Vince Nicastro, Director of Athletics
As the Director of Athletics, Nicastro is responsible for leading a Villanova Athletics Department that is committed to excellence both in competition and in the classroom. The broad-based Wildcat athletics program is comprised of 24 men's and women's varsity sports and over 500 student-athletes. In addition, club sports and an extensive intramurals and recreation program fall under the auspices of the Athletic Department. Villanova is a member of the Big East Conference and the Colonial Athletic Association Football Conference.
In his 10 seasons at the helm, Nicastro has overseen significant success in the key areas of intercollegiate athletics, and the 2009-10 academic year was one of the best in the stories history of Villanova Athletics.
Villanova finished 2009-10 ranked 51st in the NACDA Directors' Cup, a program which recognizes a school's across-the-board success in athletics. The ranking was Villanova's highest since 2003-04 and ranked the Wildcats second among non-Football Bowl Subdivision schools and fourth best among all BIG EAST schools. The 2009-10 academic year was highlighted by two national championships, making Villanova one of only 10 schools in the nation to win multiple NCAA team titles in 2009-10. The women's cross country team captured its eighth all-time title and the football team won its first-ever FCS national championship. In addition, the men's basketball team recorded its sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, the Wildcat women's soccer program earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament, the women's indoor track & field team captured the BIG EAST championship and the men's lacrosse program was ranked in the nation's top-10 during the inaugural year of men's lacrosse competition in the BIG EAST Conference.
Under Nicastro's stewardship, the men's basketball team is one of just two BIG EAST programs to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in each of the last six years, including a trip to the 2009 Final Four. The Wildcat women's soccer team has participated in six of the last nine NCAA Tournaments, including a 2003 Sweet 16 berth. The women's basketball program has tallied 20 wins or more in six of the last 10 seasons en route to earning a postseason bid in nine of the last 11 years, including a visit to the Elite Eight in 2003. The football team has made three appearances in the NCAA playoffs since 2002, including a semifinal appearance in 2002 and winning the 2009 national championship.
In his tenure as Director, Nicastro has been instrumental in the growth of the V Club annual fund program, which once again achieved an unprecedented level of participation in 2009-10. Nicastro has also played an integral role in securing numerous major gifts for endowments and facility upgrades to benefit Villanova Athletics.
The most striking capital undertaking is the Davis Center for Athletics & Fitness that serves as a state-of-the-art practice facility for use by the men's and women's basketball programs and greatly improves the recreational and fitness offerings for the campus community. The $18.7 million facility, which opened in November of 2007, represents the largest capital project in University history to be funded entirely through donor support. Other facility upgrades under Nicastro's watch include the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth Meeting; a new softball complex; the Villanova Stadium Turf Replacement; the installation of a new track in Villanova Stadium, new track & field throwing sectors and numerous team locker room enhancements.
Achievement in the classroom has also remained a priority under Nicastro's leadership. During the 2009-10 academic year, Villanova student-athletes posted a 3.067 grade point average - the 13th consecutive semester with a composite GPA above 3.0, while achieving exemplary graduation rates. Also in 2009-10, nine Wildcat teams received NCAA Public Recognition Awards for ranking in the top 10 percent in the nation for team GPA within their sport. In addition, Villanova saw 21 sports post an APR score above the national average for their specific sport.
Those beyond the Villanova zip code have taken notice. U.S. News and World Report listed Villanova as one of the Top 20 athletic programs in the nation in 2003. In 2004, Villanova was recognized as the top program in the Big East Conference in a study conducted by the Laboratory for the Study of Intercollegiate Athletics at Texas A&M. In its first presentation of the Excellence in Athletics Cup, Villanova was cited for success in areas including NCAA postseason success, graduation rates, gender equity position and operating efficiency.
Nicastro joined the Villanova Athletics Department in 1994 when he was hired as the school's Director of Ticket Operations. He was promoted to Assistant Athletics Director in 1997, and then elevated to the position of Associate Athletics Director soon thereafter. As an Associate Athletics Director, he was responsible for overseeing the department's administrative functions, including business operations, personnel and staffing and the sports medicine and strength/conditioning programs. On his path to the Director's office, Nicastro served as the designated sport administrator for many of Villanova's men's and women's varsity programs, working closely to plan and develop all aspects of their sport's programs. Nicastro also coordinated Villanova's summer camp programs and the department's information technology issues.
Nicastro has also been active both inside and outside the University, serving on many key committees. He is a member of the Villanova University President's Cabinet and is a member of the University's Administrative Budget Committee, which plays a key role in crafting the University's operating budget and making recommendations for strategic investments. Nicastro has been a member of the Colonial Athletic Association Football Conference Executive Committee and is on the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Sports Congress. He also formerly served as the Chair of the Big East Conference Athletic Directors Executive Committee, the Big East Conference Championships and Competitions Committee, the Big East Conference Finance Committee, and as a member of the Big East Television Committee which negotiated the most comprehensive media agreements in the league's history. He has also served as a member of the Gatorade Athletic Director Advisory Board.
A 1987 graduate of Bloomsburg University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Accounting, Nicastro earned his MBA from St. Joseph's University in 1994. Nicastro and his wife Liz reside in Drexel Hill, Pa., with their 10-year old twin sons, Jake and Casey.