With the retirement of athletic director Dan Gilmore, Rowan University has turned to a familiar face on campus to take over as interim AD. John Giannini assumes the role immediately.

“We’re going to try this for a year, and I’m excited about it,’’ Giannini said Wednesday.

Giannini, who won an NCAA Division III men’s basketball title at Rowan in 1996 before going to Maine and then La Salle to coach, spent the last academic year as director of Rowan’s Center for Sports Communication and Social Impact. He said he enjoyed the experience.

“I’m basically a loyal soldier,’’ Giannini said of this move. “I love the school, we have a great president, I love college athletics, and we have a great group of coaches.”

“Dr. Giannini brings to the AD position an impressive record on the court and in the classroom, guided by an unwavering commitment to helping students and student-athletes thrive in all areas of their lives,” Ali Houshmand, Rowan president, said in a statement. “John’s passion and energy are contagious attributes that will strengthen our program and positively impact all of our current and future students, as well as Rowan community members.”

Gilmore retires after 43 years at the school, including a run as men’s soccer coach from 1976-2013 that included 24 NCAA D-III appearances. Gilmore is seventh all-time in soccer victories in all NCAA divisions with 559.