After one of the most challenging year of his tenure, and the most exciting summer, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey has had his contract extended. Sankey will stay in his role until at least 2026.
“I am grateful for the support of the SEC’s presidents and chancellors, and for the continuing opportunity to serve our universities while supporting the student-athletes of the Southeastern Conference,” Sankey said in a statement on Thursday.
The SEC has seen a wealth of success in all fields since Sankey’s tenure began in 2015. On the field, SEC schools have won 32 national titles in sports including in football, baseball, women’s basketball and women’s volleyball.
Off the field, Sankey’s tenure has seen the SEC grow into the biggest conference in the country, including a new 10 year media rights deal with Disney that will bring the conference untold wealth.
In 2020 alone, despite the challenges put up by the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was still able to distribute $657.7 million in revenue to its member schools and offices.
Sankey also deserves some credit for navigating the conference through the pandemic, with minimal game cancellations and only one program opting out of the season, Vanderbilt women’s basketball.
Chief of Sankey’s accomplishments thus far may be the bombshell move to bring Texas and Oklahoma into the SEC fold. The move came out of nowhere, was completed mere days after it was announced, and has completely shifted the fabric of college athletics.
For Missouri, Sankey’s extension provides much needed stability, as the Tigers begin the search for a new athletic director.
Sankey was a huge supporter of Missouri in the wake of sanctions put in place by the NCAA two years ago, and while Missouri may not be the favorite child like Alabama or Florida, it’s nice to have the top guy in your corner when it matters.
The landscape of college athletics has been drastically shifted in the last month, from the introduction of NIL rights to the moves by Texas and Oklahoma. The SEC is primed to dominate that landscape, and consistency with Sankey at the helm will go a long way in achieving that.