Syracuse University is now in need of a new athletic director, after Mark Coyle stepped down on Thursday to accept the same position at the University of Minnesota. ESPN was first to report the news.
If there was any indication that Coyle was planning on stepping down from his position, word never made it to head football coach Dino Babers.
“Are you serious? No comment,” Babers said when he was asked for his thoughts on Coyle’s departure.
At Minnesota, Coyle replaces interim athletic director Beth Goetz. Per ESPN, Minnesota’s new athletic director signed a reported five-year contract with a base salary of $850,000.
“So the question is, ‘Why Minnesota?’ And it was very simple for me,” said Coyle. “I’ve been in this a long time. We love this place. … This is a special place.”
Coyle plans to start at Minnesota shortly after Memorial Day.
As for his departure from Syracuse, he understands the timing was less than ideal.
“I regret the timing,” said Coyle. “That staff welcomed me, they bought in what we were trying to do. And I’m so grateful for them.”
Coyle previously served as associate AD of external relations with the University of Minnesota from 1999-2005. So while the timing of the announcement may leave a lot to be desired, it’s hard to blame a man for accepting a job that he so highly coveted all along.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports