SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Southern Conference Commissioner Jim Schaus announced Wednesday that he will retire on June 30 of this year.

Schaus, who is completing his fourth year as commissioner, has directed a variety of significant achievements during his tenure including: a long-range strategic plan, a 400-percent increase in national television coverage, the league’s 100th Anniversary campaign, successful management through COVID-19, ensuring membership stability, championship enhancements, new academic programs, sport officiating alliances, the league’s multimedia rights agreement with JMI Sports, conference financial stability and unprecedented conference rankings for men’s basketball.

“I came to this decision several months ago but felt this was the right time to announce,” Schaus said. “I have been very blessed during my career in athletics and have absolutely loved my years as SoCon commissioner. I believe we made many impactful improvements in a variety of areas over the years thanks to a great team of people who made it happen.

“I would like to thank our outstanding presidential and athletic director leadership for their support over the years as well as my conference staff, senior woman administrators, faculty representatives, coaches, and student-athletes for the privilege to serve them. We have great camaraderie in our conference, which has always felt like a big family to me. I will always treasure the many friendships and fond memories I have from my time here. The future is bright for the Southern Conference. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve.

“I am looking forward to spending more time with my wife, Priscilla, our three children and five grandchildren. I plan to spend significant time serving the Lord through our church and several ministries. I also want to focus more on my health. Last year, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It has taught me to appreciate the preciousness of life every day. Fortunately, following successful treatment, I am in remission right now and feeling very good.

Prior to the SoCon, Schaus had an 11-year run as director of athletics at Ohio University that included participation in 10 bowl games, a men’s basketball appearance in the 2010 Sweet 16, plus raising money to build a new indoor practice facility and academic center. Before Ohio, Schaus had a successful nine-year stint as director of athletics at Wichita State that included a men’s basketball 2006 Sweet 16 appearance, multiple all-sports trophies, leading the fundraising campaign for the construction of Charles Koch Arena and being named the Division I Central Region AstroTurf AD of the Year in 2007. Schaus has also had stops at Oregon, Cincinnati, Texas-El Paso, Northern Illinois, Washington Redskins and LPGA.

Schaus earned his bachelor’s degree from Purdue and a master’s in athletics administration from West Virginia University, where he has been honored as a distinguished alumnus.