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Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby to Step Away Later This Year

Bowlsby has been the commissioner of the conference since 2012 after taking over for Dan Beebe.

The Big 12 is about to undergo a massive shake up in realignment - with a fresh face leading the charge into the new era.

Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby will be leaving his post later this year, the conference announced on Tuesday.

“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 a 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.”

Bowlsby will remain in position with the Big 12 until a new commissioner has been hired, at which point he will transition into an interim role with the conference - subject to an agreement between Bowlsby and the new commissioner.

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Bob Bowlsby

Bob Bowlsby

Bowlsby has been the leader of the Big 12 since 2012, when he took over for previous commissioner Dan Beebe.

Under him, the conference has seen radical changes headlined by the impending additions of UCF, Houston, Cincinnati and BYU along with the subtractions of Oklahoma and Texas who will be leaving the league for the SEC.

“I have been honored to serve the Big 12 Conference membership, and I am tremendously proud of the incredible professionals in the Conference office and in the extraordinary coaches and athletics departments of our member institutions with whom I have worked to serve the student-athletes who participate in our member’s sports programs,” said Bowlsby. “When my transition is complete, I will miss the daily interaction with these wonderful colleagues and with the student-athletes but will welcome the opportunity to spend more time with my wife, my children, and my ten grandchildren. I have consistently sought to align my professional actions with the best principles of higher education and intercollegiate athletics. Now, I look forward to the next chapters of my personal and professional activities and, as I do so, I am very confident in a vibrant, highly competitive, and prosperous future for the Big 12 Conference.”

A timeline for the new hire wasn’t analyzed in detail in the release outside of the intention to have a replacement sometime this calendar year.

SI Sooners will provide more details to the Big 12’s upheaval at the highest position as they become available.