Michael L. Slive, the seventh commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, died Wednesday in Birmingham at the age of 77.
The news came late Wednesday afternoon from the office of the SEC. His cause of death was not provided.
Slive is survived by his wife of 49 years, Liz; his daughter Anna and granddaughter Abigail.
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our friend and former Commissioner Mike Slive.— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) May 16, 2018
His impact was felt far beyond the footprint of the SEC. His presence will be missed. https://t.co/Sjvo5Ws8mL pic.twitter.com/7y0dMXXmAa
Slive served as commissioner of the SEC from 2002 until he retired in 2015. The conference saw unprecedented success under his leadership, including successful teams across the conference, the launch of the SEC Network, and expansion of the conference with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M.
More background on Slive and his numerous achievements is available at SECSports.com.
Alabama head football coach Nick Saban released the following statement Wednesday evening following the news:
Commissioner Slive was truly one of the great leaders college athletics has ever seen and an even better person. He was a wonderful friend to me and someone who I respected tremendously. Mike changed the landscape of the Southeastern Conference and helped build our league into what you see today. He was instrumental in growing college football and in the creation of the College Football Playoff. The professionalism he displayed throughout his career was second to none. He was an advocate for all of our Universities and placed the utmost importance on the well-being of student-athletes. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in this difficult time.
Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne released this statement:
We express our deepest sympathies to the Slive family. Commissioner Slive was one of the most impactful leaders to positively shape college athletics, and so many universities, athletic departments and student-athletes have benefitted from his leadership and vision. He will be deeply missed, and his legacy will be everlasting.
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