ACC Commissioner John Swofford to Retire End of 2020-21 Athletic Year

Ashley Barnett

ACC commissioner John Swofford announced today that he plans on retiring at the end of the 2020-2021 athletic season. Swofford has been commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference for 24 years, the longest tenure in the history of the conference.

Swofford released a statement on the conference website:

“It has been a privilege to be a part of the ACC for over five decades and my respect and appreciation for those associated with the league throughout its history is immeasurable,” said Swofford. “Having been an ACC student-athlete, athletics director and commissioner has been an absolute honor. There are immediate challenges that face not only college athletics, but our entire country, and I will continue to do my very best to help guide the conference in these unprecedented times through the remainder of my tenure. Nora and I have been planning for this to be my last year for some time and I look forward to enjoying the remarkable friendships and memories I’ve been blessed with long after I leave this chair.”

Probably Swofford's biggest accomplishment as commissioner was the expansion of the ACC. He brought in Miami and Virginia Tech in 2004, Boston College in 2005, and Pittsburgh Syracuse and Louisville in later years The only school that the conference lost during that time period was Maryland, who left to join the Big Ten. On top of the expansions he also helped created the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in basketball, and played a key role in the development of the College Football Playoff.

Before becoming the commissioner, Swofford was an AD at his alma mater the University of North Carolina where he also was a starting quarterback during his playing days. He will stay in his role as commissioner until a successor has been named and allowed to transition into the role.

Georgia Tech AD Todd Stansbury released the following statement on Thursday:

“In addition to our time together in the ACC, John and I share a special bond as we were both student-athletes under the great Homer Rice, who helped shaped our visions for intercollegiate athletics. Throughout his 23 years as commissioner of the ACC, John has advanced the values championed by Homer Rice, lifting the league, its member schools and its student-athletes to unprecedented heights athletically, academically and socially. I am proud to share such tight bonds with John, and it has been an honor and a privilege to work with and learn from such an iconic figure in intercollegiate athletics. I wish him and his wife, Nora, nothing but the very best in retirement.”

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