SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Jack Swarbrick will step down as Notre Dame’s athletic director next year after a 16-year run in which he helped the school maintain its independent status amid an unprecedented flurry of conference realignment.
Notre Dame announced Thursday that NBC Sports chairman Pete Bevacqua will succeed Swarbrick. Bevacqua, a 1993 Notre Dame alumnus, will join the university July 1 as a special assistant to the president for athletics before taking over the athletic department sometime in the first quarter of 2024.
“It speaks volumes about Notre Dame and Father Jenkins’ leadership that we can implement such a well-conceived succession plan and attract someone of Pete’s talent and experience,” Swarbrick said. “I have worked closely with Pete throughout his time at NBC and based on that experience, I believe he has the perfect skill set to help Notre Dame navigate the rapidly changing landscape that is college athletics today, and be an important national leader as we look to the future.”
Notre Dame officials noted that Bevacqua has been NBC's chief steward of the network's exclusive broadcast rights agreement with Fighting Irish football. This year will mark the 33rd season that NBC has been the home for Notre Dame football home games.
Swarbrick, a 1976 Notre Dame alum, emerged as one of the most powerful players in college sports as he worked with Power Five conference commissioners to formulate a playoff plan that included the Fighting Irish while enabling them to remain an independent. His hire of Brian Kelly — now at LSU — sparked the rejuvenation of the football program, as the Irish played for a national title in 2012 and reached the playoff in 2018 and 2020.
Notre Dame has won nine team national titles during Swarbrick’s tenure, most recently the men’s lacrosse championship this year. The Irish also won five championships in fencing and one each in women’s basketball, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer.
The last national title in football for the Irish was in 1988.