SEC extends commissioner Greg Sankey through 2026

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with the conference through 2026, it was announced Thursday.

The extension comes on the heels of Sankey overseeing the addition of Big 12 powers Oklahoma and Texas to the conference last week. The Sooners and Longhorns will bring the total number of SEC teams to 16 in 2025.

"College athletics is in the midst of a transformational period, and the SEC is fortunate to have a highly impactful leader to guide us forward at this critical time in our history," conference president Jere Morehead, the University of Georgia president, said in a statement.

"He has effectively introduced change and advancement for the conference while respecting the institutional traditions that make the SEC unique. His leadership and ability to foster collaboration through the COVID-19 pandemic helped establish a framework for all of college sports, and those leadership skills will be critical as we move forward with change in the years ahead."

Sankey, 57, took over as the SEC's eighth commissioner after Mike Slive stepped down in 2015. Slive died in 2018.

In December, Sankey helped broker a 10-year agreement with Disney that will give ABC and ESPN exclusive broadcast rights to SEC football and basketball games starting in 2024-25 and continuing through 2033-34.

"I am grateful for the support of the SEC's presidents and chancellors, and for the continuing opportunity to serve our universities while supporting the student-athletes of the Southeastern Conference," Sankey said in a statement. "We are in the midst of a time of change for college athletics, and I look forward to working with the SEC's campus leaders to identify a path forward that will sustain the incredible success of our Conference and provide opportunities for young people to grow academically and challenge themselves athletically."

Sankey now finds himself as one of the longest-tenured Power 5 commissioners in college athletics -- second only to the Big 12's Bob Bowlsby, who was introduced in 2012.

In the past two years, the Big Ten hired Kevin Warren, the ACC hired Jim Phillips and the Pac-12 hired George Kliavkoff to lead their respective conferences.