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Dick Rasmussen: "Mr. UAA"

Dick Rasmussen: "Mr. UAA"

As a University of Rochester student-athlete, Dick “Raz” Rasmussen was determined to perform at the highest level on and off the field. For the past 30 years, he has served as the only Executive Director in the history of the UAA, an association founded on the premise that academic excellence and athletic excellence are not mutually exclusive. 

Rasmussen majored in chemistry, while competing in football and baseball at Rochester. As a senior defensive end, he was named to the New York Sportswriters Association All-State Football first team and earned the University’s Louis A. Alexander Award, given annually to the senior student-athlete contributing the most to athletics and student life. On the diamond, he led the Yellowjackets in triples, home runs, and runs batted in.

Rasmussen began his career at Rochester as a computer programmer and research analyst in Admissions and Financial Aid. Throughout his professional history his computer programming skills have been profoundly utilized.

He joined the Rochester football program as an assistant coach in 1973 and continued in the position through 1981, serving as offensive line coach, offensive coordinator, and scouting coordinator. Rasmussen developed a sophisticated computer program to compile and analyze opponents’ patterns and tendencies, and designed and implemented a tutoring program for all student-athletes.

In 1974, Rasmussen began a 13-year career as head baseball coach at Rochester. Under his guidance, the 1980 team became the first Yellowjacket program to compete in an NCAA Division III men’s postseason championship. He also helped develop the Rochester Amateur Baseball Congress (RABC) and was named the league’s Coach of the Year in 1979. He earned his Master of Science degree in science education that same year.

In addition to coaching, Rasmussen served as the Department of Sports and Recreation Business Manager. In that capacity, he was a member of the planning group that shaped the original proposals for the formation of the UAA.

The first meeting to discuss the concept of forming the UAA took place on Oct. 9, 1985 in Rochester. Rasmussen was one of the key participants in that meeting that included presidents, chancellors, vice presidents, deans, faculty, and administrators.

“Everybody showed up and there was a general agreement that something needed to be done,” said Rochester Emeritus President G. Dennis O’Brien. “It was Dick who could tell us how all the logistics could work, the stuff that could drive you nuts. He persuaded us that it was possible.”

“Dick was great. He got us off to a good start,” stated Washington University Chancellor Emeritus William H. Danforth. “If we had not started out well, we wouldn’t be where we are today. It has been a wonderful run.”

 “He saw the worth of each of these institutions and the value that each of us was bringing. That was important for the whole group,” commented David Hutter, former Case Western Reserve University Athletic Director. “He was very instrumental in soothing the pain that came from issues certain institutions were dealing with in the transition. He was absolutely the key person.”

Referencing a scene from the musical Hamilton, NYU Senior Associate Director of Athletics Janice Quinn said, “’I want to be in the room when it happens’ when Dick is involved. I was in the room where it happened. I wasn’t involved with the creation of the UAA, but was there in the preliminary year when we were playing whomever we could.  The older I get and the more years I put into this business, the more and more I am astounded by Dick’s analytical skills, his thoroughness, his attention to detail, his representation of the UAA, and his true grasp of the issues. When I was 23, it was impressive, but my mind was split between coaching and administration. The skill set he has is quite impressive and becomes more so every year you know him. It has all been great fun and my great honor and privilege to be at the table where it happens because of him.”

On June 25, 1986, representatives of eight universities gathered at the New York Hilton Midtown to announce the official formation of the UAA. In 1987, Rasmussen was named the Association’s first Executive Secretary and he has held the position, retitled Executive Director, ever since.

Dick Rasmussen (second from left) with UAA administrators and then NCAA President
Dick Schultz at inaugural UAA weekend in Sept., 1987

In 1997, Rasmussen earned his doctorate in education at the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester. His dissertation was entitled, The Role of Intercollegiate Athletics in the Academy: A Case Study of the Formation of the University Athletic Association. Click here to read the document.

