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ESPN Employees Give Syracuse AD John Wildhack Proper Sendoff

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As he leaves to become the new Syracuse University athletic director, ESPN employees reflect on John Wildhack's time at ESPN.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday marked John Wildhack's last day at ESPN as he will now transition to becoming the next Athletic Director of Syracuse University. Wildhack joined ESPN in 1980 and held various positions during his 36 year career. Due to his many different roles, he interacted with virtually everyone at ESPN and therefore, people had many things to say about John as he leaves to start this new chapter of his career. Below are some of the things that his ESPN colleagues had to say about Wildhack today.

Lindsay Czarniak - "I will truly miss seeing John around campus in Bristol as well as on location at various 'on the road' events where I've seen him frequently over the past few years. I'm grateful to have been able to work for someone who is a terrific leader and a great person. He lets you know he cares about your happiness at work and is also genuinely interested in how your family is doing. He recently spent time with my family at the Indy 500 and they all said the same thing - 'That John Wildhack seems like a really great guy.'

Jon Gruden - "John is a great friend and he is a big reason why I'm at ESPN. What I respect most about John is that he is always honest. He didn't hold back and he held us all accountable. He wanted us to be ambitious and set a high bar that we will continue to strive for on Monday Night Football. He has done so much for ESPN and we are going to miss him, but John is going to be a great athletic director at Syracuse. I have no doubt about that."

Sean McDonough - "While I am sorry to see him leave ESPN, I am delighted for John and for Syracuse University that he will be our next athletic director. John is an outstanding person. He is smart, is a great leader, and he loves Syracuse. His remarkable career at ESPN has been well-chronicled and speaks for itself. He is one of the most important people in the history of ESPN. I am grateful to him for his friendship and for all he has done for me, personally and professionally. Now, as he, Amy and their boys begin this exciting new chapter, I look forward to watching him use his considerable talents to elevate the athletic program at our beloved alma mater."

Sage Steele - "It is so rare to get the opportunity to know one of your bosses on a personal level, but that's exactly what I have been able to do with John. His dedication and love for his wife Amy and his sons always shined through, and to me, that says more than anything. So thank you John for being a great example, not just on the court, but off the court as well. That's where it really counts. You will be missed!"

Scott Van Pelt - "Personally and professionally, I am conflicted about this. I'm happy for John because I know how much he loves Syracuse and how great he will be in this role. Selfishly, I'll miss him for our company and myself. He was a wonderful advocate who helped me see great vision for myself and created an avenue to show it. His faith and encouragement were a big reason I was willing to tackle a new challenge. I hope he takes from here that same confidence that he can, and will, be great in this next chapter of his life. Because that's exactly what he's going to do. Like another Syracuse guy I know who moved on to another gig, he'll always have ESPN in his heart as ESPN will have a place in its heart for him. A big one."

Based on all of these great comments, it seems like Syracuse made the perfect choice for their next athletic director. Now that the Wildhack era is officially beginning, it will be exciting to see what changes and improvements are made in the near future.

If you would like to see more reflections from ESPN employees about Wildhack, you can check them out here.