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NCAA picks GOP Gov. Charlie Baker to be its new president, saying it wants someone who can create ‘bipartisan solutions’

Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker speaks at his State of the State address at the Hynes Auditorium on January 25, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts.Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker speaks at his State of the State address at the Hynes Auditorium on January 25, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald

  • Outgoing Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will serve as the next NCAA president.
  • The organization announced Baker — a moderate Republican —  will start in March 2023.
  • Baker, the state’s popular governor, decided not to seek a third term in office. 

Outgoing Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is making the leap from politics to sports.

The moderate Republican has been selected as the next NCAA president, the organization announced on Thursday. 

Baker is set to take on the role starting in March 2023 — just a few weeks after his term as governor ends in early January — and will succeed Mark Emmert in his new position, the NCAA said in a statement.

The organization credited Baker with “bringing bipartisan leadership to the state, successfully guiding Massachusetts through an exceptionally turbulent period for government officials. In addition to his two terms as Governor, he brings decades of experience spearheading transformations at high-profile institutions in the private and public sectors.”

Baker’s ability to bring “bipartisan solutions” to various issues throughout his political career was one of the things that appealed to the search committee tasked with finding a new chief, the NCAA said. 

“The NCAA is confronting complex and significant challenges, but I am excited to get to work as the awesome opportunity college athletics provides to so many students is more than worth the challenge,” Baker said in the statement. “And for the fans that faithfully fill stadiums, stands and gyms from coast to coast, I am eager to ensure the competitions we all love to follow are there for generations to come.”

Baker, who played college basketball while attending Harvard during the 1970s, did not seek reelection for a third term this year and will be replaced by the state’s Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat.

During his time in office, Baker has routinely boasted high approval ratings. For example, a recent poll by Morning Consult gave the governor the highest approval rating in the country at 74 percent.    

It was previously unclear what Baker’s political future looked like, though the 66-year-old was often an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump and his allies. 

Read the original article on Business Insider