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ACC Commissioner John Swofford retiring next year

A change in leadership atop the conference for the first time in nearly a quarter century.

ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

John Swofford, Commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference, will be retiring next year. Swofford, who announced his retirement on June 25, will have served as the head of the ACC for 24 years when all is said and done.

“It has been a privilege to be a part of the ACC for over five decades and my respect and appreciation for those associated with the league throughout its history is immeasurable,” Swofford said of his tenure. “Having been an ACC student-athlete, athletics director and commissioner has been an absolute honor. There are immediate challenges that face not only college athletics, but our entire country, and I will continue to do my very best to help guide the conference in these unprecedented times through the remainder of my tenure. Nora and I have been planning for this to be my last year for some time and I look forward to enjoying the remarkable friendships and memories I’ve been blessed with long after I leave this chair.”

Swofford played football at North Carolina before becoming the athletic director for the Tar Heels at age 31 in 1980. He took over as commissioner in 1997, and is currently the longest-tenured in the role in ACC history.

With Swofford at the helm, the ACC expanded to include Miami, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Louisville, with Maryland departing for the Big Ten.

During his 23-year tenure (with one year to go), the ACC has won 92 NCAA titles — of which Virginia is responsible for 16 — in 19 of the conference’s 27 sponsored men’s and women’s sports. He was also instrumental in starting the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, securing the ACC’s partnership with the Orange Bowl, and creating the ACC Network.

Virginia Athletic Director Carla Williams took to Twitter to praise Swofford and thank him for his contributions to the conference.

It’s unsure at this time who will be considered to take over the conference, but stay with Streaking the Lawn for more updates.