Jonathan B. (Jon) LeCrone is in his second year as Advisor to the Commissioner after serving 29 years as Commissioner of the Horizon League. Under his direction, the Horizon League vigorously pursued its vision, which is to be highly competitive and nationally recognized while developing student-athletes to their full potential.
Named the League’s fifth commissioner on May 11, 1992, LeCrone’s nearly 30 years of leadership resulted in an expanded and stable membership, improved League championship events, a growing financial base, and greater national recognition for the Horizon League. Over his final seven years as commissioner, LeCrone guided the League through the membership additions of Oakland University (2013), Northern Kentucky University (2015), IUPUI (2017), Purdue University Fort Wayne (2020) and Robert Morris University (2020).
After a successful four-year partnership with Olympia Entertainment to host the Horizon League Basketball Championships in Detroit, Mich., LeCrone announced in 2019 that the event would be hosted at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Ind., for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 seasons.
LeCrone ushered in a comprehensive strategic plan that guides the League and its members in six key areas: student-athlete well-being, competition, messaging, governance, membership and resources. The plan was approved by the Horizon League Board of Directors in June 2014.
A leader at the national level, LeCrone completed a term on the Division I Values-Based Revenue Distribution Working Group. In 2013, he completed a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Leadership Council, which was charged with developing the model of a Division I member. His appointment comes after a five-year term (2003-08) on the prestigious NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.
A significant step toward a number of goals put forth by LeCrone occurred on June 4, 2001, when the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, founded in 1979, officially changed its name to the Horizon League. A driving force behind the name and image change, LeCrone and the Horizon League membership view the transformation as a renewed commitment to athletic success, community involvement, academic achievement and personal responsibility.
In 2002, he was one of four conference commissioners who joined with ESPN to create Bracket Buster Saturday, one of the nation’s premier regular-season men’s basketball events.
LeCrone also implemented the Women’s Leadership Symposium, a biennial event first held in Indianapolis in 2001 with the purpose of enhancing the professional development and growth of women in athletics. More recently, he guided the Horizon League Long-Range Planning Committee through phase three of a long-range planning process.
LeCrone has also worked to enhance the Horizon League’s branding and communications efforts. In 2006, LeCrone spearheaded the development of the Horizon League Network, from which institutions broadcast competitions in the digital space. In 2014, the League began delivering events to ESPN3 and provided more than 600 broadcast events via ESPN3 and ESPN+ platform in 2019.
In addition, LeCrone continues to be a leader in helping bring major NCAA championship events to Indianapolis. After co-hosting the 2013 and 2014 Men’s Basketball Tournament Midwest Regionals, the Horizon League was the co-host for the 2015 Final Four, the sixth time (1991, 1997, 2000, 2006, 2010) the League has served in that role. The Horizon League co-hosted the 2016 Women’s Final Four as well, marking the third time (2005, 2011) the conference has worked in that capacity.
In 2010, the Horizon League, along with national-runner up Butler University, co-hosted the 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, becoming the first conference to host a Final Four while one of its members participated. A year later, the League successfully co-hosted the 2011 Women’s Final Four at Conseco Fieldhouse while Butler was playing in its second consecutive Men’s Final Four.
Prior to joining the Horizon League, LeCrone spent nine years as assistant commissioner at the Atlantic Coast Conference, serving on the staffs of former commissioner Gene Corrigan and his predecessor, the late Bob James. At the ACC, LeCrone was responsible for conference projects in television, marketing, and public relations, including coordinating the syndicated football television package, televising conference championship events, and developing revenue-producing projects. During his first five years at the ACC, his primary duties included the implementation of conference championship events and interpretation and enforcement of ACC and NCAA rules.
LeCrone was assistant athletics director at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., for four years before joining the ACC office. He also spent a year in the Chicago Cubs organization as the business manager for the Class AAA team in Wichita, Kan.
A 1976 graduate of Wake Forest with a bachelor’s degree in English, LeCrone was a member of the Wake Forest baseball team. He received a master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University in 1978. A native of Vandalia, Ohio, he is married to the former Lisa Dauria Knorr. LeCrone has three daughters, Alexandra, Megan, and Emery, one son, Weston, and one stepson, Maxwell.