The Syracuse Orange have a new athletic director: John Wildhack. The ESPN lifer is a Syracuse University alum and leaves behind a pretty cushy, well-paid gig to run SU's sports programs. What does everyone think about this?
ESPN head honcho John Skipper released a statement:
He will be sorely missed by me and so many others, but the opportunity to go home to Syracuse, a place he has always loved, is a splendid next chapter in a distinguished career in sports media. Our loss is Syracuse’s gain, but the good news is that John will remain a member of our extended business circle.
Dino Babers released a quote as part of SU's statement:
"John doesn't shy away from taking risks, and he's always pushing his teams to be the first and the best. I expect John to be a catalyst for much growth and success in the future. I'm eager to welcome someone of his caliber to the Syracuse Athletics team and I am certain we will accomplish great things — both on and off the field."
Jim Boeheim has chimed in and said he's not only happy with the hiring but that he already has a working relationship with his new boss:
"The connection with Syracuse is good, but he's got great management experience and he's done a lot of different things. It's not just working with people, but he's solidified a lot of things in the sports world. He's got the management aspect and the sports which I think is crucial to me and the fact that he is a Syracuse guy and wants to be here and will be here is a positive, a great positive."
Brent Axe says that while Wildhack's SU connection isn't the only reason to hire him, it benefits him and the school greatly because he knows the lay of the land.
Wildhack won't have to come and do a listening tour like Coyle and 'get to know' the University and how the area ticks.
Wildhack didn't just want an athletic director job. He wanted this job.
Wildhack can come in and hit the ground running. He has skin in the game at a place he loves and wants to help make better because it is Syracuse, not just another link in the chain.
Plenty of ESPN and sports media folks seemed to think the move will be good, or at the very least interesting:
Espn exec John Wildhack will be #Syracuse's new AD... Interesting move on both sides of this.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) July 6, 2016
Syracuse hires ESPN's John Wildhack as new AD. Should do a great job at his alma mater.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 6, 2016
Syracuse announces ESPN's John Wildhack as AD. I want to publicly thank John for all his support. He has been a tremendous leader at ESPN.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) July 6, 2016
First blush reaction. The @Cuse John Wildhack hire is inspired & forward thinking in the current TV/media rights world of college athletics.— Brian Higgins (@BrianHigginsSU) July 6, 2016
Wow! Great hire: Syracuse names John Wildhack new athletic director.— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) July 6, 2016
John has been very kind and helpful to me at ESPN. He will be great.
ESPN will miss John Wildhack, but what an opportunity/resource for Syracuse. I'm sure this'll take their @NewhouseBDJ program to new heights— Howard Chen 陳定豪 (@TheHoChen) July 6, 2016
in other news, i don't really know john wildhack, but that seems like a savvy hire for syracuse and a great move for john.— El Flaco (@bomani_jones) July 6, 2016
Thank you John Wildhack for all you've done for me & others at ESPN. Great hire by @Cuse!— Dave Pasch (@DavePasch) July 6, 2016
Every time I saw Wildhack in Bristol, he wanted to talk 'Cuse hoops. Diehard Syracuse guy.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 6, 2016
Congratulations to our boss, John Wildhack, the new Syracuse AD. A great 36-year run at ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 6, 2016