The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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UCF’s Orsini named new athletic director

University of Central Florida Athletic Director Steve Orsini will be named SMU’s new athletic director at a press conference this afternoon.

SMU’s search committee met Thursday afternoon to interview Orsini and finalized his hiring the same day. SMU officials would not comment on the hiring prior to the press conference.

Orsini, who will replace retiring AD Jim Copeland, has served as Central Florida’s athletic director since 2002. In 2003, Orsini orchestrated UCF’s move from the Atlantic Sun Conference to Conference USA.

That same year, Orsini made the controversial hire of former ACC and National Coach of the Year George O’Leary, who two years prior had resigned as coach of Notre Dame after being forced to admit he had fabricated items on his resume.

The risk paid off, and in 2005 O’Leary led the Golden Knights to the fourth biggest turnaround in college football history.

The Knights went 0-11 in 2004, and in 2005 boasted an 8-5 record, won C-USA east and earned a berth in the Hawaii Bowl.

While at UCF, Orsini oversaw the completion of a new sports center to house the football team and a new fieldhouse. UCF is also currently in the planning stages for an on-campus football stadium and a new basketball facility.

Prior to serving at UCF, Orsini spent three years as senior associate director of athletics at Georgia Tech. In this role he served as tournament manager for the 2002 NCAA final four at the Georgia Dome, was responsible for Yellow Jacket business and administration and played a “pivotal” role in the expansion of football and baseball facilities, according to his bio.

Orsini’s athletics career also includes stints at the U.S. Naval academy as associate athletics director and treasurer and with the Dallas Cowboys, where he served as director of administration for four years.

Orsini’s pedigree is in football. As a fullback he shared the backfield with Joe Montan and served as one of four captains on Notre Dame’s 1977 national championship team.

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