New Arizona State athletic director Graham Rossini quietly introduced on Thursday

Arizona State University made the previously reported hire of Graham Rossini as ASU athletic director official Thursday with an announcement from President Michael Crow.

But some comments from Crow turned heads at the introduction of Rossini as the new AD, which took place near the Tillman Tunnel inside Sun Devils Stadium.

Arizona State athletic director Graham Rossini speaks to the media on May 23, 2024.
Arizona State athletic director Graham Rossini speaks to the media on May 23, 2024.

Crow said he didn't formally interview any other candidates for the athletic director position at ASU. The school talked to some other candidates, but didn't bring anyone into campus.

"What we found was that the best executive to lead us was one that was with us," Crow told reporters. "That has over 20 years experience in sports administration, sports business, sports development, sports marketing, sports management. He's a Sun Devil through and through himself, who’s a very very able executive capable of operating within the ASU system, which is high speed, highly entrepreneurial, highly driven by new ways of doing things as you can see by the way the rest of the university has advanced. That's Graham Rossini."

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ASU hasn't had an AD since Ray Anderson's resignation from the position in November 2023.

Rossini, formerly the school's executive senior associate athletic director and chief business officer, returned to the school in 2021 as senior associate athletics director, before being promoted in the fall, so this marks a second promotion within a year.

Before returning to ASU, Rossini spent 13 years in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, where he was vice president of special projects and fan experience. He oversaw several facets, including ticket revenue, corporate partnerships, special events and merchandising. He also headed the club's fan experience, special events, alumni outreach and branding.

Rossini, a 2002 graduate of ASU, also headed more than $300 million in capital projects, which included the design, construction, ticket sales, and marketing of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the team's spring training home. He was also responsible for the planning and design of the Diamondbacks Player Development and Education Academy in the Dominican Republic.

Rossini, 44, also spearheaded the franchise efforts in landing the 2011 All-Star Game and the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He also coordinated the 2014 MLB Opening Series in Australia, exhibition games in Mexico (2015 and 2019), and the winning bid that secured Phoenix as a host site for the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

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Graham Rossini 'enormously proud' to lead Arizona State athletics

Before joining the Diamondbacks, the Mobile, Alabama, native spent five years as ASU's Director of Baseball Operations. He was involved in two College World Series teams, two Pac-12 championships, and recruiting five top-five signing classes.

“The ability to lead the athletics department at my alma mater is a responsibility that I am enormously proud to take on,” Rossini said in a statement. “I am so thankful for the many opportunities in my life that were created through ASU, and I have much to repay as a result.

“Our entire athletics department will work relentlessly to support our student-athletes and coaches as we compete at the highest level. We will build and maintain strong relationships with the entire ASU community, including our fans, letterwinners, alumni, partners and donors, while celebrating the spirit, pride and tradition that is unique to ASU.”

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Michelle Gardner contributed to this story.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona State University announces Graham Rossini as athletic director