Chris Monasch was appointed Director of Athletics at St. John's University on Feb. 1, 2005. Over the last decade, he has provided leadership to his alma mater's athletics program, overseeing the University's 17 NCAA Division I teams and implementing new initiatives within the department. Since his arrival, St. John's student-athletes have achieved many successes on and off the field of play. The Red Storm has made 26 NCAA Tournament appearances, won eight BIG EAST Championships and seven BIG EAST Regular-Season titles under Monasch's guidance, while consistently excelling in the classroom with a collective grade point average higher than the general student population, and dedicating more than 2,000 hours annually to service within the community.
Several upgrades have been made to St. John's athletic and recreation facilities during his tenure. Monasch led a multi-phase renovation to Carnesecca Arena, modernizing the historic facility that houses most of the St. John's Athletic Department and serves as the on-campus home for the University's storied basketball programs. As part of this transformation, the medical and strength & conditioning areas were vastly expanded to ensure first rate support to St. John's 300-plus student-athletes. In addition, Monasch has directed other major facility enhancements that include the new construction of The Courts at St. John's, as well as significant upgrades to Belson Stadium, the home of St. John's soccer, and Jack Kaiser Stadium, which honors one of his most distinguished predecessors and serves as the home of the Red Storm's baseball team.
Monasch has been instrumental in developing several new partnerships to keep St. John's at the forefront of collegiate athletics. He announced the department's new agreement with IMG College, the country's foremost collegiate sports marketing company that has served as the exclusive sales and marketing representative for the Red Storm since 2009. St. John's also became the first BIG EAST Conference member to form an exclusive all-sports partnership with Under Armour in 2013, joining forces with the innovative sports performance brand to design and supply footwear, apparel and equipment for training and game-day uniforms. The St. John's Television Network (SJU-TV) also launched under Monasch and has garnered significant national exposure for Red Storm athletic programs over the last three years. SJU-TV has delivered nearly 150 live broadcasts to ESPN3, which is available to 85 million households.
Monasch has implemented an athletics department philosophy of "Win, Graduate, Serve," which begins with an annual orientation program for all incoming student-athletes. St. John's Student Development staff provides academic support and guides community service and leadership efforts in Carnesecca Arena's state-of-the-art Student-Athlete Center for Excellence.
Under Monasch's guidance, St. John's successfully completed the NCAA Certification process. Following a year long self-study to review the Department's governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, gender/diversity issues and student-athlete well-being, the St. John's Department of Athletics received a designation of "certified," by the Division I Committee on Athletics Certification in 2009-10.
Annual giving to St. John's Athletics and the number of members in the Red White Club have markedly increased since Monasch's arrival, with the addition of development events such as the annual Bullpen Winter Banquet, benefiting the Red Storm baseball team. He has overseen several special events related to the storied men's basketball program, such as Legacy Honors Weekend (2006), the Joe Lapchick Symposium (2006), the year-long 100 Years of St. John's Basketball celebration (2007-08) and the 25th Anniversary of St. John's 1985 Final Four (2009-10).
Monasch, the fifth Athletic Director in St. John's University history, officially began his tenure on March 12, 2005. He has spent his entire career in collegiate athletics, serving in various leadership capacities for more than 25 years and has a résumé that touches some 30 institutions. He has served as commissioner of the America East and Northeast Conferences, as well as Assistant and Associate Athletic Director at Fordham and Seton Hall Universities, respectively. He has experience with complex issues such as NCAA governance, compliance, student development and academic support, and is known as a visionary administrator.
Monasch spent 1997-2004 as Commissioner of the America East Conference, leading that organization in implementing a NCAA compliance program, developing a marketing program and organizing the league's television network. Monasch created the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and restructured the league governance process to empower the member institutions' presidents as its chief governing body. Monasch also oversaw the addition of four new members to the conference and brought the conference to the highest level of athletic success in its history.
Prior to his tenure at the America East Conference, Monasch served as the first full-time Commissioner of the Northeast Conference, a position he held for nine years. He extricated the league from the ECAC in the late 1980s, changing its name from the ECAC Metro Conference, expanded league membership, added Division I-AA football to its sports sponsorship list and developed its television network. Monasch was recognized in 2010 for his accomplishments at the NEC when he was inducted as a member of the conference's inaugural Hall of Fame class.
Monasch currently serves as the chair of the BIG EAST Athletic Directors group, and he recently completed a two-year term as the conference's representative on the NCAA Leadership Council. Monasch has been a member of several NCAA committees, including the NCAA Management Council, the Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee, the Recruiting Committee and two terms on the Division I Baseball Committee. He has been an advocate for student-athletes, serving two terms as liaison with the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He was the chair of the Division I Management Council during the 2004-05 academic year and has also served on the NACDA Sears Cup Board of Directors.
Monasch began his career as an Assistant Athletic Director at Fordham University, a role he filled for four years before serving as the school's interim athletic director in 1985, where he also started the school's first academic support program. As an Associate Athletic Director at Seton Hall University, Monasch was a key player in the athletic department's upgrade that led to a men's basketball Final Four appearance and the move of its games to the Meadowlands.
Monasch was recently the chair of the BIG EAST finance committee and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Consortium of Academics and Sports. He also contributed to the Advisory Board for the Sport Management program and the College of Professional Studies at St. John's. He has served as an adjunct professor at the Seton Hall University School of Law and St. John's University.
Monasch is a St. John's alumnus, graduating with a B.S. in athletic administration in 1981. In addition to his degree from St. John's, Monasch holds a M.A. in communications from Fordham University (1984) and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall University (1993). He is a member of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Bar Associations.
Monasch currently resides in Manhattan.