TORONTO (CIS) – Dr. Mike Mahon, Chair of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport board of directors, introduced Graham Brown as the new Chief Executive Officer of the national governing body of university sport on Thursday. The announcement was made at a media conference at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto.
Brown joins CIS from Rugby Canada. Hired in July, 2002 as Chief Operating Officer, he was appointed CEO in 2003. His drive and marketing savvy are widely credited for leading Rugby Canada’s evolution into a progressive, high profile and widely respected national sport organization.
Prior to joining Rugby, the native of Blenheim, Ont., served as Executive Director of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association from 1998 to 2002.
Brown is no stranger to the CIS family. A founding member of the University of Windsor rugby program in 1989, he also played varsity basketball and football with the Lancers.
“Graham Brown has a track record of bringing a professional approach to amateur sports – sports like rugby and hockey – that are flourishing as a result,” said Mahon, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Lethbridge. “We are excited about the impact his marketing, event and networking skills will have on interuniversity sport in Canada.”
“My goal is to make CIS more relevant in a crowded Canadian sport marketplace,” said Brown. “I believe interuniversity sport, so rich in tradition rivalry, has tremendous potential for growth in Canada. I can’t wait to help reintroduce the stories of our amazing student athletes to Canadian sports fans.”
In addition to increased visibility in the Canadian marketplace, under Brown’s tenure Rugby Canada established a permanent training facility in Langford, B.C., and successfully hosted dozens of top international matches. Rugby Canada was also recently awarded a permanent men’s World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Vancouver, which will begin in March, 2016.
In his role as CEO, Brown was co-chair of the National Team Sport Coalition, representing many team sports in Canada, and also represented Rugby Canada on the Commonwealth Games / Canadian Olympic Committee and Pan Am Games.
Brown, 45, graduated from the University of Windsor in 1992 after completing a Bachelor of Human Kinetics (Honours Sports Administration) immediately followed by a Masters of Human Kinetics (Sports Management) in 1995. He currently lives in Aurora, Ont., with his wife Denise and three children, Aidan, Sarah and Ryan.