IRVING, Texas (KSNT) – The Big 12 is well into its search for a new commissioner.

On April 4, 10-year commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced he’s stepping down. The conference started its process to find a new commissioner right away.

“The league is at a pivotal point in many ways,” Big 12 board chair Lawrence Schovanec said.

Finding candidates to be a power-5 conference commissioner is beyond the job of one person. The Big 12 hired TurnkeyZRG, an executive search firm, to do an extensive, national search for candidates. Turnkey ZRG recently helped KU find Travis Goff and Lance Leipold.

“The hardest thing is going to be to follow in the footsteps of Bob Bowlsby, who has been an amazing and wonderful commissioner,” Bill Snyder, former K-State head football coach, said.

First, the firm will interview the president, chancellor and athletic director for every Big 12 school to see what everyone wants in a candidate. Then, the firm will compile a list of names.

Next, the Big 12 executive hiring committee takes over to choose the finalists. That committee is Schovanec, Baylor president Linda Linvingstone and KU chancellor Doug Girod.

Those three present the finalists to the rest of the conference. Each university’s president and chancellor get to interview the final candidates and vote on their favorite.

“We need to have somebody who understands the media landscape, or has access to those that could help them develop that media strategy and negotiate the new media rights that we’ll be needing to deal with as our TV contract comes to an end in 24-25,” Schovanec said.

The whole process should take 90 days.

“If you look at recent commissioner searches, I believe for the Pac-12 and the ACC, those searches took four and five months,” Schovanec said. “So, it’s a fairly aggressive ambition, but from having visited with the firm, we think this is very doable.”

Snyder spent his fair share of time making the Big 12 one of the country’s toughest conferences.
He knows exactly the type of leader it needs.

“To get invested in coaches, coaching staffs, players, etc.,” Snyder said. “I know it’s time consuming, but, again, it’s part of making that position very special.”

This new commissioner won’t matter much to OU and Texas in a couple of years, but they’re still just as involved in the commissioner’s hiring process because they’re active members. The conference’s four new schools: BYU, Houston, Cincinnatti and UCF will be involved too.

“Naturally, it affects their future,” Schovanec said.

With the 90-day time frame, a new commissioner should be selected by early July.