For Carnegie Mellon University Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation Josh Centor, Rasmussen played a critical role in his decision to enter the athletic administration profession. As a baseball student-athlete, Centor was the co-chair of the Brandeis University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and attended the first UAA SAAC meeting during his sophomore year.

At the following year’s UAA SAAC meeting, Rasmussen announced that it was time for a UAA representative to serve on the NCAA Division III SAAC. “For no apparent reason, I raised my hand and asked if anyone at the meeting could be that person,” Centor recalled. “I kind of forgot about it and later received an application, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and hadn’t filled it out. Dick called me and asked me to fill it out, so I swiftly did. The next week, I got a call from the NCAA that I had been chosen.”

“Dick prodded me to fill out that application,” Centor added. “He helped me along the way. My success in the field is a product of what happened at that point.”

Rasmussen has served on the NCAA Council, NCAA Division III Management Council, NCAA Restructuring Task Force, and chaired the NCAA Division III Membership Committee. He was a member of the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics for six years and also served as a member of the joint focus group that developed the initial NCAA Diversity Education Program with the Minority Interests and Opportunities Committee.

He is past president of the Division III Commissioners Association and currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the organization. At the 2002 NCAA Convention, he was honored by his fellow commissioners with their first Meritorious Service Award recognizing significant, sustained achievement, and contributions to college athletics at the national level. In 1994, he helped establish the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) and currently serves as the Executive Director of that organization. He was recently awarded the prestigious inaugural NADIIIAA Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention.

Dick Rasmussen with his wife Cathy at last week's NACDA Convention

In addition to his tireless work for the UAA and Division III, Rasmussen has been an active community volunteer. He has served in leadership roles for more than 25 years in the Seneca Waterways Boy Scout Council. He is past president of the Psi Upsilon International Fraternity and President of the Psi Upsilon Alumni Association of Western New York.

Rasmussen served four terms on the Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District Board of Education, including service as vice president of the board for four years and president for five years. During that time, he also served a term as president of the Monroe County School Boards Association.

What others are saying...

Dan Dutcher, Vice President for NCAA Division III

“Dick is greatly respected among the NCAA membership and national office staff. He has a keen intellect, and is always ready to pose the sometimes hard, but always valuable questions that others miss or are afraid to ask. For example, he was a leader of the movement to emphasize the consideration of relevant data as the basis of important policy decisions. A fellow Management Council member once used the phrase, “still waters run deep,” to describe Dick. He is a quiet, but extremely effective leader. He is a man of principle, with a strong appreciation for the essence of the Division III philosophy, but always reasonable and practical when it comes to settling thorny issues. It’s been a honor and pleasure to work with Dick during his tenure at the UAA.”

Louise McCleary, Director of NCAA Division III

"What I truly appreciate about Dick is his passion for Division III.  On many occasions we have collaborated on programs and initiatives to support and enhance the Division III membership.  His contributions to the Division are numerous, and it is a pleasure having the opportunity to work with him."

Bridget Belgiovine, Director of Athletics and Chair of the Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics (PERA) department, Wellesley College, and former Director of NCAA Division III

“Dick has been a stalwart member and colleague in Division III for decades. I've had the pleasure of working with Dick on numerous committees and in many capacities as a colleague serving within the NCAA governance structure and as members of the NAD3AA. His vision, thoughtful approach and ability to create solutions to ensure the welfare and championship experiences for student-athletes are what stand out for me. Finally, we owe Dick a debt of gratitude for his unwavering leadership and commitment to the NADIIIAA. His work on behalf of all administrators and those aspiring to "the big chair" have all benefited from his dedication to Division III.”

Linda Moulton, former Clark University Director of Athletics and Recreation and National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) Lifetime Achievement Award winner

“It is hard to believe that I’ve known Dick for almost 30 years! I was first introduced to Dick in 1987. He was in his early tenure with the UAA and I was in my first year as the Athletic Director at Clark University. It didn’t take me long to realize that he would be a great resource for me and was someone who would give generously of his time and knowledge to help others. Overseeing one of the top athletic conferences in Division III placed Dick front and center on the main stage, a responsibility he accepted quietly and graciously. 

