A JERSEY GUY: ACC Search for New Commissioner Will Fill Void if CFB Shuts Down

Mark Blaudschun

Even if college football shuts down because of COVID-19, look for the folks at the Atlantic Coast Conference to plug the news hole with a search for a new commissioner which is speeding up the pace with a target list of candidates being gathered for interviews in the next several weeks.

Early spring is the latest the ACC wants a new commissioner in place to fill the job held by retiring commissioner John Swofford.

According to several league sources, the ACC hopes to settle on a top choice  by early November, perhaps sooner if the college football season is postponed.

 It is an important hire and one of the best jobs in college athletics.

According to ACC sources, the list (in alphabetical order) includes:

Dan Gavitt, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball

Gavitt's credentials are impeccable. He runs the NCAA men's basketball tournament and as a people person (son of Dave Gavitt) no one is better.

Football experience is minimal, but that is not a problem. Gavitt can find a "football guy''. 

Michael Kelly, South Florida, Athletic Director

Kelly clearly should be in the mix. He was the ACC football guy, went to the CFB Playoff Committee on Bill Hancock's staff before taking over at USF. He's also an ACC (Wake Forest) alumn.

Oliver Luck, Commissioner XFL, Former Athletic Director, West Virginia

Another proven commodity despite his short stint with XFL, which showed promise before being shutdown by COVID-19. Was a rising star when at West Virginia.

Shane Lyons, Athletic Director, West Virginia

Former assistant commissioner ACC, and has done a nice job replacing Luck at West Virginia. Could be ready to come back to Tobacco Road.

Burke Magnus, Executive Vice President Program Scheduling, ESPN

Maybe a dark horse candidate, but his ESPN credentials are solid and ESPN's relationship with the ACC is also solid and growing. 

Watch for his star to rise.

Bernard Muir, Athletic Director, Stanford

Another strong pedigree candidate. Stops at Notre Dame and Georgetown, been AD at Stanford since 2012, but has southern roots. Could be ready to move East for a job with more responsibilities and visibility.

Carla Williams, Athletic Director, Virginia

Maybe a little short on experience, but another star of the future with solid credentials in big time athletics at Georgia and now at Virginia.

We are early in the process, but this should pick up speed quickly, which at the very least, will allow the ACC to work on taking care of a big part of its future.