Big 12 football: Bob Bowlsby a solid choice
The Big 12 soon could have a new commissioner. Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby has been offered the job, according to espn.com, and is expected to accept.
Bowlsby is a solid candidate. He’s not a powerful personality, necessarily, but the Big 12 never has sought a powerful personality, at least not until Chuck Neinas’ interim term these last seven months, so no reason to think it would change now.
Oklahomans probably know Bowlsby best from his part in the Sooners hiring Bob Stoops. Bowlsby was the AD at Iowa in 1998, when OU and Iowa both interviewed Stoops. In the days leading up to the 2009 Sun Bowl, I wrote about those searches. You can read it here.
Bowlsby, born in Waterloo, Iowa, is 60. He attended Minnesota State-Moorhead. He was athletic director at Northern Iowa, then was hired by Iowa in 1991 and spent 14 years with the Hawkeyes, before going to Stanford.
Bowlsby has served on the NCAA Basketball Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee, two influential bodies.
I don’t know about his talents in negotiating television contracts, but thanks to Neinas, the Big 12 largely has done the leg work for the upcoming deals, so that’s probably not a big deal.
And Bowlsby has no apparent ties to any of the Big 12 schools, which is a good political development in a league that has been very volatile.
How will Bowlsby handle the delicate issues of conference realignment and Big 12 stability? No one knows. But he’s a solid, long-time administrator. Is it a home run hire? I don’t think you can say that. Maybe some day it will prove to be. Is it a whiff? No.
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