ACC’s Pierce Honored By Women Leaders In College Sports

Senior Associate Commissioner/SWA named top Conference/Organization Administrator
GREENSBORO, N.C. ( – Kris Pierce of the Atlantic Coast Conference has been named the Conference/Organization Administrator of the Year by Women Leaders in College Sports.

Pierce, who serves as the ACC’s Senior Associate Commissioner for Championships and Senior Woman Administrator, is one of eight honorees who were nominated by their peers and selected by the Women Leaders Awards Committee in recognition of their service in 2016-2017.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized by an organization whose mission is to empower, develop, assist, celebrate, affirm, involve, and honor women working in college sports,” Pierce said. “I have been fortunate to have many great opportunities provided to me by mentors inside and outside of the ACC, and wouldn’t be in the position to accept this award without their support.  Thank you to Women Leaders for this recognition.”

Pierce and her fellow recipients will be honored Tuesday, October 10, at the Jostens Administrator of the Year and Award of Distinction Luncheon at the 2017 Women Leaders National Convention in Dallas, which will be emceed by Beth Mowins, play-by-play announcer and sports journalist for ESPN and CBS. 

“On behalf of the ACC and our 15 member institutions, we are extremely pleased that Kris has been nationally recognized for her service within collegiate athletics,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “This is a well-deserved honor for Kris, whose tireless efforts and leadership continue to have a significant impact.”

Pierce joined the ACC staff in 2003 and is entering her 14th year in 2017-2018.  She oversees all aspects of the 24 Olympic Sports of the Atlantic Coast Conference, with day-to-day oversight of baseball and women’s soccer.  

In addition to her sport oversight responsibilities, she serves as the primary liaison to the Conference’s Senior Woman Administrators, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Head Athletic Trainers service group, and a secondary liaison to the Sportsmanship and Infractions Committee, Awards Committee, and Facilities and Game Day Managers service group. 

Prior to her current role in Championships and Olympic Sports, Pierce spent three years as the Assistant Director of Championships and three years as the Administrative Assistant for Football Operations.  She is a 2014 graduate of Ohio University’s Professional Masters of Sport Administration and a 2003 graduate of the University of North Carolina.

She is a member of NACDA, Women Leaders in College Sports, CEFMA and Women in Sports and Entertainment (Greater Raleigh Chapter).  She and her husband, Ben, are the proud parents of two daughters – Emerson (6) and Ellington (2). 

Other 2017 Women’s Leaders Awards honorees in addition to Pierce include:
DI-FBS: Nona Richardson, University of Utah, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Support Services / Senior Woman Administrator
DI-FCS: Grace Calhoun, University of Pennsylvania, Director of Athletics and Recreation
DI: Tamica Smith Jones, UC Riverside, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
DII: Carmen Leeds, Emporia State University, Senior Associate Athletic Director / Internal Operations / Senior Woman Administrator
DIII: Deb Steward, William Smith College, Director of Athletics
NAIA/NJCAA: Chesney Sallee, NAIA National Office, Director of Membership Services
Nell Jackson Administrator of the Year: Jill Redmond, Atlantic 10 Conference, Associate Commissioner

“Women Leaders in College Sports is thrilled to celebrate and honor these extraordinary women who are champions for their student-athletes, colleagues, institutions, and conferences,” said Patti Phillips, CEO of Women Leaders in College Sports. “Their commitment to intercollegiate athletics and the advancement of women in our profession is inspiring and truly remarkable, and we look forward to honoring them for their outstanding service and leadership in Dallas.”

About the ACC 
The Atlantic Coast Conference, now in its 65th year of competition and 15 members strong, has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. ACC members Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest continue to build upon the cornerstones on which the league was founded in 1953 with a consistent balance of academics, athletics and integrity. The ACC currently sponsors 27 NCAA sports – 14 for women and 13 for men – with member institutions located in 10 states. For more information, visit and follow @theACC on Twitter and on Facebook (

About Women’s Leaders in College Sports
Founded in 1979, Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA) is the only nationally recognized collegiate professional membership organization whose mission is to develop, connect, and advance women leaders working in intercollegiate athletics. More than 3,500 members strong, Women Leaders promotes the growth, leadership, and success of women as athletics administrators, conference commissioners, professional staff, coaches, and student-athletes.