NJCAA Mourns Passing of George Killian

Dec. 11, 2017

NJCAA Mourns Passing of George Killian


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — George E. Killian, the first
executive director of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA),
died Dec. 6 at 93. Killian is regarded as one of the most influential leaders
in NJCAA’s history.

Under his
leadership, the NJCAA became the first national collegiate athletic
organization to add women’s athletics in 1975. The NAIA and NCAA would follow
in adding women’s athletics in 1980 and ’81.

Killian began his career in the NJCAA
as athletic director and head men’s basketball coach at Erie Community College
in New York in 1954. He was elected president of the NJCAA as the
second-largest national collegiate athletic organization in the United States.
He fostered the organization’s role in providing athletic and academic
opportunities to student-athletes and propelled the NJCAA’s men’s basketball
championship tournament to national prominence in Hutchinson, Kan.

“With the
passing of George E. Killian, the NJCAA has lost a historian, an advocate, a
leader, a mentor and a friend,” said former NJCAA executive director Mary
Leicht. Leicht worked under Killian for 15 years. “During his lifetime George
served the NJCAA with a tireless passion, building the organization from the college
student-athlete nationally and internationally. Personally and professionally,
George was a friend until the very end, and I will miss him. My sincere
condolences to his wife Marilyn and his extended family and loved ones.”

1990-98, Killian served as president of the International Basketball Federation
(FIBA), the global governing body of USA Basketball for 26 years. He was also a
prominent member of the board of directors for USA basketball for 26 years. He
served on the United States Olympic Committee’s board of directors from
1967-2004 and from 1996-98 International Olympic Committee. In 1999, he was
elected president of the International University Sport Federation (FISU) and
served two terms before resigning in 2011.

his retirement from NJCAA in 2004, Killian received the Award of Excellence in
2006 to honor his dedication and service to two-year college athletics. The
award is given annually to members of the NJCAA board of directors who display
the ideals of volunteerism, achievement, service, leadership and excellence.

“The entire
NJCAA family is saddened to hear of the loss of George Killian,” said current
NJCAA CEO Dr. Chris Parker. “Mr. Killian was a true pioneer and paved the way
for hundreds of thousands of two-year college student athletes. We are forever
grateful for his leadership and ambition and his legacy will live on throughout
our great association.”

The NJCAA will announce
memorial plans and further plans to honor Killian’s legacy.

For more
information, visit www.njcaa.org.