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Passing the Torch: AECOM Center for Sports Administration Announces New Executive Director

Monday, June 1 2020 01:00pm

After nearly 15 years of leadership by Jim Kahler, Executive in Residence Matt Cacciato to become the next executive director of OHIO’s world-renowned sports administration center.

Jim Kahler Jim Kahler first came to Ohio University in 1980 as a graduate student in the still youthful Master of Sports Administration program. Little did he know that after a distinguished career in professional athletics, he would return to Athens nearly 25 years later to lead OHIO’s renowned Center for Sports Administration.

As executive director, Kahler was instrumental in maintaining and enhancing the reputation of the graduate program, helping it earn its prestigious #1 ranking from SportBusiness Professional. And in May 2016, as the sports administration program celebrated its 50th anniversary celebration, venue design and development firm AECOM named the Center for Sports Administration, providing funds to support student scholarships, travel, and projects.

“He came here to succeed, and he’s done just that,” said Jim Strode, chair of the Department of Sports Administration. “He used his skills and connections from the sport industry to push OHIO to the top.” Strode added his appreciation and noted that “the entire Bobcat family is grateful for Kahler’s continued service in the classroom as a full-time Executive in Residence and in a new role directing our growing executive education program in sports gambling awareness.”

Kahler will be succeeded by Executive in Residence and Associate Professor of Instruction Matt Cacciato effective July 1.

Matthew CacciatoCacciato began teaching as an adjunct instructor in 2016 after 23 years in the cable sports television industry. He then accepted a full-time teaching role in the Department of Sports Administration and was named the director of OHIO’s top-ranked Master of Sports Administration program in 2018.

“Jim and Matt have collaborated on numerous center initiatives, so I’m confident that the transition and onboarding will go smoothly,” said Strode. “Matt is a proven winner with high level corporate success that translates well into the duties of the executive director position.”

In addition to serving as Executive Director of the AECOM Center for Sports Administration, Cacciato will also continue in his role as program director for the MSA.

“It’s an honor for me to serve in these roles,” Cacciato said. “Our program has a long, storied history thanks to the leaders who have come before me. I’m excited to continue building on our strong foundation and creating even more amazing opportunities for the students in our undergraduate and graduate sports administration programs.”