PULLMAN, WASH – A Washington State University spokesman says university president Kirk Schulz is not interested in leaving for the Big 12. This, a day after a report surfaced about Schulz as a strong candidate for the Big 12 commissioner job.
The Athletic’s Matt Fortuna cited “overwhelming external support” for Schulz’s candidacy to replace outgoing commissioner Bob Bowlsby, 70, who announced earlier this month he was stepping down from the position.
Schulz’s photo is featured at the top of Fortuna’s report, published Tuesday, in which he says Schulz was “among the first names we all heard when compiling the candidates list.” Earlier this month, Fortuna reported multiple sources said he’d be their first call for this position.
Phil Weiler, WSU VP of Marketing and Communication, was definitive in his response to that report.
“(Schulz) is very clear: He has absolutely no interest in the position,” said Weiler. “He is not a candidate for that position.”
“He is thrilled being the president of the Washington State University system,” Weiler said, “and is not looking for any other opportunities.”
Prior to coming to WSU, Schulz was president at Kansas State University, which is in the Big 12, from 2009-2016. He was part of a small committee which initially hired Bowlsby in 2012.
Schulz has often spoken on the importance of athletics, calling them the “front porch” to the greater university.
He is on the College Football Playoff Board of Managers, which consists of 11 university presidents and chancellors.