My many connections with Dick occurred as a result of our work on the Division III Management Council, Restructuring Task Force, Women’s Committee on Athletics, and the Division III Commissioners Association. In every instance, Dick was the ‘go to’ guy. His knowledge, his willingness to listen to both sides of an issue and his ability to consistently apply the philosophical principles of Division III, helped guide us toward fair and thoughtful committee decisions. One of Dick’s greatest strengths has been designing and interpreting complicated matrices. He is by far our division’s statistical genius! We can only hope that once he retires, he will leave good notes and train others to continue his positive work. Dick loves a good challenge – digging into issues, having good discussions, and then coming up with smart solutions. The UAA members, the NCAA committees he has served on, and the entire Division III membership have benefitted from his many talents and will continue to rely on him.

Dick is a well-liked, well-respected, and admired Division III leader. His knowledge, insights, patience, and commitment to diversity and the values of Division III have provided great comfort to an ever-changing membership. I am very fortunate to have Dick as a colleague and friend.”

Lynne Dempsey, Director of Athletics, Brandeis University

“Dick was there in the beginning and for many of us who played in the league and now work at institutions in the league, Dick is the connection between our schools. I feel the camaraderie between administrators in the UAA is as strong, if not stronger, than any other conference in the country and a lot of that can be traced to Dick and how hard he works on behalf of our institutions.”

Josh Centor, Carnegie Mellon University Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation

“Dick is a quiet guy behind the scenes. Everything he does to lead the Association, the most impressive grouping of schools, is about the experience of students. They may not know it, but I know it. He always has them at the forefront of his mind. He doesn’t talk much or loudly, but it carries weight when he does. That really matters and it is a tribute to him. He has impacted every student-athlete who has ever competed in the UAA. That is incredible.”

Joan Maser, Coordinator of Athletics Support Services, Carnegie Mellon University

“I feel very fortunate to have worked alongside Dick since the beginning of the UAA. For me, he is really ‘Mr. UAA.’ Dick has been a steady, consistent presence that has assured continuity; he’s the glue that keeps the conference running smoothly. He’s also our historian, reminding us of where we’ve been and helping us all to move forward. His contributions really can’t be overestimated, plus he’s just a genuinely nice guy.”

Amy Backus, Director of Athletics and Chair of Physical Education, Case Western Reserve University

“Dick Rasmussen has been the heart and soul of the UAA for 30 years. A man of unwavering stability and integrity, Dick continues to lead a group of premier institutions to the top of Division III in the ever-changing landscape of college athletics. Times change, administrators change, sports change, but Dick finds a way to keep the UAA as a model conference of doing it the right way.”

Michael Vienna, Clyde Partin Sr. Director of Athletics, Emory University

“Dick Rasmussen is the consummate professional who has spent his entire career supporting what is right about intercollegiate athletics and what is in the best interest of student-athletes. He has been a leading voice in intercollegiate athletics and represents the UAA and our member institutions in a first-class manner.”

Joyce Jaleel, Senior Associate Director of Athletics/SWA, Emory University

“All of NCAA Division III and particularly the UAA have benefited by way of Dick Rasmussen. Dick had the leadership and vision to help build the UAA and the dedication to continue to actualize UAA values throughout the member institutions, and provide a unique experience to all the student-athletes who have competed over these 30 years and counting. The historical knowledge Dick has of the UAA stands alone and we are grateful for his guidance and leadership.  Dick has the wisdom and the steadiness to lead by action and by his character.  I am very thankful to have known and worked with Dick for these first 30 years of the UAA.”

Gerry Lowrey, former Director of Athletics, Emory University

“The UAA was very fortunate to have Dick Rasmussen as the commissioner in the early days of the league. Dick had the vision, people skills, resourcefulness, and commitment to help our far-flung group of universities become a fully functioning athletic conference right away! I always enjoyed my interactions with Dick. He did a truly excellent job!”

