Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner announces plans for retirement

John Swofford is the longest-tenured commissioner in ACC history
Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 11:23 AM EDT
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GREENSBORO, NC (WDBJ) - John Swofford, the longest-tenured commissioner in the 67-year history of the Atlantic Coast Conference, has announced the 2020-21 athletic year will be the last of his 24 years with the ACC.

Swofford said he will continue in the Commissioner’s chair until his successor is in place and will assist with the transition as needed. 

Swofford is the fourth commissioner of the ACC, guiding the league from nine to 15 members beginning with Miami and Virginia Tech in 2004, followed by Boston College and later Pitt, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Louisville. 

Expansion allowed the league some security with the grant of media rights, creation of the ACC Football Championship Game, partnership with the Orange Bowl, and joining with ESPN in August 2019 to establish the ACC Network. 

“It has been a privilege to be a part of the ACC for over five decades and my respect and appreciation for those associated with the league throughout its history is immeasurable,” said Swofford. “Having been an ACC student-athlete, athletics director and commissioner has been an absolute honor. There are immediate challenges that face not only college athletics, but our entire country, and I will continue to do my very best to help guide the conference in these unprecedented times through the remainder of my tenure.”

Read more about Swofford here.

Statement from NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson: 

“Commissioner Swofford has guided the ACC through many challenges including expansion and the launch of ACC Network, thus positioning the conference for continued success well into the future. Our entire league owes so much of its success to his steady hand and thoughtful leadership.”

Statement from Syracuse University Chancellor and Chair of the ACC Board of Directors Kent Syverud:

“John Swofford, in his historic tenure, has come to embody the very best of the ACC. The Conference has been dramatically enhanced in every way during the last quarter century, especially in its balance of academics and athletics.  All 15 Presidents of the Conference, like their universities, are deeply grateful to John for his transformative leadership.”

Statement from Clemson University President Jim Clements:

“The ACC has been blessed to have John Swofford as its Commissioner for the past 20-plus years. He is a true gentleman, with unparalleled character and integrity. Through his strategic vision and his leadership, the ACC has seen tremendous growth and incredible success and is extremely well-positioned for the future.”

Statement from Wake Forest University President Nathan Hatch:

“John has been a superb leader for the ACC and for all of intercollegiate sports.  He has been a savvy, principled, and foresighted leader in tumultuous times.  I particularly value his abiding interest in the well-being of student-athletes and his commitment to the proper role of athletics within the larger mission of the modern university.”

Statement from University of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins:

"For over twenty years, John Swofford has been critical in upholding the ACC's dual commitment to athletic and academic excellence and has led the conference with integrity.  We at Notre Dame are personally grateful to John for facilitating our entry into the conference in 2014, and for upholding the high standards of intercollegiate athletics for which the ACC stands."

Statement from Clemson Athletics Director Dan Radakovich:

John has been the bedrock of the ACC. The years of his tenure have seen tremendous success and growth. The student-athletes, coaches, administrators  and fans of the ACC have been the beneficiary of his outstanding leadership. The entire Clemson family wish John and Nora the best, as they begin their next chapter. 

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