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October 4, 2023

SVSU hires John Lewandowski to serve as AD

portrait of man next to SVSU Athletics log

Saginaw Valley State University has selected John Lewandowski to join the university as its next director of athletics, following a national search.

Lewandowski has served as the senior associate athletic director for communications and marketing at the University of Louisiana-Monroe (ULM) since 2017. In that capacity, he has led the department’s marketing, fan engagement, ticket sales and video operations.

In addition, Lewandowski led a branding update for ULM’s athletic program, and he organized an alumni outreach effort that brought the university president and other key leaders to communities across Louisiana and Texas. In 2019, ULM hosted Grambling State University, an historically black institution, before the second-largest crowd (28,327) in the entire Sun Belt Conference that season.

Prior to his appointment at ULM, Lewandowski worked at Michigan State University for 20 years, departing as associate athletics director.

“John brings a wealth of experience and innovative ideas for how to increase the visibility and reputation of our university and its athletic programs,” said George Grant Jr., SVSU president. “He has a strong work ethic and a successful track record of increasing attendance at home athletic contests, as well as growing social media following and community engagement for university athletic programs, and we expect him to do the same for SVSU.

“John also has shared his expertise beyond the confines of athletics, serving on the president’s task force for strategic planning at the University of Louisiana-Monroe; he also was asked to serve on multiple search committees for academic dean positions there, which speaks to his ability to build relationships across the university.”

While at Michigan State, Lewandowski served as the primary spokesperson for the athletic department and supervised the public relations efforts of all 25 varsity sports.

“I am excited to be returning to Michigan and I am overjoyed at the opportunity to lead SVSU Athletics,” Lewandowski said. “I was highly impressed by the coaches, student-athletes and athletic department staff during my campus visit. These are individuals who compete with integrity, and that is important to me. I look forward to working with them to build our athletic programs individually and collectively, and to work alongside them to expand outreach with our fan base and the regional business community.

“SVSU Athletics is already competing at a high level, having finished 23rd in the Learfield Cup standings for NCAA Division II in 2022 and 35th in 2023. I see great potential to increase visibility and generate more support for the student-athletes in our outstanding programs.”

Lewandoski completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame. He will begin his SVSU duties on Monday, Oct. 9.