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"This place is a special place" Emotional Taylor announces departure from NDSU (w/ Press Conference)

An emotional Gene Taylor announces his departure from NDSU Monday morning. 2 / 2

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It didn't take long for the emotions to come out at the Bison Sports Arena Monday morning.

Long-time NDSU Athletic Director Gene Taylor announced he is leaving the school to take the Deputy Athletic Director Position at the University of Iowa. Taylor spoke of his good relationship with Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta. Barta earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communication and broadcast journalism from NDSU in 1987. He was an option quarterback for Bison football squads that won the Division II NCAA National Championship in 1983, 1985 and 1986.

"We think a lot along the same lines," Taylor said. 

Taylor became very emotional when recalling the relationships he'd built at the university. "Coaches, administration, and support staff have been phenomenal. I'm honored to come to work every day." Taylor said. "They are the most hard-working professionals; They're the best in the business."

Taylor came to NDSU in the summer of 2001, and immediately took charge, spearheading a comprehensive study and evaluation of the Bison athletic department. He was instrumental in guiding the athletics program through reclassification to NCAA Division I from Division II.

"The last 13 years at NDSU have been filled with great memories," Taylor said. "This is a special place."

NDSU President Dean Bresciani had high praise for Taylor, saying the foundation Taylor has built at the university will help the school stay strong in its search for a new Athletic Director.

Bresciani said the search would begin immediately, and would draw from a nationwide search. "This is a plum job on a coast-to-coast basis," Bresciani said. "It will sell itself."

Taylor also had words for the student athletes he's worked with over the years. "To the student athletes, from the times I started until today, I'll never be able to thank you enough."

Retiring Vice President of Student Affairs Prakash Mathew will be named the interim athletic director. 

Tune into WDAY News tonight for more on Gene Taylor's departure