John Iamarino was named the eighth commissioner of the Southern Conference on January 2, 2006. Since then, Iamarino and his staff have emphasized strategies to better serve the membership and raise the profile of the conference.
In collaboration with coaches and administrators, Iamarino led efforts that resulted in expansion of the membership, the addition of an extensive online merchandise store, the creation of a Hall of Fame, and the use of an online digital game-tape system to assist coaches with scouting reports and player evaluations.
Most recently, Iamarino hired Atlanta-based Career Sports & Entertainment (CSE) as the league's marketing/media consultant. In the summer of 2011, the conference signed a multi-year agreement to have a minimum of 40 live events carried exclusively on ESPN3, including extended coverage of the men's and women's basketball tournament and conference tournament championships in baseball, men's and women's soccer, volleyball and softball. A minimum eight-game football schedule serves as a cornerstone to the package.
One of the most visible achievements during Iamarino's tenure has been the creation of the Southern Conference Hall of Fame, whose inaugural class was enshrined on May 4, 2009. Among those who have been inducted are such sporting greats as Arnold Palmer, Jerry West, Sam Huff, Dick Groat, Frank Selvy, Rod Hundley and Lefty Driesell.
To find a home for the three SoCon institutions that sponsor swimming, Iamarino spearheaded efforts with three other Division I conferences to form the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA), a single-sport NCAA conference. He currently serves as Vice President of the association.
Iamarino, 57, has spent the past 28 years at the conference level, working at both the Sun Belt Conference and the Northeast Conference. Prior to joining the SoCon, he served as Commissioner of the NEC for nine years. During that time, the conference launched its first website, increased television coverage from 12 to 30 basketball games, started its first TV coverage of football, and initiated more aggressive marketing and merchandising efforts.
At the Sun Belt, he spent 13 years in a variety of publicity, compliance and administrative positions, rising to the level of Associate Commissioner. When the original Sun Belt merged with the then-American South Conference in 1991, Iamarino was the lone staffer from the original organization to move to the new Sun Belt, heading the transition team for the unprecedented merger of two Division I conferences.
He entered the field of intercollegiate athletics as Assistant Sports Information Director at Georgetown University in 1979 before moving on to become Sports Information Director at Jacksonville University.
He has been actively involved in a number of NCAA committees. He most recently served as chair of the Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP). Previously he was a member of the Baseball Rules Committee, FCS Football Governance Committee, and has served on several sub-committees of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA).
Iamarino is a native of Monsey, NY and a 1977 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, where he earned magna cum laude honors majoring in journalism. An amateur baseball historian, he has been a contributor to Baseball Digest magazine. He resides in Spartanburg, S.C. with his wife Mary Ann and son P.J.