Associate athletics director makes career change


The Pitt athletics department will be losing a member of its staff Nov. 1 when Associate… The Pitt athletics department will be losing a member of its staff Nov. 1 when Associate Athletics Director Jim Earle will leave to become Pitt’s director of housing and food services.

The position is newly created as part of a departmental reorganization combining the divisions of housing and dining services, according to Earle, who described the change in position as a “good career move.”

“I think it comes down to the opportunity to take on new responsibilities,” Earle said. “It’s pretty tough to pass up.”

Athletics Director Jeff Long credits Earle’s help in the evolution of the athletics department at Pitt, from the construction of the Petersen Events Center to the football team’s move to Heinz Field.

Long believes that Earle has played “an important role in Pitt history” and that he has the skills to succeed in his new position.

“Jim is an outstanding administrator,” Long said. “Jim is a very organized, detailed and conscientious employee.”

Pitt athletics has not decided on a replacement for Earle, but Long said they would post the job and look for the best candidate.

Student Government Board President Brian Kelly appreciated Earle’s flexibility and willingness to work out differences between the athletics department and SGB.

“While we may not have agreed on every issue, he still had an open policy,” Kelly said.

Earle also worked with student groups, including Panther Pitt, which tries to encourage more student participation at football games and is known for the blue towels they hand out at Heinz field.

Brent Healy, vice-president of Panther Pitt, is disappointed that Earle is leaving.

“He liked our ideas, he supported us 100 percent, and he helped us get off the ground,” Healy said.

Earle helped with the Panther Pitt trademark and in procuring the towels the group hands out at games.

“He made a couple of gambles with us, and it paid off,” Healy said.