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Athletics Director Todd Stansbury will return to his old stomping grounds at Oregon State and leave the Knights before their season opener, UCF confirmed Thursday.

"This decision was difficult because I love UCF, what our teams have accomplished and the excitement still ahead," Stansbury said in a release. "Karen and I have spent a large part of our lives at Oregon State and we look forward to returning to Corvallis. Without a doubt, we will be Knights fans from the West Coast."

Stansbury will start as Oregon State's director of athletics Aug. 1, replacing former director Bob De Carolis, according to a press release from UCF Athletics. The Knights take the field in their home opener against FIU Sept. 3.

After serving as the Beavers' executive associate athletic director for nine years, Stansbury made the cross-country trek to Florida in March 2012. He previously served as the director of athletics for East Tennessee State University from 2000 to 2003.

"Oregon State hired a winner in every sense of the word," UCF President John C. Hitt said in the release. "Todd fostered a culture of academic and athletic success at UCF. He has done a marvelous job and the UCF family appreciates all he and Karen have done for the Knights. He will be missed."

Former Oregon State Athletic Director De Carolis announced in May that he would step down from his post, according to ESPN. He served a total of 17 years with the Beavers, 12 of those as athletic director. In an open letter, he emphasized that he is not retiring but resigning. De Carolis was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2011, however, the resignation is not health related.

During his time at UCF, Stansbury transitioned the Knights from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference in 2013-14. During its league debut, UCF took three conference championships — the first-ever for the AAC — in football, women's soccer and softball. The next year, UCF had a historic 12-1 season and went on to defeat Baylor in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

Stansbury's players have also proven themselves in the classroom, setting a record in 2012-13 for highest GPA, 3.17.

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Caroline Glenn is the Content Manager for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter @bycarolineglenn or email her at caglenn@gannett.com.

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