Travis Tellitocci named MAAC Commissioner

Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

 The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference named Travis Tellitocci as the next MAAC Commissioner on Tuesday. 

Tellitocci, who is currently the assistant administrator of football, basketball and officiating for the Ohio Valley Conference, will take over on May 15, becoming just the fourth commissioner of the MAAC in its 43-year history. This comes after 35-year commissioner Rich Ensor announced his retirement, set for the conclusion of the 2022-23 athletics seasons. 

“I am really humbled by this opportunity, because I know the significance of the opportunity,” Tellitocci said in a press conference Tuesday. 

Tellitocci was hired after an extensive national search by a committee co-chaired by Quinnipiac President Judy Olian and Niagara President the Rev. James Maher. Both had high praise for the West Virginia native. 

“We were impressed with both Travis’ rich experiences in both professional sports and college athletics, which position him well to elevate the MAAC Conference and help set its bold vision for its programs,” Olian wrote in a statement released by the MAAC Tuesday.

Maher shared a similar sentiment. 

“We think he comes from an incredible tradition of understanding the MAAC, believing in the MAAC and seeing the incredible possibilities that the MAAC has going forward,” Maher said. “He brings vision, he brings energy, he brings incredible experience from the Ohio Valley Conference.” 

That understanding of the MAAC stems from Tellitocci’s time as a student at Marist, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications in 2004 and a master’s degree in 2014. He also worked for the college from 2006 to 2016, rising to the position of deputy athletics director. 

Tellitocci’s previous experience with the conference allows him to enter the role with an awareness of its strengths and how they can translate to future growth. 

“There are a number of things that I think make the MAAC special,” Tellitocci said. “First and foremost, there are common shared values among a number of the schools … I think the other part is that there’s a tight geography within the league … so as schools expand their footprints, conferences expand their footprints, I think the geography is really a benefit to the conference.” 

The soon-to-be commissioner’s outlook suggests he’ll make strides to bring the mid-major conference to a bigger stage. 

“We will not be afraid to take chances in the MAAC,” Tellitocci said. “That’s been a hallmark of my career. We’ll be strategic, calculated and steadfast in our approach to those chances, but we definitely want to be bold, innovative and have vision.” 

A large part of that vision involves bringing student-athletes into the governing process and putting them at the forefront of what the MAAC does, given they are its main product. 

“I just think the MAAC has always been about emphasizing student-athletes,” Tellitocci said. “They’re going to be at the core of the decision-making process in terms of governance as well.” 

Beyond athletics, Tellitocci also plans on making sure the conference continues its commitment to ensuring student-athletes receive an enriching education. 

“The last line of the MAAC mission statement talks about empowering student athletes to be champions in academics, competition and life,” Tellitocci said. “As we constantly hear about the transfer portal, name, image and likeness, NCAA transformation, I think we’ve lost sight on what we do as institutions of higher learning and that’s to provide a quality education. So that’s got to be at the core of what we do.”