Oregon St. Athletic Director Bob DeCarolis announced today that his 17 year run at OSU will come to an end when he steps down June 30.
DeCarolis in a statement released today did not give a reason for his decision, or mention either his battle with Parkinson's disease or his future plans, though its apparent he hopes for a future, stating he is "looking forward to pcoming adventures in the world of intercollegiate athletics."
Known as "Bob the Builder", DeCarolis has been in the midst of renovations to Reser Stadium, including "Raising Reser", Goss Stadium, and Gill Coliseum, and the Truax Indoor Center was initially built, and subsequently enhanced.
The impending rebuild of the Valley Football Center was his latest major project, which followed also building the OSU Softball Complex, the Whyte Track and Field Center, at least through Phase I, the Beth Ray Center for Academic Support, the OSU Basketball Center, the Sports Performance Center, the Dale Thomas Wrestling Facility, the Samaritan Athletic Medicine Center, the Ossey Golf Center, and the new OSU Crew Boathouse.
DeCarolis was acknowledged for tight budgeting, but at times also criticized for the effects that saw often substantially smallish salaries for assistant coaches, poor institutional representation at some events, and delayed construction of the remodel of the VFC, and then the completion of the remodel of Reser.
DeCarolis was also under fire at times for some of his coaching decisions, including the fractious ends to both the men's and women's basketball programs' runs under Craig Robinson and LaVonda Wagner, and the Jay John era in basketball before that, as well as the declining state of affairs with the football program in recent years under Mike Riley (wins dropping in 5 of the last 6 seasons), with not even significant assistant coach turnover.
But then DeCarolis also had what were perceived home run hires recently, first in Scott Rueck with women's basketball, followed by Wayne Tinkle in men's basketball, and then the hiring of Gary Andersen when Riley surprised everyone by abruptly leaving for the Nebraska job.
It seemed that DeCarolis might have turned the corner, and with the emphatic support of Oregon St. President Ed Ray, was seemingly moving the Beavers forward, and in dramatic fashion.
There's also no word yet on the future direction of the Athletic Department, or the choice of a new leader. It's reasonable to assume that Deputy Athletic Director Mark Massari will take over in the interim at a minimum.
With the reality that even under the best of circumstances, due to his battle with Parkinson's disease, the bulk of his career was probably already past, many feel that Massari's return to the Oregon St. Athletic Department made him the heir apparent.
Ray's recent commitment to the various Athletic Department initiatives makes it clear his decision on a permanent replacement will get his full attention. Ray has said a national search for a replacement will commence, and that an interim director will be named if the search extends beyond June 30.
It's clear though that different days are ahead for Oregon St. Athletics, now more than ever.