La Salle welcomes new athletic director during introduction event

August 17, 2023
President Dan Allen, Ph.D., (left) and Vice President of Athletics & Recreation and Director of Athletics Ashwin “Ash” Puri (right) pose for a photo during the introduction event.

Ashwin “Ash” Puri stepped into the role as Vice President of Athletics & Recreation and Director of Athletics in late July.  

Tom Gola Arena at TruMark Financial Center was dressed in its best blue and gold to celebrate a new era in La Salle University Athletics.  

The University held an introduction event for its newest Vice President of Athletics & Recreation and Director of Athletics, Ashwin “Ash” Puri, on Wednesday, Aug. 16. Puri brings two-plus decades of sports industry experience to the role. He most recently served as Senior Associate Athletic Director and Chief Athletics Operating Officer at Villanova University. 

He entered his role at La Salle in late July.  

Puri spoke to the crowd about the importance of building a new chapter for La Salle athletics.  

Vice President of Athletics & Recreation and Director of Athletics Ashwin “Ash” Puri shares his vision for La Salle Athletics.

“Under the direction of a visionary leadership group, led by President Allen, we bring a growth mindset to La Salle by building off of its values and the foundation that has been in place for decades,” he said. “No matter if it’s growth within our facilities or growth within our athletes, together we can thrive to truly achieve the promise of a top-notch education and transformational experience for our students.”  

Puri shared his primary focus in the role will be divided into four key areas: 

  • Modernizing facilities 
  • Fostering a culture of collaboration and compliance 
  • Creating financial sustainability  
  • Winning in the classroom, competition, and community  

He added that as the NCAA evolves, La Salle will continue to focus on sustainable solutions for long-term success and advancement.  

“Our work ahead is going to be a journey—with some wins and some losses—but a journey that turns a new page, ready for us to write the next chapter for La Salle,” Puri said.  

President Dan Allen, Ph.D., meets with student-athletes.

The event also included remarks from President Dan Allen, Ph.D., who spoke on how La Salle Athletics and its student athletes are an integral part of the University’s mission and history.  

“The legacy of La Salle Athletics is woven into the fabric of this University and the city of Philadelphia,” he said. 

President Dan Allen, Ph.D., addresses the crowd.

Allen added that with Puri’s experience and dedication, La Salle Athletics will continue to prosper.  

“He importantly has an in-depth understanding of the Philly region and our athletics landscape, which we believe will be a cornerstone to his success,” Allen said. “I have the utmost confidence in Ash and his vision for La Salle Athletics.” 

Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President Laura McCann, ’25, attended the ceremony to speak about how her role as a student-athlete on the field hockey team has added so much to her University experience.  

Laura McCann, ’25, speaks to the audience about her student-athlete experience at La Salle.

“It has also been such a privilege to build personal relationships with the coaches and athletics administrators who have such an impact on my day-to-day life and my college experience,” she said. “I’ve never once doubted that they actually care about how I’m doing as an individual, and that’s reflected through the resources we have access to that help us excel physically, academically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. La Salle Athletics really does feel like family.”  

—Meg Ryan