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John D’Argenio - Director of Athletics

John D’Argenio was appointed director of athletics on April 21, 1993, after serving as the acting director of athletics for the 1992-93 academic year. Since the appoint- ment, many new initiatives have been set forth and much progress has been made in the athletic department.

The department’s first academic advising

office was created and a full-time advisor was hired to work with all of Siena’s student athletes. The academic office has been responsible for implementing a tutoring program, developing educational program- ming and producing a student athlete population whose combined grade-point average is higher than that of the general student body. In recent years, Siena’s student athlete graduation rate has ranked among the best in the country. In the NCAA’s inaugural graduation success rate announced in 2006, Siena student athletes finished fifth among all Division I schools, a feat that was repeated last fall. The department has ranked in the top-10% nationally in each report.

As part of the College’s efforts to address gender equity, the women’s sports programs have expanded immensely in the past 17 years. With the addition of golf, women’s swimming and diving, women’s water polo and the elevation of lacrosse from club to varsity status, Siena now sponsors 11 Division I women’s sports.

In 1996 D’Argenio was instrumental in negotiating Siena’s agreement with the County of Albany and Times Union Center (formerly Pepsi Arena) to move all of the College’s men’s home basketball games to the downtown facility. The move to the state-of-the-art downtown Albany facility culminated in Siena and the Arena signing a five-year contract and most recently an extension through 2016. Since the move, the men’s basketball team has seen its attendance soar to the top-70 nationally and set programrecords each of the past two seasons. A record 133,505 spectators attended Siena men’s basketball games in 2009-10. Siena has also made major strides in the marketing of its programs. An active corporate partnership program has emerged on the heels of the 1996 decision that includes over 45 local and national businesses.

Athletic Development giving has increased over the past 17 years as well. Saints Alive!, the department’s athletic development organization, was initiated in 1998 to formalize and bring structure to the depart- ment’s fund raising efforts and its membership has grown each year since. Over $450,000 was raised during the 2009-10 budget cycle through Saints Alive!, and distributed directly to services that benefit the College’s student athletes.

Siena teams have enjoyed conference-wide as well as regional and national success. In 2008-2009 four sports teams captured MAAC Championships, highlighted by the men’s basketball team’s memo- rable run to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament after an upset of Big Ten power Ohio State. The Saints’ volleyball team won its fourth straight MAAC title in the fall of 2008 and men’s lacrosse

captured its first MAAC Championship in the spring. In 2009-10, the men’s basketball team earned its third straight trip to the Big Dance with its third consecutive MAAC Title and the women’s golf team won an unprecedented 10th straight MAAC Championship with an extended field.

Athletic success has been a constant for the past 17 years under D’Argenio’s supervision. In 1994 the men’s basketball team advanced to the National Invitation Tournament semifinals at Madison Square Garden. The Saints made their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010, after capturing their fifth MAAC title since 1999. The women’s basketball team has captured seven regular-season Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles, and in 2001 advanced to its first NCAA Tournament in Nashville, Tenn. The Saints have played in three postseason WNIT’s as well, advancing as far as the round of 16 in 1998. Siena has registered eight MAAC volleyball champion- ships and four MAAC baseball titles during D’Argenio’s tenure. The women’s soccer program has consistently finished in the upper echelon of the MAAC after posting the nation’s eighth most improved season in 2001 and the 10th most improved season in 2008. The women’s tennis team won the MAAC in 2006 and men’s lacrosse is a program on the rise as evidenced by two consecutive undefeated MAAC regular season championships. All totaled the Saints have won 31 MAAC championships under D’Argenio’s direction.

Siena’s athletic facilities have been dramatically enhanced in the last 17 years. In 2007, the department debuted an artificial turf facility that serves as the home field for the field hockey and lacrosse programs. In 2004, the Callanan Field House was expanded. The expansion features four team rooms as well as the Turchi Theater, a 32-seat room equipped with the latest in digital editing and presentation equipment. In the summer of 2008, Siena enhanced its academic study center, providing a first rate facility for student athletes to pursue their academic goals. On May 5, 2010, the Raymond Center, home of the Harry Mikhitarian Golf Training Facility was dedicated and serves as the new home for Siena golf. The state-of-the-art facility features a custom putting green as well as an indoor driving range, a swing/video analysis center and a players’ lounge.

In 1995, D’Argenio served as Tournament Director for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship First and Second Rounds at Knickerbocker Arena. He again assumed those duties in March of 2003, as Siena served as the host institution for the men’s basketball East (Albany) Regional at Pepsi Arena after co-hosting the NCAA wrestling National Championships in March of 2002. The Saints have hosted numerous NIT and Women’s NIT games as well, including a remarkable six in 2003.

D’Argenio served out his final year on the NCAA Division I Baseball committee in 2008 and is a member of the MAAC marketing and strategic planning committees. He also serves as chair of the MAAC baseball committee.

D’Argenio earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Dayton in 1982 and a master’s of science degree from North Dakota State University in 1985. He is a native of Rome, N.Y.



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