The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

October 5, 2010

Szul fills void left by Sharp

MORGANTOWN — In an era when finances rule in athletics, the most important hire an athletic director may have beyond hiring his high-profile football and basketball coaches is his selection of man to run the business operations.

West Virginia’s new athletic director, Olive Luck, spent about three months in the process and on Monday announced that he had hired Michael Szul as associate athletic director of business operations, filling the gaping void created by the death of Russ Sharp.

“Michael is a great addition to our leadership team, and we eagerly look forward to him getting on board,” Luck said in a release issued by the school’s athletic department. “His background in the financial aspects of intercollegiate athletics fills a void that was left by the passing of Russ Sharp. He will be a welcome addition to our team.”

At West Virginia, Szul will be responsible for the athletic business office and management of a $60 million budget. Along with running the day-to-day business affairs of the athletic department, he also will oversee facilities, game operations, and equipment.

Szul comes to West Virginia from Middle Tennessee State, where he has been the Associate Athletic Director for Operations since 2005. While at MTSU, he was in charge of all financial management including budget and infrastructure enhancement. He also handled contract oversight, game operations and travel for football and men’s and women’s basketball.

Prior to Middle Tennessee, Szul was the business manager at LSU from 2003-05, where he managed revenue and oversaw a budget for the Tigers of more than $50 million. He coordinated team travel for LSU’s football, baseball and men’s basketball teams, and was in charge of daily business transactions.

Also at LSU, Szul served as an assistant ticket manager from 2001-03, and managed daily deposits of ticket and parking revenue totaling more than $18 million. He managed all activities relating to ticket sales for LSU football, basketball and baseball.

Szul got his start in full-time college athletics in July 2000, when he was named ticket manager at VMI. During his 15 months with the Keydets, he worked with the VMI Sports Hall of Fame, handled all financial aspects of the ticket office and managed the day-to-day sales and ticket operations.

“I am extremely excited to join the Mountaineer family,” Szul said in the school’s release. “I am looking forward to a long and successful career at West Virginia University, and this is a great opportunity for me and my family.”

Szul earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Robert Morris in 1998 and master’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in sport science in December 1999. He and his wife, Erica, have a newborn son, Dominic.

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