The Hill received a huge shock this morning when Syracuse University announced that Athletic Director Mark Coyle would be departing the school and going to the University of Minnesota. The statement cited “family reasons” as Coyle’s motive for the job change.
Naturally, people at Syracuse and in the greater college athletics world had something to say about the abrupt departure of Syracuse’s AD.
Football head coach Dino Babers asked, “Are you serious?” when he heard the news.
Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim called the announcement shocking.
“I would say it’s a surprise,” he told Syracuse.com. “I really liked Mark Coyle. I thought he was really good. Thought he had a good grip on everything in a relatively short period of time. It’s shocking. I like him a lot and I thought he was doing great.”
This quote shows that it is likely that Coyle’s departure really came out of left field. While Boeheim is not directly involved with the going-ons of the Athletic Department, you can be sure he has a pretty good idea of almost every decision they make. This leads directly into one of the most interesting reactions.
It came from Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey. He knows how influential Jim Boeheim is at Syracuse University and how much power he holds.
“I think they should make Boeheim the AD,” Brey said.
I am sure Syracuse fans will have very mixed reactions to Brey’s idea, but it should be said that this is not happening and nor should it.
Boeheim may be the most influential and arguably the most powerful person at Syracuse University but he is a Hall-of-Fame basketball coach in the twilight of his career. He has zero experience in sports outside of basketball and has never held a management position other than as a coach.
There have been a few people who have thrown Daryl Gross’ name out there. After the manner in which Gross stepped aside as AD it is hard to see him getting the job back full-time. However, someone needs to step in while a search committee is formed and Gross could be the guy to become the interim AD.
Syracuse is facing yet another long a difficult search for a new Athletic Director and it is anyone’s guess as to where they will look. Just don’t expect it to be Jim Boeheim.