IRVING, Texas – The College Football Playoff (CFP) Management Committee has appointed University of Michigan Athletics Director Warde Manuel as selection committee chair for the 2024 football season, it was announced today by Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the CFP. Manuel replaces Boo Corrigan, the athletics director at NC State, who served as chair for the past two seasons.
Hancock also announced that the Management Committee has appointed Patrick Chun, athletics director at Washington State University; Randall McDaniel, former All-American offensive lineman from Arizona State University; Gary Pinkel, longtime head coach at the University of Toledo and University of Missouri; Mack Rhoades, athletics director at Baylor University; Carla Williams, athletics director at the University of Virginia; and Hunter Yurachek, athletics director at the University of Arkansas, to the CFP Selection Committee.
Hancock also announced that the management committee has extended the term of Will Shields, former All-American lineman at the University of Nebraska, for an additional year.
The new members will begin three-year terms starting this spring. They will replace Mitch Barnhart, Corrigan, Mark Harlan, Gene Taylor, Joe Taylor and Rod West, whose terms have expired.
"The additions of Pat, Randall, Gary, Mack, Carla and Hunter will bring some great new voices to the selection committee as we enter our 11th season," Hancock said. "Their knowledge, passion and character, along with their understanding of college football, will allow them to make the transition seamlessly with the returning members. And it is great to have Will returning. His understanding and wisdom will be a real benefit."
"We are delighted that Warde will serve as chair," Hancock added. "He has been a valuable member of the committee last two years and that experience will serve him well in leading the group. As a former student-athlete, he will also be a good spokesperson to let fans know how the committee reached its rankings."
"My first two years on the committee have been a great experience," Manuel said. "I have so much respect for the time and effort each committee member puts in each week because of their commitment to the game. I'm honored to be asked to serve as committee chair."
Patrick Chun is in his sixth year as athletics director at Washington State University. Chun is the school's 14th Director of Athletics and the first Asian-American athletics director to lead a Power Five school. In 2019, Chun became WSU's first leader to be named Under Armor Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). Cougar fundraising has been revitalized under his leadership, setting all-time highs in annual giving and total donations
Since Chun arrived in Pullman, 10 Cougar programs have made NCAA championship appearances and the Cougars have won six Pac-12 Conference championships. Among these achievements are program-best performances in multiple sports, including the 2023 women's basketball team that won the first Pac-12 title for any women's program in WSU history, the football team that has played in a program-record seven consecutive bowl games and the women's volleyball team, which has earned eight straight NCAA appearances from 2016 through 2023.
Prior taking over at the helm of the Cougars, Chun spent over five years as the director of athletics at Florida Atlantic University and the previous 15 years at his alma mater, Ohio State University, in a multitude of roles. A native of Strongsville, Ohio, Chun earned a bachelor's degree from Ohio State and a master's degree from Duquesne University.
Warde Manuel is in his eighth year as Michigan's Director of Athletics. Manuel returned to U-M following a nearly four-year run as director of athletics at the University of Connecticut. Prior to arriving in Connecticut, he led the athletic department at State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo from 2005-12. A graduate of U-M, where he played football under Bo Schembechler, Manuel was coordinator of U-M's Wade H. McCree Jr. Incentive Scholarship Program from 1990 to 1993.
He subsequently worked briefly as an academic advisor and assistant athletic director for academics at Georgia Tech before returning to Ann Arbor, where he served in several roles within Michigan's athletic department from 1996-2005, eventually becoming an associate athletic director with oversight of football, men's and women's basketball, hockey and operational facets of the university's athletic department.
Manuel earned his bachelor of general studies degree with a focus in psychology in 1990, his master's degree in social work from U-M in 1993 and an MBA from U-M's Stephen M. Ross School of Business in 2005.
