The presidents and chancellors who oversee the College Football Playoff (CFP) today announced that Lieutenant General Richard M. Clark has been selected to replace Bill Hancock as the new executive director of the CFP.
“I’m pleased to announce that Lieutenant General Clark has accepted our offer to run the CFP and I’m highly confident he will do a superb job in this important position,” said Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University and the chairman of the College Football Playoff Board of Managers.
“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.”
“I would add that we will surely miss Bill Hancock, but I want to note that Bill has graciously offered to stay on board through January 2025 to help General Clark get ready. Bill will remain at the helm throughout this season, while 2024 will mark a year of transition. Bill has been an outstanding leader for CFP’s first 10 years. Everyone in college football owes Bill a debt of gratitude.”
General Clark currently serves as the Superintendent for the U.S Air Force Academy where he directs a four-year regiment of military training, academics, athletic and character development programs leading to a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S Air Force and U.S. Space Force. He will begin his role as executive director after his retirement from the Air Force in 2024.
General Clark also served as the U.S Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence & Nuclear Integration at the Pentagon and was selected as a White House Fellow to serve as a key advisor to the Secretary of Labor. General Clark served three combat tours and has received numerous awards and decorations such as the Distinguished Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
He attended the U.S Air Force Academy, where he was a four-year letter winner for the football team. During his senior season, the Falcons went 12-1 and were ranked eighth in the final AP Poll and fifth in the final Coaches Poll.
“I am honored to become the executive director of the College Football Playoff,” said Clark. “College football is an American tradition unlike any other. 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.”
“I want to thank Bill Hancock for all that he’s done for college football. He will certainly leave big shoes to fill and I look forward to his mentorship. I also want to thank the U.S Air Force Academy, where I have built so many incredible relationships. It is the place that launched my military and academic career. It will be hard to leave the service after 38 years and I will always be indebted to the Academy and the Air Force.”
Members of the CFP board of managers include Neeli Bendapudi – Big Ten Conference (President, Penn State); Tim Caboni – Conference USA (President, Western Kentucky); Jim Clements – Atlantic Coast Conference (President, Clemson); Michael Fitts – American Athletic Conference (President, Tulane); Gordon Gee – Big 12 Conference (President, West Virginia); Jack Hawkins – Sun Belt Conference (Chancellor, Troy); Rev. John Jenkins – President, Notre Dame (Independent); Mark Keenum (chair) – Southeastern Conference (President, Mississippi State); Kirk Schulz – Pacific-12 Conference (President, Washington State); Satish Tripathi – Mid-American Conference (President, Buffalo); Keith Whitfield –
Mountain West Conference (President, UNLV).