Bob Bowlsby to Step Down as Big 12 Commissioner Later in 2022

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 5, 2022

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 04: Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby looks on from the sideline during the Allstate Kickoff Classic college football game between the Stanford Cardinal and Kansas State Wildcats on September 4, 2021 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by  Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby plans to step down later this year.

“After more than 40 years of serving in leadership roles in intercollegiate athletics, including the last 10 with the Big 12, and given the major issues that college sports in general and the Big 12 specifically will address in the next several years, I have reached a natural transition point in my tenure as Commissioner, as well as in my career,” Bowlsby said in a statement.

“The Big 12 will soon bring in our four new members and negotiate a new grant of rights and media rights agreements. I truly believe the Big 12 and our member institutions are in a strong position now and as we look into the future. As such, this is an appropriate time for me to step away from the Commissioner’s role so that the next leader of the Conference can take the reins on these significant matters that will come to the forefront before the end of the term of my employment agreement in 2025 to set the stage for the Big 12’s future ongoing success.”

Bowlsby, 70, has been the Big 12 commissioner since 2012. He will step into a yet-to-be-decided interim role once a new commissioner is appointed.

Bowlsby's crowning achievement as commissioner is arguably keeping the conference together despite the impending exits of Texas and Oklahoma for the SEC. At a point where it seemed reasonably likely the Big 12 would dissolve after losing its two cash cows, Bowlsby was able to add BYU, Central Florida, Houston and Cincinnati to strengthen the conference.

The Big 12 currently houses some of the best men's basketball in the country as well, with Kansas winning the 2022 national championship Monday. The conference has had a Final Four team six times since 2012, including each of the last four years.

The Big 12 has been represented in four of the first eight years of the College Football Playoffs, though no program has reached the national championship game.