievements, announced on Wednesday he will step aside from his leadership role on Dec. 31.
Carter has been just the third Executive Director of the CCCAA, having joined the organization in 2005 after 11 distinguished years as the first minority to serve as chief executive officer of a non-HBCU NCAA athletic conference (NCAA Div. III Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference).
“The Board of Directors appreciate the more than 14 years of service Carlyle Carter has provided to the California Community College Athletic Association,” said Keith Curry, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Through his valuable leadership our organization has soared to new heights, and thousands of California community college students have benefited from programs and services supported by the CCCAA.”
Carter, a former basketball and tennis coach, has promoted the value of a two-year education throughout his career, particularly for student-athletes looking for a path to a four-year education. His passion led him in 1987 to help found the National Alliance of Two Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) and bring more attention to community college athletics. His involvement with NATYCAA, as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association, has also brought more exposure to the CCCAA, helping lead to national awards for its colleges and student-athletes.
It didn’t take long for Carter to make his imprint with the CCCAA after coming to California. He oversaw the rebranding of the organization from its previous name of the Commission on Athletics to its current one. Carter also fostered the CCCAA’s long-running motto, “Providing Opportunities…. Fulfilling Dreams,” a principle that continues to provide the foundation of his efforts.
“One of the signs of good leadership is the ability to listen,” Carter said. “Over the 35 years that I have dedicated to my career in intercollegiate organizational administration, I understood that once you accept the responsibility to sit in the ‘Chair’ there will be those that will challenge your leadership for no other reason than you happen to be the occupant of the chair. When you have reached a point in which you feel you are no longer effective as a leader, you could continue to collect a paycheck or step aside. I have chosen the latter.”
The CCCAA has seen tremendous growth under Carter’s leadership and currently sponsors 24 championships for nearly 24,000 student-athletes at 109 member institutions. He’s instituted an expansion of both the Board of Directors and the Management Council which provide the ultimate authority and operational oversight, respectively, for the CCCAA, while also helping streamline the legislative calendar.
He expanded voting on legislation to include member colleges, established non-traditional sports season opportunities for CCCAA schools and led several re-conferencing endeavors, most recently in 2017-18.
There have been many challenges during Carter’s tenure, including economic hurdles that led to a cost-containment era nearly a decade ago, particularly in the area of post-conference competition. His guidance helped the CCCAA regrow its championships, which most recently added women’s beach volleyball in 2015.
CCCAA Championships are a source of pride for Carter, who has shepherded an online broadcast presence for several while also making the experience more memorable for student-athletes by providing commemorative hats and school banners to the state champions. In 2017, the CCCAA office took operational control of the football state championship, alleviating the task from the participating institutions and allowing them to focus on the game and enjoy the experience.
The CCCAA’s visibility on the college athletics’ landscape has also increased under Carter. He oversaw the development of the organization’s nearly 170-page annual year-in-review publication and forged a partnership with Presto Sports to provide website and statistics networking opportunities now enjoyed by more than 80 CCCAA schools. Additionally, he’s expanded sponsorships for the CCCAA and for athletic equipment.
Perhaps most importantly, however, Carter has been a strong proponent for two-year athletics in California and their role in academic advancement, and the graduation and transferability of student-athletes. By strengthening and stabilizing the CCCAA’s relationship with its parent organization, the Community College League of California (CCLC), Carter has been able to advocate with the CCLC on behalf of student-athletes regarding key issues under consideration at the nearby State Capitol.
“Carlyle has consistently and resolutely led the CCCAA from a core belief that California’s community college student-athletes are students first and that our colleges and athletic programs are about providing opportunities for student-athletes willing to take responsibility for their academic and athletic pursuits,” said Larry Galizio, President & CEO of the CCLC. “Under his leadership, California community college competitive athletics and the CCCAA demonstrate what intercollegiate athletics at all levels should be about: an opportunity for student-athletes to learn and grow in the classroom and on the playing field.”
Prior to his service with the MIAC, Carter was Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports for the Penn State Commonwealth Campus Athletic Programs.
He received his undergraduate degree from Penn State in 1978 before earning his master’s in Physical Education/Sports Administration from Penn State in 1983.
About the CCCAA
The California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) is the governing body providing oversight of intercollegiate athletics within the California Community College System. The single largest educational system in the world, with attendance in excess of 2.6 million students annually, the California Community College system serves one-third of all community college students in the United States. The CCCAA establishes the rules and regulations to administer the intercollegiate athletic activities of nearly 24,000 student-athletes attending California’s community colleges. To view the latest news, information, and updates of all 24 CCCAA-sanctioned sports visit www.cccaasports.org.