News broke today that Jamie Zaninovich, who served as commissioner of the West Coast Conference for seven years, is leaving to become the deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the Pac-12.
Zaninovich is also on the NCAA tournament selection committee and is working tirelessly as we speak to select the field of 68. Because of this, comments from Zaninovich will be scarce in the coming days.
During his time as commissioner, the WCC brought in new members BYU and Pacific, inked a TV-deal with ESPN and the conference tournament to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The growth of the conference during Zaninovich’s leadership was instrumental in the conferences growth over the past few years and his loss will be felt greatly. Twitter had the same attitude to Zaninovich’s departure as well:
While it is a shame that Zaninovich has left for greener pastures, in no way can you blame him for leaving. Zaninovich is a Stanford graduate, so he is certainly familiar with the Pac-12. Not to mention, the pay is probably much higher over at the Pac-12 and it’s a much bigger stage.
In terms of finding a replacement, if the WCC wants to go in-house, associate commissioner Jeff Tourial would be a great choice.