The 2011-12 academic year marks the 20th year in Dennis Farrell's tenure as commissioner of the Big West Conference, but 32nd season on staff. He is the fourth full-time commissioner in the 41-year history of the Big West, following Jess Hill (1972-78), Lew Cryer (1978-88) and Jim Haney (1988-92).
Prior to assuming the role of commissioner on July 1, 1992, Farrell served the conference in various capacities as an assistant/associate commissioner since joining the conference in 1980. During his Big West tenure, Farrell has acted as the primary rule interpreter, championship administrator, schedule coordinator and director of the league's successful postseason basketball tournament.
Farrell has been active in representing the Big West on both the national and regional level. From 1994 to 1997 he served on the important NCAA Council and from 1991 to 1997 he sat on the NCAA Two-Year College Relations Committee (including serving as its chair from 1992 to 1995). He currently is the vice chair of the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee and is scheduled to chair that group in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Farrell also is presently a member of the Los Angeles Sports Council, which is active in securing, marketing and administering major athletic events for the Southern California area.
Before joining the Big West, Farrell was the sports information director for nearly three years at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, Calif. A 1974 graduate of San Diego State University, Farrell worked for the Daily Californian newspaper in El Cajon and radio station KDEO while attending college. From 1975 to 1977, he was employed as sports editor of the Saddleback Valley News in Mission Viejo. He also worked in the sports department of the Orange County edition of the Los Angeles Times.
Farrell and his wife, Charlene, reside in Coto de Caza with their sons, Timothy and Michael.