Mountain West hires WCC Commissioner Gloria Nevarez
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The Mountain West hired on Gloria Nevarez, who has been leading the West Coast Conference…
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The Mountain West hired on Gloria Nevarez, who has been leading the West Coast Conference for the last five years, to be its next commissioner on Friday.
Nevarez replaces longtime Commissioner Craig Thompson, who announced his retirement in September. She will take over Jan. 1 and become the second woman to lead a major college football conference, joining Conference USA’s Judy MacLeod.
Nevarez, 51, has led the West Coast Conference, home to Gonzaga and one of the top mid-major basketball leagues, since 2018. During her tenure, the conference expanded its national television contracts and added a long-term title sponsor for the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
The WCC also adopted the groundbreaking “Russell Rule” in July 2020, requiring all its schools to include a member of a traditionally underrepresented community in the final candidate pool for every athletic director, senior administrator, head coach and full-time assistant coaching search.
Before taking over at the WCC, Nevarez spent about eight years at the Pac-12 as Senior Associate Commissioner. She oversaw all conference sports and championships except football during that time and served as the conference liaison for men’s basketball and tournament director of the men’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas.
The Mountain West has also played its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in Las Vegas in recent years. The conference has 12 teams in the Mountain and Pacific time zones, plus Hawaii.
Nevarez, a native of Santa Clara, California, and former basketball player at Massachusetts, began he career in college sports at Mountain West school San Jose State as director of compliance. She earned a law degree at the University of California, Berkeley.
She also had stints as an administrator at California and Oklahoma.
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