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3 things John Wildhack said at his introductory press conference

first_imgJohn Wildhack was introduced as Syracuse’s new director of athletics on Tuesday. The ESPN executive is expected to take over near the end of July and replace interim AD Daniel French.Here are three things Wildhack said at his introductory press conference.This is a homecomingFrom his first words — “It’s great to be home” — all the way through, it was clear that Wildhack’s hiring was giving fans what they wanted. French said having an “SU guy” was a factor last week, but not the biggest and acknowledged the university knew people wanted an AD invested in Syracuse for the long haul after former AD Mark Coyle’s brief stay at SU.On Tuesday, SU underscored its delivery on bringing in an “SU guy” with Wildhack’s hiring. Arguably the three most visible spokesmen for Syracuse — Chancellor Kent Syverud, Wildhack and head men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim — are all Upstate New York natives. Wildhack delved into Boeheim visiting his grandfather’s store in Newark, New York to get a soda when he was younger.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyverud, an Irondequoit, New York native, played on his roots, too.When Wildhack was asked why fans should believe this is his dream job, he cited his 36 years at ESPN, which he said prove he’s not a “transient.” He mentioned that he couldn’t uproot his family again.“It feels so right,” Wildhack said.Sitting down with coachesWhile men’s soccer head coach Ian McIntyre said he has had just a phone conversation with Wildhack, he joked he’d ask for more games on ESPN (McIntyre did say SU’s matchup with Clemson will be televised on the network).While Wildhack had his homecoming, most of his prep work is still ahead of him. McIntyre said the first time he met Wildhack face to face was this morning before the press conference. Wildhack deferred to having to truly sit down and talk to head football coach Dino Babers about scheduling. The new AD said that scheduling had to be a balance between scheduling competitive games while also scheduling bigger games.While he may not have to go on the same “listening tour” previous AD Mark Coyle said he had to go on, Wildhack is still getting a sense of the department’s terrain.Pivoting forwardIn interviews with other outlets, including the Syracuse Post-Standard, Wildhack said that his interest in the job had to be swayed after SU initially reached out to him. On Tuesday, Wildhack reiterated that, but said one turning point in his interest was a Saturday morning meeting with Syverud.Wildhack said the meeting helped change his mind and decide that a homecoming was the best option. Once his family confirmed the decision, he was set on coming to SU.The former ESPN executive didn’t just stick to athletics and the product SU has been able to put on the field as a reason to join the athletic department. He referenced the Campus Framework plan Syverud has worked on since he came to SU and the West Campus Project, a component of the framework plan. Wildhack said he felt a “positive energy” and reiterated that he saw the changes Syverud made as making SU better as an institution.Beyond just what’s on SU’s campus, he conveyed that Syracuse’s brand was nationally recognized from his time at ESPN. Comments Published on July 12, 2016 at 1:54 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @ChrisLibonati Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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