April 29, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO ---The University of San Francisco is pleased to welcome Scott Sidwell as its Director of Athletics. A dynamic and experienced leader, Sidwell served most recently as the executive senior associate athletic director at Syracuse University, and comes to the Hilltop after a comprehensive nationwide search.
"I am excited to join a department that has such great history and reputation in college athletics," Sidwell said. "The vision of the University of San Francisco is to educate leaders for a better world, and that's the ideal platform for our student-athletes to excel in the classroom, in competition, and in the community. I look forward to working with our student-athletes, staff, and coaches to reach new levels of success in all areas."
At Syracuse, Sidwell headed all external operations for the perennial BIG EAST Conference power and directed the department's marketing, communications, ticket sales and media properties efforts. He supervised the Orange Club, the official fundraising organization for Syracuse athletics, and served as the lead senior associate athletic director for campus relations and strategic planning.
Sidwell will be introduced at a press conference Monday, May 9, beginning at 11:00 AM in the front lobby of War Memorial Gym on the USF campus. Following the press conference, a reception will be held to welcome Sidwell and his family to the Hilltop. All university personnel, alumni, fans and friends of USF Athletics are encouraged to attend.
"After an exhaustive and highly competitive national search, we are thrilled to have Scott Sidwell as our new Athletic Director." said Jeffrey Brand, dean of the USF School of Law, and chair of the search committee. "He comes with a proven track record and a broad range of experience in NCAA Division I athletics, including his current work in one of America's top programs. He has all the skills to insure that our student-athletes achieve academic and athletic success and to bring prominence to USF Athletics."
Brand was joined on the search committee by: Dr. Gary Nelson, USF Interim Athletic Director, Charles Cross, USF Vice President for Business and Finance, Jack Boland, alumnus, Dick Saalfeld, alumnus and former member of the USF Board of Trustees, Dr. Jeremy Howell, USF's NCAA Faculty Representative, Liz Miles, athletic department project manager and three USF head coaches - Jennifer Azzi, women's basketball, Erik Visser, men's soccer and Rex Walters, men's basketball. DHR International, one of the nation's leading executive search firms, worked with the committee throughout the process.
Sidwell becomes the seventh athletic director at USF since 1961 and takes the reigns from interim athletic director Dr. Gary Nelson, who has served since September of 2010 after the resignation of Debra Gore-Mann.
"We are excited about the bright future of USF athletics and the exciting possibilities that Scott Sidwell brings with him to the Hilltop," said USF president Stephen A. Privett, S.J. "His energy and experience will contribute significantly to the success of our teams and student-athletes."
At Syracuse, Sidwell played a key role marketing one of the nation's most storied athletic programs. He led the major campaign for all capital projects and facilities, managed all major gift planning and donor naming opportunities, and structured the "SU Tomorrow" capital campaign.
As director of the Orange Club, Sidwell worked on the $19M Carmelo Anthony Basketball Facility and a major capital campaign to upgrade Manley Field House. Past major projects with the Orange Club included major renovations to the Manley Field House lobby, locker rooms, and construction of three new suites and an executive club suite.
Before assuming the role of executive senior associate athletic director in September of 2008, Sidwell served as the senior associate athletic director for development, starting in January of 2006. Sidwell spearheaded the Athletic departments efforts for the "The Campaign for Syracuse University" which Athletics has raised $106M towards its $150M departmental goal. In his time directing the Orange Club, donation revenues to Syracuse Athletics increased from $6.5M to $12.5M.
During his tenure, Syracuse captured 10 BIG EAST regular season championships, six BIG EAST Conference tournament championships and back-to-back NCAA Championships in men's lacrosse (2007-08).
USF will be Sidwell's first athletic director post, and he takes over a program on the upswing. USF's women's cross country team secured back-to-back WCC championships (2009-10) and the men's golf program recently captured its second league title in three seasons. In basketball, USF posted a remarkable turnaround, highlighted by the program's first 10-victory WCC campaign since 1982 and a semifinal appearance in the 2011 CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament.
"My vision for USF Athletics is to develop student-athletes who will excel in the classroom, win at the highest levels of competition, engage in the community and become leaders who will make a difference in the world," Sidwell said.
