PHILADELPHIA (June 26, 2023) – La Salle University announced today that Ashwin “Ash” Puri has been named the Explorers next Vice President of Athletics & Recreation and Director of Athletics, effective July 26, 2023. Puri will bring more than two decades of sports industry experience to the role, most recently serving as Senior Associate Athletic Director and Chief Athletics Operating Officer at Villanova University.
“On behalf of La Salle University, I am excited to welcome Ashwin Puri to the Explorer family,” said La Salle University President Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D. “In addition to bringing over 20 years of experience to our Athletics Department, Ash has an in-depth understanding of the Philadelphia region and our athletics landscape, which we believe will be a cornerstone to his success. We have the utmost confidence in his vision for La Salle Athletics and I believe that under his leadership we will continue to provide exceptional opportunities for our student-athletes.”
As Vice President of Athletics & Recreation, Director of Athletics at La Salle University, Puri will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the athletics and recreation department and its 323 student athletes, 12 head coaches and over 80 staff members. His robust experience in both business operations at the collegiate level and in the front offices for Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, and National Football League organizations position him well for this role.
“It’s an honor to join an institution with such rich history and strong values, and I want to thank President Allen for this opportunity,” said Puri. “I am thrilled to become part of the Explorer community and help write the next chapter for La Salle Athletics and our student-athlete experience, especially at an institution that understands the transformative impact athletics can have on the entire university. To do this in Philadelphia, one of the most passionate sports cities in the country, so close to family and lifelong friends is incredibly exciting.”
Since joining Villanova University in 2019, Puri has been responsible for overseeing the athletics department’s annual operating and capital budgets while managing contract negotiations, facilities, ticket operations, sports medicine, travel, equipment, and more. In this role, Puri has also worked closely with the Villanova University men’s basketball program as the Sports Administrator where he has been responsible for spearheading NIL initiatives.
“All of us here at Villanova Athletics have a tremendous sense of gratitude for all that Ash provided to our department and to our broader community,” said Mark Jackson, Vice President of Athletics at Villanova University. “His leadership was steadfast and helped guide us through some of the most seismic changes our industry has ever gone through. More importantly, Ash is a fantastic colleague and friend and there is no doubt he is prepared to capitalize on the opportunities that lie ahead at La Salle.”
Prior to joining the Philadelphia intercollegiate athletics community, Puri served as Vice President of Strategy & Business Operations of the Oakland Athletics, where he oversaw more than $60 million in annual revenue. In this role, he managed and led fan focused upgrades at the Oakland Coliseum and was a member of the new ballpark development team. Puri also led several organization-wide initiatives including the CORE Academy, an innovative program that helps introduce recent college graduates to sports business.
From 2012-2017, Puri was Senior Associate Athletic Director and Chief Revenue Officer at the University of California, Berkeley where he was responsible for more than $45 million in total annual revenue and led ticket operations, ticket sales and service, premium sales, customer relationship management, marketing, creative, brand, advertising, social media, licensing and merchandise, and special events. Notably, he also served as a liaison for several external partnerships, a role that allowed Puri to spearhead two of the program’s largest partnerships with Learfield Sports and Under Armour. At the time, these partnerships ranked among the most valuable across D1 public universities. Puri also led premium seating and hospitality improvements at both Haas Pavilion and California Memorial Stadium. As a result of his impact at University of California, Berkeley, Puri was named among the Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” Class of 2017.
He also held roles with the New York Jets, the New Jersey Nets, and the NBA front office.
Puri’s selection comes as a result of a national search in partnership with Collegiate Sports Associates, the industry leading search firm.
About La Salle University
Established in 1863, La Salle University is a comprehensive Catholic university rooted in the tradition of the Brothers of the Christian Schools teaching order, which was founded by St. John Baptist de La Salle, the Patron Saint of Teachers. Known as an academic community of excellence shaped by Catholic and Lasallian values, La Salle remains steadfast in the pursuit of its mission of faith, service, community, and social justice.
La Salle is committed to the principle that all knowledge is practical and empowering, filled with the capacity to transform lives. Anchored in the living tradition of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and in association with a diverse and inclusive learning community, our mission is to educate the whole person by fostering a rigorous free search for truth. La Salle, in affirming the value of both liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies, prepares students for the lifelong pursuit and exploration of wisdom, knowledge, and faith that lead to engaged and fulfilling lives marked by a commitment to the common good. In short, La Salle seeks to educate the whole person.
La Salle is consistently recognized for its delivery of a holistic and practical education that produces strong outcomes. The University is ranked among the top-7 percent nationally in lifetime return on investment, according to a study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. In 2022, U.S. News & World Report placed La Salle among the top-half of all National Universities in its Best Colleges rankings. Also in 2022, Forbes listed La Salle in its America’s Top Colleges list, which showcases the finest in American Education. Other publications like Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education and The Princeton Review have cited La Salle on national lists highlighting the nation’s best colleges and universities and the country’s best value institutions.