OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Since 1950, the Men's College World Series champion has been decided in Omaha.
One constant in the last 35 years: Kathryn Morrissey.
As the tournament grew, so did her role. Most pivotally, in 2010 through the long-term contract negotiations with the NCAA and City of Omaha, Morrissey was named the first executive director of the College World Series.
She describes the year-round job as including "whatever is necessary to make it a successful event."
Gary Gates, vice chairman of the College World Series of Omaha, Inc. board, said of Morrissey: "She is the heart and soul of the College World Series."
"If you want to look at the definition of a leader, it's one that people really don't know is there, but are leading very effectively and making things happen," he added.
Morrissey's approach to the job starts with the fans. She has deep respect and admiration for those near and far who support the College World Series.
"The fans treasure this event. And for them to treasure it, that means I have to really value it for them," she said.
"She has really helped tie the community with this championship and she has really had an instrumental role over all these years in growing the event into what it is today," reflected Randy Buhr, director of championships and alliances with the NCAA.
A lifelong Omaha-area resident, Morrissey plans to retire in September. That would make the 2022 CWS her last.
"I will have to switch to the waterproof mascara because I find myself getting choked up at the darndest times."
Kathryn Morrissey will be recognized at Charles Schwab Field Omaha prior to the start of the Finals Game 2 on Sunday, June 26, at 2 p.m.
To learn more about the College World Series of Omaha, Inc., a local non-profit organization, visit the CWS's website.