IRVING, Texas — Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced he will resign from the office later this year. He plans to remain commissioner until his replacement is named.
Bowlsby was appointed commissioner in 2012 and has served in that role for a decade.
“After more than 40 years of serving in leadership roles in intercollegiate athletics, including the last 10 with the Big 12, and given the major issues that college sports in general and the Big 12 specifically will address in the next several years, I have reached a natural transition point in my tenure as Commissioner, as well as in my career,” Bowlsby said.
Bowlsby said he decided to step away now as the conference prepares to welcome new teams into the Big 12.
“The Big 12 will soon bring in our four new members and negotiate a new grant of rights and media rights agreements. I truly believe the Big 12 and our member institutions are in a strong position now and as we look into the future. As such, this is an appropriate time for me to step away from the Commissioner’s role so that the next leader of the Conference can take the reins on these significant matters that will come to the forefront before the end of the term of my employment agreement in 2025 to set the stage for the Big 12’s future ongoing success,” Bowlsby said.
Over his tenure, the Big 12 has won 25 NCAA team national championships, including last night’s men’s basketball title game victory by the University of Kansas. In 2020-21, the Big 12 captured 5 NCAA team national championships, including a Baylor University men’s basketball title.
In football, the Big 12 has placed teams in the College Football Playoff New Year’s Bowls throughout its seven-year history. The Big 12 is the home of two of the last five Heisman Trophy winners and was the only conference to place a team in the Final Four and CFP semi-finals in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
The conference is interviewing and engaging an executive search consulting firm to assist it in an extensive national search process for the new commissioner, which will begin in the next few weeks.
“I have been honored to serve the Big 12 Conference membership, and I am tremendously proud of the incredible professionals in the Conference office and in the extraordinary coaches and athletics departments of our member institutions with whom I have worked to serve the student-athletes who participate in our member’s sports programs,” Bowlsby said.