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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Lunardi moves into new role at St. Joe’s

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Famed alumnus joins university Athletic Department

In a move that brings him full circle from his days as a student, Joseph Lunardi ’82 is returning to the Athletics Department at St. Joe’s as the Director of Marketing and Broadcast Services.

Lunardi will work closely with both the men’s and women’s basketball teams in the new role. Previously, Lunardi served as the Assistant Vice President of Marketing Communications for the university.

“I was the university’s lead communications person and spokesman for 30 years,” Lunardi said. “It was definitely time to pass the baton and get more modern skillsets, from a marketing point of view, for the younger students.”

In the new role, Lunardi aims to bring an improved fan experience and excitement to Hagan Arena, something he feels has been missing in recent years, despite some successful Hawks teams. Lunardi will provide creativity in the role, and is focused on coming up with new ideas to make basketball games even more enjoyable for students and alumni.

“Obviously my affinity for athletics, and men’s and women’s basketball, and the Hawks is natural in this role, with an emphasis on enhancing the fan experience and bringing the buzz back to Hagan,” Lunardi said.

Although this is a new job for Lunardi, he is certainly no stranger to the St. Joe’s sports scene. Lunardi has attended a staggering 1,039 St. Joe’s basketball games in his life, which is a true sign of pride and devotion.

As a student, Lunardi was the lead reporter for St. Joe’s men’s basketball during his freshman and sophomore years. By his junior year, he was Editor in Chief of The Hawk.

Don DiJulia ’67, wo served as vice president of athletics and athletic director, remembers Lunardi’s days as a student fondly.

“Even then, Joe was a special person,” DiJulia said. “Very talented as a writer and with his knowledge of sports, and now with being a broadcaster and TV personality, I’m not surprised.”

Lunardi comes from a long line of Hawks. His father and two older brothers all attended what was then Saint Joseph’s College, and his mother worked for the university in the president’s and dean’s offices.

“He was born to be a Hawk,” DiJulia said.

Lunardi will additionally continue to serve as the color analyst for radio broadcasts on the varsity men’s basketball games, a job he has proudly held for 25 years.

“I always joke that I’d like my ashes scattered at center court,” Lunardi said. “Now, having been fortunate enough to be one of the broadcasters for basketball, when I close my eyes I see myself at the radio table and pretty much know where everyone sits.”

Lunardi has also made a living as a men’s college basketball analyst for ESPN, specializing in predicting which teams will make the NCAA tournament, a science commonly known as “Bracketology.”

Lunardi said he  honed this skill in the mid-90s, when DiJulia suggested they pretend to be the selection committee that chooses who enters the tournament. Since then, Lunardi has made a habit of correctly predicting the tournament field, properly guessing at least 65 of the 68 teams in the tournament each year since 2011.

“The few weekends of the year I’m up there it’s cool to be able to walk the halls because there’s not really a St. Joe’s presence,” Lunardi said of ESPN. “Some of the elder statesmen over there like to call me ‘Little Hawk’.”

Lunardi credits his success to the university, and it’s why those around him feel strongly that he will continue to flourish moving forward.

“He is the ‘Hawkest’ Hawk,” said Randall Miller, Ph.D, professor of history. “He loves this place. He bleeds this place. Joe knows just how to convey the specialness of Saint Joseph’s.”

Miller taught Lunardi as a student and said that he is one of the most well-rounded individuals he has ever met. According to Miller, there is no doubt Lunardi will thrive.

“I am more than confident in him,” Miller said. “He will be, as he is now, a star.”

And while Lunardi certainly appreciates the academic opportunities that St. Joe’s provides, they’re not what sticks out to him the most.

“Certainly lifelong friendships,” Lunardi said when asked about what he remembers most about his experience at St. Joe’s. “I should mention at this point I met my wife here. Just like we tell the current students- this is not really a four year kind of thing but something that lasts a lifetime.”

As advice to current and future Hawks, Lunardi encouraged participation above all.

“Sounds like a cliche, but I’d say to get involved and don’t be a spectator,” Lunardi said. “If you’re on the sidelines then you’re not getting the most out of the experience.”

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