Bob Bowlsby to Step Away From Role as Big 12 Commissioner Sometime in 2022

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days

Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced on Tuesday that he intends to step away from the role of Commissioner later in 2022 after spending a decade leading the “Power Five” conference through the turmoils of conference realignment.

Bowlsby will remain commissioner until his successor is appointed, at which point he will transition into a new interim role at the conference’s request and is “subject to the mutual agreement of Bowlsby and the new Commissioner.”


“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,” said Bowlsby in the release.

“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.”

Here is an excerpt from the Big 12 official press release giving details to the changes that the conference has seen under Bowlsby’s leadership.


“Bowlsby was appointed as the Big 12 Commissioner in 2012 and under his watch, the Big 12 has seen tremendous growth in its national brand, television exposure, distributable revenue for its member institutions, and competitive success. Most recently, he guided the Big 12’s addition of four future members, with BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston agreeing to join the Conference no later than the 2024-25 academic year.

“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. Also, for four consecutive years, the Big 12 has placed men’s basketball teams in the Final Four. 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 Big 12 Conference is interviewing and engaging an executive search consulting firm to aid in an extensive search process for its new Commissioner, and will begin the process ina few weeks.

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