After Aiding Playoff Expansion, Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson Steps Down

Sep 14, 2022, 11:31 AM | Updated: 11:32 am
Craig Thompson Mountain West Conference...
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 11: Mountain West Conference Commissioner Craig Thompson (R) presents the most valuable player trophy to Jordan Caroline #24 of the Nevada Wolf Pack after the championship game against the Colorado State Rams in the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center on March 11, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nevada won 79-71. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Mountain West Conference Commissioner Craig Thompson is stepping down, the league announced Wednesday morning.

Thompson served as commish for 24 years and was most recently part of the four-person playoff expansion committee that created the 12-team playoff. 

“My one remaining priority was expansion of the College Football Playoff and viable access for the Mountain West. I take considerable pride in my committed engagement to this effort over the past two-and-a-half decades and look forward to the finalization of those details in the coming months,” began a statement from Thompson.

“With CFP expansion accomplished and having invested almost a third of my life in the Mountain West, the time in now right for me to conclude my tenure and allow the Conference to continue its momentum under new leadership,” the statement finished.

The resignation is effective as of December 31, 2022.

The 66-year-old is the only commissioner in the history of the Mountain West Conference, which began in 1999. The Utah State Aggies are currently members of the Mountain West.

“It has been an honor to be part of the Mountain West Conference and direct its growth since 1998, the year in which the Conference was formed,” said Thompson. “To work with our conference staff and the leadership of our member institutions through the years as we have pursued our collective vision has been a rewarding experience. I am grateful to every person and institution who has been a part of our journey and I wish them—and the Conference—the very best in the years ahead.”

Under his leadership, the Conference negotiated nearly $600 million in television revenue to support its member schools, conference teams have participated in five Bowl Championship Series (BCS)/College Football Playoff (CFP) bowl games, as well as six inaugural bowl contests.

Prior to his illustrious career, Thompson graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in journalism.

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