Chryst resigns after decade with MAC

Updated: January 29, 2009, 10:32 PM ET
By Graham Watson | ESPN.com

Mid-American Conference commissioner Rick Chryst has decided to resign after 10 seasons. Chryst will stay with the conference through the end of his current contract, which ends June 30.

"I have been privileged to serve an outstanding group of institutions, administrators and student-athletes during a time of unprecedented achievement for the MAC," Chryst said in a statement Thursday. "The conference stands for all of the best values -- academically and athletically -- in major college athletics, and I truly believe it is firmly positioned to sustain its competitiveness for a long time to come.

"The time is right for me, both personally and professionally, to make a move, and I look forward to working with the leadership of the conference on a smooth transition."

Chryst, who has been commissioner since 1999, leaves the MAC as the third-longest serving commissioner in the 63-year history of the conference.

During Chryst's tenure, the conference has boasted 38 non-conference football wins over schools from BCS conferences and seven wins over nationally-ranked teams (15 in MAC history).

MAC teams have made 27 bowl appearances during the past decade. The MAC had participated in just 33 bowls the prior 52 years.

Graham Watson is a college reporter for ESPN.

Graham Watson | email

College Football
Watson joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four seasons covering the Missouri Tigers and the Big 12 Conference for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She also covered college football recruiting for the Dallas Morning News.