Tim Downes, former Director of Athletics, Emory University

"The role of the conference commissioner has evolved leaps and bounds since Dick took the reins 30 years ago. And while nimble isn't a word that I’d typically associate with Dick (outside of the dance floor), he has been incredibly nimble in navigating the changing landscape of college athletics. In the face of a trending overemphasis of sports in the academy, Dick has stayed true to the founding principles of the Association and in so doing, we can celebrate the UAA as the standard for the compatibility of academic and athletic achievement." 

Russ Hamberger, recently retired Associate Provost and longtime UAA Executive Council member, NYU

“Dick has been, in many ways, the heart of the UAA from the start. He did much (if not all) of the information gathering and projections in the years our institutions were discussing forming the UAA. He has been instrumental in the development of the association office and the services it provides to the member schools. From my attendance at meetings of the UAA Presidents Council, I know that the presidents think highly of him and are greatly appreciative of what he has done. 

The various years I have served on the UAA Executive Council or as its chair, I have seen the enormous amount of effort and work that Dick puts in to keep the association running smoothly and how dedicated he is to making the UAA experience a rewarding one for our student-athletes. He has continually kept their interests foremost.”

Christopher Bledsoe, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Athletics, NYU

“In Reclaiming The Game, William J. Bowen and co-author Sarah A. Levin wrote ‘The most basic question to be asked about the UAA is this: how has it managed to mount what is, by all signs, a successful intercollegiate program without paying the academic price that is so evident in the Ivy League and in NESCAC?’ They continue, ‘…the outcomes (UAA) has achieved are so very different from those other schools…’

A main piece of the answer is found in the Presidential leadership displayed on each campus, and the continuing commitment to academics and athletics without compromise embodied in Dick Rasmussen. As the Executive Secretary/Director of UAA, Dick has moved the dial on intercollegiate athletics, certainly at the Division III level and it can be argued across the entire NCAA membership as well. Over these many years, Dick has guarded the UAA mission, grown the brand to its position of great strength and spread its singular vision and influence across Division III.”

Janice Quinn, Senior Associate Director of Athletics, NYU

“Dick is a really fun person to be around because of his intellect and humor. He is at the table with strong agendas and institutional perspectives in the UAA, much less the overall Division III landscape. You cannot overstate the complexity of what he is dealing with. His very obvious intellect, work ethic, sophistication, and quick wit all make it work.”

Erin McDermott, Director of Athletics and Recreation, University of Chicago

“The truth that comes through very quickly with Dick is his commitment to the UAA and Division III. To his core, Dick is a pure representation of our values and philosophy. He has navigated many challenges and has needed to adapt to the changing landscape of college athletics and leadership within UAA schools. Clearly, his compass has always been directed toward the student-athlete experience. Dick should take great pride in his leadership of the UAA through its 30 years of being.” 

Rosalie Resch, Senior Associate Director of Athletics, University of Chicago

“Dick has been critical to the development and growth of the UAA from its inception. Today, Division III has some other conferences that are not state or regionally based, but we were the first and most novel when we formed 30 years ago. Without Dick’s leadership and the many spreadsheets and scenarios that he created, we would not be where we are today. There was no model for this kind of conference so Dick had to explore solutions to attempt to satisfy the best interests of the entire membership. He always did this without bias and with an emphasis on the student-athlete experience. It is hard to imagine the development, structure, and strength of the UAA without Dick’s guiding hand. 

Dick was also instrumental in establishing NADIIIA. His involvement at the national level in NADIIIA, the NCAA and the D3 Commissioners Association has been important in creating and maintaining the UAA as a dominant presence in NCAA Division III.”

George VanderZwaag, Executive Director of Athletics, University of Rochester

“Dick Rasmussen has defined the UAA as we know it. He has led the Association since its inception in a steady, even-handed way. He has played a key role in providing outstanding educational experiences for thousands of students and has represented our Association on a national level with distinction.”

