Jim Fiore athletic director for Stony Brook University was abruptly relieved of his position on Tuesday.
President of the university Samuel L. Stanley announced the move in an email sent out to the campus community. It read:
I am writing to inform you that Jim Fiore is leaving Stony Brook University. Senior Associate Athletic Director, Donna Woodruff will serve as Interim Athletic Director as we commence a national search to identify a new Athletic Director.
Fiore, 45, arrived at university in 2003 after serving as Assistant Director of Athletics at Dartmouth College and then as Senior Associate Director of Athletics at Princeton University. Fiore inherited an NCAA Division III program that lacked many of the benchmarks of a successful athletic program, such as adequate facilities, a fundraising presence, a mascot, and a marching band. The program had won one conference championship in its history and student athletes were averaging a 2.7 GPA.
Fiore, has been credited as the driving force behind the growth of the university’s athletic program and facilities expansion. Stony Brook athletics, a Division I program, has won, under his tenure, 19 conference championships in the last 6 years. Its student athletes average a 3.0 GPA.
The university's upgraded facilities have hosted major events such as the 2006 and 2010 NCAA men's lacrosse quarterfinals and the 2011 women's lacrosse semifinals and final. Fiore has negotiated television contracts and secured funding for close to $80 million in facility upgrades.
A native of Long Branch, Fiore graduated from Hofstra University, where he also played football.
Fiore’s remaining 31 months on his contract was bought out by the university for nearly $800,000, according to a statement released by his media representative.
In his statement, Fiore said: "I have had nearly 11 wonderful years at Stony Brook, and I am incredibly proud for all the experiences I have had in building the University and our emerging Division I program. Facilities have been modernized, recruiting has been professionalized and prospective student-athletes now see Stony Brook as an enviable destination and the University's brand is nationally recognized."
Fiore also thanked the "coaches, staff, student-athletes, athletic boosters, University colleagues, local community and businesses, alumni, elected officials and the broader Suffolk County community, which has made this such an incredible stop on my professional and personal journey for me and my family. I wish the University and Seawolves nation the greatest success in the future."