The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Part II: Yariv Amir’s Career Leads Him Back to Colgate University

Colgate University / Mark DiOrio

This article is Part Two of a three-part series written after an interview with Athletic Director Yariv Amir earlier this semester. Part One covered Amir’s prior educational experience at Colgate University, including his formative time on the men’s rowing team. Part Three will dive into Amir’s long-term vision for Colgate Athletics in the University’s third century.

For Colgate’s new vice president and director of athletics, Yariv Amir ’01, a career in the field of sports-related communications was something that took shape during his time as a student at Colgate. With 23 years spanning his co-captainship of the men’s rowing team to his current appointment as athletic director, Amir’s experiences in sports have taken him to all sorts of different places, providing him with a well-rounded view of his job.

When speaking about what he did at Colgate that kick-started his journey in sports communication, Amir talked about how his involvement in various on-campus organizations, such as the Maroon-News and Colgate University Television (CUTV), led to him finding the niche that would become his career.

“I was always into sports — playing, watching, you name it — and I never really thought there was a career path [in it] other than coaching. Somehow, I got into it when I was a student,” Amir said. “I was a sports editor at the Maroon-News [and also] used to do CUTV, where we would broadcast games. […] That got me into sports information.”

Back then, students would also produce media guides and take statistics for athletics teams. Amir remembers writing bios for some of the athletes on the athletics website. Despite not having the clearest picture of what he wanted to do, his passion for athletics communication was apparent from the outset. Ultimately, Amir’s involvement on campus translated to the professional world. 

“Really it was just being here and gaining insight into what goes on [in athletics] that got me into that path. It kind of set me on a path of communications and media relations — that kind of path within athletics. It ultimately led to me getting my first job in media and public relations at USA Hockey,” Amir said. 

At USA Hockey, Amir served as the Brian Fishman Intern in the organization’s public relations office. This experience allowed him to learn a lot about the athletic industry and build the foundations for growth within it.

When the opportunity presented itself, Amir was excited to get back into collegiate athletics. Looking to work for a nearby Division I hockey program, he joined Princeton University as an intern, covering men’s and women’s hockey, baseball, field hockey and water polo. That internship position eventually blossomed into a role as an assistant athletic director.

In that space, Amir spent a lot of time overdelivering. Princeton’s official athletics blog, TigerBlog, praised Amir for his proactive mindset toward problem-solving. Instead of facing a problem and accepting it, Amir would dive headfirst into the mud, trying to see what he could make out of the situation.

After spending some time in athletic communications, Amir eventually transitioned into a position as marketing director. There, he garnered experience with advertising, promotions, video streaming and facilities. He gained many close relationships and became a very dependable cog in the Tigers’ athletic system.  

Amir’s decision to return to his alma mater to work was influenced in large part by his interest in approaching the field of athletics from a different perspective.

“I worked at Princeton for 13 years, but I knew that in order to keep progressing and advancing [in your career], you have to take a step. You have to move,” Amir said. “I got to a point where I was looking to take the next step. The next thing in my career path was to be someone that oversaw the external side of a department.” 

The idea of being back in Hamilton was another factor that influenced Amir’s decision to return to Colgate. He talked about how his familiarity with the town and the surrounding environment offered him a sense of comfort that made working here a more attractive prospect. 

“As an alum, the idea of coming to Hamilton was very comfortable and easy,” Amir said. “Hamilton was also good for us from a family perspective; my wife Beth’s family is from Potsdam up north and I’m a New Jersey person, so this was a good middle ground for the grandparents and such. For all the right reasons, Hamilton makes sense, and the appeal of Colgate is easy.”

For Amir, Colgate has always been a place of belonging, and since his return, it feels almost like it did when he was a student. 

“When you live it every day, you don’t see what’s changed,” Amir said. “It’s funny; when I have friends come to visit, they’ll be amazed how some things haven’t changed — more like buildings and things.”

Amir also praised Colgate’s unique culture of blending rigorous academics with top-tier athletics, highlighting that as another reason for his move back to Hamilton. 

“When you work in the Ivy League for a long time, coming to Colgate helps you appreciate the school as a place that offers a truly well-rounded academic and athletic experience for student-athletes,” Amir said. “Division I athletics today is a fast-evolving landscape; the rules are changing quickly and a lot of places are moving away from it [in that] athletes aren’t getting that true student experience. I couldn’t see myself working in a place like that. Colgate was an easy, good, natural fit.”

Amir held the position of interim athletic director at Colgate from January 2023 to November 2023, when he was appointed to the position full-time. He spoke about what his day-to-day responsibilities looked like back then and what they look like now that he has fully taken the reins as athletic director. 

“My day isn’t that different — what I would say is that I go to a lot of meetings that, in a way, don’t have anything to do with athletics. That’s kind of the campus governance piece of the job. One of my biggest responsibilities is to represent and advocate for athletics in a larger setting, whether that’s at a campus meeting, at an alumni function or at Patriot League meetings,” Amir said. “As we want to take steps to become better and provide new resources, those are the settings in which those conversations happen. That’s where I spend probably the most of my time.”

In all of these conversations, Amir has a huge influence on the direction of Colgate Athletics. Yet, he knows one decision could have led him down a very different path.

“If I didn’t [attend Colgate], who knows where I’d be today,” Amir said.

23 years after he graduated from Colgate, Amir looks to lead an ever-expanding and ever-improving program, but it is what he learned from his time as a student that is driving his decisions forward.

“The liberal arts education does apply every day to what I do,” Amir said.

With the Third Century plan in full swing, Amir is well prepared to steer Colgate Athletics into the future.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Ian Gisiger
Ian Gisiger, Assistant Sports Editor
Ian Gisiger is a sophomore from Boston, MA who is an economics major and writing and rhetoric minor. He has previously served as a Staff Writer for the Sports section. On campus, he is involved in the Athletics Department, Scholars of Finance, Club Soccer, Club Hockey, and Club Ski. He is also a member of a Greek letter organization.
Richie Rosen
Richie Rosen, Assistant Sports Editor
Richie Rosen is a sophomore from Los Angeles, CA concentrating on economics with a minor in political science. He has previously served as a staff writer for the Commentary, Baker's Dozen, and Sports sections. On campus, Richie is involved in the Colgate Investment Club, the Ski Club, and a greek letter organization. 

Comments (0)

All The Colgate Maroon-News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *