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President's Message | Archive

September 19, 2006

TO: Campus Community
FROM: Neil Kerwin, Interim President
SUBJECT: Athletics Department Transition management

American University Director of Athletics and Recreation Joni Comstock previously announced that she will be leaving AU in late September to accept the position as vice president for championships at the National Collegiate Athletics Association.  We wish her well and thank her for the work she has done at AU.

After consultation with university academic, administrative, and athletics leadership, I am informing the campus of the departmental oversight after Joni departs.  First and foremost, I want to emphasize that the direct reporting line for athletics will continue to be to me.  In addition to this being the recommended arrangement in Division I intercollegiate sports, it is a strong affirmation by me for AU athletics and its important role in campus life.

The day-to-day oversight of athletics will be managed by two associate athletics directors with specific areas of supervision:

  • Athena Argyropoulos, associate athletics director and senior woman administrator, will have responsibility for head coaches; academic support; sports medicine; development/marketing; recreational sports; and the fitness center. 
  • Rob Acunto, associate athletics director, will have responsibility for compliance; strength and conditioning; equipment; business operations; sports information; and facilities. 

They will report to me via regular meetings and briefings, and will coordinate and work closely with my chief of staff, David Taylor, as part of this reporting chain.  David chaired American University’s last two NCAA certifications and was a student-athlete at the University of North Carolina.

I have full confidence in the athletics department coaches, staff, and the student athletes, and have high expectations for success in both athletics competition and academic achievement. The foundation is solid and the department is poised for great things. I expect to launch a national search for a new athletics director later this fall. 

October 13, 2006 6:58 AM


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