Andrea Golden, Associate Director/Varsity Athletics, University of Rochester

“For Dick, it is always a two-fold goal: a quality athletic competitive experience for all the UAA student-athletes, teams and coaches; secondly, the thought-filled management of an association that continues to balance the academic and athletic institutional expectations in an ever-changing, accelerating world. He reads the landscape and understands the road is long and varied. The long view is never short-changed with him.”

Chris Peacock, Interim Director of Athletics, Washington University

"Dick has been a tireless worker for the UAA, champion of our student-athletes, and advocate for the Division III philosophy. He has been instrumental in establishing the conference as a leader in Division III. On a personal note, he was very helpful when I joined the Washington University staff and transitioned from Division I to Division III. I cannot thank him enough for that."

Julie Muller, former Commissioner, North Atlantic Conference, and National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) and 2016 Association/Organization Administrator of the Year

“As a new commissioner, it quickly became clear that Dick Rasmussen was among the most highly-regarded members of the impressive DIII Commissioners Association. His reputation doesn't simply come from the many years he has served as the Executive Director of the UAA but is grounded in his deep understanding of the role a conference CEO plays within the context of Division III athletics. Throughout my term as commissioner, I cannot count the number of times I have leaned on Dick's expertise and kindness and never have I been disappointed with his counsel. He is an outstanding human being and his contributions to our association specifically and DIII in general, have been abundant.”

Donna Ledwin, Commissioner, Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference

"Dick's wisdom, thoughtfulness, and high moral and ethical standards cannot be overstated.  His leadership in the Division III community for the past 30 years during some pretty tumultuous times has been invaluable.  When the temperature in the room rises, you can always count on Dick to keep it cool and focused.  And he is always, always a gentleman."

Steve Ulrich, Executive Director, Centennial Conference

"Dick was one of the first people to 'show me the ropes' as a commissioner when I started in 1993. When I started, there were just a handful of commissioners in D3. Now, we have over 40 and that's a testament to his skills and his willingness to share his expertise to make us all better. Dick was one of the forerunners in the business and has provided a steady, guiding hand to the UAA and Division III for three decades. His desire to do what is in the best interest of the student-athlete has not waned over the years and is an inspiration to us all."

Zak Ivkovic, Executive Director, City University of New York Athletic Conference

"As a young Associate and then Commissioner coming into the Division III Commissioners Association meetings, I tried to listen to the wisdom in the room at the two meetings per year. Dick Rasmussen would not be the vocal or visible person in any conversation by any stretch of the imagination, but he always had a way of grabbing the room's attention. He did it infrequently and he would choose his spots when needed, but always offered tremendous perspective every time, he offered feedback that was valued and respected and usually unique. It continues to be the same, when Dick Rasmussen speaks it carries significantly more weight to the discussion at hand and everyone values him greatly. I know I have learned plenty from him and thankfully continue to do so still."

Gregg Kaye, Commissioner, Commonwealth Conference

"Dick Rasmussen has had an enormous influence on so many men and women who serve as Division III conference commissioners and executive directors. His professionalism, expertise in organizational structure and communication, and unparalleled ability to lead and serve people are characteristics that many of us attempt to model as we serve our respective conferences. Dick has set a standard that so many of us aspire to attain, but very few will ever reach. He is not just a colleague, but a mentor and friend to every current and former conference executive in Division III."

Chris Martin, Commissioner, College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin

"Dick has been a dedicated and passionate leader and advocate for DIII his entire career.  He's been involved in the DIII governance structure countless times and had his hands in many key DIII issues.  At the same time, he's been a tremendous leader for the Division III Commissioners Association dovetailing on his valuable and vital leadership of the UAA.  Dick's a true DIII guy and I am thankful to have worked with him over the years."

Chuck Mitrano, Commissioner, Empire 8

“Dick has been so pivotal in the history of the DIIICA. As a founding member, he has served as Secretary-Treasurer and a committed leader through tremendous conference growth. Very few professionals can earn the broad-based trust that he has throughout his service. It’s incredible to reflect on and speaks volumes about the professional and person that he is. He has crafted an influential and honored legacy all set in the values of Division III.” 

