By RALPH D. RUSSO
AP College Football Writer
Mike Slive, the former Southeastern Conference commissioner who guided the league through a period of unprecedented success and prosperity, died Wednesday. He was 77.
The Southeastern Conference said Slive died Wednesday in Birmingham, Alabama, where he lived with his wife of 49 years, Liz. The conference didn't provide the cause of death.
Slive retired in 2015 after 13 years as commissioner. He was battling prostate cancer at the time he stepped down.
Slive replaced Roy Kramer as SEC commissioner in 2002 and helped clean up a conference that was beset by NCAA compliance issues. Soon after the SEC became the most powerful conference in college football, winning seven straight national championships and landing television contracts with billions.
He played a pivotal role in the creation of the College Football Football.