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Mountain West commissioner announces resignation

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson announced Wednesday he is resigning from his position after 24 years. His final day will be Dec. 31.

“It has been an honor to be part of the Mountain West Conference and direct its growth since 1998, the year in which the conference was formed,” Thompson said in a release.

His announcement comes after the College Football Playoff announced this month it was expanding its field from four to 12 starting in 2026 at the latest. The expansion would allow six auto-bids to the top-six-ranked conference champions.

Thompson, 66, said that expanding the playoff and growing the access for the Mountain West to play for a national championship was his “one remaining priority” as commissioner.

“With CFP expansion accomplished and having invested almost a third of my life in the Mountain West, the time is now right for me to conclude my tenure and allow the conference to continue its momentum under new leadership,” he said.

Before being named Mountain West commissioner in 1998, Thompson held the same title with the now defunct American South Conference (1987 to 1991) and Sun Belt Conference (1991 to 1998).

“Craig has provided important leadership to the MWC since its inception,” said UNLV president Keith Whitfield, vice-chair of the conference board of directors. “We are stronger because of his work as we go forward into a quickly changing landscape in the NCAA and the College Football Playoff discussions.”

The conference announced no details on how it would replace Thompson.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on Twitter.

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