From Notre Dame football co-captain to MBA to the NBA.

Byron Spruell’s journey from Irish offensive lineman from 1984-87 under Lou Holtz to MBA in 1989 to a 25-plus-year career in global professional services landed him Thursday in the NBA as the league’s president of league operations, commissioner Adam Silver announced.

He will begin his new role Aug. 1.

Spruell’s responsibilities will include overseeing rule change processes, game official training and evaluation and conduct standards and discipline enforcement. He also will work with USA Basketball and the International Basketball Federation to promote the game worldwide.

“As a lifelong NBA fan, I’m privileged to join the league at such an exciting time,” Spruell said in a statement. “Having watched the NBA’s continued ascendance from afar, I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity than a leadership role with a forward-thinking organization that embraces new technology and modern management techniques while upholding the critical principles of transparency and integrity.”

Spruell has more than 25 years of global professional services experience and is on boards of the Museum of Science and Industry, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Metropolitan Family Services in Chicago as well as the Jackie Robinson Foundation in New York.

Spruell, who was a 6-foot-4, 279-pound right tackle, was raised in Cleveland and graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in mechanical engineering before earning his MBA in finance two years later.

“Byron’s excellent track record of operations and employee management coupled with his established leadership skills make him well suited to further develop and enhance the processes supporting our game,” Silver said. “An innovator with strong strategic vision and a willingness to challenge the status quo, Byron is a terrific addition to the NBA’s executive team and will be instrumental in helping to shape the future of our league.”


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