Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Local sports fans, athletes, and educators are mourning the loss of Onondaga Community College Athletic Director Rob Edson, who died suddenly on Saturday.
Edson worked at Syracuse University for many years before taking over leadership of the athletics department at OCC. As SU broke ground on an indoor practice center on Sunday, Edson's former co-workers appeared visibly shaken.
Syracuse University Athletic Director Dr. Daryl Gross asked for a moment of silence before the presentation on Sunday. He said, "Rob is no longer with us. He was a very loyal person to this department and we'll recognize him at some point."
Football Head Coach Scott Shafer said, "It hits you in the gut when you lose somebody that you love so much, and somebody that's been a part of this family."
Also reaction to the sad news on Sunday was Edson's best friend and colleague, Carrier Dome Director Pete Sala. Sala said Edson was primarily focused on the well-being of student athletes, both academically and character. Sala said, "There'd be days where I'd be having a terrible day. You'd go down there and there'd be five, six people in line to get in that office to talk to him. He always knew how to handle a situation, took time to answer the question. He really cared about the people he worked with and those kids."
OCC employees have been told counselors will be available on Monday for staff and students.
OCC posted the following statement on their website:
"It is with deep and profound sadness that the Onondaga Community College family has learned of the passing of Rob Edson, who served as the College's Athletic Director since August 2011. Rob was well-known throughout the College and the greater Central New York, regional and national athletics community as a formidable student-centered advocate who was leading the College's athletics program to even higher levels of success both on and off the field. He continually demonstrated his commitment to building academic success and strong character in his players, and was deeply respected by the athletics community throughout the region and especially the coaches with whom he worked. The entire campus community extends its sincere and heartfelt sympathies to Rob's wife, children and family on this devastating loss."
Calling Hours are scheduled from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Eaton-Tubbs Funeral Home in Fayetteville. Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday in Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University