New Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby surprised Neinas with the announcement Monday during the opening minutes of the league's football media days.
''During a time when there was great instability, we were fortunate enough to entice Chuck Neinas to come and put his hand on the tiller and try and bring a period of calm to the league,'' Bowlsby said. ''Under his guidance, we brought TCU and West Virginia into the league. He had a tremendous calming force. And through his sage advice and insights and experience, we were able to get through a really tough time.''
Neinas said it was an honor he will cherish and that he had great support during his time with the Big 12.
''As I've often said, if the Big 12 is a stock, you get a buy order from me,'' said Neinas, who is wrapping up his time with the league as a consultant for a few more weeks.