Prior to joining the athletics staff at Syracuse, Sidwell spent five seasons at his alma mater, Tulane University. He joined the Green Wave in 2000 as the associate athletic director for corporate development, and led Tulane's external operations staff from 2003-05. Sidwell supervised all athletic department external operations efforts including development (Tulane Athletic Fund), sales and marketing, radio and television, special events, and media/public relations. Sidwell served as the sport administrator for baseball, men's golf, and track, as executive director of the T Club Letterman's Association and as coordinator of the Perpetual Wave capital campaign.
Before his successful career in collegiate athletic administration, Sidwell made an impact in professional sports in New Orleans. After spending two seasons as the director of group sales for the Class AAA New Orleans Zephyrs (1996-97), Sidwell took over as the director of marketing operations for the New Orleans Saints for two seasons (1998-00).
A 1994 Tulane graduate, Sidwell earned two varsity letters for the Green Wave baseball squad as an outfielder. As a senior, Sidwell helped Tulane to a 41-victory season and a berth in the 1994 NCAA regionals. He won the 1994 Jim and Joan Lebreton Leadership Award and spent his first two seasons at Brown University, where he was a unanimous All-Ivy selection in 1991.
Following his playing career, Sidwell coached on the baseball staff at Tulane University and helped the Green Wave post a 75-46 overall record from 1995-96. Highlights included the program's inaugural Conference USA title in 1996, a 43-win season and a 1996 NCAA regional berth.
Sidwell and his wife, Samantha, have three children: Madison (13), Beau (11) and Lily (3).
What they are saying about Scott Sidwell
"Scott has been a key member of the team that has taken SU Athletics to extraordinary heights," says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. "He has helped create the strongest athletics program top to bottom that SU has ever had--especially in terms of the resources and support needed to achieve excellence on and off the field. While we'll always consider Scott part of the SU family, the University of San Francisco is getting an outstanding leader."
Chancellor and President, Syracuse University
"We will truly miss Scott, as his hard work significantly enhanced Syracuse Athletics. He led us to record fund raising levels and was a brilliant administrator, overseeing and helping to shape many areas of the department. We are much better today because of his loyal service. I believe he will do an excellent job at the University of San Francisco, as I know he will set the bar of expectations high and accomplish his vision of excellence."
-Dr. Daryl Gross
Director of Athletics, Syracuse
"We appreciate the fund raising work Scott did for Syracuse, especially in regard to the Carmelo Anthony Basketball Center. We wish Scott the best of luck in his new position."
Head Coach, Syracuse Men's Basketball
Naismith Hall of Fame Member
"I wish Scott all the best in his new role as Athletic Director at the University of San Francisco. He leaves behind many contributions to Syracuse and the BIG EAST in his six years with the Orange. He is deserving of this new challenge and is sure to meet it with success and achievement."
Commissioner, BIG EAST Conference
"We are grateful for Scott's efforts to help us build communitywide support for the football program and in enhancing the atmosphere in the Carrier Dome. We wish him well in leading the University of San Francisco athletics program."
Head Coach, Syracuse Football
"Scott is among the bright young leaders in intercollegiate athletics, and no doubt he will do a great job at USF."
- Britton B. Banowsky
Commissioner, Conference USA
"Scott was instrumental in developing resources and support as our programs experienced unprecedented successes in academics, competition, and in our community. The greatest achievement was his role in helping Tulane through the disaster of Katrina, which has allowed us to rebuild ourselves as a university and program. He will bring leadership, energy, vision, and passion to both the Hilltop and the Bay Area communities. Congratulations, this is a great hire!
- Rick Dickson
Athletic Director, Tulane
"We are excited about the possibilities for the future of USF Athletics that Scott Sidwell brings with him to the Hilltop. His energy and experience will contribute significantly to the continuing success of our teams and the overall well-being of our student athletes."
- Rev. Stephen A. Privett, S.J.
President, University of San Francisco
"I had the opportunity to visit with Scott and came away very impressed. Scott brings so much to the table and I am more than confident that he is going to do great things on the Hilltop. This is an exciting day for USF Athletics and I am ready to work for and with Scott as he works to take our Athletics Department to even greater heights. We all need to welcome Scott and his family to the University of San Francisco."
- Rex Walters
Head Coach, San Francisco Men's Basketball
"Scott has an energetic, dynamic personality which will resonate with the university community, alumni and throughout the city of San Francisco and beyond. Scott is passionate about the welfare of student-athletes and the quality of their experience representing the University of San Francisco. I look forward to Scott joining the USF family. "
Head Coach, San Francisco Men's Soccer