NFL taps Mary Ann Turcke as first woman to serve as Chief Operating Officer

The NFL has promoted Maryann Turcke to chief operating officer, making her the highest-ranking woman at the league offices. Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday, March 13, 2018, she has “distinguished herself by leading NFL Network to a record-setting year.”(Colin Young-Wolff/AP Images for NFL Network, File)

On Tuesday, the NFL promoted Mary Ann Turcke to be its new Chief Operating Officer, making her the highest-ranking woman in the NFL or any major professional sports league. Turcke was previously hired last February to be the head of NFL Media, which includes, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, NFL Mobile and NFL Now.

“Since joining NFL Media last year, Maryann has distinguished herself by leading NFL Network to a record-setting year,” said Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We look forward to Maryann building upon this success, and her previous achievements as president of Bell Media, as she steps into this larger role. I expect her leadership, vision and corporate governance experience to help evolve our organization and take it to a higher level.”

Even as ratings declined in her first year heading up the NFL Media division, Turcke oversaw a five-year $2 billion deal with Verizon to stream games as well as Fox buying the Thursday Night Football package for $660 million.

Turcke’s ascendance in the NFL hierarchy has been a meteoric one. Prior to joining the NFL in 2017, Turcke was the president of of Bell Media, Canada’s largest mass media company.

As head of NFL Media, Turcke controlled a major revenue-generating division for the league out of Los Angeles, but will now share some of Goodell’s day-to-day work from NFL headquarters in New York City, replacing Leiweke, who was previously the Seattle Seahawks chief executive.

Turcke’s promotion is just the latest move in an off-season of upheaval among the league’s executive structure as the league’s media specialist, Natalie Ravitz and spokesman Joe Lockhart, have both left this year. In her new role, Turcke will run the marketing, communications, human resources, international and events, and technology departments.

Wednesday, March 14
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DJ Dunson is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or find him on Twitter or Facebook.