The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Letter to the Editor: From SJU’s New Athletic Director

The new athletic director giving a speech in Carnesecca Arena

Dear Editor,


Today is a day that I have dreamed about for a long time. It is an honor to write this letter on my first official day serving as the Director of Athletics at St. John’s University.

First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire University community for the warm welcome that was extended to my family since we first stepped foot on this beautiful campus.

Yesterday, we began this exciting new chapter of our lives with a 500-mile drive from Durham, N.C., to our new home, New York City, the greatest city in the world.

During the journey I reflected on many exciting things I look forward to in my new role at St. John’s.  Of all the thoughts that crossed my mind, the one that stood out most was my deep appreciation for our new family in Queens.

I admire the tremendous culture and rich history of the institution, as well as the passion of all of those associated with our global University and its athletic programs.

From the day I was afforded this opportunity, it didn’t take me long to realize that the people of St. John’s are what make it such a special place.

The love and togetherness of this institution remind me of my former family at Duke University, where I spent the last three decades as an administrator.

At Duke, I had the opportunity to work with so many special people – from student athletes to coaches, administrators, faculty, staff and of course the students.

It was the aforementioned who together helped create championship moments, because of their collective support for our teams and student-athletes.  

I look forward to starting a similar bond with my new family here at St. John’s.

On Friday at Red Storm Tip-Off, I witnessed first-hand how powerful the backing for St. John’s Athletics can be. There was an electric atmosphere inside Carnesecca Arena not an empty seat to be found, as we celebrated our men’s and women’s basketball teams that will tip off the 2018-19 season in just a few weeks.

Please continue to show your support by coming out to games this season and give our teams one of best home court advantages in college basketball.

My sincere appreciation goes out to the all of those members of our Athletics staff and volunteers who contributed to making Red Storm Tip-Off a memorable experience for all.

At my introductory press conference, I mentioned that I would like to help us imagine what we can accomplish across all of our sports programs and the shared successes we can celebrate as a family.

So that is what I am going to leave you with today. Imagine what we can achieve together, the St. John’s way. It starts with the people and how we serve, support and care for each other.

What I saw on Friday is a testament to what can be achieved. It takes a village, but together we can imagine the championship moments we will surely celebrate.



Mike Cragg

Athletic Director

St.  John’s University


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