BRET GILLILAND, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER
Serving as the Mountain West Conference Deputy Commissioner is Bret Gilliland, now in his 30th year in intercollegiate athletics, 27 of which have been at the conference level. He was one of the original staff members, as Associate Commissioner, when the Mountain West began operations in 1999, and was promoted to Deputy Commissioner in 2005.
Gilliland coordinates the MW staff, oversees all aspects of the Conference's football operations and is the primary liaison for football television. He also helps manage the activities of the MW Board of Directors, Directors of Athletics and Joint Council. Gilliland directs the Mountain West's sportsmanship and competition environment initiatives, including the adjudication of disciplinary cases.
As part of his football responsibilities, Gilliland works closely with the Conference's bowl partners and the Mountain West's involvement with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). He has been instrumental in the MW's leadership position in football officiating and instant replay matters, including the league's participation in the College Football Officiating, LLC and the Mountain West's innovative regional partnership with the Big 12 and Southland Conferences under the umbrella of CFO West.
Gilliland came to Colorado from Indianapolis where he served in various capacities with the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now the Horizon League) from 1986-99, concluding his tenure there as the senior associate commissioner. In that role, he was responsible for television, corporate sponsorship and day-to-day staff guidance. During his 12 1/2 years on the MCC staff, Gilliland held positions in all facets of league activities, including communications, compliance, championships and marketing.
Gilliland recently began his second four-year term on the NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee after previously serving on the FIC from 2003-2007. He currently is a member of the BCS Standings/Selections Subcommittee and was appointed to the Collegiate Commissioners Association Subcommittee on the Standardization of the Administration of Instant Replay (2007). Gilliland is a past president of the Colorado Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, and remains a member of the organization's Board of Directors. He is also a past chair of the NCAA Honors Committee and trained as a peer reviewer in the NCAA Athletics Certification program.
Gilliland played major roles in the administration of several NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship events during his time in Indianapolis, including six first-/second-round tournaments and three Final Fours. He more recently participated in the management of the 2004, 2008 & 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball first- and second-round tournaments in Denver, and served as the practice coordinator for the 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four at the Pepsi Center. In addition, Gilliland has been involved in NCAA baseball, men's soccer and women's volleyball championships, numerous bowl games and the 1987 Pan American Games.
A 1984 alumnus of Iowa State University, Gilliland earned his B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication, graduating with distinction and starting his career as a student assistant in the Iowa State sports information office. Prior to joining the MCC office as the director of communications in 1986, Gilliland served as an assistant sports information director at Kansas State University. He continued his studies with The Sports Management Institute Executive Program, graduating in 1992 from the curriculum conducted jointly by the University of North Carolina, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Southern California on their respective campuses.
A native of Adel, Iowa, Gilliland now resides in the Briargate section of Colorado Springs with his wife Leah, also an Iowa State graduate, and the couple's three children - daughters Morgan (18) and Macy (15), and son Brock (11).