BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (July 13, 2023) – Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in his position through at least 2028, the Conference announced on Thursday.
Sankey’s contract extension, approved by the Conference’s Presidents and Chancellors, continues a role he began on June 1, 2015, when he became the eighth Commissioner of the SEC.
“Greg Sankey continues to lead the SEC effectively through these challenging times for college athletics,” said University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead who recently completed a two-year term as President of the SEC. “Under his visionary stewardship and commitment to collaboration among our members, the SEC has emerged as the nation’s most stable and successful athletic conference. Today’s announcement reflects our enthusiastic endorsement of Greg’s ongoing leadership of our conference to even greater heights.”
“During a time of great change in college athletics, Greg Sankey has been a positive force for advancing the SEC and a thought-leader across the national landscape,” said University of Alabama President Stuart Bell who became President of the SEC this month. “The presidents, chancellors and athletic directors of our institutions hold him in great regard – respect which he has earned through his years of excellent service. I appreciate his proactive and collaborative approach to leadership and look forward to working with him for many years to come.”
Now in his ninth year as Commissioner of the SEC, Sankey has effectively introduced change and innovation for the conference while respecting the institutional traditions that make the SEC unique.
“I am grateful for the continued opportunity to serve and support the universities and student-athletes of the Southeastern Conference and I appreciate the confidence placed in me by the SEC’s presidents and chancellors,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “I look forward to working with the leaders of our member universities as we meet the challenges ahead for college athletics, seek to sustain the success of our Conference and fulfill our mission to provide our young people with the opportunity to grow academically and challenge themselves through elite competition.”
In the last three years alone, Sankey has guided the league through the COVID-19 pandemic, finalized a milestone 10-year agreement with the Walt Disney Company that grants ABC and ESPN exclusive broadcast rights to premier SEC football and basketball events and facilitated the expansion of the SEC to add the Universities of Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC beginning in 2024.
On the national stage, Sankey was tabbed to serve as co-chair of the NCAA’s Transformation Committee and was instrumental in the expansion of the College Football Playoff from four to 12 teams.
The 2022-23 athletic year was particularly successful for SEC schools which recorded eight national championships and placed the most schools in the Top 25 among all conferences in the Learfield IMG Directors’ Cup all-sports standings. In all, SEC’s schools have won 48 national titles since Sankey became Commissioner in 2015.
Sankey, 58, was appointed Commissioner by the Presidents and Chancellors of the SEC on March 12, 2015. He first joined the SEC staff in 2002 as Associate Commissioner for Governance and later added supervision of the league’s championships staff to his responsibilities. He was elevated to Executive Associate Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer for the league office in 2012, becoming responsible for the day-to-day operation of the SEC Office.
Before joining the SEC, Sankey served as Commissioner of the Southland Conference for nearly seven years. He joined the Southland Conference staff in 1992 where he served as both assistant and associate commissioner before he was named its commissioner in 1996 at the age of 31.
Prior to his term at the Southland Conference, he was Director of Compliance and Academic Services at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA, as well as coach of the Demon’s golf teams. Before his tenure at Northwestern State, he was the Director of Intramural Sports at Utica College in upstate New York.
A native of Auburn, NY, Sankey earned his master’s degree from Syracuse University and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York College at Cortland. Sankey and his wife, Cathy, reside in Birmingham, AL, and have two adult daughters, Hannah (and her husband, Rod) and Moriah (and her husband, Austin).