* Mountain West Conference press release

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., –  The Mountain West announced Monday the hiring of John Sullivan, a 12-year veteran of college athletics, as the associate commissioner of football.

Sullivan will oversee the MW’s football enterprise, including managing officiating and instant replay programs, scheduling, serving as a liaison to the head football coaches and broadcast partners, as well as serving as the director of the annual Conference championship game.

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“We are thrilled to bring John back to the Mountain West,” said Commissioner Gloria Nevarez. “He had a successful career as a student-athlete in this league followed by a significant role as an administrator in the Conference office. John has proven abilities to cultivate relationships and already has a solid foundation with our football coaches and other league leaders. He will continue to enhance the student-athlete experience in the Mountain West.”

Sullivan returns to the Mountain West, where he worked from 2010-22, after serving as the deputy commissioner/chief operating officer of the Southland Conference since July 2022. At the SLC, he was tasked with overseeing the football, men’s basketball and men’s and women’s golf operations, while managing all aspects of broadcast and multimedia rights.

“I am very humbled and excited to return to the Mountain West in this dynamic new role,” Sullivan said. “As a former football student-athlete who competed in the MW, I have always considered the Conference to be home and I am indebted to Commissioner Nevarez for this opportunity. I am grateful to Commissioner Chris Grant for allowing me the opportunity to grow as an athletic administrator under his mentorship during this landmark time for the Southland.

Sullivan initially joined the Mountain West in July 2010 as a championships coordinator before being promoted to assistant director of operations in 2012. He was promoted in August 2018 to Associate Commissioner of Championships after previously serving as the Assistant Commissioner of Championships. He oversaw the Championships department and served as the sport and championship administrator for women’s volleyball, men's golf and baseball. In addition, he assisted with the MW football enterprise, including the MW Football Championship Game, game operations, instant replay and scheduling. He also served as tournament manager for the Mountain West Men's and Women's Basketball Championships in Las Vegas.

A native of Tehachapi, California, Sullivan earned Consensus All-American honors as a walk-on placekicker for the University of New Mexico football squad in 2007. After graduating from UNM in 2008 with a Bachelor's degree in exercise science, Sullivan spent one season as the kicker for the Colorado Ice indoor arena football team. Sullivan earned his Master's degree in sports administration from California State University, Fresno, in 2011.


Greg Burks, Mountain West Coordinator of Officials:

“John Sullivan has a passion for college football. He has excelled as a player and a conference administrator and has all the tools needed to lead the Mountain West’s program. John’s ability to understand the many perspectives of the coaches, officials, university administrators and fans make him the perfect choice for leading the program.”


Danny Gonzales, New Mexico Head Football Coach:

“I’ve had the honor of knowing John Sullivan for over 15 years, coaching him and then working together with him in his professional career.  His story as a college student-athlete speaks for itself from walk-on to Consensus All-American.  The drive and passion that he has is perfect for the Mountain West in this new era of college football.”


Chris Grant, Southland Conference Commissioner:

“During John’s time at the Southland Conference, he embraced my vision for the SLC to be a powerhouse in everything that we do. Like our compass, John was relentless in his pursuit to move our institutions into the future, setting the standard for competition, ambition, and equity in collegiate athletics. As a friend, I am thrilled for John as he returns home to his dream job in the conference he shed blood, sweat, and tears for as an All-American football standout. Most of all, I will miss our Chiefs of Staff, Shannon and Cora running through the SLC Headquarters.”

Craig Thompson, Former Mountain West Commissioner:

“John Sullivan’s professional career parallels his collegiate playing career, a disciplined, hard-working, detail-oriented individual who works tirelessly to get the task at hand completed. The MW membership is fortunate for his return.”

John David Wicker, San Diego State Director of Intercollegiate Athletics:

“We’re looking forward to having John back in the Mountain West. John has extensive knowledge of the league and will bring new ideas from his latest stint as deputy commissioner with the Southland Conference. He will help navigate the Mountain West through these unparalleled times in collegiate athletics.”

UW vs. NIU September 11, 2021

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