She spoke at the Chapel Hill Sports Club monthly meeting on Wednesday at Squid’s Restaurant in recognition of her years of outstanding service as a leading female administrator in a male-dominated field.
Her latest achievement came on March 5, 2018 when she was selected for the Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Usually, the Chapel Hill Sports Club invites speakers that have ties to UNC or Orange County sports. But one night about six months ago, Club President Brian Chacos was watching WRAL with his two young children when he saw McCree speaking about an issue at NCCU.
He was immediately inspired by the woman whom he calls a "total stud" and knew he had to get her to speak at his club’s monthly meeting.
“It’s so inspirational to see," said Chacos, a former UNC offensive tackle. “We live in such a great state where there are so many great universities, especially North Carolina Central, and then having worked in college athletics for five years, you don’t see so many female leadership. The leadership that she’s provided Central, obviously with them winning the Celebration Bowl last year, them making the NCAA basketball tournament, that starts with the athletic director and that kind of leadership.”
While at George Washington, McCree was a three-year starter on the volleyball team and a team captain as a senior. In 2012, she was inducted to the GWU Athletic Hall of Fame. After graduating from the university with a criminal justice degree, McCree took a job in Wake County while simultaneously going to graduate school at North Carolina State University and working as a graduate assistant for the school’s volleyball team.
During that time, she ran into LeRoy T. Walker, the first African American president of the U.S. Olympic Committee and former United States track and field team coach who coached his team to six gold medals.
“He said, ‘Well Ingrid, there’s not enough black women in athletic administration,’” McCree said. “So I said, ‘Okay, well, who am I to argue with Dr. LeRoy T. Walker?' So I changed my major at N.C. State from sociology to recreation and administration.”
McCree describes that moment as the formal kickstart to her career in athletic administration. She began her career at NCCU as the head coach for volleyball and softball, where she saw remarkable success. She won one conference championship in volleyball and three in softball, becoming the first coach in program history to win conference titles in multiple sports.
While at NCCU, McCree has helped the university transition to a Division I program. After submitting a bid to join the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, the Eagles formally joined the conference as its 13th member on July 1, 2010.
Since joining the MEAC, the Eagles have made three NCAA tournament appearances in 2014, 2017 and 2018 and competed in the Celebration Bowl in 2016 to cap a successful 9-3 football campaign.
With countless awards to her name and a large amount of respect for her around the community, McCree still is not satisfied. She wants to serve in the state system for at least 30 years and only needs four more years to do so. She also hopes to become a certified life coach.
McCree’s work is inspiring to many people, and Chacos believes it will open the door to more women in leadership positions in athletics.
“It’s incredible,” Chacos said. “I’ve worked with about 15 women in the Rams Club with fundraising, and women have such a presence and such a great spot and position in college athletics, and I think that’s really the future of college athletics. I think donors, I think fans, I think people want to see women in leadership positions, and I think it’s going to be people like Dr. McCree leading the way for future growth and women in college athletics.”
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