The Big 12 Conference this afternoon announced the naming of Stanford Athletic Director, Bob Bowlsby as the new commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.  Bowlsby was at Stanford for six years, before making his move to the Big 12.

"The institutions of the Big 12 wanted a Commissioner that could take us to the next era as a conference with the addition of TCU and WVU, and we unanimously agreed Bob is that leader," said Burns Hargis, who is president of Oklahoma State University, and Big 12 Conference Board of Directors Chairman. "The search committee looked for a candidate that has a vision for the next generation of college athletics, and his credentials and ideas exceeded this. He understands enhancing athletic competition among conference schools, the challenge of balancing academics and athletics for our student-athletes, and working with our broadcast and bowl partners."

Bowlsby will become the fourth Commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. He stated, "I am proud to have been selected to lead the Big 12 Conference as its Commissioner. The member institutions represent the best in competitive intercollegiate athletics and they occupy a prominent place in the history of sports in America. I am excited to work with a very talented and committed group of Presidents and Chancellors to advance the Conference on the national sports landscape. Additionally, the directors of athletics, senior woman's administrators, faculty athletics representatives, coaches and conference office staff are among the very best in the country. The future is exceedingly bright and I look forward to engaging with my colleagues to achieve great things in the years ahead."

Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said concerning the hire, "The presidents and selection committee have made a tremendous choice in Bob Bowlsby.  He is one of the most well respected leaders in the profession.  He is engaged with the change that confronts the collegiate athletics landscape from conference realignment, to television contracts and the postseason football format.  Bob has been part of two trendsetting conferences and there is not a better leader to help position the Big 12 Conference for the future.”

According to the Big 12, Bowlsby will begin his duties June 15, succeeding Acting Commissioner Chuck Neinas. "All of the institutions of the Big 12 want to recognize Chuck's great contributions as acting commissioner, helping us during a challenging time and providing a stabilizing force to lead us to today's announcement," said President Hargis. "We cannot thank him enough for his efforts."

The new-look Big 12 Conference next fall will feature TCU and West Virginia replacing Texas A&M and Missouri, who joined the SEC.