It feels like just last year that Syracuse found itself searching for a new athletics director, because of course, it was. With Mark Coyle’s sudden departure for Minnesota earlier this week, the higher ups at Syracuse University will be looking to fill the void sooner than later, and one name is starting to gain a bit of steam: Nick Carparelli.
Now, when I say “gaining steam” I should point out that it’s a name being bandied about by media types and some Syracuse alumni, including Sean McDonough, who took the the radio yesterday and enthusiastically endorsed Carparelli for the position. Word is that Mike Tirico has also reportedly given his nod of approval, as well.
For those not familiar, Carparelli is currently the Senior Director of College Sports for Under Armour, a position he’s held since 2014. Prior to that, he served, briefly, as the Senior Associate Commissioner for the American Athletic Conference, a role he had carried over from holding the same position with the Big East Conference from 2002 until 2013.
Carparelli has also worked as the Director of Operations for the New England Patriots, a position he held for a year from 2001 to 2002, and was a football administrator at Notre Dame prior to that. Most significantly for Syracuse, however (apart from working from the Big East), he received his MBA from Syracuse and served as the Assistant Director of Football Operations under Paul Pasqualoni’s staff from 1992 to 1994.
Now, the big question surrounding Carparelli is: why would he leave a presumably very lucrative position at Under Armour in order to take on a job as an athletics administrator? Well, for starters while Syracuse likely can’t offer him what he makes at UA, it’ll still be a salary in the high six figures. But more than that, Carparelli has a deep love of Syracuse, as documented in a 2010 piece by the Post-Standard. Despite being 20 years removed from his time at Syracuse, he remains a passionate fan of the Orange, and the buzz is that the athletics director gig is one he would potentially leap at, given the chance.
I mean, this is a man who told the Post-Standard that, “It definitely feels like home when I go to Syracuse.”
The process to find Mark Coyle’s replacement will no doubt be intensive, and I have little doubt that Kent Syverud and the Board of Trustees will do every bit of their due diligence in finding the right person for the job. However, it’d be highly beneficial to have a new athletics director in place by the time the new (academic) fiscal year rolls around, which is July. There will no doubt be a number of tremendous candidates to fill the position, but in this case, the most obvious choice may in fact be the right one.
I talked a little bit more about what bringing in Carparelli could mean on the larger scale, in terms of his Under Armour connections, yesterday, if you feel like checking that out.