Bowlsby introduced as new Big 12 commissioner

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    Newly-hired Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby praised TCU’s athletics program and said the school will be a great addition to the league this fall.

    Bowlsby was formally introduced as the conference’s commissioner Friday at the league’s offices in Irving.

    “I think they’ve done a great job at TCU,” Bowlsby said. “I think they’ve made amazing strides in their facility operations. They’re in a big metropolitan area. I think TCU is a great a addition to the Big 12.”

    Bowlsby, who begins his new job July 15, will be the conference’s fourth commissioner, succeeding Chuck Neinas, who has served in an interim role since last fall.

    The Waterloo, Iowa native has been the athletics director at Stanford University since 2006

    Bowlsby confident in the league’s stability

    Six months ago, the fate of the Big 12 was undecided.

    With Nebraska and Colorado already gone, Texas A&M and Missouri both announced last fall their intentions to leave the league for the Southeastern Conference.

    Then, TCU joined the conference, and, after settling an opt-out lawsuit with the Big East, West Virginia came into the league. Both schools will officially become members July 1.

    Bowlsby admitted he had some uncertainties about the stability of the conference. They didn’t last long, though.

    “I came in with some reservations, and those reservations were quickly put to rest,” Bowlsby said. “We had some very frank conversations about what the challenges were with the league and what the opportunities were with the league and I came away feeling very good about it.”

    Bowlsby, who was at the head of the one of the most successful athletics departments in the country at Stanford, said he wouldn’t have left if he didn’t feel that way.

    “In frankness, I wouldn’t have been interested if I arrived at the interview and found that there was fragmentation,” Bowlsby said.