Commissioner Aaron Kemp

A passionate champion of college hockey with extensive experience as a player, coach and administrator, Aaron Kemp was named the second commissioner in the history of the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) on April 23, 2014.


During his first season at the helm, Kemp began to craft and implement initiatives aimed at enhancing the iconic WCHA brand, ensuring the league remains the premier conference in women's college hockey. Kemp and his staff brought expanded coverage of the league's jewel event, the 2015 WCHA Final Face-Off, via cable television, radio and live streaming partnerships. He also worked to refine conference governance structure and executed an overhaul of the league's digital marketing platforms.

Kemp came to the WCHA from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., where he served as Senior Associate Athletic Director/Mercyhurst North East Director of Athletics. He was promoted to that role in June 2011 after joining the staff in June 2008 as Associate Athletic Director/Director of Compliance on the Erie campus. In his most recent role with the Lakers, Kemp's primary responsibility was to provide the leadership, vision and strategic vision for the Mercyhurst North East athletics program. He also oversaw operations of the Mercyhurst men's and women's hockey programs.

Prior to joining the administration, Kemp was an assistant men's hockey coach at his alma mater, Canisius College, from 2002-2004 and was a member of the women's hockey coaching staff at Mercyhurst from 2004-2008. Under head coach Michael Sisti, Mercyhurst compiled a 109-25-14 record during Kemp's time, boasting four College Hockey America Championships and four appearances in the NCAA Division I playoffs.

Kemp was part of the American Hockey Coaches Association NCAA Division 1 Staff of the Year for the 2004-2005 season and the CHA Staff of the Year the same season.

He has served on the executive committees for Atlantic Hockey and CHA conferences, was on the local organizing committee for the 2003 Men's Frozen Four, was the tournament director for the 2011 Women's Frozen Four and currently serves on the NCAA hockey rules committee.

Kemp earned a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1999 and a master's degree in Sports Administration in 2004, both from Canisius College. He also played four years (1995-99) as a forward for the Golden Griffins, helping Canisius transition from DIII to DI between his junior and senior seasons.

Kemp and his wife, Darcey, have a son (Jackson) and two daughters (Ashlyn and Cierra).

WCHA Women's Commissioners
Name Years
Sara Martin 1999-2014
Aaron Kemp 2014-present