The Pac-12 hired sports entertainment executive George Kliavkoff to be the conference’s next commissioner on Thursday, replacing Larry Scott with a person with a similar resume short on college sports experience.
The conference presidents conducted a secretive nearly four-month search that included speculation about some familiar names in college sports being considered, such as former NCAA executive and NFL quarterback Oliver Luck, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and Texas AD Chris Del Conte.
Instead, the Pac-12′s next commissioner — much like its last —- comes to the conference with no experience as an administrator in college sports.
Kliavkoff has been in his current role with MGM since 2018 and has extensive experience with professional sports leagues and digital properties.
He has previously worked with Major League Baseball Advance Media and as the chief digital officer with NBC Universal Cable.
Scott announced in January that he would be stepping down at the end of June. The Pac-12 said the change in leadership was mutually agreed upon by Scott and the university presidents, but it had been apparent for a while that his term was likely to end before his contract expired in June 2022.
NEW YORK (AP) — St. John’s has given Big East Conference coach of the year Mike Anderson a six-year contract extension through the 2026-27 season.
The university announced the deal on Thursday after Anderson delivered consecutive winning seasons in his first two years. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Red Storm posted a 16-11 record this past season, including a 10-9 mark in the conference after being picked ninth in the preseason coaches poll. It marked the first time St. John’s finished with a league record of .500 or better since 2014-15.
St. John’s did not receive an NCAA Tournament bid and removed itself from consideration for a probable bid to the NIT due to COVID-19 precautions.
Anderson, who won his 400th career game this past season, is one of only three active Division I coaches with at least 15 years of experience to have never had a sub-.500 season.
DENVER (AP)) — Tyson Jost scored two of Colorado’s five second-period goals as the Avalanche clinched the West Division and the top overall seed in the NHL playoffs with a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Joonas Donskoi and Andre Burakovsky also scored in the pivotal period. Backup Jonas Johansson made 21 saves to help the Avalanche finish 7-1 against the Kings this season.
Colorado and Vegas both finished with 82 points, but the Avs earned the division crown and the Presidents’ Trophy — awarded to the team with the best regular-season mark — due to more regulation wins. This was the first time the Avalanche have captured the Presidents’ Trophy since 2000-01, when they went on to hoist the Stanley Cup.
Colorado begins a first-round series Monday against St. Louis, which wound up with the fourth seed in the West.
Sean Walker scored for the Kings as they wrapped up their season on an 0-4-1 skid. Troy Grosenick stopped 38 shots.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Seimone Augustus has retired from playing and will be an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Sparks, the team announced Thursday.
Augustus is a 15-year veteran who played most of her career with the Minnesota Lynx, winning four titles there. She re-signed with the Sparks in February before deciding to retire.
“It’s an honor to continue to serve the game that has given me so much,” Augustus said in a statement. “I’m excited to join the Sparks staff and look forward to developing in this new role.”
She averaged 5.9 points in 21 games for the Sparks last year, her first with the team.
Augustus was drafted No. 1 by the Lynx in 2006 and won titles with Minnesota in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. She also won three Olympic gold medals. She finished her career 10th in scoring with 6,005 points, averaging 15.4 points during her career.
McKINNEY, Texas (AP) — Jordan Spieth had his longest stretch all day of mere pars — a whopping four holes — on the besieged new home course of the AT&T Byron Nelson when the local favorite stepped over a 55-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th.
Nothing but the bottom of the cup, and a share of the first-round lead with J.J. Spaun at 9-under 63 on a nearly wind-less Thursday.
Spieth, Spaun and plenty of others had little trouble with TPC Craig Ranch north of Dallas. There were 132 players in the field of 156 under par, with 94 of those in the 60s on the third venue in the past four Nelsons.
Hideki Matsuyama sputtered on the front nine in his first appearance since becoming the first Japanese player to win the Masters, then stalled again after three straight birdies to start the back nine. He finished at 68.