New athletic director takes office

Victor Flores

Thousands of new faces made their way to campus for the beginning of the Fall 2006 semester, including newly appointed CSUN Director of Athletics Rick Mazzuto, who officially began duty Tuesday morning.

Mazzuto was introduced as the new director of athletics on Aug. 3 by CSUN President Jolene Koester. The position was previously held by Janet Lucas, who now holds the position of senior associate director of athletics. Mazzuto is under contract with Northridge for the next two years.

Mazzuto brings 25 years of experience to the athletic program.

He will head the NCAA Division I athletic program with a nearly $7 million budget and approximately 400 student athletes.

Among his responsibilities will be to “ensure the competitive success of the athletic program.” Improving student-athlete academic performance and community outreach are among Mazzuto’s top priorities.

Mazzuto comes to Northridge from Longwood University in Farmville, Va., where he held the position of athletic director since 2002. At Longwood, Mazzuto managed a 14-sport intercollegiate athletic program.

Prior to Longwood, Mazzuto headed the athletic department at Saint Mary’s College of California from 1989-2000, which has a 16-sport athletic program. Mazzuto also directed the athletic department at Iona College in New York, from 1980 to 1989. Both schools participated in Division I athletics.

Apart from heading athletic departments, Mazzuto has also been a part of two committees, including the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee for six years, Mazzuto said.