Aaron Kemp named new WCHA women's commissioner

Wisconsin alumna Sara R. Martin, who led the league from its inception, announced her plans to retire in November 2013.

Aaron Kemp, the senior associate athletic director at Mercyhurst College, was announced Wednesday as the new women's commissioner of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Kemp was chosen by a selection committee that has been searching since former commissioner Sara R. Martin announced her intention to retire last November. Martin, a Wisconsin grad who spent 10 years with the UW athletic department, was the first commissioner in league history. Martin will officially leave her post next month, after helping Kemp transition.

Kemp is an interesting choice in that his entire experience is East Coast-based. The fresh take might not be entirely unwarranted, but coming fresh on the heels of the first-ever season that ended with a team other than one from the WCHA crowned as NCAA champion, it's certainly eyebrow-raising.

Kemp was part of the American Hockey Coaches Association NCAA Division 1 Staff of the Year for the 2004-05 season and the CHA Staff of the Year the same season. He left coaching to join that administrative side at Mercyhurst in 2008, but was the tournament director for the 2011 women's Frozen Four. He also oversaw all operations for men's and women's hockey at Mercyhurst.

It appears the new commissioner will keep offices in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

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