Giunta prepares for Temple, reflects on time at Cabrini

By Jesse Gaunce
February 28, 2012

After four years as Cabrini’s athletic director, Joe Giunta will be departing to become a senior associate athletic director at Temple University.

A graduate and student-athlete of Neumann University, Giunta, before coming to Cabrini, previously spent five years at Temple as an associate athletic director and played a major role in the hiring of current men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy and former football coach Al Golden, who is currently the head coach at the University of Miami (Fl.).

At Cabrini, Giunta was responsible for the hiring of men’s basketball head coach Marcus Kahn, who was Giunta’s first hire. Kahn has led the Cavaliers to three straight CSAC championships and Cabrini athletics as a whole have claimed 19 CSAC titles and have appeared in 19 NCAA tournaments. He oversaw all 16 varsity teams, club sports, recreational activities as well as an active community fitness center.

During Giunta’s first year as athletic director in 2008-09, Cabrini swept the Overall Presidents’ Cup, men and women’s standings in the CSAC and won the Overall and women’s cups the following year.

With so many fans reveling in the success of Cabrini sports under Giunta, they wondered why he is leaving now as opposed to leaving at the end of the school year.

“Unfortunately, the nature of the beast was that I couldn’t tell them that I’d love to take the job but I’d come in May or June and they needed to fill the position now because it had been open since January,” Giunta said. “It’s always a tug-of-war because you want to stay at the place you’re leaving for as long as you can and in any profession, not just sports, there’s never a convenient time to leave.”

Despite the fact that Giunta’s new role with Temple will present him with some new challenges, he will already be familiar with the school itself and some of the duties his new role entails.

“It’s still administering intercollegiate athletics and student-athletes,” Giunta said. “Here, I oversee everything from A to Z. At Temple, I’m one of a couple senior associate athletic directors and I’m going to oversee the football, men’s basketball and baseball programs. I’ll also oversee strength and conditioning, equipment and the athletic training area.”

With Giunta having ties to Temple, he expressed his excitement to work with people he previously worked with but at the same time, he said he was upset to leave people at Cabrini that he’s built very strong relationships with.

“I’m looking forward to working with many of the people at Temple that I worked with before but not at the expense of the people at Cabrini. I love the people I work with here, so it’s kind of like a constant tug-of-war in my heart.”

“I’m looking forward to working with many of the people at Temple that I worked with before but not at the expense of the people at Cabrini,” Giunta said. “I love the people I work with here, so it’s kind of like a constant tug-of-war in my heart. I’m also looking forward to joining up with the programs I’m overseeing there and helping them gain more national presence.”

Giunta reflected on his time at Cabrini, mentioning many things that he’ll miss going forward.

“I’ll clearly miss my co-workers and the student-athletes, all whom I care for, so that’s going to be difficult,” Giunta said. “My mentors in life have all told me that what you need to do is make sure your department is in a better place when you hand the baton off than when you have it. We’ve come a long way and I’m handing the baton off with the department in a better place.”

Like anything else in life, you learn something new everywhere and anywhere you go, no matter how old you are. Giunta says he will take what he learned at Cabrini and apply to it to his new position as well as anything else he might encounter down the road.

“There are going to be challenges, roadblocks and hurdles no matter where you go,” Giunta said. “I’ve learned to take these problems in stride and spend more of my energy on how to fix it rather than stress out about it. Now I just say ‘okay, there’s a problem. Let’s be calm about it, be level-headed about it and achieve what we’re trying to achieve in the right way.’”

Jesse Gaunce

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