CORAL GABLES, Florida — The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced at its 2017 convention in Nashville that University of Miami Director of Athletics Blake James has been named the Chair of the Division I Council.

James spent seven years at the University of Maine, where he served as Senior Associate Athletic Director before serving as Director of Athletics from 2005 to 2010. During his tenure in Orono, the Black Bears made three trips to the Frozen Four for men’s ice hockey and earned NCAA postseason berths in football, baseball (two), women’s basketball and softball.

The Division I Council is a high-level group responsible for the day-to-day decision-making for Division I. Each conference is represented on the group. Athletics directors, athletics administrators, senior women administrators, faculty athletics representatives and student-athletes serve on the Council.

“I look forward to Blake’s leadership on the Council,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a press release. “He’s been an important part of the success of that group for the last two years. His range of experiences in the membership will provide a great perspective as the Council addresses the challenges and opportunities through the next several years.”

James will serve a two-year term as Chair, starting at the conclusion of the Council’s April meeting.

“I’m honored to continue serving on the Council and look forward to the challenges in my new role,” James said. “I would like to thank the members of the Council for their vote of confidence and our staff at Miami, which has been extremely supportive.”

At UMaine, James helped implement a comprehensive $17 million facility improvement plan, which included an indoor practice facility and numerous other facility upgrades and renovations.

Prior to his stint at UMaine, James worked in athletic development at Providence College, where he established the “Friars Forever” campaign and the Friar Athletic Fund.

Prior to being named Miami’s AD in 2013, James served in the roles of Interim AD and Senior Associate AD for Development and Ticket Operations, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of development, ticket sales and ticket operations. He also was a member of the Hurricanes’ senior staff and provided sport supervision.

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...