ACC commissioner John Swofford will retire after the 2020-21 season, the league announced on Thursday. The news of Swofford’s retirement was first reported by David Teel of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Swofford, 71, has been the ACC’s commissioner since 1997. Before that, the was the athletic director at North Carolina from 1980 to 1997. He is the third and longest-tenured commissioner of the ACC, following Gene Corrigan (1987-1995) and Jim Weaver (1954-1970).
“It has been a privilege to be a part of the ACC for over five decades and my respect and appreciation for those associated with the league throughout its history is immeasurable,” Swofford said in a press release. “Having been an ACC student-athlete, athletics director and commissioner has been an absolute honor. There are immediate challenges that face not only college athletics, but our entire country, and I will continue to do my very best to help guide the conference in these unprecedented times through the remainder of my tenure. Nora and I have been planning for this to be my last year for some time and I look forward to enjoying the remarkable friendships and memories I’ve been blessed with long after I leave this chair.”
Swofford’s tenure has been one of great change for the conference, as he oversaw the league’s expansion to 15 members, the implementation of a conference championship game for football and the 2019 launch of the ACC Network.