BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --Greg Sankey became the eighth commissioner of the Southeastern Conference Monday, June 1, succeeding Mike Slive who served in that position for 13 years.
Sankey was tabbed on March 12 by the presidents and chancellors of the SEC to succeed Slive after serving the last 13 years in various leadership positions in the league office. Slive, who announced last November that he would retire when his contract expired in July of 2015, said last week that he was handing over the reins of the conference office early to allow Sankey to begin making plans for the future.
Slive will serve in an advisory role during the transition until his contract ends on July 31, then will be a consultant to the SEC for a period of four years beginning August 1.
Sankey, 50, was an integral part of former commissioner Slive's efforts to reshape the SEC's governance, enforcement and compliance program, and he also oversaw the SEC's championships staff. Most recently he played a central role in crafting the new autonomy governance structure of the NCAA, which is intended to provide the 65 institutions from the Five Conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC) with increased decision-making authority over policies designed to provide support for student-athletes' pursuit of academic and athletic achievements.
He is active within the NCAA committee structure, which includes his current service on the NCAA Gender-Equity Task Force and the Division I Committee on Infractions, for which he currently serves as chair.
Sankey joined the SEC staff in 2002 as Associate Commissioner and was elevated to Executive Associate Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer for the league office in 2012.
Prior to joining the SEC staff, Sankey was 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 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, Louisiana. While at Northwestern State, Sankey also coached the Demons' golf teams for two years. Previous to his tenure at Northwestern State, he was the director of intramural sports at Utica College in upstate New York.
A native of Auburn, New York, 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, Alabama, and have two daughters, Hannah Michelle (22) and Moriah Elizabeth (19).