A “new era” began at USF when the school introduced Scott Sidwell as its new athletic director in front of administrators, coaches, alumni, athletes and fans Monday.
“To our student-athletes, this is our time,” Sidwell said. “Our time to take you to a new level.”
Sidwell is the seventh athletic director at USF since 1961, taking over for interim athletic director Gary Nelson.
Nelson’s interim status began after the resignation of Debra Gore-Mann in September 2010.
Most recently, Sidwell was the executive senior associate athletic director at Syracuse, where he headed all external operations, marketing, communications, ticket sales and media properties.
He also led the Orange Club, which is the official fundraising organization for Syracuse athletics. During his directing tenure of the organization, Sidwell increased donation revenues by $6 million, bringing the total to
“I want the city of San Francisco to be proud to call us your team,” Sidwell said. “It’s about changing the culture, have all of our teams compete.”
Sidwell takes over a program rich in history — including nine NCAA championships, with four coming in men’s soccer and two in men’s basketball — but one that has fallen from that grace in recent years.
“You look for a place with great values,” Sidwell said of his decision to come to USF. “Coaches who are ready to roll up their sleeves.”
Sidwell saw the community rally around the Orange while at Syracuse. He said he believes “we can have that here.”
“We will become the athletic department everybody in the West Coast Conference strives to be,” Sidwell said. “We will have the premier facilities in the West Coast Conference.”
USF’s men’s golf team won the 2011 WCC Championships and will be in the NCAA Tournament.
The USF men’s basketball team had its first 10-win WCC schedule since the 1980s and advanced to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
“We’re going to get out into the community,” Sidwell said. “It can really be an exciting time if your team is winning.”
Sidwell, whose father coached in the NFL, said every time he sees a player, coach or administrator, he has two words for them: “Go Dons.”
Sidwell was chosen by a 10-person search committee, which included Nelson, women’s basketball coach Jennifer Azzi, men’s basketball coach Rex Walters and Jeremy Howell, USF’s NCAA faculty representative.