Air Force Academy Superintendent Richard M. Clark has emerged as a top target to become the next executive director of the College Football Playoff, sources confirmed to ESPN.
Clark is a former Air Force star linebacker who went on to a distinguished career in the military that saw him rise to the rank of lieutenant general.
Sources told ESPN that he impressed College Football Playoff executives with his deep leadership history, as he is described as having a strong history as a “leader of executives.” He comes from a group of three finalists interviewed in person this week.
Yahoo first reported CFP’s interest in hiring Clark.
Clark’s assignments before becoming Air Force superintendent included commanding bases across the country, working as a White House staffer, and working as a top defense official in Egypt. Before joining the Air Force, he was deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration at the Pentagon.
He would succeed Bill Hancock, who announced his retirement after this current CFP bowl cycle. Clark would take over the sport’s postseason at the crossroads; the College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams starting with the 2024 season.
There are only two years left on the current CFP television contract. The contractual logistics of the final remaining years of the current agreement – 2024 and 2025 seasons – are in flux.
Ultimately, the biggest challenge of Clark’s tenure would be the next full contract for the CFP, which is expected to be a multibillion-dollar deal and projects would have to be split among multiple media partners.
The structuring of this agreement will go a long way in shaping the future of the sport.
Clark also maintains strong relationships in Washington, D.C., which would take on considerable importance if the PSC’s role expanded from Hancock’s largely procedural role.