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The SUNYAC announced Wednesday that commissioner Dr. Patrick Damore will retire from his post on June 30, 2012.

Damore has served as the first and only commissioner in the history of the conference and has held the position since 1979, acting in the full-time capacity since 1985.

“It has been a great honor to serve the SUNYAC Conference membership during my time as commissioner,” Damore said in a statement. “After spending over three decades with the conference, it will be hard to move on, but the league-wide leadership is as strong as it has ever been.”

Since his appointment, Damore has overseen the crowning of 591 SUNYAC champions, soon to be one more when he crowns the 2011-12 men’s hockey champion on Saturday (March 3).

Today, 10 institutions compete in the SUNYAC as full-time members, while Morrisville holds an associate membership in the sports of field hockey and ice hockey. The conference presently offers competition in 20 sports – nine for men and eleven for women.

“There is never a perfect time to make such an important decision,” added Damore. “And after serving 50 years as an athletic administrator, I will have more time to spend with my family and pursue other interests.”

A national search for the next SUNYAC commissioner will begin shortly.