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OU's Sherri Coale Praises Commissioner Bob Bowlsby
June 23, 2014
Wendell Barnhouse is a nationally-known and respected columnist who has spent over 20 years covering collegiate athletics. He has reported from 25 Final Fours and more than three dozen bowl games and has written about the Big 12 and its schools since the conference's beginning. Barnhouse will be updating the Big 12 Insider on happenings and behind-the-scenes information about the conference.

Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman talked with Oklahoma women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale about the leadership and stability provided by Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby:

The Big 12 has given commissioner Bob Bowlsby a two-year contract extension that runs through June 2019.

The Big 12, which not so long ago seemed on the verge of collapse, has prospered in Bowlsby’s two years of leadership. And while most everyone is impressed with Bowlsby’s tenure, he might not have a bigger fan OU women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale.

“He’s the best there is,” Coale said. “We are positioned as strong, if not stronger, than any league in the country. His insight and ability to project is unlike anyone I’ve known in the business. He’s a star. I don’t know what that means for us. I don’t have those abilities. I don’t have that perspective. I don’t sit in that seat he does. But I tell you what, I’m glad my wagon is hitched to him.”

Coale lamented the uncertainty in college athletics. “In the Big 12, it’s really great,” Coale said. “When you look around what’s going on in other parts of the country, good heavens, the Big East is not anything like the Big East was. The Big East is silly from a geographic standpoint and, in our game, from a competitive standpoint. That stuff can’t hang on for a long period of time.

“I don’t know how that flushes out. I don’t how the NCAA fits into all that. It’s an unsteady time in the world of collegiate athletics. That’s why I feel so good about who leads us as a league. We’re going to be in great shape, because of who our leader is.”

Bowlsby had three years remaining on his original contract, which has been reported to be worth about $1.8 million per year. Bowlsby became commissioner in May 2012, after serving as athletic director at Stanford and Iowa. Since Bowlsby’s arrival, the Big 12 signed a 13-year television agreement with ESPN and FOX. The league recently announced $220.1 million in distributable revenue for its 10 members this just-completed academic year.

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