Tellitocci comes from OVC to replace Ensor as MAAC commissioner

A man smiling with short beard and red tie

The MAAC introduced Travis Tellitocci as the conference's new commissioner on Tuesday.

Travis Tellitocci said his wife Bobbie Sue gets upset with him at Christmastime every year because he can’t resist the urge to find new ways to tweak and improve the decoration set-up at their home.

Tuesday was cause for a different kind of celebration in the Tellitocci household, as Travis was introduced by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference as the league’s next commissioner, succeeding Rich Ensor, the face of the conference for the last 35 years.

In a Zoom teleconference, Tellitocci, who has been the assistant commissioner for football, basketball and officiating in the Ohio Valley Conference for the last six-plus years, promised to bring that same spirit of innovation and detail to the MAAC.

“I’m a true believer that if you do the little things right, it’ll lead to bigger things,” he said. “I’m a detail guy. I’m not really good with the status quo. Anybody that’s ever worked with me knows that I come in every day and try to make things a little better.

“That’s my personality. And that’s one of the reasons I was chosen for this position, is to come in and build off of the great foundation that Rich laid.”

Although Tellitocci was born and raised in the small town of Benwood, West Virginia, and has most recently been working in Nashville with the OVC, he has strong MAAC roots, as a Marist College alum who worked as a deputy athletics director at his alma mater for 10 years.

In fact, it was Ensor who recommended that Tellitocci apply for the OVC job.

“It’s funny how life comes full circle,” Tellitocci said. “I got an email from Rich in April of 2016. He had said there was a position open in the OVC in Nashville, ‘I think you should really take a look at it and it would be a great fit for you.’ Obviously, that email changed my life. If not for that opportunity with the OVC, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Beyond Tellitocci’s role as assistant commissioner at the OVC, he also was the tournament manager for the men’s and women’s basketball championships and the baseball championship.

He also served as the tournament manager for the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament First and Second Round games at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. In addition to his work for the OVC, he also serves on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Competition Committee.

Tellitocci earned his bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in writing from Marist in 2004. He completed his master’s degree in integrated marketing and communication at Marist in 2014.

Prior to working at Marist, Tellitocci worked for the New York Mets as the associate producer for scoreboard and entertainment.

“It’s often said that you miss 100% of the chances you don’t take, and the first chance I really took was leaving West Virginia to go to college in New York eight hours away from my family,” he said. “It ultimately led to a job with the New York Mets. After a few great seasons, I took another chance during the middle of a World Series run and left Shea Stadium to go back to my alma mater and spend 10 years working in college athletics. Then I took a leap of faith to work in the OVC.

“So we will not be afraid to take chances in the MAAC. That’s been something that’s been a hallmark of my career throughout my career. It will be strategic, calculated and steadfast in our approach to those chances, but we definitely want to be bold, innovative and have vision.”

“Throughout the search process, Travis demonstrated that he is an emerging leader in college athletics, and is well-suited to build on the incredible success of Rich Ensor,” MAAC president and Niagara University president Rev. James J. Maher said. “The MAAC has never been stronger, and Travis’ breadth of experience will be critical as we face the challenges of Division I athletics, strengthen our focus on the well-being of the student-athletes, grow the inclusivity of their experiences, and build on the storied legacy of the conference.”

Among the projects that Ensor and the MAAC presidents have been working on that Tellitocci said he’ll embrace is expansion of the number of member schools.

The MAAC currently counts Siena, Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Mount St. Mary’s, Niagara, Quinnipiac, Rider and Saint Peter’s as members.

Ensor, the longest-tenured NCAA Division I multisport conference commissioner, was appointed MAAC commissioner in 1988. During his tenure, the conference has nearly doubled its sports and championships, and now has 15 NCAA automatic qualifications.

A pioneer of equity, Ensor has been involved with the growth of women’s sports and, more specifically, women’s basketball.

He serves on the boards of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, has chaired the Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee, and has been a past member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.

“He’s  been an incredible advocate for mid-major schools in the NCAA, and he’s been a pioneer for gender equity,” Maher said. “We are incredibly indebted, and I speak on behalf of the entire body of MAAC presidents, to Rich Ensor for his incredible service.”

Contact Mike MacAdam at [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @Mike_MacAdam.

Categories: College Sports, Siena College, Sports

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