History was made with the announcement of the hiring of Texas A&M International University's first Athletic Director, Steve P. Garippa at a press conference Wednesday at A&M International.
Dr. Charles Jennett, who will retire as the University's president in August, said the time for athletics at the University is right.
"When I first came to the University, there was great interest in sports. My commitment then, as now, was to help build a strong academic institution first, adding sports to the formula when our infrastructure, growth and program development would permit. All good things come in time and we believe now is our time," Dr. Jennett said.
He introduced Garippa and provided a glimpse into the new AD's hefty responsibilities.
"Here at A&M International, Mr. Garippa will plan and coordinate all athletic events on campus, including recreational spots, intramural sports and the athletic component of any summer activities. He'll work to mesh our athletic program with our educational program, and those of our community and service region.
"He'll assume responsibilities for our kinesiology facilities and their scheduling, use and maintenance and, in consultation with administration, hire coaches and other personnel as necessary to carry out the evolving requirements of the program.
"And, in time, we hope to be able to see our University enjoy the membership and benefits of NCAA Level III athletics," Jennett said.
Garippa joins the University from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas, where he was Director of Athletics and Physical Education.
He holds a BA in Education with a major in Physical Education from Arizona State University, and an MS in Physical Education, Exercise and Sport Science from Central Missouri University. He is currently completing a doctorate in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis on Kinesiology from Texas A&M University-Commerce.
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