Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tranghese to step down as BE commish

Mike Tranghese will step from his position of commissioner of the Big East, effective June 30, 2009.

During a conference call this morning regarding his upcoming Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge bike ride, here's what Calhoun had to say about Tranghese's announcement:

"He's been an intrical part of the Big East, the first person employed by the Big East. Dave Gavitt founded it and Mike was the first person hired. He's been a terrific co-founder with David, they created Eastern basketball, changed the face of it. Teams like Villanova, Georgetown, UConn, Syracuse can win national championship, in my opinion, because of Mike and David."

Calhoun said Tranghese was the PA announcer at American International College during Calhoun's senior season there. He said that Trangheses has been talking about stepping down for a while.

"His fear of flying and the wear and tear of a full season probably (contributed to Tranghese's decision). It's a tough, tough day for us. We've been really blessed to have David, whose brainchild the Big East was, and Mike, who has been a terrific commissioner. It's a great day to celebrate him, but it's sad because Mike's done an incredible job during difficult times."

Here's the full press release on Tranghese's decision:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Michael A. Tranghese, the Commissioner of The BIG EAST Conference since 1990 and the league’s first full time employee in 1979, will step down from his position effective June 30, 2009.

“I have been privileged to work with outstanding Presidents and athletic directors for nearly 30 years,” said Tranghese. “Looking back to when Dave Gavitt created the conference, it is truly amazing how far we have come.”

Tranghese succeeded Gavitt as Commissioner on June 21, 1990 after 11 years of service to the BIG EAST, the previous nine years as associate commissioner. During his tenure as Commissioner, Tranghese has guided the league to its current 16-team alignment, the largest in the NCAA Division I.

Shortly after being named Commissioner, Tranghese directed and oversaw the creation of BIG EAST football, which began competition in 1991. His leadership helped the BIG EAST become a charter member of the Bowl Championship Series.

“I believe our conference is undergoing an unprecedented period of success,” Tranghese said. “Our basketball conference does not have to take a back seat to anyone and our football has progressed so quickly. Our Olympic sports are stronger than ever. And I believe everything is in place for the BIG EAST to be even better in the future.”

During his tenure, Tranghese has served as chair of several prestigious groups, including the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee, the Division I-A Commissioners, the Collegiate Commissioners Association and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Subcommittee on Television. He was on the NCAA’s negotiating team that secured a record $6 billion contract from CBS for broadcast rights to the men’s basketball championship.

Tranghese also served a two-year term as the lead administrator of the Bowl Championship Series.

Tranghese is an acknowledged leader in television negotiation and production and has been a central figure in every television negotiation in the league’s history. Currently, the BIG EAST has multi-year agreements with ESPN, Inc. and CBS Sports in basketball and ESPN, Inc. in football. The contracts are the most lucrative in the league’s history in terms of exposure and revenue.

Before the explosion of sports on cable television, Tranghese was the leader behind The BIG EAST Television Network, which operated through 1994. The BIG EAST Network was considered to be a benchmark for regional television networks.

“I am stepping down at this point because I believe it is the right time,” added Tranghese. “The Conference is in great shape and it will give my successor the best opportunity to be successful.”

Tranghese helped the BIG EAST get off the ground in 1979 after spending seven years as the sports information director at Providence College where he helped generate publicity for the nationally successful Friar basketball teams that were coached by Gavitt.

Tranghese’s career in college athletics began at American International College in his hometown of Springfield, Mass. He is a 1965 graduate of St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vt. He is married to Susan Huntemann.


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