Long-Serving NICA President is Passing the Torch

NICA President, Austin McInerny sweeping a 2016 NorCal League race. Photo: PlacerFoothillsmtb.com

NICA Begins Search for New President

The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), a youth development organization governing interscholastic and community-based cycling programs in the United States, announced today that Austin McInerny has decided to step down as President, after seven years in that role and sixteen years since first becoming involved with the NorCal High School Cycling League. Austin will continue in his role on a full-time basis until a suitable replacement is hired; he will then provide transition support before assuming a role on NICA’s Advisory Council.

Austin has overseen a period of tremendous growth and change for the organization; under his leadership, NICA has experienced consistent annual growth of 30-40% in student-athlete participation, added 2-3 new leagues to the NICA family each year, and has grown from four to twenty-three employees. NICA is now present in 25 states/regional leagues and accessible to 70% of the youth population in the USA; in 2018, NICA’s programs engaged almost 19,000 student-athletes and nearly 10,000 coaches.

With NICA on solid financial footing, and with the recent development and adoption of a 5-year strategic plan, Austin felt that it was the right time for him to move on. He has served NICA well beyond his original 5-year commitment to the role, for which the entire NICA community is tremendously grateful.

Under the direction of a committee overseen by its Board of Directors, NICA will initiate a national search for a new President immediately.

Austin and the Berkeley High Mountain Bike Team in 2004

NICA’s Board Vice-Chair and Executive Vice President at Quality Bicycle Products, Jerry Pomije said, “Austin has been instrumental to NICA’s growth and success since his first volunteer ride with the Berkeley High School Team in 2003. He quickly moved up from a ride volunteer to a coach for the Berkeley High School Team to President of the NorCal League board. In 2012, Austin moved into his current role as President of the NICA National organization. Under his nearly seven years of leadership, the organization grew at an astounding rate. Austin has been a tireless advocate and spokesperson for getting more kids on bikes, and we are grateful for his many contributions. I am looking forward to many more opportunities to work more with him in the future to get more kids on bikes. We wish him the very best.”

Austin said, “With an extremely strong team of dedicated staff assembled and a very engaged and professional board of directors, I believe that this is an appropriate time for NICA to benefit from the perspectives of a new leader who can commit to seeing the organization through delivery of NICA’s recently adopted 5-Year Strategic Plan. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my colleagues at both NICA National and across all the regional leagues, our licensed coaches and volunteers who give so much to get #morekidsonbikes and to the many generous donors, partners and visionary sponsors around America with whom I have had the pleasure to work with since I began volunteering for and then leading NICA. I am extremely proud of the accomplishments NICA has made and am extremely confident that the strength of NICA’s vision coupled with the amazingly talented individuals involved will deliver significant value and benefits to participating individuals and communities over the coming years.”

Vanessa Hauswald, Executive Director of the NorCal High School Cycling League said, “It has been my great pleasure to have had the opportunity to work with Austin as he built, navigated and steered the ship that is NICA. For the past seven years at the helm, Austin has led with endless enthusiasm, profound insight and empathy, thoughtful communication, and a deeply genuine passion for NICA’s mission. He has worked tirelessly to bring interscholastic cycling opportunities to teens across the country, while encouraging and mentoring NICA League Directors in the development of their own leadership. To be honest, I’m quite sad to see him go as I often looked to him for his professional expertise and guidance. Here in NorCal, we will be forever grateful for the work he has done to ensure that interscholastic cycling in America is here to stay.”

“Austin is a passionate, articulate advocate for the NICA mission. He adeptly navigated the meteoric growth of interscholastic mountain biking over the last 7 years. The breadth and depth of support provided to those starting new Leagues expanded dramatically under his leadership. I am very grateful for his consistent support of the Colorado League. His enthusiasm and endless energy are integral to the success of the movement,” stated Kate Rau, Executive Director of the Colorado High School Cycling League.

“Thanks to Austin’s strong leadership and unwavering commitment to NICA, we are well positioned for the future. With our strong track record of 30-40% growth each year, solid financial position, newly developed strategic plan, the support of our generous sponsors and funders, and the tireless efforts of our dedicated and motivated staff, league directors and the NICA community at large, we have deep confidence in our ability to carry out our mission and to achieve our strategic objectives. We look forward to the next phase of building strong bodies, strong character, strong minds and strong communities through cycling,” said Susan Helm-Murtagh, NICA Board Chair.

Know someone qualified and interested in the position as President of NICA? Access the full job description and instructions on how to apply via NICA’s website https://www.nationalmtb.org/job-opportunities/


About the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA)

The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA)’s mission is to build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling.

Founded in 2009 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, NICA develops interscholastic and community-based cycling programs for student-athletes and coaches across the United States. NICA provides leadership services and governance for local leagues to produce quality mountain bike events. NICA has served approximately 40,000 student-athletes since 2009. Currently, NICA has 25 state and regional leagues and nearly 10,000 volunteer coaches who are working annually with almost 19,000 student-athletes from nearly 1,000 high schools and middle schools in the USA.

NICA exists by virtue of generous sponsors, donors and partners, including our Lead sponsor Trek Bicycles; Platinum level sponsors Shimano, Clif Bar & Company, Specialized Bicycles, and Salsa Cycles; Gold level sponsors Giro, Podiumwear, and Quality Bicycle Products; and major sponsors CamelBak, Yakima, Maxxis, REI Co-Op, GU Energy Labs, People for Bikes, SRAM, Strike Visuals, Feedback Sports, and DeFeet.

For more information on NICA visit www.nationalmtb.org, follow @nationalMTB, or call (510) 524-5464.


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