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Friday, June 21, 2024
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American University welcomes new athletic director in press conference

JM Caparro brings ACC experience to Patriot League

American University welcomed new Athletic Director JM Caparro at an April 15 press conference, six months after the announcement of current AD Billy Walker’s departure from the University. 

Caparro, who was announced as AD on April 2, brings nine years of experience in the athletics office at Boston College, a Power Five School. He was also the vice president of ticket sales and service for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, helping to lead the team’s relocation from New Jersey to Brooklyn in 2012. 

AU President Sylvia Burwell opened the press conference by listing Caparro’s accomplishments and three qualities she found important to Caparro’s hire as AD: “His enthusiasm for the program, ability to maintain an approach and his commitment to winning.” 

Caparro took to the podium after Burwell’s remarks, thanking his family, the crowd gathered and the search committee for their role in choosing him. He promised to bring “Family, integrity, trust and humility” to his role and to use his platform to include the interests of student-athletes in every decision.

“I want to be a proud ambassador and key partner to the everyday functions of American University,” Caparro said to close his remarks. 

He will begin his role as AD on June 1. 

After the press conference, Burwell was optimistic about Caparro’s hire and the benefits he would bring to the university. She said he would easily adapt to the city environment, moving from Boston to D.C. 

She said that it was important to complete the hire before the end of her tenure as president of the University, while still collaborating with incoming president Jonathan Alger. 

“It was important throughout the process to hire someone to align with my successor’s values, and I think we were able to do that, especially with Alger’s blessing here,” she said.

After Burwell’s post-conference remarks, Caparro gave his vision for AU Athletics moving forward. 

“We are going to put our athletes first in every decision we make, from team to team and office to office,” he said. “We are going to make sure we are a resource so that our athletes can compete everywhere, on the courts, on the fields, in the classroom and in the community.”

Caparro said two things that drove him to accept the position at American: A high-end mix of academics and athletics and to return to managing a program in the Patriot League. Caparro played football for one year at Lehigh University, and he said he “is excited to be back in a conference as prestigious as this one.” 

Caparro closed his remarks post-conference by assuring the community that he will make sure Athletics is an active part of the community. 

“You will see me and our athletes on campus a lot. We are going to make sure that our athletes are seen as regular people off the court and field, people that students have classes with, and can form relationships with,” he said. “That is the plan to drive people to our sports games, to see these people succeed, rather than seeing these players and programs succeed.” 

This article was edited by Penelope Jennings, Delaney Hoke and Abigail Turner. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks, Isabelle Kravis and Ariana Kavoossi.

sports@theeagleonline.com


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