Greg Sankey speaks with the SEC Television Network before he is introduced Friday as the eighth commissioner of the Southeastern Conference before the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament between Mississippi and South Carolina, Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Greg Sankey, a former Northwestern State staff member and golf coach, has been named the next commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, the league announced Thursday.

Sankey, in his 13th year on the SEC’s staff, has served as the executive associate commissioner and chief operating offers for the league since 2010. Sankey succeeds Mike Slive who has served as SEC commissioner since 2002 and who announced last October that he will retire on July 31, 2015.

He was named commissioner through a vote of league presidents and chancellors. Nick Zeppos, Chancellor of Vanderbilt University, will introduce Sankey as the eighth commissioner of the SEC on Friday at 10 a.m. at a press conference at Bridgestone Arena prior to Friday’s games in the SEC men’s basketball tournament.

Sankey has been an integral part of the SEC’s efforts to reshape the league’s governance, enforcement and compliance program, and he has also directed the SEC’s championships staff. He is active within the NCAA committee structure, which includes his current service on the Division I Legislative Council, Committee on Academic Performance and the NCAA Committee on Infractions for which he currently serves as chairman.

“The universities of the SEC represent the greatest combination of academic and athletic excellence and I am honored to be selected to follow Mike Slive as commissioner of the Southeastern Conference,” Sankey said. “The SEC is poised to make a difference in the lives of student-athletes for generations to come. We must ensure that the lessons they learn from their achievements in competition and in the classroom translate into success in life after college.”

Prior to joining the SEC staff, Sankey was commissioner of the Southland Conference for nearly seven years. He joined the Southland Conference staff in 1992 where he served as both assistant and associate commissioner before he was named commissioner in 1996.

Prior to his term at the Southland Conference he was director of compliance and academic services at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. While at Northwestern State, Sankey also coached the Demons’ golf teams for two years.

Previous to his tenure at Northwestern State, he was the director of intramural sports at Utica College in upstate New York. A native of Auburn, New York, Sankey earned his master’s degree from Syracuse University and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York College at Cortland.

Sankey and his wife, Cathy, reside in Birmingham, Alabama, and have two daughters, Hannah Michelle (22) and Moriah Elizabeth (18).

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.