Gene Taylor has been chosen to join the College Football Playoff selection committee ahead of the upcoming season, a source confirmed to The Mercury Wednesday. The College Football Playoff organization officially announced the news Wednesday afternoon.
“Gene is well respected and will be an excellent member of the committee,” College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said in a release. “We look forward to welcoming him to the group.”
Taylor said he was “grateful to be selected” as a member of the committee. He will serve a three-year term beginning with the upcoming season.
“I look forward to this exciting opportunity,” Taylor said. “I appreciate the Big 12 nominating me. The committee has a very important job to select the best football teams, and I am thrilled to be a part of this process.”
The Big 12 Conference nominated Taylor, and the nomination was approved by the CFP management committee, which consists of the 10 FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick.
Taylor replaces Texas athletics director Chris Del Conte as the Big 12’s representative on the committee. It was a short tenure for Del Conte; he became one of the committee’s five new members in January. He is stepping away from his role because of a conflict of interests stemming from Texas’ departure to the SEC.
Taylor has served as K-State’s AD since 2017.
During his tenure, the football program has qualified for three bowls, the men’s basketball team won a conference regular-season title and advanced to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament, and the women’s track and field team captured back-to-back Big 12 Outdoor championships.
Prior to arriving in Manhattan, Taylor was Iowa’s deputy athletics director at from 2014 to 2017. He was North Dakota State’s athletics director from 2001 to 2014, a time in which the school’s athletics program went from the NCAA’s Division II to Division I. The NDSU football team won three straight (2011-13) FCS national championships before Taylor departed for Iowa.
Now, he has a spot on the playoff selection committee — one of the most prominent positions in college football.
The CFP selection committee is responsible for selecting the top four teams in the playoff and assigning them to semifinal games, as well as ranking the other top 25 teams. The committee meets in-person late in the season and produces a ranking of the top 25 teams each week leading up to the final selections.
The playoff committee is chaired by Taylor’s former boss: Iowa athletics director Gary Barta.
Other members of the selection committee include a slew of athletics directors — Mitch Barnhart (Kentucky), Tom Burman (Wyoming), Charlie Cobb (Georgia State), Boo Corrigan (North Carolina State University), Rick George (Colorado) — as well as Paola Boivin (a professor at Arizona State), Will Shields (a former All-American offensive lineman at Nebraska), Joe Taylor (vice president for athletics and community wellness at Virginia Union University), John Urschel (a former All-American offensive lineman at Penn State), Rod West (group president of the Entergy Corporation) and Tyrone Willingham (former head coach at Stanford, Notre Dame and the University of Washington).