Saint Joseph’s University today introduced Jill Bodensteiner as its new director of athletics, marking the appointment of a new athletics director for the first time in 30 years. She succeeds the legendary Don DiJulia ’67, who recently announced his retirement after serving his 50th year in college athletics and 35th as Saint Joseph’s athletic director.
“Today is a momentous occasion in the history of Saint Joseph’s,” said University President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D. “I am thrilled with the outcome of our search to identify our new AD. Jill rose to the top of an impressive list of candidates.”
Bodensteiner comes to Saint Joseph’s after a 20-year career at her alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, beginning in 1997 in the Office of the General Counsel, progressing to the athletics department in 2009, and culminating in her most recent role as senior associate athletics director, which began five years ago.
“Notre Dame is an institution with a highly regarded and widely recognized athletic brand,” Dr. Reed said. “The Fighting Irish and the Hawks have a lot in common: an indomitable spirit, passionate fan base and a focus on cultivating scholar-athletes.”
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.
“Of the many reasons I was attracted to this position, none was more important to me than the sense of community and the Jesuit tradition,” Bodensteiner said. “I am genuinely touched by the warm welcome to Hawk Hill that I have received from many passionate St. Joe’s alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends.”
Bodensteiner laid out her expectations for the future of SJU athletics, focusing on continuing to build on its strong tradition of educating student-athletes to immerse themselves in the classroom and the world around them.
“We will demand that our student-athletes are students, and that they aren't simply graduating — which should be our minimum expectation — but that they are engaging academically, in student life and in the community,” she said.
The new athletics director also commented on her enthusiasm to be part of the Atlantic 10 and Philadelphia Big 5.
“I can’t wait to compete — and prevail — in some of the greatest rivalries in college sports,” she said.
“I promise to work hard to preserve the tremendous tradition at St. Joe’s while always pushing us to think bigger and bolder,” Bodensteiner concluded. “I can’t wait to get started.”