At a Tuesday press conference, Mike Slive announced that he will step down as commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, effective July 31, 2015.
Slive is the SEC’s seventh commissioner and has held the position since 2002, yet he told SECSports.com that recent health concerns have made him reevaluate his priorities:
“I have been blessed in more ways than I can count and I will have as much passion for this job on my last day as I did on my first,” said Slive. “I consider my health situation a temporary detour in a remarkable road that has allowed me to meet amazing people, experience incredible events and celebrate historic victories. I will relish my final year in this position and look forward to being the biggest fan of the SEC for many years to come.”
Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1990, Slive was informed of a relapse after undergoing a procedure on his back in August. While his prognosis is good, Slive will miss significant time in the near future in order to receive treatment at his home in Birmingham, Ala.
During his tenure as commissioner, the “SEC has enjoyed unprecedented championship success,” including 67 national championships in 15 different sports and 7 consecutive BCS championships in football.
Slive also oversaw the launch of the SEC network and the formation of the new college football playoff format, instituted this year.
Upon his retirement in 2015, Slive will remain an independent consultant to the SEC for an additional four years.