Syracuse was left without an Athletic Director for the second straight summer after Mark Coyle left the university to join the University of Minnesota. However, this time, the search committee was able to find a replacement in a swift manner as Syracuse alum and ESPN executive John Wildhack was named the new Athletic Director. Wildhack was formally introduced to the media and the fans on Tuesday morning in a press conference and there were several important things that Orange fans can take away from it.
Wildhack Bleeds Orange and He is Here to Stay
“It is great to be home… We look forward to being here for a long, long, long time.”
There is no secret that Syracuse takes care of its own. The athletic department is full of proud alumni and Syracuse alumni take care of one another in every field outside of the university. Wildhack is a proud alum who hired countless Syracuse alumni while at ESPN and he called his hire a return home. Syracuse fans are surely tired of having to be introduced to a new AD and Syracuse found a man who truly wants to be un Upstate New York. He said Central New York is his home and he is not one who likes to move around and he is here to stay.
He Knows How to Promote the¬†University¬†
“The one thing I learned in my time at ESPN is that Syracuse’s brand, how respect and how impactful that is.
Wildhack comes from a different background than most college ADs but that is not necessarily a bad thing for Syracuse. One would be hard pressed to find someone who understands how to promote and “sell” the Syracuse University athletic department better than someone who was an executive at the largest sports broadcasting company in the country. Syracuse is already at the forefront in basketball and lacrosse and if anyone can bring Syracuse into greater prominence in other sports it is John Wildhack.
Wildhack is Excited as Anyone About Dino Babers and the SU Football Team¬†
“[Babers] has a fine philosopohy on offense. We are going to go spread. We are going to go fast. We are going to go faster than anyone goes.”
Sometimes head coaches and new Athletic Directors don’t see eye to eye. That is not a problem at Syracuse. Dino Babers was on the search committee that hired Wildhack and Wildhack’s eyes lit up when asked about the new football coach. He spoke with enthusiasm and admiration when talking about Babers and seemed genuinely excited to work with Babers and to see his philosophy put into action this fall.
Syracuse fans everywhere will be hoping that the university has finally found its guy that can lead the athletic department for years to come.
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