Westville: Dworkin Complex (DSAC)
Hammond: Fitness & Recreation Center (FNRC) 107
Rick Costello enters his fifth year in 2016-17 as Purdue University Northwest’s Director of Athletics and oversees all aspects of the Pride intercollegiate athletic program that currently sponsors 13 varsity sports with over 300 student-athletes.
After three years of impactful leadership of Purdue Northwest athletics, Costello was named the Director of Athletics of the emerging Purdue University Northwest, effective July 2015. Costello’s appointment launced the athletic unification of Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central into a single Purdue University Northwest program, which will compete as a singular athletic program in 2016-17.
“Since he arrived in 2012, Rick has inspired academic and athletic success and ignited a new spirit surrounding Purdue Northwest athletics,” Purdue Northwest 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 Northwest athletics on and off our campus.”
The 17-year veteran of collegiate athletic administration has made a big splash leading the Black and Gold’s athletic program. Under his watch, the Peregrines had the highest student-athlete participation in program history, a record number of teams qualify for postseason play and set bench marks in NAIA Scholar Team, NAIA Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-CCAC selections. In 2014, the Peregrines introduced baseball and softball in addition to the athletic program capturing its first regular-season and tournament championship in 18 years. In 2014-15, Purdue Northwest celebrated its first two CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-Americans with Rachel Shmagranoff (Women’s Soccer) and Lori Haas (Women’s Tennis) receiving this prestigious honor.
In the Peregrines’ final year of competition as Purdue Calumet, the program saw two more CoSIDA Academic All-Americans named in women’s basketball’s Cassidy Deno and women’s tennis’ Lori Haas, as Haas became the program’s first repeat selection and its first CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year.
As part of Costello’s vision for intercollegiate athletics at Purdue Northwest, the Peregrines have been giving back to the community with programs such as Kids Day, the Hammond Holiday Parade, and the R-Dub Reading and Writing program in Hammond elementary schools.
Costello introduced the department’s Corporate Champions program to increase funding for scholarships, facilities and operations. Thanks to donations from that program and other fundraising initatives, the Paul K. and Barbara Graegin Academic Excellence Center debuted in Spring 2014 and the Athletic Training and Physical Therapy Center, funded by Community Hospital, was completed in March 2015.
He has also played an integral role in the development of Purdue Northwest’s outdoor sports complex at Dowling Park, the Peregrines’ new home for baseball, soccer, softball and tennis in Spring 2015. Addtionally, Corporate Champions Pepsi (Soccer), Albert’s Jewelers (Baseball), Fifth Third Bank (Softball) and Community Hospital have generously supported Dowling Park in return for naming rights of its fields. McDonald’s, a Purdue Northwest Corporate Champion, has generously provided the park’s scoreboards.
Costello offers more than a decade of NCAA Division I administrative experience. He comes to Purdue Northwest from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he served as the Director of Athletics. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Costello directed an 80 percent increase in men’s basketball season ticket sales. He also negotiated the largest corporate partnership and largest major gift in UWM athletic history, while developing a fundraising strategy for scholarships, facilities and endowments. Additionally under his direction, the student-athlete graduation rate improved to 82 percent, and UWM claimed 10 team championships en route to the 2012 McCafferty Trophy, which is awarded to the Horizon League’s top athletic program.
Prior to his time at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he served as Deputy Director of Athletics at Rutgers University, Director of Athletics at Delaware State University, Associate Athletic Director at the University of South Florida and Assistant Athletic Director for Business Operations at San Jose State (Calif.) University. He also served as men’s assistant basketball coach at Lehigh (Pa.) University during the early 1990s. He holds a baccalaureate degree in accounting from Muhlenberg (Pa.) College and a Master in Business Administration from Lehigh.
Costello and his wife, Amy, reside in Crown Point and are the parents of four children, Kelsea, Lauren, Ryan and Lindsey.