Daryl Gross to lead Cal State LA Golden Eagles athletics

Daryl Gross at the Cal State LA gym

Dr. Daryl Gross was named the executive director for athletics at Cal State LA, the University announced Wednesday. He will begin his new position in July.

A higher education leader who has helped elevate athletics programs at two major universities, Gross has an extensive management and sports background that includes positions coaching college athletes and developing players in the National Football League.

Gross was previously a vice president and special assistant to the chancellor at Syracuse University, as well as an adjunct professor in the university's David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. Prior to that, he served for 10 years as Syracuse's director of athletics, overseeing initiatives that resulted in historic academic and athletic opportunities for student athletes.

For Gross, the move to Cal State LA is a homecoming. As a young boy he visited the campus with his mother, Dr. Betty Gross, as she completed her undergraduate degree at the university. Gross grew up in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Before Syracuse, Gross served as senior associate athletic director at USC, where he worked with Mike Garrett, executive director for athletics at Cal State LA. Garrett was instrumental in bringing Gross back home to Los Angeles.

“I came here to set the university on a path toward athletic excellence,” Garrett said. “We are now on that path and I’m ready for Daryl to take the ball and run.” Recent Garrett hires include basketball coaches Cheryl Miller and Jim Saia. “Daryl is joining a winning team,” Garrett said.

Gross said he is excited to follow Garrett, who recruited him to Cal State LA, and to lead the Golden Eagles program to greater heights.

“I look forward to building on Mike’s foundation and carrying the torch in a way that is truly extraordinary,” Gross said. “Our goals will include graduating our student athletes while providing them a championship experience that will help them become leaders who make an impact on society. They will carry on in the tradition of alumni such as the great Billie Jean King.”

Cal State LA President William A. Covino applauded Gross. “Daryl Gross has demonstrated his ability to draw the best from students—and he’s given them everything he has,” Covino said.

Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud said Gross will be a great asset to Cal State LA. 

“He accomplished a great deal in his tenure here, hiring an outstanding set of coaches, increasing fundraising to record levels, and investing in an exceptional array of student athlete facilities,” Syverud said. “His efforts helped raise Syracuse University’s profile nationwide.”

At Syracuse, Gross oversaw a groundbreaking move to the Atlantic Coast Conference. That achievement resulted in significant financial benefits and allowed the university to align with the most prestigious academic institutions in the NCAA’s top five Division I conferences. He also directed a capital campaign that included construction of the $19 million, 54,000-square-foot Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center, one of the leading basketball training centers in collegiate athletics.

During 14 years at USC, Gross directly supervised 10 of the university’s 19 intercollegiate sports programs, among other responsibilities.  He helped lead the effort to sign long-time NFL coach Pete Carroll. The two men worked together when they were with the New York Jets, where Gross was a personnel scout and worked in the team’s front office.

Gross holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from USC, as well as a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UC Davis. At UC Davis, Gross was a wide receiver on the Aggie football team. He was also a student leader, serving as president of the Inter-Fraternity Council and receiving an “Outstanding Senior” award from the university’s chancellor.

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Cal State LA is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 27,000 students and 240,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State LA has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit www.CalStateLA.edu.