Ron Sertz speaks at Thursday's Women's Frozen Four news conference (Contributed/Mercyhurst College)
Mercyhurst College announced Thursday the formation of a local operating committee, led by veteran Erie sports executive Ron Sertz, to guide the efforts of the college in hosting the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Frozen Four.
“We are pleased to name Ron Sertz as executive director of the team coordinating the prestigious 2011 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four,” said Mercyhurst College President Dr. Thomas J. Gamble. “Ron brings with him a wealth of sports management experience and is just the leader we need to ensure the event is a great success.”
The NCAA Women’s Frozen Four consists of two semifinal games and a championship contest to determine a national champion. All three games will be played at Tullio Arena, with the semifinal games on March 18 and the championship game slated for March 20. In addition to the games, Mercyhurst will also host the 2011 Patty Kazmaier Award Banquet and the Women’s Frozen Four Alumni Game.
As executive director, Sertz will oversee an executive committee that includes tournament director and Mercyhurst associate director of athletics Aaron Kemp, women’s coach Mike Sisti and experienced sports marketing and event managers such as John Leisering, Mike Parry and Dr. Chris LaChappelle.
On being named to the executive director post, Sertz commented, “It is indeed a great honor and privilege to have the opportunity to lead this effort for Mercyhurst College and to work closely with Dr. Gamble, Dr. James Adovasio, director of athletics Joe Kimball and a host of talented individuals to make this national championship one of the premiere sporting events in Erie history. It will take a team of talented and enthusiastic individuals to reach the high goals we have set.”
Sertz and the local operating committee will address areas of event management, advertising and promotions and ticket and sponsorship programs. “We are extremely excited about having Ron Sertz on board to help us with the preparation and promotion for the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four,” Kimball said. “Ron has a very extensive background in the sports promotion industry which will help us raise awareness about this event.”
Sertz has been instrumental in the formation, direction and guidance of many of the major sporting organizations and events in the Erie region. For over four decades, Sertz has been involved in the Erie sport scene as an athlete, coach, author, athletic administrator and entrepreneur. Most recently, he served as the founding team president of the Erie BayHawks and as the President of EHC Ltd., the ownership group of the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League. He remains a minority owner in the Otters.
He is also nationally recognized as the founder and director of The McDonald’s Classic, which has been called “the best four-team tournament in the country” by HoopsUSA. Additionally, Sertz is known in Erie for his many years of achievement at Cathedral Preparatory School as a coach and athletic director.
This marks the first time the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four will take place in Pennsylvania. Further, it is the first time that Mercyhurst will host an NCAA Division I championship tournament and the first time that a team from College Hockey America will serve as host.
Sertz noted that “the opportunity for us to host a national championship in the Erie area and have Mercyhurst as a potential participant with the chance to garner an NCAA Division I title in our hometown is unbelievable. We need to raise the awareness of the entire region so that we can jam the Tullio Arena for the event and showcase our city to a national audience. Our goal is, quite simply, to pack the place and put on a great show for the NCAA, the nationwide hockey audience, and the residents of the tri-state area. Erie sports fans have always supported the major sporting events, and this NCAA Championship is a signature event for our town.”
The tournament is expected to draw over 10,000 attendees over the duration of the event and provide an impact of nearly $2 million to the Erie area.
- From Mercyhurst College news release, staff reports