"Jean Lenti Ponsetto is one of the best athletics directors in the nation, and DePaul is blessed to have earned her commitment for another five years," said Fr. Holtschneider. "Her top priority was to seek the longest contract DePaul offers. That speaks volumes about her commitment to the institution, and I'm pleased to say we are equally committed to her."
One of the nations most widely respected leaders in intercollegiate
athletics and a driving force behind the continuing expansion and
development of DePaul's athletics program, Ponsetto is now in her fifth
year as Director of Athletics and her 32nd as a member of the Blue Demon
Ponsetto moved into her current position on July 1, 2002, and the Blue
Demons have experienced tremendous success both on and off the playing
field ever since. A highlight of Ponsetto's tenure in her current post
came in 2003 when the university announced it would join the BIG EAST
Conference. The Blue Demons are in the midst of their second season in
one of the nation's most respected leagues.
An advocate for student-athlete welfare, Ponsetto initiated and provided
leadership for the Sullivan-McGrath Athletics Capital Campaign, which
has yielded the funding resources for the renovation of Wish Soccer
Field, the creation of the Cacciatore Softball Stadium and renovation of
the Cherry Family Indoor Track at the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation
During her five years at the helm of the department, 13 of the 15 Blue
Demon athletic programs have represented the school in NCAA
championships including the women's basketball squad's thrilling run to
the "Sweet 16" a year ago and their berth in the 2007 NCAA Tournament,
which was announced on Monday.
Success also has come in the classroom under Ponsetto's guidance. She
emphasizes academic achievement, and over 450 Blue Demon
student-athletes in her program responded with grades that qualified
them for conference Academic Honor Rolls.
Ponsetto's efforts haven't gone unnoticed by her colleagues. For the
second time in her career she was presented NACWAA's Administrator of
the Year Award in 2003.
Ponsetto boasts a wealth of experience in three areas of DePaul
athletics: as a student-athlete, coach and administrator. She had spent
seven years as the senior associate director of athletics after serving
12 years as the associate director and two as an assistant director
before assuming her current job.
Ponsetto currently serves the NCAA as a member of the Division I Men's
Basketball Issues Committee and is an NCAA Champion, a program
encouraging key NCAA Administrators to act as a membership spokesperson
on NCAA issues. Ponsetto also chairs the Honda Awards Board of
Directors and the Wade Trophy Selection Committee and is the
President-Elect of both NACWAA and the NACDA Division I-AAA Board of
Directors. This year Ponsetto will serve on the NCAA Division I
Recruiting/Early Scholarship Offer Working Group, the NCAA Amateurism
Clearinghouse Advisory Group and the NCAA Work/Life Balance Task Force.
Ponsetto spent a five-year term as chair of the 49-member NCAA Division
I Championships/Competition Cabinet, a position she assumed in 1998
after one year as a member of the cabinet. She was the first woman to
chair a cabinet and was the longest-serving chair in the cabinet's
history. During her tenure she was a member of the NCAA Division I
Budget Committee and served as an adviser to the NCAA President during
the negotiations with ESPN, which yielded additional championship
appearances and revenue for the association.
Ponsetto, who is a member of both the DePaul Athletic Hall of Fame and
the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame, began her association with Blue
Demon athletics as a member of the tennis, volleyball, women's
basketball and softball teams in the mid-1970's.
DePaul AD Signs Five-Year Contract Extension
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