Amid a heated recent debate around conference realignment, the Southeastern Conference has extended commissioner Greg Sankey’s contract through 2026.
The extension comes as Sankey oversees the addition of Oklahoma and Texas to the conference.
"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," conference president Jere Morehead, the University of Georgia president, said in a statement. "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."
"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.
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.