Retired Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby named Northern Iowa's interim athletic director

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Retired Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby will return to Northern Iowa to serve as interim athletic director, the school announced Wednesday.

Bowlsby, who is from nearby Waterloo, was UNI's athletic director from 1983-91 and inducted into the Panthers' athletics hall of fame in 2004.

“Bob’s passion for our institution and his dedication to Panther Athletics are both well documented, as well as his extensive resume of expertise in collegiate athletics," UNI president Mark Nook said. "Bob was the first individual that came to mind when this opening arose and we are thankful that his wife, Candice, their children and grandchildren have agreed to ‘loan’ him to us in this interim role until our next Director of Athletics is in place.”

David Harris, who had been UNI's athletic director since 2016, was hired to replace Troy Dannen at Tulane last week.

“Very few opportunities could have lured me out of retirement, even on a short-term basis,” said Bowlsby, 71. ““Plenty of people have contacted me, but when President Nook called I certainly listened intently. The invitation to help set up the next Director of Athletics at UNI for success was an opportunity that I simply couldn’t refuse.”

Bowlsby was athletic director at Iowa and Stanford before he became Big 12 commissioner in 2012. He also has served on the NCAA Division I Council, Football Oversight Committee, Division I Basketball Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee. He retired from the Big 12 last year.


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