December 3, 2022

USA Today Sports Pictures

The university announced Friday that Big 12 co-executive commissioner Ed Stewart will be leaving the conference after 16 years to join USC as co-executive senior sports director.

Stewart has been an integral part of the Big 12 executive team since joining the conference in 2006 and has overseen Big 12 football through multiple rounds of reorganization and through multiple commissioners. Through his role in the Big 12 office, Stewart was the chief executive officer responsible for managing Big 12 football.

In his new role, Stewart is expected to oversee the football program at the University of Southern California. He collaborates with Lincoln Riley a first-year Trojan horse trainer, with whom Stewart worked for five years when Riley was in Oklahoma. Stewart’s experience with reorganization is a key part of his appeal for the role, according to ESPN. USC is set to join the Big Ten for the 2024 football season.

Stewart’s departure comes just days after Brett Yormark took over as a full-time Big 12 commissioner, so Yormark now has to immediately take on one of the most important roles in his new office. Yormark replaced Bob Bowlsby, who retired and moved into a consulting role with Big 12 10 years later. The new commissioner is a longtime sports and entertainment executive, but he doesn’t have much experience in college athletics.

Prior to his career in collegiate management, Stewart was a standout player and captain on the 1994 Nebraska National Championship team and earned an All-America consensus. He was later named to the Nebraska All-Century Football Team.

He later worked at Michigan State while earning his graduating degree and joined Missouri as associate athletic director in 1999. Stewart joined the Big 12 while Missouri and Nebraska were member firms, and oversaw the league’s football product through major reorganizations in 2012 and now in 2021 .

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