Saint Joseph’s University inducted vice president and director of athletics Don DiJulia ‘67 into its Athletics Hall of Fame in a special ceremony today at Hagan Arena, following the men’s basketball regular-season finale.
The induction was a surprise to the longtime administrator, who is retiring at the end of this academic year. It took place in a ceremony acknowledging his service to the University following the Hawks’ 78-70 win over La Salle.
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.
“Over the years, the University has acknowledged its most outstanding performers in every sport. From Dr. Jack Ramsay to Jameer Nelson, they are the best of the best. Don DiJulia links every era, in every sport, that can be found in the SJU Athletics Hall of Fame. If he is not a Hall of Famer himself, then it’s not a Hall worth having,” said University President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D.
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.
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.
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.
The ceremony was emceed by Dan Hilferty '78, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross, and included speeches from Dr. Reed, men's basketball coach Phil Martelli and women's basketball coach Cindy Griffin on tape, as she is in Richmond preparing for the A-10 Championship game on Sunday. DiJulia also spoke before Dr. Reed announced the Hall of Fame induction.