De Carolis interviews at UMass
De Carolis interviews at UMass

OSU's associate AD was assistant coach for Minutemen

By BROOKS HATCH

Gazette-Times reporter

Oregon State senior associate athletic director Bob De Carolis has interviewed for the vacant athletic director's job at the University of Massachusetts and remains very interested in the position.

"I was out there on this past Monday,'' said De Carolis, reported to be one of the six finalists for the post, on Wednesday. "I think it went OK, but you never know on those things.''

UMass is seeking a successor to Bob Marcum, who is now the AD at Marshall University in West Virginia. Bill Strickland, an associate under Marcum and another of the finalists, is running the department on an interim basis.

De Carolis, 49, has strong UMass ties that make the job attractive. He was an assistant football and softball coach there in 1978-79 while he earned his Master of Science degree in sports management.

Also, most of his extended family still lives in the Eastern Time Zone.

"I want to be a Division I athletic director at the right school; I don't want to be an AD just to be an AD,'' he said. "It has to be the right situation.

"We're in a good situation at Oregon State. But this might be special, any time you look at going back to your alma mater. It was a special place.''

UMass belongs to the Atlantic-10 Conference and won that league's 2002 Commissioner's Cup for the best overall performance in the 22 men's and women's sports the league sponsors.

The Minutemen won the Division I-AA national football championship several years ago and the men's basketball program was a national power in the mid-1990s.

"It's a place that's had some success with their sports,'' De Carolis said. "They want to raise (athletics) to the next level and go more national, which is exciting. They've got a great facility in the Mullins Center,'' which houses the basketball and hockey programs.

"They have a new chancellor (John Lombardi), who was the president at Florida. He is very in tune to college athletics and has a lot of energy. It's an exciting situation. So we'll see.''

There had been some speculation that UMass might drop football, but that apparently is not the case.

"The impression I got from the president is that he understands how important football is, and that he would like to position the program to be moving toward I-A because (I-A membership criteria) is in such a fluid state,'' De Carolis said.

"My impression is that football is on solid ground there and that (Lombardi) wants to ratchet up the athletic department and the university to be more aggressive and entrepreneurial.''

De Carolis came to OSU from Michigan in April 1998, as the No. 2 administrator in the athletic department. He oversees day-to-day operations, with special emphasis on business and financial operations, marketing, tickets, sports information, event facilities and management, and sport management.

De Carolis is also heavily involved with the Reser Stadium renovation and Gill Coliseum annex projects.

The Boston Globe newspaper reported Tuesday that the other candidates are Strickland; Northeastern AD Ian McCaw; Ohio University AD Thomas Boeh, and Notre Dame associate AD Bubba Cunningham. The newspaper reported that Strickland has been endorsed by Marcum.

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