“Are you serious? No comment,” Dino Barber, the new Syracuse football coach told ESPN, after finding out for the first time that the man who hired him just five months ago has left.
Mark Coyle, 47, announced this week that after just 10 and a half months, he is leaving Syracuse for “family reasons.” He accepted the position at Syracuse in June after serving four years as the AD of Boise State.
“I’ve been in this for a long time. We love this place,” Coyle said. “I regret the timing, but I am so grateful for the opportunity.”
It’s worth noting, though, that it seems like the higher one climbs the sports ranks, the less it is about the sport and the more it is about money and winning. After all, the reason about 65% of kids play sports is to play with their friends, and according to TrueSport, “the Sport in America research found that for more than 80% of respondents, having fun is the most common reason for initially becoming involved in sport. Conversely, when sport is no longer fun, children and youth are more likely to stop participating. At more elite levels, although it sounds obvious, athletes who enjoy sport (and there are some who do not) are more intrinsically motivated to play.”
Syracuse.com reports that many people are skeptical of Coyle’s reasoning, as he signed a five-year, $4.25-million contract with the University of Minnesota.
“I am so honored to have the opportunity to return to the University of Minnesota and the Big Ten,” Coyle said to theUniversity of Minnesota. “I loved my time in Gopher Athletics during an earlier part of my career and I look forward to leading the athletic programs of this great university.”
Coyle shared similar enthusiasm about his duties as athletic director in June, when he spoke with Syracuse.com. “That’s one of the things that attracted me about this job. It’s a community that believes you roll up your sleeves and you work hard. And I really like that type of attitude and that type of mentality… I think it’s important for our program and institution to have a strong presence in our community and to interact with all the fan base.”
Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim, when asked about Coyle’s departure summed the news up in one word: “shocking.”