Bernadette McGlade, the associate commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1997, will be introduced as the Atlantic 10's commissioner this morning at a Center City news conference, the

Daily News

has learned.

She succeeds Linda Bruno, who announced her resignation in December after 13 years on the job. Associate commissioner Ray Cella, who was not a candidate for the position, has been the interim commissioner since April.

McGlade becomes the fifth commissioner in the A-10's 32-year history.

A native of Gloucester City, N.J., she is a member of the South Jersey Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and the Camden County Regional Hall of Fame.

She earned both her undergraduate and postgrad degrees at North Carolina, where she played basketball as one of the first female scholarship athletes at that university.

In 1981, at age 22, she was hired by Georgia Tech and became the first woman to serve as a full-time coach for any women's sports team. Six years later she moved into full-time administration as the school's associate athletic director.

In 1993, she served as tournament director for the Women's Final Four. Three years later, she served as an Olympic Games liaison.

At the ACC, her responsibilities have included scheduling, television oversight and selection, budget management and serving as the institutional liaison with the women's basketball coaches, as well as directing officiating programs. She has served on the NCAA Management Council, and is active on several national committees, including a recent appointment to the task force for Division I women's basketball.

From 1995 to 2000, she served on the NCAA Women's Basketball Committee, and was the chair for the last 2 years.

It's no secret that many folks within the A-10 were not happy with the TV contracts that were put in place the last few years. McGlade participated on an eight-person NCAA TV Negotiating Committee that secured the largest TV contract for any sporting event ($6.2 billion) from both CBS and ESPN.

That probably didn't hurt her chances. *