- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

DALLAS (AP) - Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky is stepping down after nearly 13 years in charge of the league to join the College Football Playoff’s charitable foundation.

The 55-year-old Banowsky will become executive director of the College Football Playoff Foundation.

In a release Thursday, Conference USA announced Banowsky will stay with C-USA until his replacement is found. The league says it expects the board of directors will conduct a special meeting to discuss the search in September. The conference’s regular board of directors meeting is scheduled for Oct. 25-26.

Banowsky replaced Mike Slive and became the second Conference USA commissioner on Oct. 28, 2002. He has guided the conference through constant turnover in membership and leaves it with 14 schools and one of the most expansive footprints in college sports.

During Banowsky’s time, Conference USA has doubled the amount of bowls it has some partnership with to 10 and added a championship football game. C-USA was also one of the first college conferences to offer its own platform for digital streaming of live events.

Last year, Banowsky was chairman of the College Football Playoff Foundation, helping to start the Extra Yard for Teacher Program.

“We are so grateful for the friendship and support we’ve received throughout the years. We hope we can use this next chapter to pay some of it forward. We are particularly grateful for the opportunity to lead the College Football Playoff Foundation and further the amazing work it is doing,” Banowsky said in a statement.

Banowsky came to Conference USA from the Big 12 Conference, where he served as associate commissioner and general counsel, and helped launch the conference in 1996. Before that he was Southland conference commissioner.

He has been a member of the NCAA committee on infractions and recently completed a term as chairman.

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