Alumnus, former NFL executive to guest lecture on campus Saturday

What it takes to succeed doesn’t waiver, whether winning in business or a Super Bowl, advises an executive who’s done both.

“It requires the ability to be strategic, tenacious and opportunistic,” said Andrew Wasynczuk, a former principal with the National Football League’s New England Patriots and a Case Western Reserve University alumnus and trustee. He believes that success requires being “strategic in planning, tenacious in overcoming failure and opportunistic in taking advantage of the chances that are presented.”

Wasynczuk, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering in 1979 from CWRU, where he also played soccer and threw the javelin, will expand on that approach as a guest lecturer for a popular sports management course known for its who’s who of guest speakers.

The sports management course (MGMT 395) at the Weatherhead School of Management traditionally offers a steady diet of presentations by some of Northeast Ohio’s top sports-management professionals. Speakers have included Cleveland Indians President Mark Shapiro, National Basketball Association agent and CWRU Sports Hall of Famer Mark Termini, NFL agent Andy Simms and Len Komoroski, chief executive officer of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena.

Wasynczuk, in town for the university’s quarterly board meeting, will speak to the hour-long class Saturday, Feb. 23, at 1:15 p.m. in room 118 of the Peter B. Lewis Building. All are welcome to attend.

“I plan to share experiences, providing insights into how the New England Patriots franchise was built—practices that are transferable to any business organization,” he said. “I will stress the importance of a dynamic strategy and leadership in building a successful business—in sports or anything else.”

Wasynczuk, who joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 2005 after 16 years with the Patriots and related enterprises, served as chief operating officer for the team and Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. In addition to operations, he oversaw the development of various player compensation analysis tools, which continue to be instrumental to the team’s innovative salary-cap management.

During his last five years with the team, the organization built and opened the stadium and won three Super Bowl championships.

“My goal,” said Gary Pillar, assistant athletic director for development and course instructor, “is to provide exposure to sports management students in two areas: key topics and timely issues. Sports management professionals, such as Andy, bring that to life with real-world experiences and expertise. The students gain an understanding of how the business of sports is dynamic and far-reaching.”