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Orange Coaches React as SU Introduces AD John Wildhack

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Syracuse coaches give their two cents on the John Wildhack hiring, it’s impact, and what they expect from him.

NCAA Football: Syracuse-Dino Babers Press Conference Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse fans got their wish and Chancellor Syverud went with a “Syracuse guy” when it came to the new athletic director in John Wildhack (Class of ‘80). Let’s see how the Syracuse coaches reacted to the hiring and what they expect to see from the former ESPN executive.’s Stephen Bailey sat down with Dino Babers and discussed Wildhack. But first he had this to say about Mark Coyle leaving:

“I would tell (fans) that although they may not love Mark Coyle, that he wrote a fantastic contract for Syracuse University and they should put all that stuff to rest” Babers chuckled.

Babers on how he and the rest of the committee decided on Wildhack:

“First of all, you wanted someone who was going to stay at home,” Babers said of the SU graduate and Buffalo native. “And obviously, his resume, his track record, 36 years in one place at ESPN, the guy’s a mover and shaker.”

Jim Boeheim on his friend and new boss (via

“He’s been in athletics all his life,” Boeheim said Tuesday shortly after Wihldhack’s introductory press conference. “I think if he was a manager at GE, that’s an out of the box hire. He's a sports guy. He's been in sports all his life. He’s intimately acquainted with Syracuse and with sports. He’s managed people. That’s what an athletic director does. He manages people.”

On whether or not Wildhack could leave:

“He’s not going anywhere,” Boeheim said. “He was at one place 36 years. he’s not coming here to try to go to Ohio State. He’s here. He’ll be the AD here as long as he’s working.”

Boeheim also added that he would never want to be an athletic director and that he thinks that former coaches aren't always well-suited to be ADs.

Syracuse Cross Country and Track and Field coach Chris Fox on the hiring:

“He’s an impressive man with impressive credentials. I liked everything he had to say today and feel like were in good hands. I’ve been here 11 years and feel like I’m a Syracuse guy so it’s nice to have a Syracuse guy taking over.”

John Desko, Syracuse men’s lacrosse coach, also added praise for Wildhack:

“I’m excited about it. I’ve known John for quite some time through his brother Henry and bumping into John occasionally. I think obviously the position he had at ESPN was very important, so for him to leave that shows his desire to be here. He showed his excitement in accepting the position.”