Former Hot Rods COO Eric Leach announced as Mid-South Conference Commissioner

Eric Leach named new Commission of the Mid-South Conference
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 3:49 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - After announcing he will be stepping down as Hot Rods COO, Eric Leach has been named the next commissioner of the Mid-South Conference, conference officials announced today.

Leach becomes the conference’s fifth full-time commissioner after being selected by the Mid-South Board of Presidents. He will assume the office on July 1. Leach replaces Eric Ward, who resigned from the position on December 31.

“After a highly competitive search process in which many very qualified and experienced candidates expressed interest in the opportunity, our selection committee unanimously endorsed the candidacy of Mr. Eric Leach,” Dr. Paul Stumb, Cumberland University president and chair of the hiring committee. “We are confident that his skill set, experience, and passion for college athletics will serve him well as he takes the reins as commissioner of the Mid-South Conference.”

Chris Wells continues to serve as MSC interim commissioner until July 1. Leach says he looks forward to leading the Mid-South.

“It is truly an honor to be selected as the next commissioner of the Mid-South Conference,” Leach said. “Having worked with the conference baseball championships the past nine years, I know firsthand what outstanding member schools and student-athletes the conference has.”

“I am humbled with the opportunity to lead the member schools and so thankful that the search committee has the faith and belief in me to help keep the Mid-South Conference one of the premiere conferences in the NAIA.

He’s served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Bowling Green Hot Rods since 2013. He oversaw Bowling Green Ballpark, Vette City Catering Company, and Bourbon & Brewfest events.

He’s led all aspects of team operations, sales, marketing, hospitality, and promotional events. Leach helped the Hot Rods set a franchise record in gross revenue in back-to-back years in 2021 and 2022 while expanding corporate partnerships.

Leach and the Hots Rods have been recognized for their off-the-field work. He was named the 2019 Midwest League Executive of the Year while the Hot Rods won the MiLBY award for Promotion of the Year in 2016 and was the South Atlantic League Franchise of the Year in 2022.

Before his time with the Hot Rods, Leach was the Operations Manager and Director at Morning Star Ranch - World Impact in Kansas and Director of Events and Projects at GO Ministries in the Dominican Republic.

“I have a great appreciation for the Mid-South Conference and its member institutions,” Leach said. “I look forward to working with the presidents, athletic directors, coaches, staff members, and the student-athletes of these institutions to continue the legacy that has been established. I’m excited to get to work.”

The Mid-South Conference was formed in 1995 to serve as the competitive base for the institutions’ athletic programs. The move effectively merged the athletic pursuits of similar institutions. The conference is unique in its broad-based athletic competition for men and women, offering championships in 29 sports.