SPEAKERS > Dan Butterly

Big West Conference

Dan Butterly was named the fifth commissioner in Big West Conference history when his hire was announced on May 4, 2020. He enters his second year having lead the Big West Conference through the COVID-19 pandemic and working behind the scenes to build a foundationally stronger, more competitive, and move visible Big West starting with the 2021-2022 academic year.

Prior to assuming the role of commissioner, Butterly was the senior associate commissioner at the Mountain West Conference where he served as the primary sport and championship administrator for Mountain West men’s basketball, acting as liaison between coaches and institutional administrators, athletic directors, Joint Council, and Board of Directors on all men’s basketball-related issues. He worked with all MW broadcast entities on the development of the basketball schedule, member institutions on non-conference schedule strategy and improvement, and on matters related to technology, research/data/analytics, game management, officiating, instant replay, and other men’s basketball enterprise endeavors. Butterly also served as tournament director for the Mountain West Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships in Las Vegas.

In a dual role, Butterly worked daily with sponsorship rights holder Learfield Sports on all aspects of the Mountain West corporate partnership program and served as a point-of-contact for all MW partnership items.

He was active in many facets of conference operations, new initiatives, and contract negotiations, as well as licensing, merchandising, marketing, and promotion. Butterly was a staff liaison to the Mountain West Conference Joint Council and Board of Directors. He worked with each institution’s athletic administration and served as a primary contact with marketing, ticketing, licensing, and development staffs throughout the year.

Butterly has served on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Issues Committee, NCAA MCBO Board of Managers, the NCAA Football Promotions and Brand Marketing Committee, and the branding committee to name and create the brand image for new College Football Playoff. He was also the chair of the College Football Playoff licensing committee. He has served as tournament manager for the 2004 (1st/2nd), 2008 (1st/2nd), 2011 (2nd/3rd), and 2016 (1st/2nd) NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship sites, as well as the 2012 NCAA Women’s Final Four at Pepsi Center in Denver. 

Butterly directed the development and expansion of the Mountain West Radio Network, which produces weekly football and basketball shows, as well as every game of the MW Basketball Championships. In 2004, he negotiated an agreement with KLZ (560 AM) ESPN Radio in Denver to serve as the official flagship station of the conference, which was the only conference-flagship radio agreement in the country. The MW Radio Network has broadcast hundreds of events since its creation in 2000. In 2019, the Mountain West forged a new flagship agreement with Altitude Sports Radio, 950 AM/92.5 FM Radio in Denver.

Prior to its partnership with CBSSN, Butterly served as executive producer of the MWC-TV Network (2000-2006), which broadcasted the women’s soccer championship, regular season women’s volleyball, women’s volleyball championship, regular season women’s basketball, and women’s basketball championship.

Butterly came to the Mountain West following nearly six years with the Missouri Valley Conference (The Valley), where he served most recently as assistant commissioner. He joined The Valley staff in 1993 as a marketing intern and was promoted to director of marketing in 1994, then to assistant commissioner in 1998. His responsibilities at The Valley included managing the league’s corporate sponsorship efforts, overseeing the merchandising and licensing program, and administering marketing and promotions for all conference championships. He managed the rebranding of the Missouri Valley and transition to “The Valley” logo which is still utilized today. 

Beyond his Missouri Valley marketing duties, Butterly coordinated the league’s schedule and officiating for men’s basketball. He was also the staff contact for MVC Television Network production and directed the Valley’s Hall of Fame golf outing. His extensive experience included serving as the tournament manager for the MVC men’s basketball championship from 1994-1999 and the game management director for the 1998 and 1999 NCAA Men’s Basketball Midwest Regionals hosted by the MVC in St. Louis. He also acted as the conference representative with several MVC championships, including men’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s tennis, and swimming & diving.

Under Butterly‘s guidance, the MVC Tournament sponsorships more than doubled, as he worked day-to-day with over 175 MVC sponsors. He was instrumental in increasing the attendance figures at the men’s basketball championships from 31,000 in 1993 to over 50,000 in 1997 and each year until his departure. In addition, the 1999 NCAA Midwest Regional set a then all-time attendance for the largest regional crowd in NCAA history.

A native of Washington, IL, Butterly got his start in the field of athletics as the head basketball manager under head coach Bob Bender at Illinois State University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and his Masters of Sports Administration degree at Ohio University, where he received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award as recognized by his peers. In April 2005, he was honored as the recipient of the 2005 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Illinois State University. Butterly began his professional career working in advertising at The Pantagraph, a daily newspaper in Bloomington, IL. Butterly now resides in Mission Viejo, CA.

Featured in: Tuesday, June 22 Agenda