first_img Published on May 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: rjgery@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img John Marinatto resigned as commissioner of the Big East Monday after helping the league rebuild amid conference realignment last fall. Marinatto has been commissioner since July 2009, when he replaced Mike Tranghese, after previously serving as the conference’s senior associate commissioner since 2002. But he decided to step down on Monday, the Big East announced in a release. ‘Our recent expansion efforts have stabilized the conference for the long term, and we are likewise well positioned for our very important upcoming television negotiations,’ Marinatto said in a statement. ‘As a result, I felt this was the right time to step aside and to let someone else lead us through the next chapter of our evolution.’ Joseph A. Bailey III will be the Big East’s interim commissioner until the conference decides on a new commissioner. Bailey was recently the managing director of RSR Partners, a leading executive recruiting firm, and has also worked for the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys of the NFL in executive positions. Marinatto’s resignation comes after the Big East lost three members – Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the Atlantic Coast Conference and West Virginia to the Big 12 – during conference realignment, forcing the league to add eight schools to remain a legitimate Bowl Championship Series conference.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Syracuse and Pittsburgh were the first schools to leave the Big East in September, leaving the conference with an uncertain future. ‘We know he tried his best and worked relentlessly,’ Syracuse Athletic Director Daryl Gross said in a statement. ‘We wish him the best.’ Under Marinatto’s direction, the Big East branded itself as the country’s first coast-to-coast conference by adding programs across the nation to replace the departures. Boise State, San Diego State and Navy joined as football-only members, while Southern Methodist, Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and Temple also became members. ‘I know I speak for the entire conference when I express my sincere gratitude to John for his leadership and dedicated years of service,’ said Judy Genshaft, President of the University of South Florida and Chair of the Big East conference, in a statement. ‘John helped build the Big East into what it is today, and played a critical role in our successful expansion efforts, and for all of that we thank him.’ Now, the conference will search for a new leader to carry out Marinatto’s vision for the new Big East, one that shifts from its history as a basketball power. Gregory H. Williams, president of the University of Cincinnati, will chair the search for a new commissioner. And Bailey, the interim commissioner, will help the conference as it moves into the future without Marinatto. ‘The Big East has a terrific future,’ Bailey said in a statement. ‘I’m excited to participate in shaping a new structure and strategic plans for the conference, and I look forward to engaging on these matters with the leadership of all of the conference’s members, old and new alike.’ rjgery@syr.edu last_img