Former PacWest Commish Woody Hahn honored by NCAA II CCA
Former PacWest Commissioner Hahn honored by CCA
(Editor's note: Information supplied by the NCAA II Conference Commissioner's Association)
KANSAS CITY, MO - Former Pacific West Conference Commissioner Elwood "Woody" Hahn is the recipient of the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioner's Association's Award of Merit for 2009-10.
Hahn received the award during the CCA's annual meeting in Kansas City, MO, on Friday, Oct. 16, at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown.
He was truly a pioneer in NCAA Division II athletics, helping create the Continental Divide Conference and later the Great Northwest Conference. He served as commissioner of both, but his longest tenure was at the helm of the Pacific West Conference where he served as commissioner for 19 years from 1988-2007.
Hahn, who also served as president and executive committee member of the CCA, oversaw the great rise in popularity and membership of NCAA Division II schools in the Western United States. During his tenure, the PacWest expanded from Montana and Alaska in the north to Hawai‘i and New Mexico in the south, and included conference schools in virtually every state in between.
When the PacWest split with the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Hahn was instrumental in keeping the league alive where it eventually reemerged as a seven-team conference featuring BYU-Hawaii, Chaminade, Hawai‘i Hilo and Hawai‘i Pacific on the islands, Notre Dame de Namur in the greater San Francisco area, Dixie State in St. George, Utah, and Grand Canyon in Phoenix.
Today the PacWest is nine teams stronger after adding Dominican (CA) and Academy of Art in the San Francisco area this year.
Hahn's passion, enthusiasm and perseverance were key assets during the critical time of growth and adjustment at the NCAA Division II level. He served on numerous NCAA committees, including the Management Council, Nominating Committee, Post-Graduate Scholars Committee, and was the chair of many regional advisory committees and tournament director of several regional championships.
A native of Montana, Woody was born in Savage where he excelled as a multi-sport athlete. He played baseball at Washington State University and was later a pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system during the early 1960s.
When he came home to Montana, Hahn earned his master's degree from Eastern Montana and immediately joined the coaching and athletic administration ranks at the high school level. He also became the general manager of the Billings Mustangs professional baseball team from 1968-78.
After serving as the longtime head golf coach at Eastern Montana, Hahn took over the athletic director reins from 1977-86.
Today, he continues to stay active in both golf and baseball. He currently serves as president and part owner of the Billings Mustangs and maintains a positive role in promoting sports throughout Montana and in the West.
Hahn has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of American Legion Baseball, Oregon Sports, Billings Mustangs, and Montana State Golf Association.
Hahn and his wife, Sharon, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in January. They have three children - Tim, Tami and Mark - and are the proud grandparents of Sage, Te'a, Ruby, Isabell and Sophie.
Past Award of Merit Recipients
- 1998-99 Noel Olson
- 1999-00 Bob Vanatta
- 2000-01 Fred Jacoby
- 2001-02 Sonny Moran
- 2002-03 Bill Moore
- 2003-04 Mike Racy
- 2004-05 Dr. Adam Herbert
- 2005-06 Dr. Kent Wyatt
- 2006-07 Don Landry
- 2007-08 Dr. Charles Ambrose
- 2008-09 Arend D. (Don) Lubbers