Ziady named new AD, brings financial mindset to Delaware’s athletic programs
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 18:10
University President Patrick Harker announced at a press conference Wednesday that Eric Ziady is Delaware’s new athletic director.
The announcement created a buzz among the players and coaches.
“We had a coaches’ meeting earlier in the day and you could just tell the energy and the vision and the direction and the excitement,” football head coach K.C. Keeler said.
Ziady brings 23 years of experience in athletic administration to Delaware. He has spent the previous 14 years at Boston College and the nine years before that at Northeastern.
He was first introduced to Delaware athletics while at Northeastern and noticed the pride Delaware has for its sports teams.
“I had an opportunity to spend some time on campus and an opportunity to spend some time downtown,” Ziady said. “To walk up and down Main Street, to see Delaware gear everywhere […] I was always impressed with the people, the campus and the interest of the community.”
Women’s basketball head coach Tina Martin and men’s soccer head coach Ian Hennessy were members of the seven-person search committee appointed by Harker. The search committee was assembled to find a replacement for Bernard Muir, who left for the athletic director position at Stanford University this summer.
Ziady’s experience with finances in college athletics and his vision for the future of Delaware made him a strong candidate for the position, Martin said. During his tenure at Boston College, Ziady negotiated a multi-million dollar deal with Under Armour that supplied apparel and equipment to its 31 teams.
Martin said the final decision to hire Ziady came after meeting with him and hearing his goals for Delaware athletics.
“He was very well versed in Delaware athletics when he came for his interview and has a really good grasp on the teams, the success and the tradition here at UD,” she said. “He definitely has big plans for all programs here and he wants to uplift them and head us in the right direction.”
Harker said he hopes to reach Boston College’s student-athlete graduation rate of 97 percent, which is the second-highest in the nation. He emphasized his goal of continuing success both on and off the field.
“When an athletics program is as important to this campus and to this community as ours, you have to make sure you are inviting in someone who shares the university’s values and the community’s values,” Harker said. “And [who] has the experience, the character and the vision to promote the UD growth in athletic competition and academic success.”
Ziady said he will draw from his experiences at Boston College and Northeastern to assist him in achieving his goals of academic and athletic success. He said he will also lean on the current staff and coaches early on to help him learn more about the athletic programs at Delaware.
Volleyball head coach Bonnie Kenny said she was excited to learn about the hiring of Ziady and eager for him to discover the Delaware athletics community. Kenny said she is looking forward to seeing where Ziady will take the athletics programs.
“You always have a plan to try and get to the next level, and hopefully he will be able to lead us in that direction,” Kenny said. “I always want to get better. I think it’s a great opportunity for him, and obviously he has paid his dues and I am glad that he is here.”
In addition to improving Delaware’s athletic programs, Ziady said he is looking to connect with the Delaware fans and community. He also said continuing the success of Delaware’s athletic programs is important.
“We want to be competitive,” Ziady said. “I met with the coaches earlier and I told them I want to win as much as anybody. I did not come down here to lose.”