Merton Hanks lands college commissioner job

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A few months after departing from his role as the NFL’s vice president of football operations, Merton Hanks has landed another gig.

Conference USA announced Thursday that Hanks is the conference’s new senior associate commissioner and will oversee the league’s football and baseball operations.

Hanks worked for the NFL for 13 seasons and had been a VP since 2011. He oversaw player discipline, including uniform and equipment inspection.

He spent eight of his nine seasons as a player with the 49ers and was a four-time Pro Bowler.

Hanks qualifies as a big-name hire for Conference USA at a time when the conference needs some good PR. TV revenue has plummeted, and the conference that stretches from Virginia to Texas has been hit hard by defections during the last couple rounds of realignment.

Conference USA’s release on the hiring of Hanks said his duties will include overseeing officiating, scheduling, game operations, player conduct and safety and the league’s public affairs activities, including media, public and community relations.