Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Commissioner John Swofford announced he would be retiring at the end of the 2020-2021 college athletic season.
Since it was founded in 1953, the ACC has had four commissioners, and of those four Swofford, with 24 years as commissioner, has served the longest.
Under his leadership, the ACC expanded from nine to 15 members. Miami and Virginia Tech were added in 2004, followed by Boston College, Pitt, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Louisville.
That expansion allowed, among other things, for the creation of the ACC Football Championship Game and joining with ESPN to establish the ACC Network.
Swofford this March had the unenviable job of walking out on the court in the Greensboro Coliseum arena and telling the players, coaches and media that the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament was being canceled because of the coronavirus. It was a huge blow to everyone involved.
But the loss to Greensboro was somewhat softened by the announcement that the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament would return in 2023. Those who claim to know such things said Swofford pushed for that.
Swofford in a press release said, “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. Having been an ACC student-athlete, athletics director and commissioner has been an absolute honor.”
Swofford is a native of North Wilkesboro and attended UNC-Chapel Hill where he played football on a Morehead Scholarship. Before being name ACC commissioner, Swofford was the athletic director at UNC-Chapel Hill for 17 years.
Although Greensboro doesn’t have the honor of hosting the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament every year, Greensboro has been the home of the ACC since it was founded at a meeting at Sedgefield Country Club in 1953.
Swofford said he plans to remain in Greensboro in retirement and is building a house at Sedgefield not far from where the ACC got its start.