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Villanova Athletic Director Vince Nicastro steps down

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In an email today, Villanova University president Fr. Peter Donohue, OSA announced that current Athletic Director Vince Nicastro will be stepping down from his position and move to the Villanova Law School as "Associate Director of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law".

Nicastro has been the AD at Villanova for 15 years. Over that time he has overseen the growth and return to national prominence of the Wildcats hoops squad as well as navigate College Conference realignment with the creation of the new BIG EAST.

The University will hold a national search for a replacement spearheaded by Parker Executive Search alongside an eight-member search committee.

Full Letter

Dear Alumni, 

I have some news to share regarding our Athletics Department. Vince Nicastro has decided to step down as Director of Athletics and has accepted a new position in the Law School as Associate Director of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law. Vince will continue in his current role until a successor is named.

In his new leadership role, Vince will work with Moorad Center Director Andrew Brandt and the Center's Board of Advisors to develop and implement strategies to further enhance our sports law program. In addition to managing the Center's day-to-day operations, Vince will teach and lecture at the Law School in areas related to sports business and law, and will serve as a spokesperson with particular expertise in intercollegiate athletics. Employing his extensive network, Vince will cultivate partnerships for the Center, develop programs and events--including the annual Moorad Sports Law Symposium--and create additional internship opportunities for students. 

I am delighted that Vince will remain at Villanova; however, his decision is bittersweet for me. It’s been a pleasure working closely with Vince, and we have developed a wonderful relationship. His 15-year tenure as Athletics Director has been a time of exceptional success and growth for the department. Vince has always worked to serve the student-athletes and to create an environment that allowed them to perform at the highest levels, both academically and athletically. For that, and all his impressive contributions, I am truly grateful.

As Athletics Director, Vince has led the department during a period of impressive achievement. He spearheaded the advancement of the department and its infrastructure, and played a key role in the creation of the new BIG EAST Conference. During Vince’s tenure, Villanova Athletics has thrived, winning three National Championships and 30 conference team titles. Our men’s basketball program has flourished, appearing in 10 NCAA Tournaments and advancing to the 2009 NCAA Final Four, as well as two Elite 8 and four Sweet 16 appearances. 

In the classroom, our student-athletes have consistently ranked among the nation’s elite. This year, 12 teams were recognized by the NCAA for their academic success, placing Villanova on an exclusive list of only 19 schools nationwide to have accomplished such a feat. Vince has also been instrumental in the growth of the Villanova Athletic Fund and in securing major gifts to benefit student-athletes, which included the building of the Davis Center for Athletics & Fitness.

We are moving forward immediately with a national search for a new Director of Athletics and have retained Parker Executive Search to assist us. Daniel Parker, Vice President and Managing Director, will serve as the lead consultant. I have formed a search committee--composed of board members, faculty, staff and alumni--to oversee this process. Members of the search committee include:

  • Kenneth G. Valosky '82, Search Committee Chair; Executive Vice President, Villanova University
  • Rick Eckstein, PhD, Faculty representative on Athletics Board Committee; Professor of Sociology, Villanova University
  • Rev. Robert Hagan, OSA, '87, Associate Athletics Director, Villanova University
  • Kerry Kittles '96, '09 MBA, Alumni representative, All-Time Men’s Basketball Leading Scorer; 1996 AP First Team All-America
  • Patrick G. LePore '77, Trustee, Athletics Board Committee Chair, Villanova University
  • Nnenna J. Lynch '93, Trustee, Athletics Board Committee member, Villanova University; Rhodes Scholar and Five-time NCAA Champion in Cross Country/Track and Field
  • Michael J. O'Neill, Senior Vice President for University Advancement, Villanova University
  • Lynn Tighe '87, Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Women’s Administrator, Villanova University

Although there will be a period of transition as we bring on a new Athletics Director, Vince's leadership has put us in a strong position. I am confident that our Athletics program will continue to thrive and I am looking forward to its continued success. 

As Vince transitions to the Law School, I would like again to thank him for his service and contributions to the Athletics Department. The Moorad Center is gaining a true leader, whose breadth of knowledge in the sports arena will continue to benefit the University. Please join me in congratulating Vince on his new role.