Kris Dunbar was selected as the seventh commissioner of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and began her term on May 1, 2017. Dunbar arrives from Lake Superior State University following 24 years of service as a student-athlete, basketball coach and ten years as director of athletics.
“Kris Dunbar has the skills and abilities that make her a great fit for the GLIAC Commissioner position,” stated Saginaw Valley State University President and GLIAC Council of Presidents Chair, Dr. Donald J. Bachand. “She has demonstrated great vision and leadership ability as Director of Athletics at Lake Superior State. Her knowledge and history with the GLIAC will serve her well in the process of moving the GLIAC forward.”
“I would like to thank Dr. Don Bachand and the search committee for the opportunity to lead one of the most-prominent conferences in NCAA Division II,” Dunbar said. “I am humbled and honored to be the next GLIAC commissioner.”
Dunbar served five years (2011-15) on the NCAA Division II Management Council. During that time, she also served on the D2 Championships and Identity sub-committees. She has chaired both the GLIAC and Western Collegiate Hockey Association executive committees.
Dunbar is a Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., native who was inducted into the LSSU Sports Hall of Fame in the Fall of 2016. She was a four-year starting guard and three-year co-captain for the Lakers from 1988-92. During her eight-year stint (1998-06) as head women’s basketball coach and senior women’s administrator, Dunbar led the Lakers to a 154-72 record, including five straight 20-win seasons and five straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Dunbar was named GLIAC and Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year in 2002, and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Michigan College Coach of the Year in 2003. She was also named the GLIAC’s top coach in 2005 after winning her fourth straight GLIAC North Division title. She led the Lakers to GLIAC Tournament titles in 2003 and ‘04. The Lakers reached the NCAA Midwest Regional finals in 2004.
Dunbar earned a master’s degree in education from Elmira College in 1997 and served as an assistant coach at LSSU in 1997-98. Kris and her husband, Al, have two sons, Tyler and Jaylen. In 2011, Dunbar joined her father as a member of the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame.