HAMMOND, Ind. –After three years of impactful leadership of Purdue University Calumet athletics, Rick Costello has been named Director of Athletics of the emerging Purdue University Northwest, effective immediately.
“Since he arrived in 2012, Rick has inspired academic and athletic success and ignited a new spirit surrounding Purdue Calumet athletics,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon said. “He has been an effective, tireless leader of our 12-sport, 200-student-athlete program, and he has positioned PNW for movement to NCAA Division II. He has brought new life, energy and interest to Purdue Calumet athletics on and off our campus.”
Costello’s appointment launches the athletic unification of Purdue Calumet and Purdue University North Central into a single Purdue University Northwest program, which begins competing during 2016-17, pending Higher Learning Commission approval. Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central will continue to compete separately during 2015-16.
Associate A.D. of Compliance
Additionally, Purdue North Central Director of Athletics Tom Albano joins the Purdue Northwest athletics leadership team as Associate Athletic Director for Compliance.
“These appointments represent a tremendous step forward for Purdue University Northwest,” Purdue North Central Chancellor James B. Dworkin said. “Tom was a talented athlete and campus leader as a PNC student. He has a firm commitment to the success of our student athletes and athletic programs that will benefit Purdue Northwest. Together, Rick and Tom will lay the foundation for a successful future. Students, alumni and community members look forward to watching the program develop.”
As one emerging university of two inclusive campuses comprised of some 15,500 students, Purdue University Northwest is positioning to become an extraordinary Purdue presence in Northwest Indiana committed to student success, academic and faculty excellence and economic development.
“I am honored to lead Purdue University Northwest intercollegiate athletics and build on the rich tradition of Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central,” Costello said. “I sincerely appreciate the confidence Chancellors Keon and Dworkin have shown in me. I am excited to work with students, coaches, faculty, alumni and community to create a program that develops academic and athletic champions and creates campus and community spirit and pride.”
Costello is a veteran collegiate athletic administrator with previous stops at Rutgers (NJ) University, Delaware State University, University of South Florida, San Jose State (Calif.) University and, most recently, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
During his Purdue Calumet tenure the women’s basketball team has achieved national recognition, student-athletes regularly have achieved a collective semester grade point average of at least 3.0 (4.0 scale), two student-athletes earned Academic All-American honors for the first time in university history and all 12 sports teams engage in community service endeavors.
Costello also has helped cultivate corporate and private support to enable development of an outdoor sports complex at nearby Dowling Park for baseball, softball, soccer and tennis competition; the Paul K. and Barbara Graegin Academic Excellence Center study facility for student-athletes; and the Community Hospital Athletic Training and Physical Therapy Center.
While assuming his new responsibilities, Albano will continue to lead the six-sport, 130-student-athlete Purdue North Central athletics program during its final upcoming year of competition.
As PNC Athletics Director the past two years, Albano was instrumental establishing a women’s cross country team and reintroducing an Athletics Advisory Board for input on fundraising and other strategic initiatives. He also has served on the planning and development committee of the PNC Student Services and Activities Complex, scheduled to open in 2016.
Additionally, he developed a multi-media campus news network featuring live video and web-streaming of PNC home athletic contests.
The former PNC baseball pitcher, Panther Athlete of the Year, All-American Honorable Mention selection (2007) and member of the PNC Athletics Hall of Fame set university season records for most mound appearances (27), saves (9) and lowest earned run average (1.66).