Pretty low key day on the Gonzaga Bulldogs news front right now, with all the major tournaments taking place. Then my Twitter feed gets hit with this.
A little bit more investigating, and sure enough, Jamie Zaninovich is stepping down from his post as the WCC commissioner and will become the Pac-12's Deputy COmmissioner and Chief Operating Officer starting on July 1, 2014.
It'll be a shame to see him go, and whomever steps in will have some large shoes to fill. I'm not sure about the extent of the duties of the commissioner of the conference, but Zaninovich definitely expanded the WCC in a positive way during his seven year stint as the chief of all things WCC. During his tenure, he expanded the league by two teams, securing BYU and Pacific in the conference's first expansion since 1979.
He successfully moved the WCC Tournament from the rotation of the schools to a more concrete and stable location in the New Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. He secured long-term agreements with ESPN and ROOT Sports to push WCC basketball into homes across the nation.
Most importantly, he got the ball rolling on the conferences digital platform, TheW.tv. I think this point cannot be understated enough. TheW.tv was a bit rough around the edges, but having a digital presence in the near future is pretty much a requirement in this day and age.
There is a lot of grumbling at times about the Zags staying in the WCC, but with the right direction and focus I honestly feel like the WCC can become one of the best small conferences in the nation. Zaninovich definitely pushed it in that direction.