Don DiJulia has not been at Saint Joseph’s forever. It just seems that way.
This academic year will be DiJulia’s 35th as SJU athletic director over two terms. And it will be his last.
“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,” DiJulia said in a university statement. “It’s a special place with special people. … 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.”
He was, of course, much more than a part of it. After arriving on campus in the early 1960s to play basketball for Jack Ramsay, DiJulia, as much as anyone, really became St. Joe’s sports.
He was the AD from 1976-81 and has been the AD since 1988, a 30-year run that will conclude with his 2018 retirement. In between AD stints, he was was the commissioner of two conferences, the East Coast and the Metro Atlantic Athletic.
DiJulia has been around the SJU basketball scene just as much as the Hawk. He is just always there and in a very good way. If there is anybody more respected or more well-liked in college sports, that person’s name would not be obvious. DiJulia just knows things. If you have a question, he will either supply an answer or know where to get one.
A 1967 SJU graduate, DiJulia has been a collegiate athletics administrator over four decades.
“Don models and represents all that is good in college athletics,” said Mark C. Reed, the university president.
Before getting involved in athletic administration, DiJulia was a St. Joe’s basketball and baseball player and became an assistant basketball and baseball coach at several colleges, including his alma mater.
“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 said.