American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco announces retirement

American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco announced Thursday that he is retiring at the end of the 2023-24 academic year.

Aresco has served as the first and only president of the AAC in the conference’s 11-year history.

“It has been the supreme privilege of my long career in sports to have had the opportunity to lead this great conference from its reinvention in 2013, and to represent its outstanding student-athletes, coaches and administrators,” Aresco stated in a release. “I am grateful to the Board of Directors for giving me this opportunity to serve. It would take many pages to list this conference’s numerous athletic and academic accomplishments. There have also been some disappointments and difficulties along the way, most notably, the P5-G5 divide, realignment, College Football Playoff access for our deserving teams, and some competitive heartbreak in big games. But these have not affected in any way my enthusiasm in leading this terrific and resilient conference or my optimism for its long-term future. I would like to thank everyone associated with this conference for their significant contributions, and also my friends and colleagues in the college community, for their goodwill and concern for the greater good of the collegiate enterprise.”

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Aresco oversaw the reformation of the Big East Conference into the AAC in the early 2010s. He also helped the AAC secure two media rights agreements, one in 2014 and another in 2019, that serve as milestone moments for the conference.

Aresco also served on a number of College Football Playoff committees focusing on strategic planning, television, site selection and most recently a committee to select the next CFP executive director.

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Aresco has overseen the recent rounds of conference realignment which impacted the moves for UCF, Cincinnati and Houston to the Big 12 Conference and Southern Methodist to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“Mike Aresco has been a strong, steady, and innovative commissioner for the American Athletic Conference since its inception,” East Carolina University Chancellor and Chair of The American’s Board of Directors Philip Rogers stated in a release. “We are all grateful for his distinguished service to the conference. There is no question that he will leave the AAC well-positioned for future success due to his strategic approach to navigating the complex landscape of intercollegiate athletics. More importantly, though, he led with deep character and integrity and we will miss him dearly in this role. My colleagues and I wish Mike and his family the very best in this new phase of life.”