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College Football Playoff (CFP) Executive Director Bill Hancock announced today that he will step down when his contract expires February 1, 2025.

“My time at the CFP has been a dream come true,” said Hancock, 72, who will be entering his 19th season working in post-season football this fall. “I cherish what I do and the folks I get to work with. And I do love college football. Now I will run through the tape, as the track coaches say, and then I will enjoy whatever next steps are waiting for Nicki and me.”

Hancock was named executive director of the CFP a few months after the event was created in 2012. He was the only CFP employee at the time. The leaders of the 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and Notre Dame directed him to finalize the details of a media rights agreement, negotiate agreements with bowl games and championship-game host cities, build a staff, find office space, contact members to serve on the selection committee, and draft protocol and procedures for the committee to use.

The result has been nine enormously successful years for the CFP so far.

The CFP is slated to expand from four to 12 teams after the 2023-24 season.

“The plan was established several years ago for me to notify the CFP Board of Managers a year in advance if I decided to step aside, in order to provide ample time to plan a smooth transition to the next executive director,” Hancock said.

“I’m advising the board now, so the new executive director will have a long on-ramp, as he or she prepares to guide the CFP into the 12-team era.”

“Everyone who is blessed to work with Bill knows he is a highly skilled administrator, strong leader and truly good person. He’s a legend in college sports,” said Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum, the chairman of the CFP Board of Managers. “We were sorry when Bill told us about his and Nicki’s decision, but we are so grateful for his service in getting the CFP started and carrying it through the first nine years—10 after next year.”

Hancock will remain in his current duties through the 2023-2024 season.

“We look forward to the next year under Bill’s leadership and many opportunities to recognize what he has done for the playoff. We will initiate a national search for a new executive director to take over when he steps away, and I anticipate Bill will shift to a new role with the CFP in 2024 to help with the transition to our new executive director,” said Keenum.

Hancock has had a unique trifecta in college athletics. He was the first full-time director of the NCAA Men’s Final Four, the first administrator of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), and the first director of the College Football Playoff.

Hancock joined the BCS in 2005 after 16 years with the basketball tournament. He began his career in 1971 as assistant sports information director at the University of Oklahoma, then spent four years as editor of the Hobart (Okla.) Democrat-Chief newspaper, then 11 years on the Big Eight Conference staff.

Bill’s wife, Nicki, is retired after 30 years teaching high school English. Their son, Nate Hancock, and his wife, Kristin, live in Overland Park, Kansas. Their daughter-in-law, Karen Hancock, is senior woman administrator in the athletics department at Oklahoma State University. Their older son, Will, died in the crash of an airplane carrying members of the Oklahoma State men’s basketball team and staff in 2001.

Bill and Nicki have three grandchildren: Andie Hancock, a 2023 graduate of Northwestern University; Will Hancock, a junior at Webster University’s Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis; and Jack Hancock, a rising senior at Blue Valley North high school in suburban Kansas City.


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