Joe Walsh, Commissioner, Great Northeast Athletic Conference

"The colonies had George Washington, basketball had James Naismith, soul had James Brown and athletic administrators have Dick Rasmussen. Because of Dick's vision and leadership two very important organizations, the Division III Commissioners Association and the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators were created and have played important roles in the NCAA DIII landscape since their founding. I'm extremely appreciative of the work Dick did in laying the groundwork and then following through as the leader of these two organizations which serve as tremendous resources for all of the professionals working in college athletics at the Division III level."

Chris Ragsdale, Commissioner, Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference
"Dick continues to serve as a leader in our profession both as an Athletic Administrator and a conference Commissioner. In his early years, it was Dick's dedication, hard work and vision that helped to establish the Division III Commissioners Association. As an association we owe a debt of gratitude to Dick for his continued work and leadership on behalf of the Commissioners Association." 

Chuck Yrigoyen, Commissioner, Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

"Even in my prior position at the Ivy League, Dick Rasmussen's name was well-known in the athletics administration world. It's hard to imagine anyone who has had a more profound influence on Division III than Dick. He's a tremendous proponent of the division's philosophy and is an invaluable resource for his commissioner colleagues."

Tracy King, Commissioner, Liberty League

“Dick Rasmussen is one of the true pioneers in Division III athletics. As one of the first full-time conference executives in Division III, Dick’s work with both the Division III Commissioners Association and the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) has resulted in tremendous growth that can be felt across the division. That growth has ultimately benefited the student-athletes in Division III who have greater support at the conference level. Dick has always been ahead of the curve, in both his leadership with the UAA and with our national organizations. I am truly grateful that he has paved the way for so many.”

Angela Baumann, Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference

"Dick has been a cornerstone of the DIII Commissioner’s Executive Committee.  Without his leadership and wise guidance the organization wouldn’t continue to excel.  He is a treasure and well-respected colleague."

Penny Allen-Cook, Commissioner, Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

"Dick's unwavering commitment to both the Division III philosophy and the mission of the DIII Commissioners is very inspiring for a new DIII Commissioner. He is always willing to do more for the good of the group and shared his wisdom and experiences with me as I began to figure out what DIII commissioners do."

Ken Andrews, Executive Director, Middle Atlantic Conferences
"Dick's legacy in Division III is unparalleled. Besides establishing the UAA as a premier conference, he has been instrumental in expanding the role of commissioner and encouraging their advocacy for the Division. We all appreciate his commitment to NCAA programs."  

Dan McKane, Executive Director, Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

"Dick has been instrumental with conference work. I look to him when I have questions regarding running an athletic conference. In my view, he is an expert in the field. His knowledge of organizational operation at the NCAA and conference level is fantastic. He always is able to provide a historical perspective that helps us reflect on the past, yet he is not afraid to consider changes to help strengthen for the future. Dick’s service with the Division III Commissioners Association is so valuable. His leadership and organizational talents help guide us as a group."

Del Malloy, Commissioner, New England Collegiate Conference

"I became aware of Dick when the UAA first started. Brandeis University was a member of the New England Women's Six Conference when they joined the UAA. At that time, I was the Associate Director at Wheaton College, also a member of the NEW 6. When I became commissioner of the NECC in 2007, I decided that I wanted to be a commissioner like Dick. It did not take long for me to realize that what I wanted was never going to happen. There is only one Dick Rasmussen."

Patrick Summers, Executive Director, New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference

“I have had the pleasure of working with Dick since 1996 and have seen his impact and influence in Division III, regionally and nationally. As one of the first conference executives in our division, he was one of the pioneers that set the standard and expectations as conferences formed. His work with the NCAA, the Division III Commissioners Association, and NADIIIAA are all a part of his legacy. I would like to offer my personal congratulations to Dick’s 30-year anniversary at the UAA and wish him the best for the years to come.”

