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USATSI

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey rocked the college football world last month when he lured Texas and Oklahoma away from the Big 12 to join his conference beginning in 2025. It should come as no surprise that he will still be in his current role by the time the Longhorns and Sooners officially join the league.

The SEC announced Thursday that Sankey, 57, has agreed to a contract extension through at least 2026. This as Sankey has established himself as one of the most powerful figures in college athletics since taking over as head of the SEC in the summer of 2015 when he replaced Mike Slive.

"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."

"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," said Jere Morehead, the Georgia president who holds the same role in the SEC. "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."

In addition to his role within the conference, Sankey has served as a member of the College Football Playoff expansion working group, launched the SEC Council on Racial Equity and Social Justice and worked closely with the NCAA on enforcement. 

He also navigated the SEC through the COVID-19 pandemic and its return to action plan. Only two SEC football games were canceled during the 2020 season due to COVID-19 cases and contact tracing.

Sankey has been with the SEC since 2002 and has served in multiple roles as he worked his way up the organizational ladder. He came to the league from the Southland Conference where he served as commissioner for nearly seven years.