Scott Sidwell, the University of San Francisco’s new athletic director, wasted no time in spelling out his plans once word of his appointment leaked to the media in early May.
“My vision for USF athletics is to develop student-athletes who will excel in the classroom, win at the highest levels of competition, engage in the community, and become leaders who will make a difference in the world,” Sidwell said.
The new AD came to USF from Syracuse University where he served as executive senior associate athletic director. At Syracuse, Sidwell headed external operations and directed Syracuse athletics marketing, communications, ticket sales, and media properties efforts since 2008.
“After an exhaustive and highly competitive national search, we are thrilled to have Scott Sidwell as our new athletic director,” said Jeffrey Brand, dean of the USF School of Law and chair of the athletic director search committee. “He comes with a proven track record and a broad range of experience in NCAA Division I athletics, including his current work in one of America’s top programs. He has all the skills to ensure that our student-athletes achieve academic and athletic success and to bring prominence to USF athletics.”
Prior to joining Syracuse, Sidwell spent five seasons at Tulane as the associate athletic director for corporate development. From 1998-2000, Sidwell was the director of marketing operations for the New Orleans Saints. He takes the reigns from Gary Nelson, interim athletic director and USF golf coach. Nelson took the post in September 2010, following the resignation of Debra Gore-Mann.
Sidwell is married with three children.
Ollie Matson Remembered
USF legend Ollie Matson ’52, a Pro Football Hall of Fame running back who starred on the Dons’ celebrated 1951 undefeated football squad, passed away from respiratory failure
at home February 19. He was 80.
Honored as a “Legend of the Hilltop” as one of the top 75 athletes in USF history at the institution’s 150th anniversary in 2006, Matson became the first of three members of the 1951 Dons football team inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, eventually joined by Pro Football Hall of Famers Gino Marchetti and Bob St. Clair.
At the memorial service honoring Matson, Donal Godfrey, S.J., associate director of University Ministry, who represented USF, said, “We are, and always will be, extremely proud of
Ollie and his legacy.”
The 1951 USF team is considered to be among the greatest NCAA teams of all time. The squad was undefeated, winning its games by an average of 25 points, but was denied a bowl berth when the team refused to leave its two African-American players, Matson and the late Burl Toler ’52, E ’56, E ’63, MA ’66, off of its roster for the bowl game.
After earning All-America honors in his final year at USF as a defensive back, Matson won two Olympic medals in the 1952 Helsinki Games in the 400 meters and the 400-meter relay.
Matson played with the Chicago Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, and Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL.