April 27, 2017
As we approach the end of another academic year that has been filled with many highlights on and off the field of play, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our alumni and fans for their tremendous support of St. John's Athletics. Your patronage has provided our dedicated student-athletes with the resources to continue our tradition of excellence here in Queens.
On Monday, we will celebrate our student-athletes at our 71st Annual Athletics Awards Celebration, but their accomplishments could not be made possible without you, our loyal supporters.
As the Director of Athletics, it is a foremost goal of mine to enhance our national reputation and position our athletic programs to annually challenge for BIG EAST titles and National Championships. The competition our young men and women face is fierce, so we, their fervent supporters, need to band together in order that they may consistently reach this next level.
Our spring sports teams have represented our University well as they look to finish out the regular season strong and make noise in the postseason.
The Red Storm baseball team is off to another remarkable campaign under head coach Ed Blankmeyer, who is closing in on the 30-win plateau for the 15th time in his 22-year tenure. The nationally ranked Johnnies have climbed as high as fourth in the polls, the team's best ranking since 1968, and will look to compete for the program's ninth BIG EAST title next month in Omaha.
This week, our tennis programs begin competition in the 2017 BIG EAST Championships in South Carolina. The women's team enters the tournament as the top seed for the first time in program history, after second year head coach Lauren Leo guided her squad to a 16-3 record during the regular-season. The men's team earned the second overall seed and will try to achieve a truly amazing feat: a fourth-straight BIG EAST title.
Additionally, our softball team currently occupies the top spot in the BIG EAST standings with just over two weeks remaining in the regular season. Under the direction of Amy Kvilhaug, the Red Storm looks to bring home its second conference championship in the past three years.
On the links, the women's golf program recently finished third in the BIG EAST Championships, while the men's golf team gears up for the conference tournament this weekend after finishing out the regular-season with a second place finish in the Navy Spring Invitational.
We wish our spring teams continued success as they finish out their respective seasons!
This was also a landmark year in terms of fundraising. With the conclusion of the fiscal year quickly approaching on May 31, it is exciting to announce we are closing in on $3 million in gifts - an increase of more than $800,000 from last year.
If you have yet to make a gift we encourage you to contribute before the end of the fiscal year as we strive to raise the bar even higher. Giving is simple. Please visit AthleticsGiving.StJohns.edu today as you can direct your support to specific teams or contribute to our general athletic fund.
To wrap up this entry, I want to take the opportunity to answer a question recently submitted by one of our Red White Club members.
Q: Are there plans for athletic facility improvements in the near future?
A: Our goal is to be competitive on a national level in all facets of our athletic program, and that includes our facilities.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we recently completed several upgrades, such as the Taffner Field House men's and women's basketball strength and conditioning room, the Carnesecca Arena varsity strength and conditioning room, a new state-of-the-art indoor golf training facility, a new turf field for DaSilva Memorial Field and renovated the sports medicine therapy room.
This summer Jack Kaiser Stadium will undergo a major renovation, as a new artificial turf surface will be installed to replace the existing natural grass field. This is a substantial facility improvement for a Northeast baseball program, because it will allow our team to train outside and play home games earlier than ever before.
In addition, we are actively exploring all options to improve our facilities, especially Carnesecca Arena, to create a better home court environment and fan experience.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a question. I truly enjoy answering questions from our Red Storm faithful, so on Tues., May 9 we will be holding a Lunchtime Q & A on Twitter from 12 to 12:30 p.m. Simply tag @AD_Goff_StJohns and I will try to get to as many questions as possible.
Go Red Storm!
Anton Goff Director of Athletics St. John's University