In his 12th year as Commissioner of Conference USA, Britton Banowsky directs a league that is focused on excellence in athletics, academics and the community with his progressive leadership. Despite change, Conference USA has maintained a solid foundation and a strong identity and reinforced its position in collegiate athletics as it celebrates its 20th year of competition.
With a wealth of experience in intercollegiate athletics, Banowsky became the new Commissioner of Conference USA on October 28, 2002. He is only the second Commissioner in C-USA replacing Mike Slive, who held the reins since the Conference's inception in 1995. Banowsky arrived in his new role during a dynamic time in intercollegiate athletics.
With schools changing allegiances among their conference memberships, Banowsky led the Conference through its first transitional period and orchestrated a restructured Conference USA that began competition in August 2005.
The inaugural Conference USA Football Championship made its debut in 2005. At that time, the league had secured five bowl tie-ins and now has partnerships with 10 bowls on a rotating basis, in addition to an opportunity to be included in the College Football Playoff. Conference USA has posted the best bowl winning percentage in three of the last four seasons.
Following another nation-wide transition, the league welcomed eight new members on July 1, 2013 – Charlotte, FIU, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion and UTSA. Charlotte was a charter member and made its return to the league. WKU rounded out the current 14-school membership when it officially joined the conference on July 1, 2014.
These new members not only help stabilize the conference, but provide the league direct exposure into nine of the Top 65 markets in the nation and better balanced divisional play.
Banowsky, a licensed attorney in the state of Texas, has 25 years experience as a collegiate conference administrator. He came to Conference USA from the Big 12 Conference, where he has served as Associate Commissioner and General Council. Banowsky was instrumental in laying the organizational foundation for the Big 12 prior to its official launch in July 1996.
He was responsible for management of the Big 12 Conference's legal affairs, including the administration of television, bowl, and championships agreements. He oversaw national policy development, governance and NCAA regulatory matters, as well as assisted the commissioner in strategic planning and the management of the league office. Banowsky also served as a corporate officer and liaison to the league's Board of Directors.
Prior to joining the Big 12, Banowsky was the Commissioner of the Southland Conference. During his tenure at the Southland, the Conference was incorporated and its Board of Directors were engaged. He was also involved in negotiating a multi-year television agreement, founding a corporate sponsorship program, directing a conference-wide initiative to develop women's athletics, and engineering the expansion of the Southland Football League, one of the nation's premier Division I-AA football conferences.
Banowsky was an Assistant Commissioner at the Southland before joining the former Southwest Conference as an Assistant Commissioner. While at the SWC, Banowsky was responsible for the league's legal affairs and compliance activities.
The 54-year-old Banowsky has served on several national committees and just finished his term as chair of the NCAA Committee on Infractions in September 2014. He is also a member of the NCAA Division I Working Group on Resource Allocation. He also serves as President of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) and Chair of the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance. In 2012, he founded the Heart of Dallas, a non-profit organization that exists to inspire Dallas millennials to become the next generation of influencers and philanthropists by leveraging a consistent calendar of sports and entertainment events. He carries that background over into his duty as chair of the College Football Championship Foundation.
Born in Los Angeles, Calif., Banowsky has spent most of his professional career in the state of Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he earned both a business and a law degree. Banowsky and his wife, Cindy, have three children: Kendall, Brit and Wade and one granddaughter.
The Banowsky File
|2002-present||Commissioner, Conference USA|
|2012-present||President, Heart of Dallas|
|1996-2002||Associate Commissioner and General Counsel, Big 12 Conference|
|1993-1996||Commissioner, Southland Conference|
|1991-1993||Assistant Commissioner, Southwest Conference|
|1989-1991||Assistant Commissioner, Southland Conference|
|1986-1989||Lawyer, Private Practice|
Membership on Committees (Current)
President, Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) Chair, College Football Playoff Foundation Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, Chair Dallas Mayor's Task Force on Poverty NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Television Negotiations Committee
Membership on Committees (Past)
Chair, NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions (2012-2014)
NCAA Committee on Academic Performance
Basketball Academic Enhancement Working Group
NLI Policy and Review Committee
NCAA Special Committee to Review Marketing and Licensing Activities
NCAA Two-Year College Relations Committee
NCAA Division I Management Council
Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Properties, LLC