James Delany will conclude term as commissioner of Big Ten in June 2020

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James Delany’s 30th year as Big Ten Commissioner will be his last.

The conference announced Monday that Delany, 70, will conclude his term as commissioner when his current contract expires on June 30, 2020.

“It’s been an amazing opportunity to serve and lead these preeminent institutions, presidents, administrators, coaches and students,” Delany said in a news release.

In almost three decades under Delany’s leadership, the conference expanded from 10 to 14 teams, was the first to voluntarily adopt participation goals for female students competing in intercollegiate athletics and launched the first national conference-owned television network, Big Ten Network.

“It is incredibly fulfilling to support the hundreds of thousands of young men and women who have been afforded an opportunity to obtain best-in-class educations as a result of the invaluable, one-of-a-kind lessons learned through the unique combination of athletic and classroom competition,” Delany added in the release. “I would like to recognize and thank each of my colleagues for being such invaluable members of, and contributors to, the Big Ten Conference team, while acknowledging that there is still plenty of work to be done. I look forward to continuing that work through the balance of my term.”

Morton Schapiro, chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, had this to say:

“Jim has had an extraordinary impact on the Big Ten Conference, its member institutions, administrators, students and coaches since 1989. He has been a forward-thinking, collaborative and decisive leader in every aspect of conference proceedings. We thank him for his dedicated service to date and look forward to working with him through the conclusion of his contract.”

The conference has initiated a search for the next commissioner.

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