SUNY Poly Welcomes John Czarnecki as Director of Athletics

SUNY Poly Welcomes John Czarnecki as Director of Athletics

Tuesday, February 6, 2024 - 15:27
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John Czarnecki
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UTICA, NY – SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is pleased to announce the hiring of John P. Czarnecki as the university’s Director of Athletics. Having spent the last five years at the helm of Hartwick College’s athletics department, Czarnecki offers both a familiarity of the Empire 8, which SUNY Poly will be joining this fall, and a track record of success in the conference. 

“We’re incredibly excited to welcome John to SUNY Poly. His nearly 20 years of experience in college athletics is very impressive,” said SUNY Poly President Dr. Winston Soboyejo. “His commitment to the academic excellence of the student-athletes he comes in contact with aligns perfectly with our university’s vision of becoming the State and nation’s premier public polytechnic.”

“John has demonstrated the ability to grow athletic programs,” said Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Jennifer Adams, “but what is most commendable is the great pride he takes in following the NCAA Division III philosophy that the overall quality of student-athletes’ educational experience and the successful completion of their academic programs is of the highest priority. We’re confident that John’s presence at SUNY Poly will not only have a positive effect on our student-athletes, but also the overall campus experience for all that we serve.” 

"I'd like to thank President Soboyejo, Chief of Staff Wayne Westervelt and the search committee, Jennifer Adams, the athletic coaches and staff, and all the others I met during the interview process for giving me this special opportunity to be the next Director of Athletics at SUNY Poly,” said Czarnecki.  “I'm excited to partner with the campus and athletic communities to build a strong athletics program as we enter the next phase of our journey as members of the Empire 8 this coming Fall.” 

“My family and I are so thankful for the support we have already received and for being welcomed into the Wildcat family so quickly,” Czarnecki continued.  “I'm looking forward to getting to know the student-athletes and working alongside a great group of passionate and talented coaches and staff." 

During his nearly two decades in college athletics, Czarnecki’s career has naturally progressed. He’s served in a variety of roles, beginning as a graduate assistant, SUNYAC intern, sports information director, assistant basketball coach, assistant athletics director and associate athletic director. For the past 10 years, he has been an athletic director at Hilbert College and most recently, Hartwick College. Czarnecki notes that those experiences have helped him to understand what it takes to recruit and retain student-athletes, win games, manage budgets, manage facilities, hire, supervise and develop staff, communicate effectively with both internal and external constituents, schedule and manage department and institutional events, and work closely with senior-level administration to promote and advocate for athletics and student-athletes. 

While at Hartwick College, Czarnecki worked with staff and administration to increase sport offerings, enhance infrastructure, improve retention and graduation rates of athletes, and create an atmosphere of respect, integrity, cooperation, compassion, and accountability. He was also involved in raising funds to support department initiatives through individual donor cultivation, event-based fundraising, corporate and community partnerships, and grant writing. In each year that he was at Hartwick, the school saw an increase in their numbers with over one-third of the student population participating in a varsity athletic program.

SUNY Poly athletics currently competes in the North Atlantic Conference but will transition to the Empire 8 conference at the beginning of the 2024-2025 athletic season. SUNY Poly sponsors 13 sports, including baseball, softball, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's cross country, women's cross country, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's volleyball, women's volleyball, and mixed golf. The Wildcats have had a rich history in athletics, including 23 North Eastern Athletic Conference/North Atlantic Conference Championships, 22 NCAA Appearances, 517 All-Conference players, 29 Conference Coaches of the Year, and 35 Conference Players of the Year.