December 18, 2014

Former UNI, Iowa athletic director ready to take over helm of Big 12 Conference

Former Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby was introduced as the new commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. Bowlsby has spent the past six years leading the athletic department at Stanford and he takes over a conference that has seen four members leave for greener pastures in the past two years.

Nebraska is now in the Big Ten and Colorado is part of the Pac-12. Texas A@M and Missouri announced this year they are leaving for the S.E.C. “I came into the discussion with the three presidents with whom I met with some apprehensions, because I like many people had a vision of this conference as being unstable,” Bowlsby said. “And what I found instead was a group of chief executive officers that were very committed to one another and very committed to the best principles of intercollegiate athletics. I was very quickly put at ease relative to the stability of the group and the ongoing commitment to one another. And so that made this process a much easier one.”

Bowlsby says he became convinced during the interview process that stability has returned to the conference. He says he talked about his reservations when he came in and says he was “encouraged and impressed” with the stability and commitment.

West Virginia and TCU begin competition this fall and Bowlsby was asked about the possibility of further expansion. “As you consider expansion it has to be expansion that has at its roots the enhancement of the league, there’s nothing magic about 11, 12 or 10,” he says.

Bowlsby was the AD at Iowa for 15 years and began his administrative career at the University of Northern Iowa. He says this will be a new role for him and he knows the players and potential potholes, but says he is very excited to get going.

Bowlsby will officially take over on June 15th.