Big 12 Conference Names Stanford Athletic Director as New Commissioner

Bob Bowlsby, new commissioner of the Big 12 Conference

The Big 12 on Wednesday named Bob Bowlsby, a nationally recognized and respected athletic administrator, to become the conference's new commissioner.

The Big 12 Conference board of directors on Thursday named Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby as the league's new commissioner. The selection was unanimous.

The announcement was made by board chairman Burns Hargis, who called Bowlsby one of the most respected athletic administrators in the country. Bowlsby has directed the Stanford athletics program for the past six years. Over that time, the Cardinal have won six consecutive Learfield Sports Directors Cup, awarded annually to the school with the best overall college athletic success. Stanford has held that acclaim for the past 17 years.

The 60-year-old Bowlsby replaces Chuck Neinas, who had been serving on an interim basis since the resignation of former commissioner Dan Beebe last September. Bowlsby will begin his new duties on June 15. Before being named to the AD role at Stanford, Bowlsby had been the athletic director had Iowa for 15 years, and for seven years before that at Northern Iowa.

"The Big 12 wanted a commissioner (who) could take us to the next era as a conference with the addition of TCU and West Virginia, and we unanimously agreed Bob is that leader," said Hargis, who is president of Oklahoma State University.

During his long career in athletic administration, Bowlsby also has served as president of the NCAA Division I-A Athletic Directors Association, chairman of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee and NCAA committees on Financial Aid and Amateurism.

Bowlsby is the fourth commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.

Previous Big 12 commissioners

1995-97 - Steve Hatchell

1998 - Dave Martin (interim)

1998-07 - Kevin Weiberg

2007-11 - Dan Beebe

2011-12 - Chuck Neinas (interim)

2012 - Bob Bowlsby

Follow all of the sports news and game coverage of Big 12 sports on SB Nation Kansas City.

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