Tom Mickle dies; instrumental in creation of BCS

Updated: April 17, 2006, 11:18 PM ET
Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tom Mickle, a former Atlantic Coast Conference associate commissioner who was instrumental in creating what would become the Bowl Championship Series, died Monday. He was 55.

Mickle was the executive director of Florida Citrus Sports, which confirmed his death in a statement. The nonprofit organization oversees athletic events in Florida, including two college football bowls -- Capital One and Champs Sports.

No official cause of death was released. Mickle had been battling cancer discovered during a January kidney removal surgery.

Mickle managed conference finances for the ACC and supervised public relations efforts. In 1992, he was instrumental in the creation of the Bowl Coalition, which evolved into the Bowl Championship Series.

Mickle became head of Florida Citrus Sports in January 2002. In addition to the bowl games, he took control of a half marathon, the Orlando Citrus Parade and the annual football matchup between Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman College.

"Tom's vision, energy and positive attitude were an inspiration to all who worked with him and will be missed," chairman Dick Rivera said in a statement.

A native of Media, Pa., Mickle worked 17 years for Duke University in media relations, fundraising and student services.

Mickle graduated from Duke in 1972. He is survived by his wife, Jill, and his two children, Matthew and Holland.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press