Syracuse names ESPN VP John Wildhack new director of athletics

The Syracuse Orange have been looking for a new director of athletics over the last few months and it looks like they have finally found their next leader. The school reported they had hired ESPN Executive Vice President and Syracuse alum John Wildhack to take over the position.

Wildhack graduated from Syracuse in 1980 and immediately began working at ESPN. He has been with the company for nearly 40 years and has held many different roles with them, including his current one since January of 2014.

“John is an entrepreneurial, outside-the-box leader who brings an unparalleled set of skills and experiences to the director of athletics position,” Chancellor Kent Syverud said. “As a leader at ESPN, he has demonstrated a keen ability to identify and implement strategies aimed at elevating the entire organization. That record of success, combined with his extensive history of building and inspiring teams, will allow him to immediately and positively impact the lives of our student-athletes. This is a new day in the life of the Department of Athletics. I look forward to watching John, in collaboration with our talented coaches and staff, bring his bold vision for the department to life.”

John Wildhack was instrumental in bringing live college football to ESPN during the 1980s. In fact, he produced the company’s first broadcast of a regular-season college football game in 1984 and their first live NFL game in 1987.

It will certainly be interesting to see what he can do with the position as he tries to help the Orange become a powerhouse in the sporting world once again.

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