Note: David Sayler's final day at Rice was on Monday, July 12, but prior to beginning the drive north to Vermillion, South Dakota later this week, he penned a few final thoughts about his time at Rice...
During my time as Interim AD at Rice, my father-in-law sent me a quote that has stayed with me ever since. It is by Ralph Waldo Emerson and it reads "What lies behind us and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
What lies within me is the perspective I have gained these past four years into what a truly special and unique place that is Rice University.
I will miss Rice a great deal - both for what it represents and for the people that make it great. Having the chance to work with such tremendous student-athletes such as Jarett Dillard, Cole St. Clair and Lennie Waite--to name just three--has been awesome. No doubt, they accomplished many great things as athletes, but the truly awesome part has been that they have done so while at the same time being a "student-athlete" in the true sense of the word as the NCAA defines it.
In many ways, Rice is a model program for what Division 1 Intercollegiate Athletics should be all about and that is something to be fought for and maintained by all involved. I call myself fortunate to have come along at such a great time in the history of Rice Athletics - with improved facilities, multiple bowl game appearances and numerous Conference USA Championships. Yet I know that none of those things could have been accomplished without the tremendous support and efforts of everyone involved - the Rice Administration, student-athletes, athletic donors, season ticket holders, our coaches and our support staff. I want to thank all of you for making my time at Rice a period that I will always remember fondly.
It has always been a career goal of mine to become a Director of Athletics at a Division 1 institution. I was fortunate that President Leebron gave me the opportunity to be the Interim AD at Rice and interview for the permanent position. I learned much during that time and although I did not achieve my goal, it was a valuable process for me. It should also be noted that Rice made a great hire in Rick Greenspan and he will do great things for this program going forward.
The experience of being your Interim AD prepared me well for the AD search at the University of South Dakota. There is much to accomplish at USD, but I am ready for all that lies ahead. It was clear to me during the interview process that both the President and I share many similar thoughts and I have no doubt at all that our partnership will be a great one. I hope that all of you can find some space within your fan interest spectrum to follow the Coyotes at usdcoyotes.com as we complete our transition into Division 1 athletics.
The entire Sayler family is excited for this journey, especially now that we found our old winter jackets hidden away in a deep closet this morning!
Thanks again to all of you and I know great things lie ahead for Rice as well as the University of South Dakota!