May 15, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) The American Athletic Conference has extended the contract of Commissioner Mike Aresco through June 2022.

Aresco's deal was set to expire in September. The conference announced the extension Monday.

''Mike Aresco has done an outstanding job of leading the American Athletic Conference through its early years and I am very happy that he will continue on with us,'' Susan Herbst, president of the University of Connecticut and chairwoman of the conference's board of directors, said in a statement.

Aresco became commissioner in 2012 and led the conference through a tumultuous transition from the Big East to the American. He helped rebuild and rebrand the conference when realignment stripped the Big East of many of its signature members.

The conference has added eight full members since Aresco took over, plus Navy for football. Wichita State will join as a non-football member in 2017-18.

Since relaunching in 2013, the American Athletic Conference has been the most lucrative and competitive of the FBS conferences outside the Power Five. Under Aresco, the conference has pushed a Power Six initiative in the hopes of placing the AAC among the highest-revenue leagues in college sports.

''This conference has achieved a series of remarkable milestones in its relatively short existence, and the future is very promising,'' Aresco said in a statement. ''I deeply appreciate the confidence placed in me by our board of directors that is reflected in this extension, and I am proud and delighted to represent our conference as we embrace, with a collective determination and spirit, the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.''

Aresco was instrumental in establishing the automatic New Year's Six bowl bid for the highest-ranked champion among the Group of Five conference champions. He also negotiated for a College Football Playoff protocol that permits the Army-Navy football game to remain on the Saturday following the conclusion of the conference championship games and still allow those teams to be considered for a New Year's Six bowl.

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