AAC extends Mike Aresco's contract
The American Athletic Conference has extended the contract of Mike Aresco, the 4-year-old league's only commissioner, through June 2022.
Widely considered the nation's premier Group of Five conference, Aresco has unabashedly campaigned for The American to join the Power Five stratosphere, making that objective the cornerstone of the league's ambitious strategic plan. A hashtag (#AmericanPow6r) even has been unleashed.
“Mike is a strong commissioner who is respected by the presidents and institutions within the conference," Connecticut president Susan Herbst, chair of the AAC board of directors, said in a statement. "It is important for The American to have excellent, consistent leadership and that is what Mike provides.”
The last commissioner of the old Big East, Aresco remained on board when that conference legally transitioned to the AAC.
During his watch, the league has added Navy in football, Wichita State in basketball, and three other schools (East Carolina, Tulane, Tulsa) in all sports. He also implemented an AAC football title game, and was instrumental in securing a New Year's bowl berth for the highest-ranked team in the Group of Five.
On his watch, the AAC has produced a Fiesta Bowl champion (UCF), Peach Bowl winner (Houston) and men's hoops national champ (UConn). Meantime, the UConn women won national titles the first three years of the conference's existence.
"I am extremely proud of the progress that this conference has made," Aresco said.
"Our presidents and athletic directors have made the commitment necessary for us to become a Power Six conference and have, in a difficult environment, provided the vision and resources that have enabled our student-athletes and coaches to compete at the highest level."