Ohio Athletics has hired a new assistant athletics director for media relations.
Tom Symonds, a native of Medina, Ohio, will begin his new role today. He previously served as a media-relations coordinator for the University of Rhode Island. He will replace Jason Corriher, who left Ohio University for the same position at Marshall University earlier this year.
Symonds will make $43,000 this year.
“This was an opportunity to come back home,” Symonds said. “I know Ohio Athletics relatively well just growing up in the state. I remember growing up watching Gary Trent play basketball.”
Other than his in-state roots, Symonds has crossed paths with the Bobcats’ men’s basketball team twice in his career. He was working at Ohio State when coach John Groce was an assistant under Buckeye coach Thad Matta. He also worked during the 2009 NCAA Tournament in Providence, R.I., when Ohio upset Georgetown.
Growing up in Northeast Ohio, Symonds became a fan of all Cleveland sports and of the Mid-American Conference.
“Top to bottom, it’s a very solid league,” he said. “It’s very, very competitive. There’s very good fan support at a lot of the institutions.”
Symonds said the MAC sets trends for the rest of college sports. He pointed to football, which often featured Thursday night games on ESPN before the time slot became prestigious.
“To me, the MAC is a league that shows a lot of forward thinking,” he said.
Symonds has 10 years of experience in sports communications. Besides his three-year stints with Ohio State and Rhode Island, he also worked for the Detroit Lions, the Big East and the Horizon League.
“The thing that attracted me to this position was the ability to work with a football team that has had a ton of success in the last few years, such as Ohio,” he said.
“I had a really good job at Rhode Island. For me to leave there, it certainly was going to take a pretty nice job.”