GLENDALE, Ariz. — It’s unlikely that there are any large swaths of Oregon fans in Long Island rooting for their team in the Final Four this weekend. But there are a few pockets where folks will be paying strong attention to Saturday’s second national semifinal game and rooting for the team because of Eric Roedl, one of the school’s administrators.
He’s Long Island’s Duck.
The 1993 graduate of Northport High School is Oregon’s deputy athletic director, the No. 2 man in the department, and has been based in the Northwest for five years. But he still has family back home who will be pulling hard for the neon green and gold.
“I love getting texts from everybody staying up late and following our teams during football and basketball seasons,” Roedl told Newsday on Friday.
His family that remains on Long Island includes his mother Paula Hill (Riverhead), sister Alicia Roedl (Wantagh), aunt Kristin Matlak (Jamesport), and stepbrother Michael Rivera (Port Jefferson). His father, Larry Roedl, lives in Florida where he’ll be rooting for Oregon as well.
Roedl spent most of his life in the northeast, attending Villanova where he played tennis and working for 8 1⁄2 years in the athletic department at Temple University. It was five years ago that he got a call about an opening in Eugene, about 2,700 miles away.
“We try to get back once a year,” he said of his New Jersey native wife Nicole and their three children. “And we get a lot of visitors to Eugene as well.”
This weekend, Roedl is in Arizona with the team and everyone else is watching. It’s the first time he’s been to the Final Four with a participating team. Last year the Ducks were knocked out in the Elite Eight. And of course Oregon’s football team has had tremendous success during that timespan as well.
“We’ve been lucky and had a lot of success for five years,” Roedl said of his tenure. “It’s pretty special.”
For those back home as well.