One of the most respected adminstrators in college athletics, Saint Joseph's director of athletics Don DiJulia is now in his sixth decade on Hawk Hill. From his beginnings as a student-athlete to his lengthy career as an administrator, he has truly exemplified the Jesuit ideal of being a “man for others”.
DiJulia is in his second stint as the University’s top athletic administrator after returning to SJU as associate vice president/athletic director in June of 1988. In 2012, DiJulia was promoted to vice president for athletics/director of athletics, and all told, has spent 32 of the last 39 years on Hawk Hill.
For the past 27 years, DiJulia has overseen tremendous growth in the University’s athletics
programs. During his tenure, five varsity programs have been added, a new weight training facility built, athletic fund drives initiated, and athletic facilities have been updated and created. But at the center of his efforts is the enhancement of the student-athlete experience in a variety of programming efforts built around "Developing Everyday Champions.”
Saint Joseph’s underwent the biggest project in DiJulia’s tenure with the expansion and renovation of Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, which reopened for the 2009-10 season as the Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena. The Jack Ramsay Basketball Center was dedicated in the summer of 2009 and includes state-of-the art facilities for the men’s and women’s basketball programs as well as athletic communications.
This comprehensive plan to enhance varsity and recreational sports at SJU was completed in 2011-12 as the transition to the James J. Maguire ‘58 Campus resulted in the creation of varsity fields for baseball, field hockey and softball, six tennis courts, and additional recreation and intramural facilities.
DiJulia was honored at the 2009 NACDA Convention with the Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA), which is the highest award given by the organization. In 2005, he was chosen as the Northeast Regional Division I-AAA Athletic Director of the Year.
He has emphasized the importance of the student-athlete with the institution of the SJU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll as well as senior Scholar-Athlete awards during his tenure.
DiJulia has spearheaded Saint Joseph’s hosting of numerous conference and national championships including the 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds; the 2000 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four; and the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Division I and III Championships in 2015, and again in 2016, at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
DiJulia was part of the most compelling story in college basketball in 2003-04 as Saint Joseph’s gained the attention of a nation with its successful quest for the perfect regular season and run to the NCAA Elite Eight. With DiJulia leading the way, Saint Joseph’s handled the unprecedented demands on the program from its many constituents, including alumni, fans, and media.
A 1967 graduate of Saint Joseph’s, DiJulia has worn many hats in college athletics during his more than 45 years of professional experience. His career began in coaching, with a one-year stint as assistant baseball coach at SJU in 1968. He then went on to assistant coaching positions in basketball at Fairfield University, George Washington University and American University.
During his first tenure as director of athletics at Saint Joseph’s from 1976 to 1981, DiJulia was instrumental in the planning and construction of the $5 million athletic and recreation complex. He also oversaw the growth of women’s athletics as softball and cross country were added as varsity sports.
DiJulia left Saint Joseph’s in 1981 to become commissioner of the East Coast Conference, a position he held for two years until leaving to take the commissioner's job at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference from 1984 to 1988.
He is extremely involved in the intercollegiate athletic community, and currently serves on Atlantic 10 Administrative Committee, as well as the conference’s Finance Committee and Branding Committee. DiJulia also serves on the Dad Vail Regatta Board, The Institute for Sport/Spirituality and Character Board, and the Philadelphia Sports Congress Executive Board.
A two-sport athlete as an undergraduate in baseball and basketball, DiJulia was a member of the 1964-65 Hawk basketball team which compiled a 26-1 regular season record and a top 10 national ranking under head coach Dr. Jack Ramsay.
In 2005, DiJulia was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his alma mater, St. James High School, and in 2007, he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame Delaware County Chapter.
He and his wife, Pat, reside in Havertown, Pa., and have seven children and 13 grandchildren.