The Big 12 made it official on Thursday afternoon: Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby is the new man in charge of the Big 12. He'll be introduced as commissioner at a press conference on Friday morning.
I'll be there at the Big 12 offices in Irving, Texas, for sure, so be sure to check the Big 12 blog for coverage.
Bowlsby will take over for interim commissioner Chuck Neinas on June 15. Neinas replaced fired commissioner Dan Beebe in September 2011.
"I am proud to have been selected to lead the Big 12 Conference as its Commissioner. The member institutions represent the best in competitive intercollegiate athletics and they occupy a prominent place in the history of sports in America," Bowlsby said in a statement. "I am excited to work with a very talented and committed group of Presidents and Chancellors to advance the Conference on the national sports landscape. Additionally, the directors of athletics, senior woman’s administrators, faculty athletics representatives, coaches and conference office staff are among the very best in the country. The future is exceedingly bright and I look forward to engaging with my colleagues to achieve great things in the years ahead."
In a tweet, Kansas State AD John Currie said the league's presidents and search committee "hit a home run" with the hire.
"Bob Bowlsby is a highly respected and experienced college athletics administrator who has a reputation for integrity and excellence. His vision will be shaped by successful experiences at leading institutions in other BCS conferences which will serve the Big 12 very well as he leads us into a bright future," Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said in a statement.
Oklahoma president David Boren also lauded the selection.
"His combination of skills makes him the ideal selection," Boren said in a statement.
Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis explained those skills in the Big 12's announcement of the Bowlsby hire.
"The institutions of the Big 12 wanted a Commissioner that could take us to the next era as a conference with the addition of TCU and WVU, and we unanimously agreed Bob is that leader," Hargis said. "The search committee looked for a candidate that has a vision for the next generation of college athletics, and his credentials and ideas exceeded this. He understands enhancing athletic competition among conference schools, the challenge of balancing academics and athletics for our student-athletes, and working with our broadcast and bowl partners."