Bowlsby introduced as new Big 12 Commissioner

Daily Staff

The Big 12 Conference has officially announced the hiring of Bob Bowlsby as its new commissioner.

Bowlsby, who served as the athletic director for Northern Iowa and Iowa before assuming the position at Stanford, will take over for Chuck Neinas, who was named interim commissioner for Dan Beebe after being conditionally fired last fall in order to keep the Big 12 from separating.

“He was who we identified as our number one target when the search began,” said ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard in an email to The Daily. “[He has] tremendous experience, political savvy, [is a] proven leader and most importantly [has] the personality to be an outstanding commissioner. This is the beginning of new day for the Big 12 in the hierarchy of conference alignment.”

Bowlsby was responsible for building Stanford into an all-around power, leading the school to 17 straight Learfield Sports Directors Cups — awarded to schools for overall excellence in athletics — since being hired by the school in 2006.

The Waterloo, Iowa, native has been on the U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors since 2007 and was also elected chair of the U.S. Olympic Sports Liaison Committee.

“I am proud to have been selected to lead the Big 12 Conference as its commissioner,” Bowlsby said in a news conference. “The member institutions represent the best in competitive intercollegiate athletics and they occupy a prominent place in the history of sports in America. I am excited to work with a very talented and committed group of presidents and chancellors to advance the conference on the national sports landscape. The future is exceedingly bright and I look forward to engaging with my colleagues to achieve great things in the years ahead.”

Bowlsby will assume his duties as the Big 12’s fourth commissioner on June 15.