Merton Hanks Named Senior Associate Commissioner of Conference USA

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Merton Hanks

Merton Hanks

Former Seahawks safety Merton Hanks has been named Senior Associate Commissioner for Conference USA. He will be responsible for managing all of the league’s operations for football and baseball.

Hanks comes to C-USA following 13 seasons with the NFL, where he served as Vice President, Football Operations & Compliance since 2011. In that role, he served as the NFL Compliance Appeals officer, instituted safety and equipment upgrades, and coordinated departmental business strategy. Hanks served as the Co-Chair of the NFL College Relations and Campus Visitation Committee and served as the lead liaison to AFCA, NFLPA, NCAA and NFL club administration. Prior to his promotion to Vice President in 2011, Hanks served in the NFL’s Football Operations and Consumer Products areas for eight years.

“We are very excited to welcome Merton to our senior management team,” said C-USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod. “The qualities, experiences, skill set and overall perspective he brings will enable him to make an immediate impact and provide meaningful service to our membership.”

With Conference USA, Hanks will be responsible for the conference’s football and baseball operations, including officiating, scheduling, game operations, player conduct and safety and more. He will also oversee the league’s public affairs activities, including media, public and community relations.

“I am thrilled to be joining Conference USA,” said Hanks. “The dynamic vision of Commissioner MacLeod, the passionate conference staff and clear commitment to serving the student athlete make for a great fit.”

Hanks played nine seasons in the NFL, eight with the San Francisco 49ers (1991-1998), and he finished his NFL career in 1999 with the Seahawks. Hanks was a starting safety on the 49ers team that won Super Bowl XXIX over San Diego in January, 1995. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection (1994-1997), a three-time All-Pro member (1994, 1995, 1997), and was named the NFL Alumni Defensive Back of the Year in 1995.

Since his retirement as a player, he has served in a number of radio and television roles, while also conducting speaking engagements around the country.

A Dallas native, Hanks graduated from Lake Highlands High School. He played college football at Iowa, earning a B.A. in Liberal Arts in 1990. Hanks also completed the Sport Administration master’s program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business Executive Education in 2005 and 2012.


Merton Hanks (#36) played safety for the Seahawks in the 1999 season.