University of Central Florida athletic director Todd Stansbury has been hired in the same capacity by Oregon State, the Beavers announced Thursday.

The Oregonian/OregonLive confirmed OSU’s plans to hire Stansbury, 54, earlier Thursday morning.  

After Bob De Carolis steps down, effective June 30, senior associate athletic director Marianne Vydra will serve as interim AD until Stansbury begins at OSU on Aug. 1. President Ed Ray selected Stansbury after conducting a month-plus national search with the assistance of an appointed committee

“This decision was difficult because I love UCF, what our teams have accomplished and the excitement still ahead,” Stansbury said in UCF’s release. “Karen and I have spent a large part of our lives at Oregon State and we look forward to returning to Corvallis. Without a doubt, we will be Knights fans from the West Coast.”

Thursday’s news marks a homecoming of sorts. Stansbury was the Beavers’ executive associate athletic director for nine years before taking over at UCF in March 2012. In Corvallis, he helped engineer the completion of new facilities that totaled about $120 million.

OSU athletics’ annual fund grew by 155 percent, and ticket sales increased by 80 percent during Stansbury’s near-decade under De Carolis. More than half of the Beavers’ student-athletes owned GPAs of 3.0 or higher in that span.

During his three and a half years at UCF, Stansbury oversaw the Knights’ transition from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference. UCF football excelled during his tenure, going 31-9 over three seasons. 

Stansbury helped the Knights expand their donor base by 47 percent and win 12 conference championships. With him at the helm, UCF also thrived in the classroom. It set a school record in 2012-13 for highest GPA (3.17). During his run in Orlando, the Knights boasted the highest graduation rate of any public Division I university in the country.

“Oregon State hired a winner in every sense of the word,” UCF president John C. Hitt said. “Todd fostered a culture of academic and athletic success at UCF. He has done a marvelous job and the UCF family appreciates all he and Karen have done for the Knights. He will be missed.”

In early April, Stansbury was named to the newly established Football Oversight Committee, which supervises licensing of postseason bowls and the selection process for the FCS championship.

He served as athletic director at East Tennessee State University from 2000 to 2003 before his first stint in Corvallis. From 1997 to 2000, Stansbury was associate director of athletics at the University of Houston.

De Carolis announced in May that he would step down after 17 years in Corvallis (nearly 13 as AD). His decision came after he learned that Ray would not extend his contract, which was set to run through next June. De Carolis, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease four years ago, has been adamant that health did not factor into his early exit.

Stansbury inherits an athletic department enjoying somewhat of a renaissance, largely due to hires De Carolis made. The additions of men’s basketball head coach Wayne Tinkle and football head coach Gary Andersen within the past 13 months have brought positive momentum to two of the university’s major programs. The combined salaries of those two staffs of course highlighted De Carolis’ willingness to spend more for quality hires.

Volleyball and men’s soccer are fresh off historic campaigns. Baseball’s Pat Casey, women’s basketball’s Scott Rueck, wrestling’s Jim Zalesky and gymnastics’ Tanya Chaplin have placed their respective programs among the nation’s elite.

“Todd will be an excellent and effective contributor to the remarkable transformation that is occurring throughout Oregon State,” Ray said in OSU’s news release. 

Since taking over in 2002, De Carolis has upped the athletic department budget from $29 million to $71.3 million. But OSU still is only slightly ahead of UCF in terms of revenue. The Beavers ranked 50th nationally — and eighth in the Pac-12 — by generating $63,301,794 last year, according to a database USA Today recently released. The Knights were 56th nationally at $49,764,152. While OSU fields 17 teams, UCF has 16. 

OSU is in the midst of a $42 million expansion of the Valley Football Center that will begin following the 2015 season. Though De Carolis orchestrated the completion of more than $180 million in facilities improvements, including at least 10 new buildings, the Beavers have areas of need. The “old” west side of Reser Stadium must be upgraded to match the east-side improvements. And Gill Coliseum could use a makeover, at least to the inner bowl, to keep pace with Pac-12 counterparts.

“He is prepared to hit the ground running and will help propel OSU’s men’s and women’s athletics,” Ray said of Stansbury. “He is very skilled at growing fan excitement and engagement, and will guide the success of our student-athletes in sports, academics and community.”

Stansbury will be introduced Wednesday, June 24, at a news conference in Corvallis.

— Connor Letourneau
[email protected]
503-221-8168; @ConnOregonian 

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