De Carolis spent the last 13 years as Oregon State's athletic director and last 17 within the university's athletic department. He gave no reason for stepping down in his open letter, but said, "As a next step, I look forward to my upcoming adventures in the world of intercollegiate athletics."
De Carolis' tenure included the construction of 10 athletic facilities and the renovations/expansions of four others, including a $42 million expansion of the Valley Football Center funded fully by private donations that will be completed by the start of the 2016 season.
"There is never an optimal time for decisions like this, especially after an incredible journey of 17 years," De Carolis wrote in his open letter.
"I am very proud of the coaches I have hired and retained over the years and believe this is the best group of coaches in the history of Oregon State both from a coaching standpoint and also from a measure of character, as well. This collection of coaches will continue to compete for championships in the toughest conference in the country."
Oregon State president Ed Ray said he would put together an advisory group to search for De Carolis' replacement.
"Our new athletic director will add to the success of Oregon State's men’s and women's athletics and grow fan excitement and engagement," Ray said. "He or she will be committed to our student-athletes and to all OSU students. The new director will contribute to the remarkable transformation that is occurring at Oregon State where everything we do is about excellence and leadership.
"Oregon State will compete and will win championships. We will win the right way – the Oregon State way. Count on it. You have my word on it."
- Mike Fiammetta