CFP hires Air Force's Richard M. Clark as executive director

League: NCAA Football

Posted on: 10 Nov, 2023 at 07:40 PM

Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Air Force Academy superintendent Richard M. Clark is the next College Football Playoff executive director.

Clark, 59, was hired Friday to replace the retiring Bill Hancock.

Clark played linebacker for the Falcons in the 1980s before building a distinguished career in the military, rising to the rank of lieutenant general.

"General Clark's experience leading the U.S Air Force Academy as a Three-star General and also being a four-year letter winner with the U.S Air Force Football team gives him a strong background to excel in this crucial leadership role," Mark Keenum, Mississippi State president and the chairman of the CFP board of managers, said in a statement.

As the next CFP executive director, Clark will oversee the expansion to 12 teams starting in 2024 and will also have to negotiate a new multibillion-dollar television contract, which expires after the 2025 season.

"College football is an American tradition unlike any other," Clark said in a statement. "Especially now, as the Playoff is expanding from four teams to 12 teams, this is an exciting time for fans and everyone involved in this great game. I'm excited to be a part of it and I look forward to beginning my work."

Clark, who became the academy's first Black superintendent in September 2020, emerged from a pool of three finalists interviewed in person this week, according to reports.

Clark will begin his role with CFP following his retirement from the Air Force in 2024. Keenum said that Hancock has agreed to stay on through January 2025 to help Clark get ready.

"Bill will remain at the helm throughout this season, while 2024 will mark a year of transition," Keenum said. "Bill has been an outstanding leader for CFP's first 10 years. Everyone in college football owes Bill a debt of gratitude."

--Field Level Media