ACC’s Finch Honored As “Game Changer”

Senior Associate Commissioner Recognized by SportsBusiness Journal

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Atlantic Coast Conference Senior Associate Commissioner Nora Lynn Finch is among 36 women from across the sports industry who have been selected for recognition this fall as part of the SportsBusiness Journal’s annual Game Changers program.

“What a terrific and well deserved honor for Nora Lynn,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. “She is a proven administrator – effective, knowledgeable and energetic. She is highly respected both within the conference and nationally, and her contributions throughout her successful tenure have served collegiate athletics well. On behalf of the ACC and our member institutions, we are extremely happy and proud of Nora Lynn.”

Game Changers, which debuted in 2011, recognizes women in the industry with broad, deep and varied responsibilities that contribute to the success of the industry in multiple ways.

“It’s a bit overwhelming, and it’s tremendously humbling,” Finch said. “I don’t know if most people understand what a team effort it is whenever one individual receives a national award. This is a result of being at the ACC office on John Swofford’s staff, surrounded by some of the best sports professionals in all of America. This is really more of an ACC award than it is a Nora Lynn Finch award.”

Finch joined the ACC as Associate Commissioner and Senior Women’s Administrator in 2008 after spending 31 years at NC State and was named ACC Senior Associate Commissioner for Women’s Basketball in 2013.  She has long been active in the national development of intercollegiate women’s basketball, and in 1981 was named the chair of the inaugural NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. She served in that capacity until 1988, encompassing the first seven NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships. 

Her NCAA service record also includes membership on the Division I Management Council and Division I Membership Committee, Chair of the Division I Championships Cabinet, Women’s Basketball Rules Committee, Student-Athlete Welfare, Access and Equity Committee, Risk Management and Insurance Task Force, the Playing-Rules Oversight Panel, and Chair of the Women’s Basketball Issues Committee.  Currently, she serves on the Women’s Committee on Basketball Officiating LLC Board of Managers, WCBO Competition Committee (Chair), and the Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee.

Additionally, since 1988, Finch has represented the NCAA on the United States University International Sports Federation, the body that administers the World University Games. She served as Chief of Mission for three World University Games United States Delegations:  1991 Sheffield, England; 1993 Buffalo, New York; and 1995 Fukuoka, Japan.  

She has been active in community service and currently serves as a board member for “Pretty in Pink” and is a lifetime appointee and Past President of the Kay Yow Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and as a member of the North Carolina Golf Panel.  In 1988, Governor James Martin presented Finch with the State’s highest citizen award, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, with the distinction of “Ambassador Extraordinaire.”

Before joining NC State as Kay Yow’s Associate Head Coach, Finch was the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Wake Forest (1971-73) and Peace College (1973-77), where she also served as Director of Athletics. 

A native of Henderson, North Carolina, Finch graduated magna cum laude from Western Carolina, where she also also earned a master's degree in education. A four-sport athlete for the Catamounts, she is a two-time member of the Western Carolina Hall of Fame and was awarded the university's 1997-98 Alumni Association Professional Achievement Award (outstanding alumni award) and Peak Performer.

This year’s 36-member Game Changers class will be featured in the Sept. 14 issue of SportsBusiness Journal. 

“We’re looking forward to being able to share Nora Lynn's story with our readers,” said Mark Mensheha, SportsBusiness Journal’s assistant managing editor.

The 2015 class will also will be celebrated on Thursday, Sept. 17, in New York at the annual Game Changers: Women in Sports Business conference. For more information on that conference program, and to read about previous Game Changers, please go to www.game-changers-conference.com.