Mike Slive (L), poses with Bernie Machen, Brady Deaton and Mike Alden at the announcement that Missouri would join the SEC (photo/2011)

The Southeastern Conference is mourning the loss of former commissioner Mike Slive.  He died Wednesday at the age of 77 in Birmingham, Alabama.  A cause of death has not been revealed.  Slive retired in 2015 after 13 seasons at the helm in which he helped elevate the SEC to unprecedented success.  He was fighting prostate cancer when he stepped down.

Slive played a major role when the league expanded and added Mizzou and Texas A & M.

“We are pleased, and we are proud to welcome you to the family of the Southeastern Conference,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive told hundreds of Missouri students and alumni at the campus union. “We know that homecoming is a special tradition here at Missouri. So let me say to the entire Missouri nation, ‘Welcome to your new home.'”

Missouri joined the league on July 1, 2012.

Quote from SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey on Slive’s death:

“Mike Slive literally changed the world through his life. He was a friend before we worked together. He was a friend when we were colleagues. He remained a friend in his retirement as I succeeded him as commissioner. Today we all lost a friend. We will miss him for his work and especially for his compassion. Our prayers are with Liz, Anna, Judd and Abigail.”