People to watch
While her influence is spread across both the men’s and women’s games now, no one wields more sway in women’s basketball. Any of the other people on this power list would call Ackerman before making an important decision.
She has emerged as the Jay Bilas of the women’s game. The former North Carolina State athlete has opinions on everything from the structure of the women’s NCAA tournament to marketing, and she isn’t afraid to share them.
Head coach, University of Connecticut
When the game’s most successful coach speaks, everyone listens. His thoughts on leadership, motivation and defining success are words to live by, whether you’re a coach or a CEO.
Executive director, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association
In her fourth year, Donehew manages the operations and marketing for the coaches, and acts as the liaison with other entities like USA Basketball, the NCAA and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Commissioner, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
He just started his role as vice chair of the women’s basketball oversight committee, which manages the development and branding of the women’s game. He also works with the tournament selection and rules committees.
Vice president of women’s basketball, NCAA
The former West Coast Conference commissioner joined the NCAA in December. A team captain at Kansas State, she has maintained an active role advocating for the women’s game over two decades and now will direct the tournament.
Head coach, University of South Carolina
The coach of the defending national champions has become the model for marketing a women’s basketball program. She’s active on Twitter, she engages fans at the game, and her teams are visible in the community. By no coincidence, the Gamecocks lead the nation in attendance.
Vice president of women’s sports programming, ESPN
She leads the network’s efforts on programming women’s college basketball and the WNBA on its linear TV channels, while also coordinating women’s content across ESPN’s other platforms.
— Compiled by Michael Smith