Ulrich is the first recipient of the award. Collins was a respected national leader in the field of athletics. He was president of the NCAA Division III Commissioners Association, a group he helped organize in 1989, and was the first executive director of the North Coast Athletic Conference, which he served from 1984 until his passing in 2009.
"Working with the Division III Commissioners Association has been one of the great pleasures of my professional career," Ulrich said. "I am humbled to receive this award which is named for my mentor. Dennis taught me how to be a commissioner and I am forever grateful for his tutelage and friendship."
In his work for 11 colleges and universities and 24 championship sports, Ulrich has led the Centennial to the forefront in Division III athletics. Within Division III, the Centennial created the first conference website, organized the first conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), started the first conference Twitter account, and launched the first conference-wide streaming video portal – CentennialConferenceTV. Ulrich was instrumental in the creation of the annual Snell-Shillingford Coaching Symposium, encouraging female undergraduates to enter the field of coaching and athletics. The symposium celebrated its 20th year this winter. He also led the successful passage of landmark legislation governing the length of the nontraditional segment of the playing and practice seasons in Division III.
Ulrich’s vision bolstered the Centennial’s football conference with the addition of Juniata, Moravian, and Susquehanna colleges as associate members, while wrestling benefitted from associate members Stevens Institute of Technology, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and Washington and Lee. Ulrich also oversaw the addition of Marymount and Neumann colleges to the women’s golf program.
Ulrich’s leadership led to organizing the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series that pits the Conference’s three top teams that do not receive a NCAA tournament berth against the top three teams from the Middle Atlantic Conference, thereby ensuring additional postseason opportunities for students who participate in football. The Bowl Series was the first of its kind and spawned numerous other conference Bowls since its inception in 2015. Last winter, 10 Conference basketball teams participated in “Centennial at the Palestra,” an opportunity for students to play in one of the sport’s most revered venues.
Ulrich served nationally as a member of the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf and Men’s Basketball committees, and as chair of the basketball group in 2013. He served on rthe egional advisory committees for football and women’s golf. He is a member of the Division III Commissioners Association and served on the executive committee for six years, two as chair. Ulrich received the DIIICA Meritorious Service Award in 2017 for his many significant and substantial contributions to Division III athletics. He is a founding member of the Middle Atlantic Regional Commissioners Association, a consortium of 10 conferences in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Ohio.
Through Ulrich's leadership and mentoring, two of his former assistants moved on to Division III Commissioner positions – Kim Wenger with the Northwest Conference and Jessica Huntley with the Atlantic East Conference. Another assistant – Megan Patruno – is the associate director of athletics at Muhlenberg College.
Prior to joining the Centennial, Ulrich served in Athletic Communications as the director at Yale University, as assistant at Cornell University, and as director at McDaniel College.
Ulrich is married to Marcy Dubroff, associate director of the POGIL Project, and has two children, Ryan '18 and Caroline '22.