Former SWC commissioner Jacoby dead at 80

Updated: March 15, 2008, 10:36 PM ET
Associated Press

DALLAS -- Fred Jacoby, a former commissioner of the defunct Southwest Conference, died Saturday at his home following a lengthy battle with cancer. Jacoby was 80.

His death was announced in separate statements issued by the American Southwest Conference and the Lone Star Conference, smaller-school conferences he served before retiring in 2006.

Jacoby was commissioner of the Southwest Conference from 1982-93. The conference dissolved in the mid-1990s when Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor jumped to the more powerful and profitable Big 12.

Jacoby spent more than 50 years in coaching and athletics administration, including 10 years in high schools and eight years as an assistant football coach at the University of Wisconsin.

He became the first commissioner of the Wisconsin State University Conference (now WIAC) in 1966 and was commissioner of the Mid-American Conference from 1971 until taking the SWC job in 1982.

Jacoby, a native of Logan, Ohio, took over the Lone Star Conference job in 1994 and added the American Southwest Conference job in 1996. He retired in June 2006.

The Lone Star Conference consists of 15 NCAA Division II schools, including six in Oklahoma.

"I'm saddened to hear of Fred's passing, but I'm glad to know that his long struggle ended peacefully," said current LSC Commissioner Stan Wagnon, a former assistant to Jacoby. "The Lone Star Conference was very fortunate to be a part of Fred's legacy and I feel blessed to have worked with and learned from such a great man."

Jacoby was the first commissioner of the ASC.

"Fred was a thoughtful and dedicated leader in intercollegiate athletics throughout his career, influencing the lives and careers of student-athletes, coaches, administrators and staff at the many schools, conferences and organizations he was involved with," ASC commissioner Amy Carlton said. "He maintained a passion for college athletics and a keen interest in the ASC and Division III throughout his struggle with multiple myeloma."

Survivors include his wife of more than 50 years, Marcia; sons Tom, Steve and Bob; and two grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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