Mike Slive, the longtime commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, passed away at the age of 77 on Wednesday. The former SEC commissioner is one of the most beloved men in his position in the history of college sports. Slive saw the rise of the SEC into a college sports powerhouse and his impact continues to be felt to this day.
The SEC announced Slive’s death in a lengthy statement remembering his illustrious career.
From the SEC’s statement:
Slive served as commissioner of the SEC from 2002 until his retirement in 2015. Named to the post on July 2, 2002, the SEC enjoyed unprecedented championship success under Slive’s leadership. He led the adoption of a new and effective league-wide NCAA compliance initiative, engineered landmark television contracts, including the launch of the SEC Network, and guided the conference through expansion, welcoming two new institutions.
The hallmark of this golden age of the SEC remains a remarkable seven consecutive Bowl Championship Series national titles in football. In all, the SEC won 81 national championships in 17 of its 21 sponsored sports during Slive’s tenure as SEC Commissioner. Through on-field success along with innovative initiatives, the brand of the SEC grew to new proportions under his direction.
His impact was felt far beyond the footprint of the SEC. The founding commissioner of two conferences – the Great Midwest Conference and Conference USA — he was also the founder of a law firm which assisted NCAA institutions in compliance matters, a Director of Athletics and a member of numerous leadership committees during the course of his career.
The current information on Slive’s cause of death can be seen below.
Mike Slive Cause of Death: Unknown
Slive’s cause of death has not been officially confirmed, however, the former SEC commissioner has had health concerns through his career which ultimately led to his retirement. When he retired in 2015, Slive announced the recurrence of the prostate cancer diagnosis he had dealt with in the 1990s. In 2017, he launched the Mike Slive Foundation for Prostate Cancer Research.
About Mike Slive
Mike Slive was born July 26, 1940, in Utica, New York. Slive earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College before going on to receive a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He would then receive his LL.M. from the Georgetown University Law Center. Before taking over the SEC, Slive was a judge in the Hanover District Court in New Hampshire. He was also a partner in a Chicago Law Firm and the assistant athletic director at Dartmouth. He also held positions as the assistant executive director of the Pac-12 and the director of athletics at Cornell. He was the first commissioner of Conference USA from 1999 to 2002, before accepting the role in the SEC.