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Ohio AD to become commissioner of SoCon

The Southern Conference has announced Jim Schaus as its new commissioner, effective July 1.

Schaus has been Ohio's athletics director since 2008. His tenure saw the Bobcats obtain bowl eligibility a MAC-high 11 straight years and win three NCAA Tournament games, most in the MAC over that period.

Prior to Ohio, Schaus spent nine years as the athletics director at Wichita State, while serving in athletics administration at Oregon, Cincinnati, UTEP and Northern Illinois.

He made $281,000 a year as Ohio's AD.

“It is truly an honor to serve as the ninth commissioner in the storied history of the Southern Conference,” Schaus said. “I believe that my varied career experiences in college athletics will assist me in this important leadership role for outstanding member institutions. I look forward to working with the staff and conference membership to build upon past successes in the quest to be the premier mid-major conference in the country. It will be a priority to be successful athletically, academically and support the personal well-being of our student-athletes. I can’t wait to get started!”

The SoCon is a Spartanburg, S.C., based FCS conference with 10 schools in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. Founded in 1921, the conference enjoyed one of its most successful football campaigns in 2018, as five of the league's nine teams appeared in the national rankings at some point during the season and Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges took home the Walter Payton Award, the FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.

“We are excited by the leadership that Jim will bring to the Southern Conference,” said East Tennessee State University President Dr. Brian Noland, who chaired the search committee. “He is among the most well-respected athletic directors in the nation, and he brings a vision and a wealth of experience that will be highly valuable to the league.”

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