La Salle has decided on the person to lead its athletic programs into the future.
Brian Baptiste comes to Olney Avenue after spending the last seven years at Northwestern University as deputy director of athletics for capital projects and operations.
Baptiste will be introduced June 18 and assume his job Aug. 1. He replaces Bill Bradshaw, a 1969 graduate of La Salle, who will retire after three years of his second stint as the AD on June 30. Bradshaw put in more than 40 years of service to intercollegiate athletics.
“I am thrilled to welcome Brian to the Explorer family,” La Salle president Colleen Hanycz said in a statement Monday. “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 also served as sport administrator for men’s basketball, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving and women’s cross-country at Northwestern, is a native of Cheverly, Md. and worked as an assistant athletic director at Georgetown and Delaware. He is a graduate of Towson.
“I want to thank President Hanycz, Joe Meade [Hanycz’s chief of staff], 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,” Baptiste said. “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."
Baptiste comes in at a time when men’s basketball coach Ashley Howard and women’s coach Mountain MacGillivray are entering their second seasons of the rebuilding projects of the basketball program.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to build our program under the leadership of our newly appointed Athletics Director Brian Baptiste,” Howard tweeted.
La Salle has 25 varsity sports and more than 500 student-athletes.
“I am extremely excited for Brian and his family to have this opportunity,” Northwestern basketball coach Chris Collins said. “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.”
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 sports programs, along with club and intramural sports, a state-of-the-art development center.
“Brian is a great choice to continue the upward trajectory of La Salle University Athletics,” Bradshaw said. “... I couldn’t be happier knowing that my alma mater is in such capable hands.”