Tuesday March 12, 2013

A Can-Do Leader

The University of Dayton extends the term of J.P. Nauseef as chair of the Local Organizing Committee of the First Four.

As the Dayton community prepares to welcome thousands of visitors for the 2013 First Four, second- and third-round games of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, University of Dayton officials have announced plans to extend the leadership term of its Local Organizing Committee chair.

J.P. Nauseef is in his second year as chair of the all-volunteer group of local leaders referred to as the "LOC." The University established the LOC in 2011 to engage the community in the NCAA tournament experience.

This year, the First Four, second and third rounds of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament March 19-24 are expected to pump an estimated $8 million into the local economy, according to Jacquelyn Powell, president and CEO of the Dayton Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In all, more than 60,000 basketball fans will attend this year's games at the University of Dayton Arena, which has hosted more NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament games than any other venue in the country. Ten games will be nationally televised — the most by any NCAA tournament site. For the 13th straight year, the Road to the Final Four has kicked off in Dayton. The First Four will remain at the University of Dayton through at least 2015.

Nauseef's appointment as chair was part of the University of Dayton’s ongoing efforts to build on already strong community support for the games and to explore ways for the region to fully capitalize on the national media attention surrounding the games being hosted at the Arena. The LOC is credited with driving this year’s first-ever, First Four Arena sellout and for conceiving of and producing the inaugural First Four festival last year. The festival attracted more than 15,000 people downtown and generated national media attention for the Dayton region.  

University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran says Nauseef's leadership during the past two years has been crucial for the success of the community's efforts to secure a long-term commitment from the NCAA for the First Four games.

"With passion, enthusiasm and a can-do attitude, J.P. has brought together leaders from a cross-section of the Dayton community who see the enormous potential the First Four brings to our region," Curran said. "We are delighted that he will continue to serve as chair of the local organizing committee. His leadership is invaluable."

Nauseef, a University of Dayton alumnus and U.S. Air Force veteran, is managing director of Myrian Capital and former president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition.

Nauseef credits community partners for stepping up to sell out this year's games.

"The Dayton region has taken ownership of these games," he said. "The Local Organizing Committee will produce a "world-class experience" at this year's First Four with the goal of showcasing the Dayton region to visiting players, coaches, fans and a worldwide media audience. Securing the Dayton region as home of the games beyond 2015 remains our highest priority. In the proposal to NCAA, we highlight the strength of our community and the unwavering support of our basketball fans, which have a well-earned reputation as the best in the country."           

As part of this year's First Four festivities, the Local Organizing Committee, with support of sponsors, has created several venues throughout the week to host national media, NCAA tournament officials, sponsors and community partners to further demonstrate the region’s commitment and to solidify support for future First Four events.  There are family-friendly events open to the public:

• The Second Annual "First 4 – 4 Miler" is slated for 10 a.m., Sunday, March 17, starting and finishing at the University of Dayton Arena. Registration fee is $20. Deadline to register is March 15.

• The Second Annual Hoopla Challenge for boys and girls grades 2-8 will start at 2 p.m. on March 17 at Chaminade-Julienne High School, 505 S. Ludlow St. The venue will include plenty of TVs to watch conference tournament action and the Selection Sunday show, which starts at 6 p.m. Prizes include First Four tickets, Big Hoopla T-shirts and iTunes gift cards. The Hoopla Challenge is free, but registration is required at http://www.daytonhoopla.com.

• Even though the First Four Festival is on hiatus, it's expected to return in 2014 and beyond. 

The First Four already boasts a storied history at the University of Dayton Arena. Last year's games attracted a surprise visit by President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Scores of high-profile media outlets, such as The Washington Post, ESPN, CBS Sports, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The London Times and Bloomberg News carried stories, photos and videos.  

"This community has stepped up and delivered time and again, and the Dayton region is well positioned for the future. Dayton deserves to be home to First Four for the long term," Nauseef said.

For more information, contact Teri Rizvi at 937-229-3255 or rizvi@udayton.edu.