On an otherwise quiet Thursday morning, AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco announced his forthcoming retirement. He will be missed.
In today’s media landscape, few major announcements stay entirely under wraps. Half an hour until the American Athletic Conference office released perhaps it’s most significant statement of the past several seasons, there had been not even a hint of what was to come in the national media. Then, in a swift notice, AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco announced his retirement.
Effective May 31, 2024, Aresco will retire from his position atop the AAC, a place he has resided for the past 11 years. To this day, Aresco is the only commissioner in league history, guiding the then Big East and helping it grow into the AAC we know today.
Aresco issued this statement along with the release:
“It has been the supreme privilege of my long career in sports to have had the opportunity to lead this great conference from its reinvention in 2013, and to represent its outstanding student-athletes, coaches and administrators. I am grateful to the Board of Directors for giving me this opportunity to serve. It would take many pages to list this conference’s numerous athletic and academic accomplishments. There have also been some disappointments and difficulties along the way, most notably, the P5-G5 divide, realignment, College Football Playoff access for our deserving teams, and some competitive heartbreak in big games. But these have not affected in any way my enthusiasm in leading this terrific and resilient conference or my optimism for its long-term future. I would like to thank everyone associated with this conference for their significant contributions, and also my friends and colleagues in the college community, for their goodwill and concern for the greater good of the collegiate enterprise.”
On a personal note, although my interactions with Aresco were brief, I was always impressed by his unrelenting confidence and unwavering determination. In a world of haves and have-nots, he never let anyone else define his league. Instead, he brought the fight to their doorsteps, fearless reminding all onlookers his conference was capable and, most importantly, kept receipts.
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