OSU AD Todd Stansbury leaves for Georgia Tech

Todd Stansbury ended his contract with Oregon State Athletics prematurely in 2016, resulting in over a million dollars in debt. OSU asked that he pay his debts on or before June 15, 2019 or legal action would be taken. Since then, OSU has filed a lawsuit against Stansbury.

Josh Worden, Senior Beat Reporter

OSU Athletic Director decides to take AD job at Georgia Tech barely one year after arriving in Corvallis

Todd Stansbury spent 13 months at Oregon State before ending his tenure Thursday as Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics to take a similar position at Georgia Tech.

Now, OSU President Ed Ray and the athletic department are in a scramble to name an interim athletic director and then, under the counsel of an OSU search committee and a national search firm, a permanent replacement for Stansbury.

Stansbury informed Ray on Wednesday of his decision, though OSU spokesperson Steve Clark said Ray and the athletic department were “aware of the possibility” that Stansbury could head to his alma mater once the Georgia Tech Athletic Director position opened on August 9.

Distinguished Professor Joey Spatafora will be the chair of the OSU search committee, which will also include OSU faculty, members of the athletic department, alumni and students. The national search firm will also identify possible candidates and make recommendations, but the decision will ultimately be up to Ray. Clark didn’t have an estimate for a cost of the national search firm yet, while the OSU search committee headed by Spatafora have volunteered their efforts pro bono.

As for the possible replacement, Clark declined to assume the likelihood of any particular candidate being hired.

“There are high quality candidates nationally and we know there are strongly considered candidates within our present athletic department,” Clark said. “We don’t know who will apply for the job. We don’t know who the committee will identify as potential candidates to recruit. Right now it’s premature to speculate on any one externally or internally.”

Clark did mention a very specific vision that the athletic department has for whoever the replacement will be, focusing on someone who is familiar with changing trends in collegiate athletics today and relating to the student athletes that represent OSU.

“We want a very dynamic person: a qualified man or woman who excels not only in building success within athletic competition but also for our student athletes in the classroom and engagement in community and career,” Clark said. “That means this person has to understand and be engaged with 21st century student athletes. Not the athletes of the last few years, not the athletes of the past few decades.”

Stansbury’s departure comes at an interesting time, with fall sports already in progress and the football team, for example, already two games into the season. Head football coach Gary Andersen will be working under his third Athletic Director once the replacement is named; he was hired by Bob de Carolis before Stansbury replaced him in August last year. Overall, Andersen said he wants to work for an athletic director that is drawn specifically to what OSU can and already does offer.

“The key thing is, whoever the AD is: [OSU] needs to be a destination,” Andersen said on Thursday, just a few hours after the announcement was made. “We have some programs that are extremely established and we have some programs that are working their tails off to get better, just like at any other school. But this is a special place and a special fit. It needs to be somebody who is completely committed to being the athletic director at Oregon State.”

Andersen went on to emphasize that he wants an AD who won’t be splitting time between OSU and other committees or responsibilities.

“It’s an unbelievably important hire for everybody,” Andersen said. “For every student athlete, for every coach, for Beaver Nation to get the right guy here.”

“I guarantee that our new athletic director will add significantly to the success of Oregon State’s men’s and women’s athletics,” President Ray added in a release. “Fan excitement and engagement will grow, and he or she will be committed to all student-athletes and to all OSU students. I expect that we will attract well-experienced candidates and strongly qualified candidates of diversity. Our new director will contribute to the remarkable transformation that is occurring at Oregon State where everything we do is about inclusive excellence and leadership.”

Stansbury won’t begin his duties until at least late November at Georgia Tech, where he played football and graduated in 1984 before working in the Georgia Tech Athletic Department from 1987 to 1995.

“My wife Karen and I chose to return to Oregon State because we loved this university and Corvallis so much,” Stansbury said in a release. “Oregon State is an excellent university, and its men’s and women’s programs are among the best in the Pac-12 Conference and successfully compete against top programs nationally. But Georgia Tech is my alma mater. Anyone who has heard me speak, knows of the passion I have for the opportunities that I was granted there as a student, as an athlete, and as a past member of the Georgia Tech athletics department.”

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