Hang the “Help Wanted” sign in the window, and put the ad on Craigslist, the Frontier Conference is hiring for a new commissioner.

Commissioner Kent Paulson is set to retire after 14 years at the helm. Much like every conference in college sports, the Frontier Conference has seen big changes during Kent’s time as Commissioner. Under his watch, the Frontier gained Southern Oregon and the College of Idaho as football members in 2012, and 2014 respectively. And most recently Arizona Christian who is set to join conference play as a football member, this coming Fall.

Kent and Joan Paulson- photo couresy of the Frontier Conference.

Dickenson State joined the conference as a full member in 2012 and left in 2014 to form the North Star Conference. Westminster- who joined the Frontier as a non-football full member in 1998- left the conference in 2015 and jumped to NCAA DII. Lewis Clark State- who also joined in 1998 as a non-football full member- left to join the Cascade Conference as a full-time member in 2020.

The Frontier Conference as it stands today has 5 Montana schools that play all conference sports. Montana Tech, Montana-Western, Carroll College, MSU-Northern, and Rocky Mountain College. The University of Providence is a non-football full member. As of today, we have 4 football-only members, Eastern Oregon, Southern Oregon, College of Idaho, and Arizona Christian.

That brings us to the Conference ‘footprint’. The topic of expansion will always be THE big issue for the Frontier. Currently, we sit with 6 members for court sports, which is the threshold for automatic entry into National Tournaments. Meaning, our Conference tournament winners get into the National Tournaments each year, period. If for any reason we fall to five members, we would lose our automatic bid. (Something the North Star Conference is dealing with currently due to Presentation and Iowa Wesleyan both closing at the end of the academic year.)

Football, on the other hand, is in a much different spot. We will enter this Fall with 9 teams, and one automatic bid into the NEW 20-team, National Playoff. If we were to add one more football school and expand our roster to 10 teams, we would then receive 2 automatic bids into the playoffs. (Which is a huge deal)

The job posting says a bachelor’s degree is required, with a masters preferred. The posting also says the pay will be competitive. I did a little digging into what other NAIA commissioners are making (those that are public record) The highest pay I found was 121 thousand, several in the 90 thousand range, and then ranging down to the 70 thousand range.

Being a Montana resident is a requirement for the position, and the Commissioner will be expected to work from a home office.

Kent has been a great cheerleader for the Frontier Conference and has fought hard for our programs over his 14 years. Whoever is chosen to be the 7th Commissioner of the Frontier Conference, is taking over an incredibly successful conference. There have already been some big moves made, but I feel some hard conversations and big decisions are ahead to make this conference a power for decades to come.

You can view the job posting HERE.. on the Carroll College Website.

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