Coaches Talk Neinas' Successor

  • By John Antonik
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  • April 24, 2012 11:37 AM
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Now that Chuck Neinas has helped stabilize the Big 12 Conference, the league is looking to gain momentum when Neinas steps down as the conference’s interim commissioner on June 30.

Neinas stepped in last September when Dan Bebe resigned to take on the role of conference commissioner until a permanent replacement could be named. The time is now drawing near for a decision to be made on that key position.

Yesterday, several Big 12 coaches were asked to give their opinions about the subject.

“We’ve been through so much turmoil over the last couple of years in the Big 12,” noted Texas coach Mack Brown. “What I think I would like to see is stability. I would like to see someone come in with confidence and new ideas and it sounds like our league is really stable through 10, and I know there are some people looking at the possibility of there being 12, but I would like to see someone who can really lead the group and get everybody on the same page because it’s a wonderful conference.”

Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville has known Neinas for years and he hopes the person who fills his chair can pick up where Neinas has left off.

“We were kind of saved from the bell by Chuck Neinas,” said Tuberville. “I thought they did a good job of filling our two voids that we had last year. We lost two teams each of the last two years, which has been devastating to this league, but through Chuck’s leadership we came off of that pretty good.

“Hopefully, we get a strong personality guy that can work with everybody and can put their touch on it – somebody with experience and somebody who has been a commissioner or a deputy commissioner from the other leagues. I think experience is going to be the key for us – somebody who has been there, done that and seen all of the problems.”

The underlying theme in the Big 12 seems to be unity and equity, and that is something many of the coaches are hopeful the new commissioner will consider when making future decisions.

“You’d like to have a very honest and forthright person, and you’d like to have a person who has a balance in how he operates the conference itself with the idea that everybody is treated equally and what he should do would be in the very best interest of all 10/12 teams that would make up the conference itself,” said Kansas State coach Bill Snyder.

Neinas, who has helped several schools hire coaches through the years with his search firm, Neinas Sports Services, has agreed to help locate his successor by serving as an advisor to the search committee.