Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson announced on Thursday he’ll step down in December after more than two decades with the conference.
In a statement, Thompson said he wanted to stay on until a College Football Playoff expansion plan was finalized — and that Mountain West teams had more opportunities.
“With College Football Playoff expansion accomplished … the time is now right for me to conclude my tenure,” he said.
Thompson was one of the main college sports executives behind the expansion plan, working as part of a four-person committee tasked with researching ideas.
In 2021, the group presented multiple models, including a 12-team model. But bad blood between commissioners, much of which was related to conference realignment, had stalled the effort.
Now, Thompson leaves a College Football Playoff with 12 teams, a guarantee that Group of 5 schools will be represented, and the potential to garner $2.2 billion in total media rights fees alone.
Thompson is the conference’s only commissioner since its inception a few decades ago, but now joins a growing list of FBS commissioners who have left their positions in recent years.
The Mountain West did not formally announce plans for a successor.