Aug. 11, 2010
SAN BRUNO, Calif. --- The West Coast Conference Presidents' Council has announced the contract of Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich has been extended through June 30, 2014.
"The West Coast Conference Presidents' Council and Executive Council are pleased with the progress that has been made both internally and externally under Jamie's leadership," University of Portland President and WCC Presidents' Council Chair Father William Beauchamp said. "We have made major steps forward in the areas of strategic planning, leadership and television exposure. I am proud that we have been able to accomplish what we have while upholding the missions of our respective institutions and look forward to what lies ahead for the conference."
Zaninovich recently completed his second year on the job after being named the second full-time Commissioner in West Coast Conference history on March 9, 2008.
During his tenure, Zaninovich has overseen a successful transition for the conference basketball championships to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The event has set tournament records for revenue, total attendance and single game attendance, and will remain at the Orleans through 2012 after Zaninovich negotiated a three-year extension with the facility.
Zaninovich, who was named one of the prestigious "40 Under 40" honorees by the Sports Business Journal in 2010, has also brought forward television advances that have showcased the conference's brand regionally and internationally. The last two seasons, the WCC has entered a formal men's basketball television partnership with Cox San Diego, Comcast California and Comcast Northwest that spanned Northern California, Southern California and the Pacific Northwest while also creating a WCCTV student media initiative which has led to increased original content on WCCsports.com. The conference has also expanded its footprint internationally with over 40 games televised to ESPN affiliates in Australia, Europe, Latin America and South America over the past two seasons.
The last two years have also seen the creation of a new WCC Governance Structure and the restructuring of the WCC Executive Council to include greater involvement from all eight conference Presidents and Faculty Athletic Representatives. Zaninovich authored a five-year strategic plan (2010-14) focused on three high-level strategic goals for the WCC - competitiveness, exposure and leadership - which includes implementation of men's basketball non-conference scheduling and performance strategies, a conference-wide video streaming enhancement program, approval of a Sportsmanship Initiative and continued commitment to activation of the WCC voice within the NCAA governance structure.
"I am sincerely grateful to the Presidents' Council for both this tremendous opportunity and their unwavering support of our conference leadership. Our schools share a unique, common belief in holistic education, which is equally impressive as their athletics accomplishments, and I am proud to be associated with such excellence" Zaninovich said. "I am very focused on what lies ahead for the WCC and am looking forward to working with our phenomenal campus leadership in the future to further realize our strategic vision."
Zaninovich, who was selected to lead the conference by the league's eight school presidents, previously served as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations at Princeton University. Prior to Princeton, Zaninovich spent two years as Senior Assistant Athletic Director for Strategic Planning and Men's Basketball Operations at Stanford after earning his MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2001.
About the West Coast Conference
The West Coast Conference was formed in 1952 and has evolved and grown to become a nationally recognized and competitive force in Division I intercollegiate athletics, with 13 conference-sponsored sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, women's rowing, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball. The WCC is characterized by the stability of its membership - only two conferences have been together longer - and its unique emphasis on combining excellence in athletics with excellence in academics.