Sources: Air Force’s Richard M. Clark Considered for College Football Playoff Executive Director Role
Air Force Academy superintendent Richard M. Clark is being eyed as the top candidate to become the next executive director of the College Football Playoff (CFP), according to sources familiar with the matter.
Clark, a former star linebacker at Air Force who later achieved the rank of lieutenant general in the military, has impressed CFP officials with his extensive leadership experience. Described as a “leader of leaders,” Clark emerged as the frontrunner after a series of in-person interviews with three finalists.
The CFP’s interest in hiring Clark was first reported by Yahoo Sports.
Prior to his current role as superintendent at the Air Force Academy, Clark held various assignments, including commanding bases across the country, serving as a White House fellow, and working as a senior defense official in Egypt. His most recent assignment before joining Air Force was as the deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration at the Pentagon.
If appointed, Clark would succeed Bill Hancock, who announced his retirement after the current cycle of CFP bowls. Clark would assume the position at a pivotal moment for the sport, as the College Football Playoff is set to expand to 12 teams starting in the 2024 season.
However, there are still two years remaining on the current CFP television contract, and the details for the 2024 and 2025 seasons are yet to be finalized.
One of the major challenges for Clark’s tenure would be negotiating the next full CFP contract, which is expected to be a multibillion-dollar deal divided among multiple media partners. The outcome of these negotiations will significantly shape the future of college football.
Furthermore, Clark’s strong relationships in Washington, D.C. could prove valuable if the executive director role expands beyond its current procedural responsibilities.