May 10, 2016
By Chris Masters
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Jill Bodensteiner, senior associate athletics director at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed to a five-year term on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee, the athletics governing body confirmed this week. Bodensteiner will begin her tenure on September 1, 2016, serving on a committee that is charged with numerous responsibilities, including the selection, seeding and bracketing for the annual NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship.
“I am incredibly honored to be appointed to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee,” Bodensteiner said. “Anucha Browne and the Committee do an absolutely fantastic job of running the Championship, and I could not be more excited to collaborate with them. I am passionate about the game of women’s basketball, and can’t imagine a better way to serve the Division I membership. I am anxious to get started.”
Bodensteiner is one of four new appointments to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee, joining Debbie Richardson (senior associate commissioner and senior woman administrator at the Atlantic 10 Conference), Tamica Smith Jones (athletics director at the University of California-Riverside) and Teresa Phillips (athletics director at Tennessee State University). Bodensteiner, Richardson and Jones will serve five-year terms, while Phillips will fill the last year of former committee member Brad Walker, who departed the Ohio Valley Conference last month to lead the basketball operations group with the NBA Development League (D-League).
The returning members of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee for 2016-17 will be: Rhonda Bennett (Nevada), DeJuena Chizer (Houston), Leslie Claybrook (Southeastern Conference), Terry Gawlik (Wisconsin), Mary Ellen Gillespie (Green Bay) and Diane Turnham (Middle Tennessee).
“We are very pleased to welcome Jill (Bodensteiner), Teresa (Phillips), Debbie (Richardson) and Tamica (Smith Jones) to the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee,” said Anucha Browne, NCAA vice president for women’s basketball championships. “It is a strong mix of women with extensive administrative, coaching and playing backgrounds who will add valuable insight to the committee for years to come. These four combined with the experience of the six returning committee veterans has the Championship in good hands going into the 2016-17 season.”
Bodensteiner will be the fourth administrator to represent an Atlantic Coast Conference institution (or the conference itself) during her time on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee, and the first since Duke University’s Jacki Silar served from 2005-10. All three previous ACC representatives also took a turn as committee chair, with then-North Carolina State University administrator (and current ACC senior associate commissioner) Nora Lynn Finch leading the group from 1982-88, former Georgia Tech/ACC administrator (and current Atlantic 10 commissioner) Bernadette McGlade doing so from 1998-2000, and most recently, Silar was the committee chair from 2008-09.
Another current ACC member, the University of Pittsburgh, had two representatives on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee prior to that school’s entry into the ACC — Sandra Bullman (1981-84) and Carol Sprague (1999-2004).
“Jill’s role as the women’s basketball sport administrator at Notre Dame gives her a valuable national view of women’s basketball,” Finch said. “Notre Dame consistently plays one of the most competitive regular-season schedules in the country, allowing Jill to see really good teams in person. She understands event management, has outstanding critical analysis skills, and communicates effectively. She will be a terrific committee member!"
“Jill’s contributions to our women’s basketball program as its administrator, and her leadership of the recent D1A Athletic Directors Association’s legislative efforts, make her a perfect person to help think about the future of women’s basketball and position it for continued success in the future,” added Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame’s vice president and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics.
Along with helping create the NCAA bracket each year, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee is charged with determining the host institution and the site of the championship(s) in collaboration with the Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee; tracking regular-season results and information for assigned conferences; participating on monthly Regional Advisory Committee conference calls; attending all required in-person meetings, subcommittee meetings and teleconferences; overseeing and approving selection and assignment of officials for the championship(s), and supervising practices, meetings and championship competition.
The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee consists of 10 voting members (at least half of which must be administrators) and includes one member from each region (East, Mideast, Midwest, West), while no more than three members from any single region. No more than six members shall be from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and four members from the Football Championship Subdivision or other Division I institutions.
Bodensteiner joined Notre Dame’s athletics department in July 2009, following 12 years with the University’s Office of the General Counsel, including extensive work with athletics issues. In her current role, she serves as the athletics liaison to the General Counsel’s office, and plays an extensive role in national, University and departmental policy issues. In addition, Bodensteiner oversees a compliance office that works with student-athletes, coaches, administrators and others to educate and facilitate a culture of compliance and integrity.
In August 2013, Bodensteiner began assisting Swarbrick with the department’s unique sport administration program by providing professional development and oversight to the 22 staff members who serve as sport administrators for the 26 intercollegiate athletics programs at Notre Dame. In addition, Bodensteiner serves as the sport administrator for the nationally-prominent women’s basketball program, assisting head coach Muffet McGraw’s squad on an administrative basis.
From 2011-15, Bodensteiner served on the NCAA’s Committee on Women’s Athletics, which is charged with providing leadership and assistance to the association in its efforts to provide equitable opportunities, fair treatment and respect for all women in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics.
Before joining the Notre Dame Office of the General Counsel in 1997, Bodensteiner specialized in employment litigation as an associate at two law firms, Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago and Bryan Cave LLP in St. Louis. A member of the bar in Indiana and Illinois, she also clerked for the Honorable Catherine Perry, a United States District Court judge in St. Louis.
Bodensteiner received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Notre Dame, her juris doctorate from Washington University Law School in St. Louis, and her MBA from Notre Dame’s nationally-ranked Mendoza College of Business. A native of Valparaiso, Indiana, she now makes her home in South Bend.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, visit the main women’s basketball page on the University’s official athletics web site (UND.com/ndwbb), sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts (@ndwbb), like the program on Facebook, or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s basketball and women’s golf programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).