Atlantic Coast Conference/ACC Launches Search for Next Commissioner:Hoping to have John Swofford replacement in place by Summer of 2021


Atlantic Coast Conference Launches Search for Next Commissioner

The Atlantic Coast Conference has announced the launch of the search to select its next Commissioner. Turnkey Search, a division of Turnkey Sports & Entertainment, has been hired to support the conference in conducting the process. Additionally, Turnkey has partnered with Chad Chatlos and Katy Young Staudt from Ventura Partners. On June 25, 2020, Commissioner John Swofford announced his intention to retire after serving 24 years in the role.

A comprehensive national search will be directed by the ACC Board of Directors, led by Board Chair Kent Syverud (Syracuse), which includes the Chancellors and Presidents of the 15 member schools. A Search Advisory Committee, led by co-chairs President Nathan Hatch (Wake Forest) and President Fr. John Jenkins (Notre Dame), will be responsible for collecting information and feedback from member schools. The committee will be comprised of conference representatives including athletic directors, senior woman administrators, faculty athletics representatives, and student-athletes. A five-member Finalist Selection Committee will be responsible for identifying a diverse and accomplished group of candidates for the Board of Directors to review.

“With the dynamic landscape of collegiate athletics, this is an opportunity for ACC leadership to select the commissioner that will propel the conference into the next era,” said Syverud. “We believe that Turnkey Search is the right partner to conduct this critical search that will shape the future of the conference. Their industry expertise, history of open, inclusive searches, and commitment to finding a diverse and expert pool of candidates will allow us to find the right leader who will ensure the future growth and fiscal sustainability of the conference.”

Turnkey Search, a division of Turnkey Sports & Entertainment, has been a pioneer and leader in sports, entertainment and media executive recruiting since 1996 and has completed more than 1,200 placements in this space. Turnkey has a track record of diverse placements and deep expertise in higher education and professional sports including placements for Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgetown University, University of Michigan, University of Southern California, University of Alabama, the Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, and others. Len Perna, Gene DeFilippo, Kelly Lewis, Allie Crone and Rick Alessandri will serve as the leadership team for the search.

Chatlos and Staudt are well known in intercollegiate athletics, with recent placements at Cal Berkeley, Clemson University, University of Illinois, Johns Hopkins University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Texas, Wake Forest, Yale and others. At a prior firm, Chatlos participated in Commissioner placements for the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Major League Baseball (MLB).

The ACC Commissioner search will be conducted during the 2020-21 academic year with the intention of the new Commissioner being in place by summer 2021.

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