The Big East has officially hired CBS executive Mike Aresco as its new commissioner, a critical hire as the league moves forward toward working out a new television contract and rebranding itself in the wake of major realignment.
Aresco was unanimously approved in a vote of the league’s presidents, and begins work in early September -- right when the Big East is set to open negotiations with ESPN.
“The search to identify the new commissioner of the Big East conference was truly an international search,” said Cincinnati president Greg Williams, chairman of the search committee. “We had many outstanding candidates, but we are fortunate to have Mike Aresco as our new commissioner. His breadth of experience and depth of knowledge in intercollegiate athletics will continue to move the Big East forward on a successful path. The Big East has enjoyed a great history. Mike Aresco will help assure the conference of a vibrant future.”
Interim commissioner Joe Bailey, who has steered the league since John Marinatto resigned earlier this year, said in a statement, "The presidents have acted very responsibly. They have appointed a leader with integrity, intelligence and energy. Bravo!”
At CBS Sports, Aresco was responsible for all college programming, and was instrumental in negotiating deals with the NCAA for the men's basketball tournament, and the SEC as well. In addition, he has been involved with the strategic development of CBS Sports Network programming.
He joined CBS Sports as vice president for programming in 1996 and was promoted to senior vice president. He has been in his current role of executive vice president for programming since 2008. Before CBS Sports, Aresco worked at ESPN, where he was responsible for overseeing the acquisition, scheduling and development of long-term strategies for all of ESPN and ESPN2 college sports properties.
The Big East is expected to hold a news conference with Aresco on Wednesday to officially introduce him to the media.