BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (August 5, 2021) - Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in his post through at least 2026, 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.
"College athletics is in the midst of a transformational period, and the SEC is fortunate to have a highly impactful leader to guide us forward at this critical time in our history," said Jere Morehead, President of the University of Georgia and current President of the SEC. "He has effectively introduced change and advancement for the conference while respecting the institutional traditions that make the SEC unique. His leadership and ability to foster collaboration through the COVID-19 pandemic helped establish a framework for all of college sports, and those leadership skills will be critical as we move forward with change in the years ahead."
Now in his seventh year as Commissioner of the SEC, Sankey has successfully promoted a collaborative culture in the Conference in the midst of the highly competitive environment that is college sports.
"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," said Sankey. "We are in the midst of a time of change for college athletics, and I look forward to working with the SEC's campus leaders to identify a path forward that will sustain the incredible success of our Conference and provide opportunities for young people to grow academically and challenge themselves athletically."
Over the past 18 months alone, Sankey has guided the SEC through the COVID-19 pandemic and prepared for a return to action in the fall of 2020. He launched the SEC Council on Racial Equity and Social Justice, a league-wide body consisting of a diverse group of student-athletes, administrators, coaches and SEC staff. He also 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 beginning in 2024-25 and continuing through 2033-34.
The 2020-21 athletic year was particularly successful for SEC schools which recorded nine 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 32 national titles since Sankey became Commissioner in 2015.
Most recently, the SEC announced it will welcome the Universities of Oklahoma and Texas - two outstanding academic institutions with storied athletics programs -- to the Conference in 2025. This expansion, which will be the third in the Conference's 88-year history, will bring the SEC to 16 member universities across a 12-state footprint.
Sankey, 57, 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, Enforcement and Compliance 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.