University of Notre Dame President Reverend John I. Jenkins, CSC, announced today that Peter Bevacqua, a 1993 alumnus, president of NBC Sports and a highly respected leader and innovator in the world of sports, will succeed Jack Swarbrick as vice president and James E. Rohr, director of athletics when he retires in 2024. Bevacqua will join the University on July 1 in the role of special assistant to the president for athletics, mentoring Swarbrick before assuming leadership of the department’s athletics sometime in the first quarter of 2024.
“It has been a privilege to work alongside Jack Swarbrick as he has led Notre Dame to unprecedented success over the past 15 years, while providing such an influential voice in college athletics, and I am excited to have such a talented and experienced leader in Pete Bevacqua to spend some time learning under Jack before taking on new leadership in one of America’s greatest athletic programs,” Father Jenkins said. “At this time of great chaos and disruption in college athletics, it will be invaluable to have Pete join Jack and me in planning for the future of Notre Dame athletics that allows our student-athletes to play at the highest level, enjoy a full college experience and gain degree from Notre Dame. Having gotten to know Pete during his years at NBC Sports, I look forward to welcoming him, his wife, Tiffany, and their children – Samantha, Arthur and Jake – to our campus community.”
“It speaks volumes for Notre Dame and Father Jenkins’ leadership that we can implement such a well-crafted succession plan and attract someone with Pete’s talent and experience,” Swarbrick said. “I worked closely with Pete during 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 of college athletics today, and to be relevant national leader as we look to the future. I look forward to helping Notre Dame student-athletes and coaches achieve their goals in the coming months while helping Pete prepare for his tenure as director of athletics.”
“This is an incredible honor and a dream come true for me. With the exception of mine family, nothing means more to me than the University of Notre Dame,” Bevacqua said. “As a Notre Dame alum, I deeply understand and deeply appreciate the lifelong, transformational benefit our student-athletes receive from a Notre Dame education, unique and unlike any other institution in the world. I am so grateful to Father Jenkins, the Board of Trustees and, of course, Jack Swarbrick. Jack has become a true friend over the past few years and I look forward to working alongside him and learning as much as I can from the person I admire and respect most in college athletics.”
Patricia Bellia, O’Neill Professor of Law, Faculty of Athletics Representative and Chair of the Notre Dame Faculty Committee on Athletics, added, “During his tenure as Director of Athletics, Jack Swarbrick has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to academic integrity, academic integrity and excellence and has been a steadfast partner to the faculty Notre Dame in ensuring our student-athletes can succeed in the classroom and on the field. Pete Bevacqua shares those responsibilities and we look forward to working with him to provide the best environment for student-athletes at Notre Dame to flourish as students, athletes and leaders.”
Swarbrick will continue to serve as director of athletics in the coming months while mentoring Bevacqua. The varsity athletic enterprise consists of more than 700 student-athletes spread across 26 varsity sports supported by over 100 coaches and
Bevacqua will bring world-class leadership and high-level insight to the rapidly changing landscape of live and on-demand sports content and sports management.As the third chairman in NBC Sports history, Bevacqua led NBC Sports through its unprecedented collection of assets and platforms, which included NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, Golf Channel, NBC Sports Digital, NBC Sports Next and NBC Sports on Peacock. He was also the general network manager of NBC’s unique, exclusive broadcast rights deal with Notre Dame football, now entering its 33rd season. Working closely with Swarbrick over the past five years at NBC has allowed Bevacqua to get an up-close, real-time look at the rhythms of the University’s athletics business.
Bevacqua also shares Notre Dame’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. He and Troy Vincent, executive vice president of football operations for the NFL, serve as co-chairs of RISE, an alliance of major sports organizations including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA that promotes racial equality in the American sports landscape.
Bevacqua’s background and field vision in the world of sports business will be of great value to Notre Dame. He led all aspects and operations of NBC Sports and was responsible for its overall strategy. Together with his team, Bevacqua has secured numerous rights deals across the national and international sports landscape. Most recently, in August 2022, NBCUniversal and the Big Ten Conference reached a seven-year agreement for NBC and the Peacock to become the exclusive home of Big Ten Saturday Night Football. In March 2021, NBCUniversal and the NFL agreed to an 11-year extension for NBC Sports to continue to be the home of Sunday Night Football, the number one primetime television show for an unprecedented 12 consecutive years.
In addition to Notre Dame football, Bevacqua also oversaw NBC’s coverage of the Summer and Winter Olympics, Major League Baseball, the English Premier League, NASCAR, WWE, the Kentucky Derby, IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500, Tour de France, the French Open, the USFL and numerous golf properties, including the PGA Tour, USGA Championships, US Men’s and Women’s Opens, LPGA, Ryder Cup and DP World Tour.
He was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the PGA of America, where he led the operations and overall strategy of one of the world’s largest sports organizations. He began his professional career as a corporate law associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York after graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1997.