Villanova’s Director of Athletics Vince Nicastro Accepts New Position at the University with Moorad Sports Law Center

Nicastro’s 15 years as Director of Athletics has been a period of exceptional success and growth for Villanova Athletics, both academically and athletically

Vince Nicastro

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University today announced that Vince Nicastro has accepted a new position at the University as Associate Director of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law at the Villanova University School of Law. Nicastro will continue in his role as Athletics Director until a successor is appointed. The University is immediately beginning a national search for a new Director of Athletics, and has retained a search firm and formed a search committee.

“We are extremely grateful to Vince for his exceptional leadership during his 15 years as Director of Athletics,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President. “Vince’s tenure gave rise to a period of tremendous success for Villanova Athletics. He has always had Villanova’s student-athletes and coaches’ best interests at heart, and has worked tirelessly to create an environment that allowed them to perform at the highest levels and succeed both academically and athletically.”

“While I will miss working directly with Vince, I understand his desire to focus his leadership skills and extensive knowledge of intercollegiate athletics in a different way,” continued Father Donohue. “We are extremely fortunate that Vince will remain here at Villanova, sharing his experience and talents with our Law School. The Moorad Center is gaining a true leader, whose breadth of knowledge in the sports arena will continue to benefit Villanova University.” 

In this key new leadership role at the Moorad Center, Nicastro will work with Director Andrew Brandt and the Center’s Board of Advisors to develop and implement strategies to further enhance Villanova’s sports law program. In addition to managing the day-to-day operation of the Center, Nicastro will teach and lecture at the Law School in areas related to sports business and law, and will serve as a spokesperson with particular expertise in the area of intercollegiate athletics. Employing his extensive network, Nicastro will cultivate partnerships for the Moorad Center, plan and implement programs and events—including the annual Moorad Sports Law Symposium—as well as develop additional internship opportunities for students. 

“Vince brings an unrivaled knowledge of the complex world of intercollegiate sports to the Moorad Center, complementing Andrew Brandt’s expertise in professional sports,” remarked John Y. Gotanda, Arthur J. Kania Dean at Villanova University School of Law. “Andrew and I are excited to welcome Vince in this new position as he has been a staunch supporter of the Moorad Center from its inception, serving as a member of its Board of Advisors and as a panelist for our recent symposium.”

“Vince has incredible knowledge and experience in the arena of college athletics,” said Jay Wright, Villanova Men’s Basketball Head Coach. “Vince has been a tremendous partner and an instrumental figure in the success of our program. He will be greatly missed, but I am excited that the University and Villanova Law’s Moorad Center will continue to benefit from his leadership and expertise.”

“It has been a genuine privilege to serve as the Director of Athletics at Villanova for the past 15 years,” said Nicastro. “On a daily basis, I have had the honor of working with some of the most talented student-athletes, coaches, staff and colleagues in the nation, and their dedication to the Villanova values has been an inspiration. I would also like to thank Fr. Peter Donohue for his outstanding leadership and personal counsel. I am excited to take on this new role at Villanova that will enable me to share my knowledge and experience with Villanova Law students. I look forward to working closely with Dean Gotanda and Andrew Brandt at the Law School.”

During his 15 years as Villanova’s Director of Athletics, Nicastro has led the Department through an impressive period of growth and success athletically, academically and administratively. He spearheaded the advancement of the Athletic Department and its infrastructure, and played a key role in the creation of the new BIG EAST Conference. Athletically, the Villanova men’s basketball program flourished during that time, appearing in 10 NCAA Tournaments and advancing to the 2009 NCAA Final Four, as well as two Elite 8 and four Sweet 16 appearances. Villanova won three National Championships (football-2009; women’s cross country-2009, 2010) and 30 conference team titles during Nicastro’s tenure. In the classroom, Villanova’s student-athletes have consistently ranked among the nation’s elite. This year, 12 Villanova teams were recognized by the NCAA for their academic success, placing Villanova on an exclusive list of only 19 schools nationwide to have accomplished such a feat.

Nicastro has also been instrumental in the growth of the Villanova Athletic Fund and in securing numerous major gifts for endowments and facility upgrades to benefit Villanova student-athletes. Highlights include the opening of the Davis Center for Athletics & Fitness in 2007 as a state-of-the-art practice facility and home for the men’s and women’s basketball programs and a fitness center for the entire Villanova community, and a $3 million renovation to the Villanova Soccer Complex on West Campus in 2014. Recently, Villanova broke ground on a new $18 million facility in the west end zone of Villanova Stadium, which will benefit all 24 varsity sports at Villanova while serving as home to the football program.

Nicastro was a leader on the conference and national level as well, serving on key BIG EAST and NCAA committees. He most recently was a member of the NCAA Division I Committee on Academic Performance, and served as chair of the BIG EAST Conference Finance Committee, the BIG EAST Conference Athletic Directors Executive Committee, and the BIG EAST Conference Championships and Competition Committee.

Villanova has retained Parker Executive Search to assist in the search with Daniel Parker, Vice President and Managing Director, serving as the lead consultant. In addition, it has formed a search committee composed of board members, faculty and staff to oversee the search process, which will begin immediately. Members of the search committee include:

  • Kenneth G. Valosky ’82, Search Committee Chair; Executive Vice President, Villanova University
  • Rick Eckstein, PhD, Faculty representative on Athletics Board Committee; Professor of Sociology, Villanova University
  • Rev. Robert Hagan, OSA, ’87, Associate Athletics Director, Villanova University
  • Kerry Kittles ’96, ’09 MBA, Alumni representative; All-Time Villanova Men’s Basketball Leading Scorer; 1996 AP First Team All-America
  • Patrick G. LePore ’77, Trustee, Athletics Board Committee Chair, Villanova University
  • Nnenna J. Lynch ’93, Trustee, Athletics Board Committee member, Villanova University; Rhodes Scholar and five-time NCAA Champion in Cross Country/Track & Field
  • Michael J. O’Neill, Senior Vice President for University Advancement, Villanova University
  • Lynn Tighe ’87, Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Women’s Administrator, Villanova University

*For a full bio or photograph of Vince Nicastro, please contact Media Relations.

About the Moorad Center: Established in 2012, the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports at Villanova University School of Law is ushering in a new era of education in the sports industry. One of only a handful of institutes in the U.S. dedicated to this topic, the Center prepares students for careers in sports law and business through unique course offerings, a dedicated journal and sports blog, and topical speakers. Its signature annual event—the Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal Symposium—brings industry leaders to campus and generates national conversations on key issues, including concussions, agents, domestic violence, NCAA issues and substance abuse. Leveraging its Board of Advisors and its wide-ranging network of industry professionals, the Center offers students access to top-tier internship opportunities, with students placed at player agencies and in such organizations as the NFL, NFL Players Association, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Flyers and Wasserman Media Group. In just three years since its launch, the Center has become a thought leader in sports law, business, media and policy. 

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu