Todd Berry has confirmed Todd Berry will step down as AFC CEO in January 2024, Berry confirmed to FootballScoop on Tuesday. Ross Dillinger from Sports Illustrated The news was reported for the first time.
Berry has led the AFC since 2016. He replaced coach Grant Teff into the College Football Hall of Fame, who led the organization from 1993 until 2016.
Perry, 61, is celebrating his 40th season in college football this fall. The son of former NCAA and CFL coach Robin Perry, Perry’s younger career began at Tennessee in 1983.
He worked for 12 organizations, serving as the Illinois State coach from 1996 to 1999, the Army from 2000 to 2003, and then at ULM from 2010 to 2015. The Illinois State team won the 1999 Missouri Valley Football Conference and reached the semifinals of the division I-AA, and in 2012 presided over the best season in ULM history, going 8-5 with an overtime win at No. 8 in Arkansas and the Independence Bowl appearance.
Berry joined the AFC in 1984 and entered the leadership of the organization in 2001, when he joined the Board of Trustees. He was the first vice president of the AFC when he became the organization’s fifth CEO in 2016.
Perry reported to the Board of Trustees in May and spent the spring and summer reporting to coaches. He will serve through the 2022 and 23 seasons before handing gay football over to his successor at the 2024 AFC Congress in January. As part of his record with the AFC, Perry sits on numerous committees both inside and outside the NCAA.
In the structure of college football devoid of leaders, the next AFC CEO must work to build consensus among the various factions in the game as it rapidly heads into a new era. The next AFC captain will have to navigate the NCAA to rewrite its constitution as that organization actively relinquishes its power to write and enforce the rules that govern the game, and the ongoing push to write and implement federal legislation for name, image and likeness, as well as a new law. The College Football Extension format is scheduled to begin in 2026.
“Someone is going to need to be actively involved with the NCAA and possibly other entities, where everyone is in the loop,” Perry told FootballScoop. “The AFC needs input. I think some of the problems we’re having right now, quite frankly, is because you have people outside the industry making the decisions. I don’t think we coaches need to be free to control college football we’re here to help the athletes and the universities, Athletics directors, university presidents, commissioners and the AFC must sit together and make decisions that fit the game.
When Perry was asked to list his biggest accomplishments in six seasons on the job, Perry listed commuting during the 2020 COVID season – Perry He survived a serious attack With COVID-19 this spring – and the passing of the 4-game red player base. Berry explained that this rule was born out of personal experience dating back more than two decades.
As his 1999 Illinois team advanced through the Division I-AA playoffs, the Berry’s Redbirds ran out of solid defensive line. Perry approached rookie Jeff Wise about playing in the approaching semi-final against Georgia South. “He was a talented player. His first year, if he’d been able to sit for a year, would have been great,” Perry said. “He was that kind of player.”
Weese played in that match, sacrificing a year of his eligibility to get 20 shots in a game that ended up losing his team. “I just thought, ‘This is the most unfair thing you ever ask a player to do,'” Berry said. “I took a triumphant turn around the coffee table when that rule passed.”
Berry plans to take some time off to enjoy some well-earned relaxation and cross some items off his to-do list once he’s officially away 18 months from now, but he hasn’t ruled out a return to lower-level training in the future.
“I love the game for what it teaches and what it stands for,” he said. “Winston Churchill said that courage is the greatest of the virtues because, unless a man has this virtue, he will never have the security to keep anything else. I learned it from football. At no time did I think I could take another step, I always was I did. I’m sure you know that the only limits are the ones you previously envisioned in your mind. I learned that from football.”