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Dr. Charles McClelland receives contract extension through 2028

Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland will remain with the remain with the SWAC through the 2028 academic year.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Southwestern Athletic Conference Council of Presidents and Chancellors has voted unanimously on a three-year contract extension for SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland.

The extension which will run through 2028 academic year, was announced on Monday afternoon.

“Dr. Charles McClelland has led the SWAC to greater prominence through one of the most challenging periods in the history of the nation and our league,” said SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors chair Dr. Laurence Alexander (UAPB). “At a time of enormous change in intercollegiate athletics, we appreciate his leadership excellence that has resulted in remarkable growth and expansion of the conference.” 

“I would like to thank the SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors for allowing me the opportunity to continue to serve as Commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference,” said McClelland. “In a relatively short amount of time we’ve been able to make significant strides in a wide variety of areas related to the overall advancement of our league.”

“Through the unwavering support and efforts of our 12 member institutions we’ve been able to uniquely position our league as one of the leading sports organizations in the world of intercollegiate athletics. Collectively we remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing the conference to even greater heights and we look forward to the continued progression of our league in the years to come.”

McClelland was named the sixth commissioner of the SWAC during the summer of 2018. Under his watch the league positioned itself at the forefront of conference expansion with the additions of Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman bringing the league’s membership to 12 institutions.

In the Fall of 2022 the SWAC signed the largest media rights agreement in the history of HBCU athletics with the league’s partnership with the Allen Media Group (AMG). With the new agreement SWAC sporting events will be readily available in 60 percent of U.S. television households and 70 percent of African-American households.

Advancing the league’s corporate partnerships has been another significant achievement for McClelland during his time leading the conference. The league has vastly expanded its corporate partnership portfolio with the additions of several Fortune 500 companies. The significant growth in corporate partnerships led to the conference distributing back the largest revenue distribution to membership in league history.

Credit: Sidney Jackson Photos
Dr. Charles McClelland (center) received a contract extension for an additional 5 years from the SWAC.

Other notable accomplishments in the conference under his watch include the purchase of a corporate office building to serve as the official headquarters for the league. The league owned three-story structure is equipped with over 40 individual offices, two conference rooms, a walk-in reception/waiting area, and over 30 parking spaces. The league’s headquarters fittingly serves as the primary location for conference operations and annual business meetings.


In addition to his duties at the league office, McClelland was selected as a member of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee in March of 2019. In July of 2022 he was named chair of the committee for the 2023-24 season. With his selection he became the first person representing an HBCU league or institution to chair the committee.

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