Conference USA executive associate commissioner Judy MacLeod will serve as the league's interim head when longtime commissioner Britton Banowsky steps down on Sept. 15.

Banowsky has been commissioner 13 years and was an advocate for Old Dominion when the school joined the league in 2013. He is stepping down to lead philanthropic fundraising for the College Football Playoff organization in Dallas.

MacLeod has long been considered Banowsky's heir apparent.

ODU President John Broderick, who chairs the C-USA Board of Directors, said the league has begun a search for a permanent successor. The search will be led by the C-USA board, which includes presidents of six conference schools, but will include input from all 14 conference members.

"We are very fortunate to have someone with Judy's experience leading us," Broderick said in a statement released by the league. "She is well qualified and very well respected throughout college athletics."

She becomes the first woman ever to head any of the ten Football Bowl Subdivision leagues.

MacLeod joined Conference USA in 2005 after spending 15 years at the University of Tulsa, including ten as athletic director. She has served on numerous NCAA committees, including the Division I men's basketball committee.

This article was written by Harry Minium from The Virginian-Pilot and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.