Teresa Gould named Pac-12 commissioner, becoming the first woman commissioner of a Power 5 conference

Teresa Gould will become the first-ever ‘Power 5’ Conference female commissioner and lead the Pac-12 Conference after being promoted from her role as Pac-12 deputy commissioner, the conference announced on Monday.

She will succeed George Kliavkoff in the role from March 1, having joined the Pac-12 as deputy commissioner in August 2018. As deputy commissioner, she oversaw championship events as well as, compliance, governance and student-athlete engagement.

“Teresa’s deep knowledge of collegiate athletics and unwavering commitment to student-athletes makes her uniquely qualified to help guide the Pac-12 Conference during this period of unprecedented change in college sports,” Washington State University President Kirk Schulz, chair of the Pac-12 Board of Directors, said in the Monday statement.

“As the first female commissioner of an Autonomy Five [Power 5] conference, Teresa will be able to bring new perspectives and fresh ideas to the table as the industry works to find its way through this shifting landscape. We look forward to her leadership as we write the next chapter in the Pac-12’s storied history.”

Gould faces a unique and challenging situation upon stepping into the position. Currently, the Pac-12 consists of only two schools – Washington State and Oregon State University – after 10 schools left for the Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC last summer as part of a wider NCAA conference realignment.

As a result, the Pac-12 board that appointed Gould consisted of only the Washington State and Oregon State presidents.

“I look forward to partnering with Oregon State and Washington State to secure a bright future for their student-athletes that allows them to compete at the highest level of college athletics, while enjoying the benefits of a quality campus experience,” Gould said in the statement.

“We find ourselves navigating an extraordinarily complex time in our industry. The challenges we face must be met head on, with a reinvigorated energy to transform and forge ahead,” she added.

Oregon State and Washington State recently announced both a football scheduling partnership with the Mountain West Conference and an affiliate membership agreement with the West Coast Conference as the Pac-12 attempts to navigate the difficult circumstances.

As things stand, the conference is set to only have two members for the 2024 season.

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