Lisa Strasman '22 Contributor Since 2022
President and COO | Next College Student Athlete
Lisa Strasman is President and COO of Next College Student Athlete (NCSA).
Strasman has been a game changer throughout her career – both as an athlete and an executive. As a young ice hockey player in suburban Chicago, Strasman helped pave the way for female athletes by overcoming adversity in a male dominated sport. Her skills and determination led her to Yale University, where she captained the women’s ice hockey team and led the team in scoring, and later to Switzerland, where she played ice hockey professionally.
Professionally, Strasman has taken the lessons from her own college athletic recruiting experience and worked to improve the process for hundreds of thousands of student-athletes. Starting as an entry-level recruiting coach and working her way up to President and COO, Strasman has built Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) from a small start-up to the largest and most successful college athletic recruiting network in the world.
Under her leadership, Strasman has helped bring college athletic recruiting into the digital age. NCSA has developed countless new products and services – from the first searchable athlete database for college coaches to a recruiting platform for the world’s fastest growing sport, esports – to help athletes, families and coaches improve the recruiting process. These innovations have had a tremendous impact on the recruiting industry and given hundreds of thousands of student-athletes the opportunity to continue their sport at the college level.
Since Strasman assumed her role as president, NCSA gross revenue has increased by nearly 500% and the NCSA team has grown from a nimble team of nearly 300 to almost 1,000 teammates. Despite the company’s rapid growth, Strasman has maintained the tight-knit, team-driven atmosphere NCSA was founded upon, helping the company win over a dozen awards over the last 24 months as a result of its exceptional culture. Strasman has mastered the art of solving challenging business problems and achieving aggressive growth goals, while keeping an ever-growing team intensely focused on the company’s mission of helping high school student-athletes reach their dreams.
Realizing NCSA had the ability to help even more students on their path to college, in 2020, Strasman expanded NCSA’s focus beyond athletes with the acquisition of CollegeAdvisor.com. Like NCSA, CollegeAdvisor.com leverages digital to provide affordable, accessible admissions support to students and families as they begin their journey from high school to college.
Strasman has worked to create equal college opportunity for all students and student-athletes by leading NCSA’s give back mission. Through programs like the All in Award and Seat at the Table, NCSA is able to provide free and discounted services to families facing personal and financial hardship. In 2020 alone, NCSA donated $29M in services to financially challenged student-athletes and their families.
In 2021, Strasman played a pivotal role in Endeavor’s acquisition of NCSA and its path-to-college businesses including CollegeAdvisor.com and Front Rush. NCSA is now part of IMG Academy, the world’s most prestigious sports, performance, and educational institution.
Strasman has been named a Top Women in Sports by Cynopsis Media, is a frequent speaker at events including SXSW, and has written articles for outlets including Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and ESPN.
She currently resides in the Chicago area with her husband and two children and remains active as a youth hockey coach.