St. John's Welcomes Mike Cragg as Seventh Athletic Director
(Photo taken by Vincent Dusovic/St. John’s Athletics)
Jamaica, NY-- The Red Storm brass has hired former Duke Blue Devil Deputy Director of Athletic Operations Mike Cragg to serve as the university’s seventh Athletic Director in school history.
Following an abrupt departure of former athletic director Anton Goff in June, who left due to “family reasons”, the University hired an executive search firm “Collegiate Sports Associates” to conduct a national search and fill the vacancy left behind by Goff. Three months later, the search has come to a close.
Mike Cragg, 53, who has been in Durham since 1987, has played a key role with development of the Duke Blue Devil success across the board with all sports. Cragg, who was the Deputy Director of Athletic Operations, helped raise over $115 million for the Duke Basketball Legacy Fund throughout the last couple of decades. Mike comes to New York City with high hopes and aspirations, but with a goal in mind for the student-athletes, working towards the goal, but imagining the big game.
“One of the words thats is special to me, is imagination. A little secret from my mentor at Duke [Kevin White (Director of Athletics at Duke)] is to imagine. Coach [Krzyzewski] speaks to his players about imagining. He speaks to his players before a big game, and tells them to close their eyes, and imagine yourself hitting that shot, and cutting down those nets, and becoming a national champion. Imagination is very important to me.”
While at Duke University, Cragg climbed up the athletics ladder quite quickly as he was hired as an assistant sports information director, then worked his way into the athletic directors office, where he made a name for himself, and the Duke Blue Devils. One of Cragg’s objectives included overseeing the facilities, along with building the “Michael W. Krzyzewski Center” which was “dedicated to academic and academic excellence” (Duke Athletics)
Here at St. John’s University, Mike Cragg will have full control of all Red Storm programs including the Men’s Basketball program. According to sources inside the university, previous athletics director Anton Goff did not have all the control that Cragg was hired with.
With a men’s basketball program that is trending north, should the high expectations of Chris Mullin’s team led by Shamorie Ponds, Justin Simon, and Marvin Clark III fail? Cragg may see some difficult decisions quite early in his tenure in New York City.
“I’m going to be in the trenches with you guys.” Cragg tells the Men’s Basketball program, who paused practice to attend the introductory press conference.
St. John’s begins their season on November 1st, with an exhibition matchup vs. Maryville (St. Louis)