ACC Commissioner John Swofford Announces Pending Retirement

Jay Anderson

As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” That will be the case following the 2020-21 academic year for ACC Commissioner John Swofford, who has announced his plans to retire in 2021.

Swofford has held his position since 1997 and since then, he has grown the ACC’s revenue with TV deals and most recently with the addition of the ACC Network on ESPN, served as Chairman of the Bowl Championship Series in 2000 and 2001. He also added the likes of Boston College, Virginia Tech, Miami, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Louisville and Notre Dame to a growing geographic footprint of ACC schools.

"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," Swofford said in a prepared statement.

Swofford will be greatly missed, especially from a Virginia Tech standpoint, as he always put the whole conference before anything else. 

He was the longest-tenured commissioner in league history and with good reason given the value he’s added to the conference across the East Coast. 

When Swofford took his post, there were just nine teams in the ACC. Now as he departs there are 15 teams with a ton of new initiatives to build upon. Swofford's efforts include the ACC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the ACC Mental Health and Wellness Summit, two programs that are much-needed in the realm of competitive sports.

He was also instrumental in helping to create the College Football Playoff which began in 2014. 

It is unknown at this time who will replace Swofford going forward, but he will help his successor during the transition period. 

Whoever replaces him will have big shoes to fill, especially considering how far ahead of the curve Swofford was in terms of the conference’s mission and vision. Stay tuned for more to come as things develop. 

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