Karl Benson was announced as the new commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference today and will end a nearly 18-year stay with the Western Athletic Conference April 1, the conferences said.
“It has been a privilege to serve the WAC and to share in the many successes of our member schools and student-athletes over the past 18 years,” the 60-year old Benson said in a statement. “I am confident that the 10-member WAC that will be in place on July 1, 2012 will provide the foundation that will allow the WAC to continue as one of the outstanding athletic conferences in the country.”
The University of Hawaii will leave the WAC July 1, for the Mountain West Conference after 33 years in the WAC.
WAC chair and New Mexico State President Barbara Couture said, “The Board thanks him for his years of service to the conference and wishes him well in this position with the Sun Belt.”
Couture also said a committee will be formed in the next few weeks to find a replacement for Benson as WAC commissioner.
“We will be looking for leadership that will continue to positively position the WAC as one of the nation’s top conferences both academically and athletically in this time of conference realignment,” said Couture.