In his 11th 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 under his leadership.
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. Six nationally prominent universities - Marshall, Rice, SMU, Tulsa, UCF and UTEP - joined tradition-rich members - East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Southern Miss, Tulane and UAB - to form the look of the current league.
The inaugural Conference USA Football Championship made its debut in 2005. At that time, the league had secured five bowl tie-ins for postseason football participation and that number has since grown to seven bowl tie-tins for the 2012 season.
Another shift in conference alignment began in 2011, and again Banowsky restructured a membership plan that will included 14 schools with the addition of Charlotte, FIU, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Old Dominion and UTSA. 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 more than 20 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 53-year-old Banowsky has served on several national committees and is Chair of the NCAA Committee on Infractions and a member of the NCAA Division I Working Group on Resource Allocation. He also serves as the Executive Vice President of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) and is on the Board for 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.
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.
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)
Chair, NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions,
Executive Vice President, Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA)
Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, Board and Executive Committee
Membership on Committees (Past)
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