Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Senior Athletic Director Resigns After 30 Years

Senior Athletic Director Resigns After 30 Years

Rienzo Played Vital Role in Construction of Yates

By Molly Longstreth and Sarah Walsh Hoya Staff Writers

After 30 years in Georgetown Athletics, Francis Rienzo has resigned his position as Senior Director of Athletics. Rienzo announced his resignation in a Jan. 28 letter to the Athletics Department Staff.

“I wanted to let you know that as of February 1, 1999, I will be retiring as Senior Director of Athletics at Georgetown University. After 30 years, of service to Georgetown University, I know that it is time for a change,” Rienzo wrote in his letter of resignation.

After spending 12 years as a head track coach and a teacher at Archbishop Molloy High School in New York City, Rienzo first came to the Hilltop in May 1969 to assume the position of head track coach. He was given the task of rebuilding the team after it was disbanded in Dec. 1968.

With the retirement of Director of Athletics, Dr. Robert Sigholtz in April 1972, Rienzo was named to his post, but still retained his position as head track coach, which he held until 1974.

“I really anticipated that I would be acting director for eight or ten weeks, because I really didn’t want to be an administrator. I wanted to be a coach,” Rienzo said in an interview. “It wasn’t until it became reasonably clear that it was really in the best interest of Georgetown that I become the Director of Athletics that I considered the position.”

Rienzo retained his title as Director of Athletics until July 1993, when he became Senior Director of Athletics and focused more on fundraising than on daily administration of the Athletic Department.

Under Rienzo, the Georgetown athletic community expanded rapidly. He oversaw the $7.9 million construction of Yates Field House, which opened in the summer of 1979, and helped enlarge the intramural programs. He also expanded the number of intercollegiate programs and helped Georgetown’s fledgling women’s sports programs to thrive.

During his tenure, Rienzo focused more on supporting athletics through fundraising. He also initiated the university’s Licensing Program for Georgetown merchandise, which later became the most successful programs in the country.

Rienzo headed the athletic department during one of Georgetown’s most memorable sports moments – the 1984 men’s basketball national championship.

In his letter of resignation, Rienzo described his plans for the future.

“I do believe that it is time for a little fishing, a little golf.”

More to Discover