The College Football Playoff has announced a new executive director.
Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark has officially been appointed to the position, replacing current Executive Director Bill Hancock, who was among the College Football Playoff Committee members to introduce Lt. Gen. Clark to the media on Monday.
“To be able to serve this American tradition is extraordinarily special for me,” Lt. Gen. Clark said. “As we grow into the 12-team playoff format, it’s extremely exciting, and I want to thank Mr. Hancock for what he’s done already to plan for that, to move us into that next chapter, and I can’t even imagine where college football will go with this new playoff format. But I am so excited to be a part of it.”
Lt. General Clark has spent the last three years as the Superintendent at the United States Air Force Academy, his alma mater, where he played four years of college football as a linebacker and was a member of the school’s team that finished 12-1 and ranked in the top 10 in the polls in 1985.
“Now, I get to give back to the sport that gave so much to my development and to who I am as a leader,” he remarked. “It means a lot to the young men, the student-athletes who play it, and that’s always got to be first and foremost in our mind to make sure that they have every opportunity for success. I get to serve the schools where it’s played to make sure that those institutions are able to thrive, to support not just all football and all sports but all students, and that is an especially significant honor for me. And then the fans who love the sport like me, to give them the opportunity to experience it in a way that America has experienced college football.”
The College Football Playoff will expand to a 12-team format next season, and Lt. Gen. Clark hopes to continue driving the sport to its maximum potential.
“The grand vision I have at this point is to be able to participate in the growth of college football to take it to the absolute maximum heights that it can go,” he told the media. “Those opportunities are endless, and I know Bill Hancock has really fought through this throughout his tenure because he’s continued to grow it. I will pick up from where his vision leaves off when we actually make our turnover and our transition.”
Hancock will stay in his role as Lt. Gen. Clark learns the ropes and will step aside when he is ready. He believes he will leave the organization in capable hands when that time comes.
“I have spoken with him previously and then again about this job, and I can tell you that he has a great understanding of what the job entails,” Hancock said during the press conference. “I’ll also note on a personal level, you don’t get to meet a general too often who is not only a strong leader but such a humble man. I think General Clark has just the right touch, and he’s going to do great.”
The College Football Playoff Committee will reveal its latest Top 25 rankings on Tuesday night, and the official playoff field will be announced in early December. This year’s playoff games include the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl, both played on New Year’s Day.