Tue, Sep. 11, 2012
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HAMMOND, Ind. — An accomplished, intercollegiate athletics administrator, who formerly headed the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee NCAA Division I program, has been appointed Purdue University Calumet athletics director.
Rick Costello, 45, officially takes over as head of Purdue Calumet's expanding, 10-sport program Monday (9/17). He succeeds longtime Purdue Calumet athletics director John Friend, who came out of retirement to serve as interim athletics director since August, 2011.
"Rick brings to our campus great energy and proven success as a leader, fundraiser, financial manager, coach and sports marketer, all while placing a high priority on student-athlete success in the classroom and on the scoreboard," Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon said. "His experience and impressive background will be invaluable as we chart a long term strategic course for athletics at Purdue Calumet."
Costello offers more than a decade of NCAA Division I administrative experience. Prior to coming to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2011, he served as Deputy Director of Athletics at Rutgers (NJ) University, Director of Athletics at Delaware State University, Associate Athletic Director at the University of South Florida and Assistant Athletic Director for Business Operations at San Jose State (Calif.) University. He also served as men's assistant basketball coach at Lehigh (Pa.) University during the early 1990s.
"I am really excited about coming to Purdue Calumet and joining the team that is contributing to the vision Chancellor Keon has for intercollegiate athletics," Costello said. "I believe in a student-athlete centered focus that is student first and athlete second, and I am eager to apply my experience, enthusiasm and energy to build on the foundation of Purdue Calumet athletics nurtured for so many years by John Friend."
Costello will report directly to Keon, who expressed appreciation for Friend's leadership and counsel.
"Since my arrival here last year," Keon said, "I have expressed the important role I believe a thriving, intercollegiate athletics program can play in our emergence as a vibrant campus and Northwestern Indiana's Hometown University. John built a solid foundation. Under Rick's leadership, we will take the next step."
Among responsibilities Costello will assume include preparing to introduce baseball and softball programs during the 2013-14 athletic year and engaging in fundraising efforts in support of an outdoor sports complex at nearby Dowling Park. Plans for the complex, to be developed in partnership with the City of Hammond, include a soccer field, six tennis courts, and baseball and softball fields.
At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Costello directed an 80 percent increase in men's basketball season ticket sales. He also negotiated the largest corporate partnership and largest major gift in UWM athletic history, while developing a fundraising strategy for scholarships, facilities and endowments.
Additionally under his direction, the student-athlete graduation rate improved to 82 percent, and UWM claimed 10 team championships.
Costello and his wife, Amy, are the parents of four children, ages 2 to 15. He holds a baccalaureate degree in accounting from Muhlenberg (Pa.) College and a Master in Business Administration from Lehigh.