In a unanimous decision, the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Council of Presidents and Chancellors has granted Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland an eight-year contract extension. Announced on Friday morning, this extension will see McClelland at the helm through the 2032 academic year.

Having joined as the sixth commissioner of the SWAC in the summer of 2018, Dr. McClelland has played a pivotal role in elevating the league’s visibility and presence on the national stage. Under his leadership, conference football and basketball games have been broadcasted on prominent platforms such as ESPN and HBCUGO, contributing to a historic high in viewership for league football events this past season. Fans now have unprecedented access to the majority of conference games through streaming digital platforms and linear programming.

In 2022, McClelland signed a three-year extension that was set to run through 2028. This new extension underscores the SWAC’s confidence in his leadership and vision for the future.

“The visionary and dynamic leadership of Commissioner McClelland has helped propel our conference to prominence on a national stage while also increasing the availability of financial resources that have positively impacted the overall student-athlete experience.” said SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors Chairman Quinton T. Ross Jr., Ed.D. “We are undoubtedly excited about the continued upward trajectory of our league under his leadership.”

Per a statement by the SWAC, Dr. McClelland’s tenure has also been marked by a strong commitment to the financial stability of the league. Through innovative fiscal and fundraising initiatives, he has significantly improved the student-athlete experience, particularly at conference-sponsored championship events.

In Fall 2022, the SWAC secured the largest media rights agreement in HBCU athletics history through a partnership with Allen Media Group (AMG). This deal ensures SWAC sporting events will be accessible to 60% of U.S. TV households and 70% of African-American households.

Under McClelland’s leadership, the league has significantly advanced its corporate partnerships, adding several Fortune 500 companies to its portfolio. This expansion resulted in the largest revenue distribution to member institutions in league history. During his tenure, the SWAC also purchased a corporate office building to serve as the league’s headquarters. The three-story structure features over 40 individual offices, two conference rooms, a walk-in reception/waiting area, and more than 30 parking spaces. It now serves as the central hub for conference operations and annual business meetings.

Beyond his duties at the league office, McClelland recently completed a five-year appointment on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, where he made history as the first HBCU representative to chair the prestigious committee for the 2023-24 season.