Oregon State AD Bob De Carolis to step down

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis has announced that he will step down on June 30.

De Carolis released an open letter Monday announcing his decision.

''There is never an optimal time for decisions like this, especially after 17 years of a journey,'' De Carolis said. ''However, I believe we are in the best possible position in Oregon State University's history to have success on and off the field.''

De Carolis did not give a reason for his resignation, but said he looked forward to continued opportunities in intercollegiate athletics.

De Carolis was the assistant athletic director for four years before he became AD in 2002. Oregon State's athletic facilities have undergone $180 million in improvements and Reser Stadium has been expanded during his tenure. He is also in the midst of a $42 million project to transform the school's football facilities.

The athletic department budget has grown from $29 million in 2002 to $71.3 million.

Oregon State President Ed Ray said the school would begin looking for a successor immediately, and he will appoint an interim athletic director if a permanent replacement is not found by June 30.

''Bob's contributions were never solely about bricks and mortar,'' Ray said. ''His first passion has always been about our student-athletes and their success on the field, in the classroom and in life and career. When it came to athletic competition, Bob was clear in his requirement that Oregon State would win the right way and would compete for championships and win with integrity.''

In his open letter, De Carolis thanked Ray, the department's coaches and personnel, the athletes and the fans.

''My family and I thank you for the opportunity, your support and friendship. I also want to thank the community of Corvallis; you were right when you said Corvallis is a great place to raise your family'' De Carolis wrote. ''We have enjoyed our time supporting the Beavers and will cherish the memories.''

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