Say what you want about Condoleezza Rice’s qualifications as a football expert, or the logistics of the College Football Playoff system that will begin in 2014. I’ve got a feeling that Rice and the rest of the committee announced Wednesday aren’t just going to improve the college football postseason.
Men’s swimming coach Skip Kenney was here when Jimmy Carter was president, gas cost under a dollar per gallon and many of our parents were doing “The Hustle” in high school gyms across the country. In a month and a half, he’ll be gone. The famed coach announced his retirement on Wednesday, ending a storied 33 years with the Cardinal that saw him guide 31 straight teams to Pac-10/12 conference titles and bring seven national championships to the Farm. It’s hard to imagine doing the same thing in the same place for that long, and that well. But—not to diminish his achievements—Kenney is not alone in the world of college sports. At Stanford, 13 of our 35 varsity teams are led by a head coach who has held that position for at least 10 years. Baseball’s Mark Marquess, in the home stretch of his 36th year as the Cardinal’s lead man, is the only coach who has been here longer than Kenney, with women’s basketball’s Tara VanDerveer having held her post for 26 seasons.
As former athletic director Bob Bowlsby moves on to (arguably) greener pastures by becoming commissioner of the Big 12, Stanford is now tasked with filling the hole in its heart left by one of the most successful people to ever hold the position.
On Friday, Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby was introduced as the new commissioner of the Big 12 Conference, officially making his move away from the Farm after six years at Stanford.