Terry Small, Commissioner, New Jersey Athletic Conference

"There is no one that I know of who has played a greater role in helping to shape and grow NCAA Division III than Dick. He is a tireless advocate for our Division and he has devoted his entire professional life to helping provide quality academic and athletic experiences for our student-athletes. He is a role model to me and a lot of others in our profession and I consider myself fortunate to have him as a colleague and a friend."  

Keri Alexander Luchowski, Executive Director, North Coast Athletic Conference

“The student-athletes, coaches, faculty representatives, and administrators of Division III have a true champion in Dick Rasmussen. He has been instrumental in guiding our division and holding us to our philosophy. His tireless devotion to Division III through his work as the Executive Secretary of the UAA, the founding of NADIIIAA, and the stewardship of the Division III Commissioners Association will likely never be replicated. He is a true pioneer. And yet, even with all that he has going on, he is a warm and caring colleague who always has time for questions from a newbie. I will be forever grateful for his leadership, his wisdom, his caring sense of humor (I knew I had "arrived" when I made Dick laugh!) and most importantly, his friendship.”

Candice Murray, Commissioner, North Eastern Athletic Conference

"Dick has had a tremendous impact in many areas of Division III. He has served as outstanding leader of the UAA, he has served the DIIICA with consistent wisdom and dedication, he has served as NADIIIAA administrator for as long as anyone can remember, and he has served on many national level committees. Dick has had a huge impact on every area mentioned above and has been a great resource to younger commissioners. He has so much wisdom and is always willing to help. I applaud his dedication, commitment, hard work, demeanor, and outstanding consistent leadership. He is a true role model for many to emulate!"

Tim Gleason, Commissioner, Ohio Athletic Conference

"Dick and I are the only two people left who were in the room when Divisions II and III commissioners were together.  He is the cornerstone of the D3CA and was a pioneer when the organization began 24 years ago.  He is also a behind-the-scenes legend in Division III.  I really think if there was a Mount Rushmore of Division III administrators since the Division began in 1973, Dick would be one of the faces.  His impact over the years has been insightful and profound."

Brad Bankston, Commissioner, Old Dominion Athletic Conference

“30 years - where does the time go? During my time as a commissioner and prior to, Dick Rasmussen has been Division III. His leadership and service to the Division is second to none. From committee work to helping found and sustain an administrative arm for the membership, Dick epitomizes the role of servant leader. I congratulate him on his service and look forward to working with him for many years to come.”

Joe Onderko, Commissioner, Presidents' Athletic Conference

"There are few commissioners in the history of the NCAA — at any level — that are more closely identified together with their conference than Dick Rasmussen and the University Athletic Association. In his 30 years as the only executive the UAA has ever known, the conference stands out not only for its incredible academic reputation and its numerous athletic success stories, but also for Dick's consistent vision and professionalism. Throughout his career, he has also given back selflessly to college athletics in his leadership roles with the Division III Commissioners Association (DIIICA) and the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA).  As a young commissioner, I personally learned a great deal from him simply by observing his interactions with others and watching how he handled himself in professional settings, and I remain grateful for the guidance and mentoring he has provided me over the past 10 years. The current position of the UAA as one of the flagship conferences in NCAA Division III is a direct reflection of Dick's wisdom and steady leadership. I congratulate Dick on his 30 years of service as the Executive Director of the University Athletic Association!"

Jay Gardiner, Commissioner, Southern Athletic Conference

"Dick has been a mentor and a friend throughout my years as a Commissioner. I hope I achieve even a small fraction of the great things Dick has achieved during his illustrious career."

Gary Karner, Commissioner, Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

“The name Dick Rasmussen is synonymous with DIII and I cannot think of anyone who has contributed more to the overall success of DIII than Dick. Dick has served as a mentor to countless DIII commissioners (including yours truly) over the past 30 years and the leadership he has provided in the formation and growth of the DIII Commissioner’s Association and to the NADIIIAA cannot be overstated. I have the utmost admiration and respect for Dick and will always be envious of his insightfulness, patience and cool demeanor. Most importantly, Dick will always be a cheesehead!“