Boise State loses athletic director Coyle to Syracuse but does it really qualify as a loss?

Posted: 06/19/2015 in college basketball, college football
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Boise State will spend the summer searching for a new athletic director.

Syracuse University announced Friday night that it has decided on Broncos’ athletic director Mark Coyle to be the person who cleans up the big mess the Orange athletic department has become.

“I recognize that Syracuse University student-athletes, coaches, athletic staff and fans are among the best in the country,” Coyle said in Syracuse’s press release. “I am eager to work beside them and look forward to becoming a part of Orange Nation.”

Nice jump in pay for Coyle, who has been working very hard at putting Boise in his rear-view mirror. He recently was a finalist for the Pittsburgh athletic director position and then hotly pursued the Syracuse gig.

Coyle gets to inherit the messy situation involving basketball coach Jim Boeheim, who has a tarnished reputation after having 108 victories vacated due to academic and drug-testing violations dating back to 2001. The football program also vacated 11 wins due to its own infractions.

Good luck with this Syracuse as nobody really knows whether or not Coyle can manage such complicated high-pressure situations. Actually, all Coyle really did at Boise State was keep things from declining.

He had the easiest coaching search in recent college football memory when Chris Petersen left for Washington. Hometown boy Bryan Harsin — a former Boise State player and assistant coach — wanted to return home after one season as Arkansas State’s coach and all Coyle had to do was make sure he didn’t mess up the hire.

Basketball coach Leon Rice was already in place and Coyle arrived in town during the 2011-12 season just as Rice was in position to get things going. The two recent NCAA tournament berths are a credit to what Rice built, not to anything Coyle has done.

A big downside for Syracuse is that Coyle packed no presence in Boise. People don’t know him, people never see him, and people don’t have an emotional pull with him like they did with former athletic director Gene Bleymaier.

He is going to have to be much more visible in Syracuse, where they follow the men’s basketball program like it’s an NBA team. That means standing up in front of the cameras regularly and being accountable.

Coyle begins his new duties on July 6. Boise State marked Coyle’s first time running an athletic department and I expect school president Bob Kustra to hire another first-time athletic director.

That means a hire that comes cheaper and is easier for the university prez to control.

I don’t think I will be proven wrong with that assertion.

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