NY Times article
The Big East will announce on Wednesday that John Marinatto will take over as the commissioner when Mike Tranghese steps down after the 2008-9 academic year.
Marinatto, the league’s senior associate commissioner, has been considered Tranghese’s right-hand man and has been with the league since 2002. He came to the Big East after working as the athletic director at Providence.
He will take over for Tranghese, who announced in June that he would leave after serving as the commissioner since 1990. Marinatto was considered the favorite at the outset of the search for a replacement and remained that way throughout the process.
“John was pretty much the runaway,” said Louisville’s athletic director, Tom Jurich. “I think it’s terrific. I think he’s going to do a fantastic job. He knows the league well inside and out.”
Marinatto was chosen after a meeting this week of league presidents and athletic directors in Philadelphia. The Pittsburgh chancellor, Mark Nordenberg, and Georgetown’s president, John DeGioia, led the search. Nordenberg declined to comment when reached at home Tuesday.
Marinatto’s name may not resonate outside Big East circles, but Jurich said he felt that Marinatto’s role had been underestimated.
“I think he’s done much of the nuts and bolts and operations of the league, and knows how everything in the league works,” Jurich said. “He’s not a numbers person, he’s a visionary.”
Marinatto graduated in 1979 from Providence, where he worked as a student manager for Dave Gavitt, who became the first commissioner of the Big East. He later worked for Tranghese at Providence, where he performed myriad jobs in the athletic department, including sports information director, ticket manager, and as the athletic director for 14 years.
He takes over a league that has moved to a 16-team basketball and an 8-team football league after the defections of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“I think that we’re in a good position right now,” said Jim Boeheim, the Syracuse basketball coach and the longest-tenured coach in the league. “I don’t think there’s anyone talking about splitting the league at all. I think there’s always going to be some challenges on the horizon, but the league is in a great position.”