Fordham University announced today that Ed Kull, who has been serving as interim athletic director since April, has been appointed the permanent director of athletics effectively immediately. In this capacity, Kull will report directly to the president and oversee a division of more than 100 coaches and staff, 500 student-athletes, and 22 varsity teams.
“Jesuit higher education has always integrated athletic excellence and competition into its mission as part of the commitment to developing the whole person,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “In Ed Kull we see this commitment to excellence, the care and well-being of our student athletes, and the ease with which he connects with all areas of the University community. I believe Ed is exactly the right person to lead Fordham athletics at this moment. His skills, knowledge of the world of athletics and his devotion to the mission and ideals of the University will enable Fordham athletics to raise the national profile of the University and to rally our alumni—and indeed the entire Fordham family—to ever greater pride in and support of our beloved University. Therefore, I both thank him for taking on this new role, and I invite the entire Fordham community to welcome him in his now-permanent role.”
Kull arrived at Fordham in March of 2017 when he was hired to lead the athletic development team and serve as an associate athletic director. He brought over 14 years of experience in sports marketing, business development, higher education fundraising and athletic development to the position.
In Kull’s ten months of service as interim director, he has focused on a number of initiatives including increased support for student-athlete well-being, managing the pandemic response and protocols, creating a social justice task force, implementing department-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, creating an athletics strategic plan, student-athlete brand education with Jeremy Darlow and INFLCR, external marketing and revenue generation, and inclusion of athletics in the University’s fundraising capital campaign, among others.
A 2003 graduate of Stony Brook University, he received his MBA from St. John’s University in 2005, where he is also a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership. He began his career in athletic sales, marketing, and promotions at St. John’s, becoming Assistant Athletic Director before moving to the corporate world as a sports marketing manager representing the Powerade and Vitaminwater brands for the Glaceau and Coca-Cola companies.
Kull returned to St. John’s University in 2011 to serve in the President’s Office as Chief of Staff for Athletics and Institutional Advancement, and ultimately, Acting Vice President for Institutional Advancement. In that role, Kull was the driving force behind record-breaking revenue growth from 2013-2016. During the three-year period he held this position, St. John’s experienced its third- and fourth- best revenue years in its history. The increase of major gifts under Kull’s tenure supported and advanced St. John’s educational mission, financial needs, and strategic planning.
“I want to thank Father McShane and the Board for giving me this incredible opportunity,” said Kull. “I am humbled to be a part of a university with a renowned competitive tradition and a passionate and loyal alumni and fan base. As you can imagine, the past ten months have been both inspiring and challenging and I’m thrilled to continue the work we have already started. I am honored to be chosen to carry on the Fordham athletic tradition of excellence.”
“Fordham University, under the leadership of Fr. McShane, has made the perfect decision. Ed Kull is a skilled administrator, familiar with the intricacies of intercollegiate athletics and higher education and a true advocate for the student-athlete,” commented Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade “He has earned the respect of his peers in the Atlantic 10 Conference and I look forward to working with him for many years to come!”
One of Kull’s first duties will be to conduct a nationwide search for a new head coach to lead the men’s basketball program. Kull has worked closely with Fordham’s president and board of trustees to carefully assemble a search committee and the selection of a search firm to ensure the best candidate is hired. The new coach will be integral in helping to operationalize Kull’s bold vision to remedy a program that has failed to reach its potential, not only in the eyes of the alumni and fan base, but also the university leaders, faculty, staff, and students. Search committee members include John L. Lumelleau, FCRH ‘74 (co-chair, member of the Fordham Board of Trustees), Kull (co-chair), Darryl Brown, FCRH ’75 (member of the Fordham Board of Trustees and a former men’s basketball student-athlete), Darlene Luccio Jordan, FCRH ’89 (member of the Fordham Board of Trustees), Roger Milici (Fordham Vice President for Development and University Relations), and Patricio Meneses (Faculty Athletic Representative). They will be aided by DHR International and its managing partner, Glenn Sugiyama.
To support the new men’s basketball hire and to help build a foundation for a winning culture, Darlene Luccio Jordan, FCRH ’89, will lead a philanthropic initiative to secure donor support, especially at this time of fiscal constraint.
Kull will hold a series of town halls as he fully embraces his new role. Dates and times for the town hall meetings will be posted on Fordhamsports.com when they are scheduled.