PHILADELPHIA — Saint Joseph’s University President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., announced today that Jill Bodensteiner has been named the University’s director of athletics, marking the first time in 30 years that a new athletics director has been appointed. She succeeds the legendary Don DiJulia, who recently announced his retirement after serving his 50th year in college athletics and 35th as Saint Joseph’s athletics director.
Bodensteiner will be introduced March 22 at 10 a.m. with a ceremony and press conference in Hagan Arena on the Saint Joseph’s University campus. The event will be live-streamed on SJUHawks.com.
“Today marks a new era in Saint Joseph’s University’s Athletics program, and I am proud that our university is continuing to make history in the most ground-breaking and forward-looking ways,” said Dr. Reed. “I could not be more enthusiastic about Jill’s appointment and the experience, leadership and vision she brings to the position and to Saint Joseph’s.”
He added: “College athletics grounded in strong Jesuit education is a cornerstone of our history and tradition and a point of passion for thousands of our students, alumni and Hawks fans around the globe. A Notre Dame veteran like Jill understands this ethos and is perfectly suited to build on the highly successful program that Don DiJulia has stewarded.”
In her new post, which begins June 1, Bodensteiner will be responsible for overseeing the Hawks’ 20 NCAA Division I men’s and women’s varsity sports and membership in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
“I am extremely honored to join Saint Joseph’s University, become part of the Hawks’ longstanding tradition and lead one of the most prestigious athletics programs in the country,” said Bodensteiner. “My 20 years as a senior administrator at a Catholic university and my passion for the holistic development of students have prepared me well to lead athletics at Saint Joseph’s,” she noted, underscoring her commitment to shared Jesuit values of scholarship, critical thinking, social justice, ethical decision making and inclusion.
Bodensteiner’s impressive 20-year career at her alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, began in 1997 in the Office of the General Counsel, progressed to the athletics department in 2009, and culminated in her most recent role as senior associate athletics director five years ago.
"For more than 20 years, Jill has served Notre Dame with distinction, first in the Office of General Counsel and then in Athletics,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president. “She has demonstrated the utmost integrity as our chief compliance officer in Athletics, and her service on numerous NCAA committees is testimony to the respect her peers have for her work. We will miss her exceptional leadership, but we wish her the very best at St. Joseph’s.”
“In Jill Bodensteiner Saint Joseph’s University has landed one of the most talented executives in all of college athletics,” said the University of Notre Dame’s James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. “She has not only been a key contributor to Notre Dame’s success over the past decade – particularly in women’s basketball – but she has also had an enormous impact on college athletics nationally. All of Jill’s successes are united by her passion for and commitment to the welfare of the student-athlete – a perspective that makes her a perfect hit with the Hawks.”
Among other accomplishments, Bodensteiner has provided oversight to Notre Dame’s 26 intercollegiate athletics programs, 720 student-athletes and 70 coaches and has served as sport administrator for the university’s nationally renowned women’s basketball program. She also brings strong NCAA leadership experience, having served on the Committees on Women’s Athletics and the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. Working closely with LEAD 1, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the NCAA, Jill has played a key role in shaping the national debate and final legislation in areas including financial support for student-athletes, time management and academic conduct.
“It’s especially gratifying to see someone I know take over at my alma mater, a place that I love and care deeply about,” said the University of Notre Dame’s Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Head Women’s Basketball Coach Muffet McGraw, a Saint Joseph’s alumna. “President Reed is a terrific leader, and now with Jill on board, the University has a great foundation to continue St. Joe's excellence for years to come.”
Bodensteiner received her bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from Notre Dame, her juris doctorate from Washington University Law School in St. Louis, and her MBA from Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business. She is also an active community service leader, serving as Chair of the Board of the YWCA North Central Indiana and volunteering with several other nonprofit organizations.