Tranghese to Retire As Big East Commissioner

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Michael A. Tranghese, the Commissioner of The BIG EAST Conference since 1990 and league's first full time employee in 1979, will step down from his position effective June 30, 2009.

"I have been privileged to work with outstanding Presidents and athletic directors for nearly 30 years," said Tranghese. "Looking back to when Dave Gavitt created the conference, it is truly amazing how far we have come."

Tranghese succeeded Gavitt as Commissioner on June 21, 1990 after 11 years of service to the BIG EAST, the previous nine years as associate commissioner. During his tenure as Commissioner, Tranghese has guided the league to its current 16-team alignment, the largest in the NCAA Division I.

Shortly after being named Commissioner, Tranghese directed and oversaw the creation of BIG EAST football, which began competition in 1991. His leadership helped the BIG EAST become a charter member of the Bowl Championship Series.

"I believe our conference is undergoing an unprecedented period of success," Tranghese said. "Our basketball conference does not have to take a back seat to anyone and our football has progressed so quickly. Our Olympic sports are stronger than ever. And I believe everything is in place for the BIG EAST to be even better in the future."

During his tenure, Tranghese has served as chair of several prestigious groups, including the NCAA Men's Basketball Committee, the Division I-A Commissioners, the Collegiate Commissioners Association and the NCAA Men's Basketball Subcommittee on Television. He was on the NCAA's negotiating team that secured a record $6 billion contract from CBS for broadcast rights to the men's basketball championship.

Tranghese also served a two-year term as the lead administrator of the Bowl Championship Series.

Tranghese is an acknowledged leader in television negotiation and production and has been a central figure in every television negotiation in the league's history. Currently, the BIG EAST has multi-year agreements with ESPN, Inc. and CBS Sports in basketball and ESPN, Inc. in football. The contracts are the most lucrative in the league's history in terms of exposure and revenue.

Before the explosion of sports on cable television, Tranghese was the leader behind The BIG EAST Television Network, which operated through 1994. The BIG EAST Network was considered to be a benchmark for regional television networks.

"I am stepping down at this point because I believe it is the right time," added Tranghese. "The Conference is in great shape and it will give my successor the best opportunity to be successful."

Tranghese helped the BIG EAST get off the ground in 1979 after spending seven years as the sports information director at Providence College where he helped generate publicity for the nationally successful Friar basketball teams that were coached by Gavitt.

Tranghese's career in college athletics began at American International College in his hometown of Springfield, Mass. He is a 1965 graduate of St. Michael's College in Winooski, Vt. He is married to Susan Huntemann.

We Are DePaul Top Stories