AVE MARIA, Fla. — Ave Maria University has named John Lamanna the Director of Athletics. Additionally, Lamanna will remain as head coach of the men’s basketball program.
“We are fortunate to have John remain in this role moving forward,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Kim King. “I believe he will provide steady leadership and a sustained commitment to the goals and mission of both the department and the University. I look forward to his continued success in the growth of athletics in years ahead.”
Lamanna, who has served as the University’s head men’s basketball coach the past two seasons, was interim AD following Kim King’s transition to Vice President of Student Affairs in August.
“I feel incredibly blessed for the opportunity to lead the Athletic Department at Ave Maria University,” said John Lamanna. “I want to thank President Towey and Vice President King for entrusting me with the responsibility. I would also like to thank my wife Sara for all the support she provides our family along with our three children; Gabi, Tony and Louie.”
“There are very few professional opportunities where someone is allowed to bring two of their passions together,” said Lamanna. “The Athletic Director position at Ave Maria University allows me to bring my passion for the Catholic faith and athletics together.”
Lamanna has high expectations for the program and wants to accomplish as much as he can for the athletic department and most importantly the student athletes.
“This is a very exciting time here at Ave Maria University with the recent ground breaking of our new academic building. I am looking forward to athletics playing a supporting role to the overall growth and excellence of Ave Maria University.”
Lamanna came to Ave Maria in July 2015 from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, where he was the head coach of the men’s basketball program and the manager of compliance and facilities.
At all of Lamanna’s stops he has been very active within the community. Currently, the Ave Maria men’s basketball program participate yearly in community service or what the program calls “Acts of Mercy”. This has found the Gyrenes working with the less fortunate in both Immokalee and Naples.
A Spokane, Wash., native, Lamanna graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Washington State University and a master’s degree in Counseling from Loyola Marymount University.
The Athletic Department at Ave Maria has grown from sponsoring six varsity level sports in 2008-09, to boasting 16 varsity-level programs for the 2016-17 season, with nearly 400 student athletes. The Athletic Department staff has grown to include eight administrative and athletic support positions, 13 head coaches, and 22 assistant coaches.
Founded in 2003, Ave Maria is a 2016 Newman Guide Recommended College and has grown to offer 30 majors to its 1,102 students. Ave Maria University is a Catholic, liberal arts institution of higher learning devoted to Mary the Mother of God, inspired by St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Calcutta, and dedicated to the formation of joyful, intentional followers of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament, scholarship and service.