Randall McDaniel was an All-American guard and four-year starter (1984-1987) for Arizona State University. He helped bring a Sun Devil victory back to Tempe in the school's first Rose Bowl appearance in 1986. For his outstanding play at ASU, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
Selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 1988 NFL Draft, McDaniel established himself as the standard by which other linemen of his era were judged. One of the most decorated offensive linemen in NFL history, Randall made an NFL-record 12 consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl at left guard and earned All-Pro Honors nine times over his 14-year career. He is a member of the Vikings Ring of Honor and was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2019, Randall was named to the NFL "All-Time" Top 100 Team.
Active in the community throughout his career, McDaniel's efforts have focused on educational initiatives for young people. For his philanthropic endeavors, he was twice named the Vikings' NFL "Man of the Year" recipient and also earned the NFL Players Association's Unsung Hero Award. After retiring from the NFL in 2002, McDaniel continued his commitment to youth and education, spending the next 19 years working as an Elementary School Basic Skills Instructor in Robbinsdale (MN) before retiring in 2021. McDaniel earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Arizona State.
Gary Pinkel served as the head coach at the University of Toledo from 1991-2000 and the University of Missouri from 2001-15, compiling a career record of 191-110-3. Pinkel, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2022, has the most wins of any head coach in the history of both the Toledo Rockets and Missouri Tigers football programs, making him one of only three coaches to hold the distinction at two Division I programs. At the time of his retirement, he stood 20th on the Football Bowl Subdivision all-time wins list.
In his 10 seasons as a head coach at Toledo, Pinkel posted a 65.9 winning percentage, amassing a 73-37-3 record and leading the Rockets to the 1995 MAC championship. He was named the MAC Coach of the Year in 1995 and 1997. At Missouri, Pinkel led the Tigers to 10 bowl games in 15 years. In 2007, he led his team to a No. 1 Associated Press ranking at the end of the regular season after finishing the year 11-1. The Tigers fell to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship, but beat Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl Classic to complete the season ranked No. 4 in the final AP Poll. He took Missouri back to the 2014 Cotton Bowl, where the Tigers defeated Oklahoma State and finished the year ranked No. 5 in the final AP Poll.
During his playing days, Pinkel was a tight end at Kent State before beginning his coaching career at his alma mater in 1974 as a graduate assistant under Hall of Fame coach Don James. He then spent one year at Washington and two seasons at Bowling Green before returning to Washington, where he again served as an assistant under James from 1979-90, the last six years as offensive coordinator. Pinkel received his bachelor's degree from Kent State.
Mack Rhoades is in his seventh year as the Baylor Vice President & Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. NACDA's 2019-20 Under Armour AD of the Year and Sports Business Journal's 2021 Athletics Director of the Year, Rhoades has helped direct the Bears to 24 Big 12 championships and seven national crowns. He has hired three football coaches who played in New Year's Six bowl games and saw the Baylor men's basketball team claim the 2021 NCAA Championship. His vision of "Preparing Champions for Life" at Baylor seeks to enrich the student-athlete experience through academic achievement, athletic success, character formation and spiritual growth.
Rhoades has also helped revamp the campus through a bevy of facility projects, including the opening of the new Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion, a $212.6 million dollar basketball facility on the banks of the Brazos River. The Bears will soon open the Fudge Family Development Center, a building that will serve as the home of the Baylor football program.
Rhoades previously served as athletics director at Missouri (2015-16), vice president for athletics at Houston (2009-15) and athletics director at Akron (2006-09). He began his career at Yale before spending time at Marquette and UTEP. Rhoades graduated from the University of Arizona and earned a master's degree from Indiana University.
Will Shields is one of the most highly decorated offensive linemen in the history of football. A former Outland Trophy winner and consensus All-American guard at the University of Nebraska, he played for the Cornhuskers from 1989-92 and is one of only 16 players in school history to have his jersey retired. In 1999 Shields was selected to the Walter Camp Foundation College Football All-Century Team and in 2011 was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Shields was a third-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1993 NFL Draft, where he would never miss a game in 14 seasons, starting 231 consecutive games at right guard. He went to the Pro Bowl every year from 1995 to 2006, a Chiefs team record of 12 appearances, and in 2015 was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In 2003 Shields was the recipient of the NFL's prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his work with The "Will to Succeed" Foundation, the charitable organization he started in 1993. The foundation has raised millions of dollars and helped over 100,000 individuals since its inception, guiding and inspiring the lives of those less fortunate by providing financial, educational and other everyday resources.
