PHILADELPHIA — Don DiJulia ’67 has announced that he will retire from his longtime role as Saint Joseph’s vice president and director of athletics at the end of the current academic year and will remain with the University as necessary to ensure a smooth transition for his successor.
The 2017-18 academic year marks DiJulia’s 50th in college athletics, and his 35th as Saint Joseph’s athletic director over two terms, from 1976-1981 and then from 1988 to the present. In 2012, he was promoted to vice president for athletics/director of athletics. All told, DiJulia’s affiliation with SJU spans six decades, from his time as a student to the present.
One of the most respected administrators in college athletics, DiJulia has overseen tremendous growth in the University’s athletic programs during his tenure, including the addition of five varsity programs and a new weight training facility, the initiation of athletic fund drives, and the upgrading and creation of key University athletic facilities. While these accomplishments have been instrumental in the advancement of SJU athletics, it is the enhancement of the student-athlete experience that has been the centerpiece of DiJulia’s efforts.
“Don models and represents all that is good in college athletics,” says University President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D. “He leads a highly visible and immensely complex area with professionalism, passion and, above all, integrity, capturing the admiration of coaches, athletes, peers and fans. Don’s legacy is etched on the University’s playing fields and courts and in the hearts of the Hawks he’s led. I am honored to have been able to work with him and look forward to his continuing relationship with SJU and wise counsel for years to come.”
DiJulia has been heavily involved in the intercollegiate athletics community over the years, representing Saint Joseph’s by serving on numerous committees for both the NCAA and the Atlantic 10 Conference.
“I have been fortunate and blessed to play a role and be part of the progress and growth of Saint Joseph’s athletics over the years,” says DiJulia. “It’s a special place with special people, which provides so many extraordinary opportunities to our student-athletes. “Athletics on Hawk Hill has always been a tremendous University asset and an integral part of the college experience. I’m so proud to have been a part of it.”
A 1967 graduate of Saint Joseph’s and member of the Hawk baseball and basketball teams as an undergraduate, DiJulia has worn many hats. His career began in coaching, with a one-year stint as assistant baseball coach for the Hawks in 1968. He then went on to assistant basketball coaching positions at Fairfield University, George Washington University and American University. DiJulia left Saint Joseph’s in 1981 to become commissioner of the East Coast Conference, a position he held for two years before taking the commissioner's job at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference from 1984 to 1988.
“Don is and has been one of the most outstanding administrators in intercollegiate athletics for over 40 years. His contributions to Saint Joseph’s, the Atlantic 10, and nationally to the NCAA have been impactful and have made this profession better for all of us,” stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “Student-athletes, coaches and administrators will continue to lean on the lessons of integrity and leadership that Don exhibited throughout his career.”
Having spent most of his life and career on Hawk Hill, DiJulia’s investment in the University runs deep.
“While I’ve had so many special relationships and been part of innumerable special moments, I want to dedicate myself to focusing on this year and reminisce later,” DiJulia adds.