John Swofford 2009
Now in his 12th year as ACC Commissioner, John Swofford has made a dramatic impact on the Atlantic Coast Conference, the University of North Carolina and college athletics during his career. He assumed his role as the fourth full-time commissioner in July of 1997, and in addition to overseeing one of the nation’s largest athletic conferences, he has been pivotal in positioning the league for the future. In 2003, on behalf of the nine league institutions and the ACC Council of Presidents, he introduced Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College as the newest members of the ACC. Highly respected by his peers, Swofford has been a force in the development and growth of the Bowl Championship Series. In addition to being involved with the BCS since its inception, he is currently serving as the Coordinator, a role in which he also served in 2000 and 2001. As ACC Commissioner, Swofford has been responsible for securing extended and enhanced television contracts in both football and basketball. He was behind the formation of the ACC Football Championship Game as well as increased bowl opportunities for the league, including a partnership with the FedEx Orange Bowl. In basketball, Swofford was a prime mover in the creation of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge for both men and women. During Swofford’s first 11 years, ACC teams have won 39 national team titles and 1,075 ACC teams have participated in various NCAA championships – an average of over 97 teams per year. In football, the ACC set an NCAA record with 10 teams earning bowls bids following the 2008 regular season. In basketball, the ACC has won four national titles – 3 in men and 1 in women. In addition to his influence and presence in the ACC, Swofford has been a prominent leader in intercollegiate athletics serving on numerous NCAA committees. In 1993-94, he was the President of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and from 1995-97, he was a member of the NCAA Executive Committee and was chair of the NCAA Division I Championships Committee. The Director of Athletics at the University of North Carolina for 17 years, Swofford was instrumental in building North Carolina’s athletics department into one of the country’s most respected programs. He became the school’s athletic director at the age of 31 becoming the youngest major college Athletics Director in the nation. Tar Heel athletic teams claimed more ACC and NCAA Championships than any league school during Swofford’s tenure – 123 ACC and 24 NCAA titles. Following the 1993-94 academic year, North Carolina captured the inaugural Sears Directors’ Cup, emblematic of the collegiate all-sports champion and finished in the Top Six of the Sears Cup standings in each year the award was given. Swofford was a two-time all-state football player and three-sport MVP in football, basketball and track at Wilkes Central High School. He is a 1971 graduate of North Carolina and a recipient of the prestigious Morehead Scholarship. During his collegiate playing career 1969 to 1971, Swofford was a quarterback and defensive back. The 1970 team went to the Peach Bowl while the 1971 squad captured the school’s first-ever outright ACC title and played in the Gator Bowl. John and his wife Nora reside in Greensboro, N.C. Together they have three children, Autumn, who is married to Sherman Wooden; Chad Swofford; and Nora’s daughter, Amie, who is married to Keith Furr.