La Salle University President Colleen M. Hanycz, Ph.D., today announced the appointment of Brian Baptiste as the University's next Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation.
"I am thrilled to welcome Brian to the Explorer family," said Dr. Hanycz. "Brian rose to the top of a highly-qualified candidate pool. His depth and breadth of experience in Division I Athletics leadership coupled with his commitment to integrity and the holistic student-athlete experience make him the perfect choice to lead La Salle Athletics into this next chapter."
Baptiste, who officially assumes his new position on August 1, will be introduced on June 18 with a welcome event and press conference at Founders' Hall on the La Salle University campus.
"I want to thank President Hanycz, Joe Meade, and the entire search committee for their tremendous belief in me to serve as the next Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation at La Salle," said Baptiste.
"This is a dream opportunity to work at an institution with a rich history and storied tradition rooted in unwavering faith, service to others, and a commitment to developing the entire person, all in a world-class city like Philadelphia. Through strong alignment with the University's mission and values, our coaches and staff will be inspired every day to provide an exceptional student-athlete experience academically, socially, and athletically for the sustained success of all La Salle Explorers. My family and I are honored to join such an amazing community, " added Baptiste.
A rising star in his field, Baptiste comes to La Salle after nearly seven years at Northwestern, where he has served as Deputy Director of Athletics for Capital Projects and Operations since 2015. In that role, he was responsible for all capital projects for Athletics and Recreation and had oversight of athletic facilities, event management, equipment services, and recreation. During his time at Northwestern, he also served as sport administrator for the men's basketball, women's volleyball, men's and women's swimming and diving, and women's cross country programs.
"Over nearly seven years Brian has made his mark on the most transformational era in Northwestern Athletics history," said Northwestern's Combe Family Vice President for Athletics & Recreation Jim Phillips. "He has been an invaluable colleague and member of my executive staff, and directed a $500 million facilities evolution that required truly extraordinary collaboration. His educational credentials and business acumen are impeccable and, most importantly, his commitment to student-athletes is unwavering. This is an exciting day for anyone who loves the La Salle Explorers, and I am ecstatic for Brian, Jessica and their children to have this incredible opportunity."
At La Salle, Baptiste succeeds the legendary Bill Bradshaw '69, who recently announced his retirement after nearly 40 years of service to intercollegiate athletics. He will lead a program that includes 25 varsity sports and over 500 student-athletes.
"Brian is a great choice to continue the upward trajectory of La Salle University Athletics," Bradshaw said. "Jim Phillips is a dear friend of mine and has spoken very highly of Brian's accomplishments at Northwestern. I couldn't be happier knowing that my alma mater is in such capable hands."
During his time at Northwestern, Baptiste oversaw unprecedented athletic facility upgrades, including the $270 million construction of the Ryan Fieldhouse, Wilson Field, and Walter Athletics Center. The project, which impacted 19 programs and more than 500 student-athletes, provided varsity sport programs, along with club and intramural sports, a state-of-the-art development center designed to enhance the student-athlete experience.
In addition, Baptiste led the planning and construction of the $110 million renovation of Welsh-Ryan Arena, the $23 million renovation of Trienens Performance Center, and the $15 million construction of Rocky and Berenice Miller Baseball Park.
Baptiste served on the Big Ten Joint Group, Administrators Council, and Sport Management Committee, and was one of 25 senior-level administrators selected to participate in the 2017 NCAA Pathway Program. The program is a prestigious year-long experiential learning opportunity designed to assist senior-level administrators with taking the next step in their careers.
Previously, Baptiste spent nearly three years at the University of Delaware where he held the title of Associate Athletic Director for Compliance. He served as sport administrator for field hockey and softball, and completed programs in leadership development and management essentials.
A native of Cheverly, Md., Baptiste began his intercollegiate athletics career as an Assistant Director of Compliance at Georgetown University.
Baptiste is a 2005 graduate of Towson University. He earned his Juris Doctor from St. Thomas University School of Law in 2008 and is licensed to practice law in the state of Maryland.
He and his wife, Jessica, have three daughters, Saniya, Jordan, and Zoe.
ADDITIONAL SUPPORTING STATEMENTS
"I am extremely excited for Brian and his family to have this opportunity. During his time at Northwestern his leadership has been invaluable to our University, our department and our basketball program. Brian is an intelligent, high-character individual who places the student-athlete experience above all else. I have the utmost respect for him and have truly enjoyed our time together. He is a star in the making and La Salle is fortunate to have him lead its department moving forward."
Head Men's Basketball Coach
"La Salle has found a gem and rising star in the profession in Brian Baptiste and I could not be more excited for him to receive this opportunity. Brian is thoughtful, diligent, resourceful, and operates with tremendous integrity and character. He possesses genuine enthusiasm and a strong desire to connect with both student-athletes and the entire campus community. I know Brian will be highly respected in University circles and within the conference, in addition to having a voice at the national level."
The Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics
"Brian Baptiste is an exceptionally talented and driven leader and La Salle is getting a rising star in intercollegiate athletics. He leads with integrity, with heart, and with student-athletes at the forefront of every decision. I have no doubt that Brian will take the Explorers to unprecedented heights."
Director of Athletics
College of William & Mary