Pac-12 names legendary Iowa DB senior associate commissioner of football operations
A former Iowa and NFL defensive back will now be focusing his efforts on Pac-12 football.
The Pac-12 announced that it has hired Merton Hanks as the conference’s new senior associate commissioner for football operations. It is the first time the league has had an individual leader devoted solely to football, according to ESPN’s Heather Dinich.
In his role, Hanks is responsible for football administration, scheduling officiating, replay command center, operations, the Pac-12 Championship Game and bowl relationships. He will report directly to current Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott.
“In the simplest terms, if it touches football, I’m going to be involved with it regarding the Pac-12,” Hanks told ESPN. “And hopefully we will be in position in working with Larry to continue to provide first-class experiences for our student-athletes and then be innovative in how we move forward. This COVID-19 world of sports, you have to be flexible, you have to be innovative. You have to mitigate risk, but at the same time, we’re going to provide that first-class experience for our student-athletes.”
Hanks was a defensive back at Iowa from 1987-90. He intercepted 10 passes in his four seasons with the Hawkeyes and was an All-B1G selection as a cornerback during his time in Iowa City.
In 1991, Hanks was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, where he played through the 1998 season. He then played one season (1999) with the Seattle Seahawks.
Hanks was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, the NFL Defensive Back of the Year in 1995 and a Super Bowl XXIX champion. He ended his NFL career with 501 tackles, 33 interceptions and 3 touchdowns.
Hanks was previously with Conference USA, where he had been the senior associate commissioner since 2016.