Carla Williams is in her seventh year as director of athletics at the University of Virginia. During her time in Charlottesville, the Cavaliers have captured multiple national titles across numerous sports, including the 2019 men's basketball title, 2019 and 2021 men's lacrosse titles, three straight women's swimming and diving championships from 2021-23, and the 2022 and 2023 men's tennis team titles. In addition, UVA has won 17 ACC Championships.
In the classroom, UVA student-athletes have set record numbers for placement on the ACC Honor Roll, achieving the highest grade-point average totals in program history while being recognized by the NCAA for outstanding achievement on academic progress reports. Since 2020, 12 UVA student-athletes have been named ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in their respective sports. In 2021, the Sports Business Journal named her one of its finalists for Division I Athletics Director of the Year.
Williams was a three-year starter and All-SEC guard for the University of Georgia women's basketball team from 1987-89. After her playing career, she then served as an assistant coach for the team before moving into administration as UGA's assistant director of compliance for a year before taking administrative roles at Florida State and Vanderbilt. In 2004, Williams returned to Georgia, where she worked her way up the ranks to deputy director of athletics before departing for UVA. Williams earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Georgia and a doctorate from Florida State.
Hunter Yurachek is in his seventh year at the University of Arkansas, where the Razorbacks are in the midst of the most successful era of its program with three consecutive top-15 Directors' Cup finishes after earning only one top-15 finish in the first 24 years of the competition. Arkansas has made its mark in one the most competitive conferences in the nation, leading the SEC with 33 SEC championships in the past six years, including 25 conference titles in the past four years alone. Both marks lead all SEC programs. Yurachek is also a member of the NCAA Football Oversight Committee, a role he has held since 2021 after previously serving on the Football Competition Committee.
Prior to coming to Fayetteville, Yurachek served as director of athletics at both Coastal Carolina University (2010-15) and the University of Houston (2015-17). He also held various athletics administration leadership positions at the University of Akron, University of Virginia, Western Carolina University, Vanderbilt University and Wake Forest University.
Yurachek earned his bachelor's degree in business management at Guilford College in 1990, where he was a four-year letter winner in basketball. He earned his master's degree in sports administration from the University of Richmond in 1994.
The CFP selection committee is responsible for ranking the 25 teams in the playoff and assigning the top 12 participants to the playoff bracket. The committee meets in-person beginning late in the football season and produces a ranking of the top 25 teams each week leading up to its final selections. The other returning selection committee members are Chris Ault (longtime head coach and athletics director at the University of Nevada), Chet Gladchuk (athletics director, U.S. Naval Academy), Jim Grobe (longtime head coach at Ohio University, Wake Forest and Baylor), Manuel (athletics director, University of Michigan), David Sayler (athletics director, Miami University, OH), Shields (former All-American offensive lineman, University of Nebraska), and Kelly Whiteside (professor at Montclair State University and longtime sportswriter for USA Today, Sports Illustrated and Newsday).
The College Football Playoff (CFP) is the event that crowns the national champion in college football. The CFP Selection Committee ranks the top 25 teams at the end of the season, and the 12 playoff participants consist of the six highest ranked conference champions, plus the next six highest ranked teams. The four highest ranked conference champions will be seeded one through four and receive a first-round bye. The schools seeded five through eight will host those seeded nine through 12 in first-round games. The quarterfinals and semifinals rotate annually among six bowl games – the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl Game presented by Prudential and the Allstate Sugar Bowl. This year's quarterfinals will take place on Dec. 31, 2024 and January 1, 2025, while the semifinals will be January 9-10, 2025. The College Football Playoff National Championship will be Monday, January 20, 2025, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. For additional information on the College Football Playoff, visit CollegeFootballPlayoff.com.