Craig Thompson, the only commissioner the Mountain West had ever had, announced he would be stepping down at the end of the calendar year.
His announcement came in mid-September and since then, there has been no news at all since then.
Until today, when the Mountain West announced their new decision, that Gloria Nevarez has been hired to lead the conference.
Nevarez comes with an impressive resume, with twenty-five years of experience. She has experience at both universities and other conferences, including San Jose State (as their first ever compliance director). She spent time with PAC-12, but has been the commissioner of the West Coast Conference since 2018. This means she is well-rounded, understanding the school side of thing as well as the conference. Furthermore, she has been in both small and larger conferences, each with different athletics driving the conference.
At the helm of the WCC, she has guided major changes to the operations of the conference, including branding, national television contracts, title sponsors basketball tournaments, implementing the “Russell Rule” and launching groundbreaking social justice initiatives.
Perhaps most impressive are the committees she sits on. Thompson was a pioneer for the new playoff model set to go into place in a few years and Nevarez seems like she will bring similar energy and vision. She serves on the NCAA’s Division I Transformation Committee, the NIT Men’s Basketball selection committee and the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee, as well as on the Board of Directors of USA Basketball, Women Leaders in College Athletics and is a member of the Knight Commission. Having her hand in so many different efforts in college athletics should bode well for the Mountain West.
Overall, it sounds like Nevarez has had experience in numerous major facets of leading a conference and can lead the Mountain West into their next phase of development.
The full press release from the Mountain West can be found here.