By JOHN KNEBELS
Special to The CS&T
RADNOR – Spend a few minutes with Joe Giunta, and it’s clear the man is a straight shooter who knows his craft and has a knack for breaking things down in layman’s terms.
Look at Giunta’s resume and be prepared to notice a host of Catholic institutions that helped shape his personal development, and observe how he has been returning the favor ever since.
Not only that, but Giunta is clearly an ambassador for all the places at which he has been either schooled or employed. No bridges burned anywhere on the landscape.
They’re just a few reasons why Cabrini College chose Giunta as its athletic director several months ago.
“I can’t say that I went out and said to myself, ‘I am going to look for a Catholic school to work at above any other,’ because that wouldn’t be true,” said Giunta. “But if you look at where I’ve worked and gravitated toward, I obviously feel comfortable in a Catholic environment.
“There is something about the atmosphere. I’m proud and happy that my parents chose to send me to Catholic schools for my education. The experiences helped mold me and I met many mentors along the way.”
Giunta, 37, is a 1989 alumnus of Cardinal O’Hara who graduated from St. Laurence grade school in Upper Darby. His family moved to Media during his eighth grade year, and that prevented him from attending Monsignor Bonner.
Although the move ultimately had a happy ending, Giunta recalls feeling disappointed that he wasn’t going to join his classmates at Bonner.
“I had already taken the tour, and my buddies were going there,” he said. “That’s a difficult thing for a young person. I learned to adapt, but it wasn’t easy.”
Eventually, Giunta received a degree in communications at Neumann College and played both basketball and tennis there. Immediately out of college, Giunta remained at Neumann to become its director of alumni relations and special programs.
After leaving the area for three years to become athletic director at St. Edward High School in Cleveland, Ohio while simultaneously finishing a master’s degree at Ohio University, Giunta returned to Neumann and became its athletic director from 2000 to 2003 before taking a job at Temple University as an associate director of athletics.
When the Cabrini athletic director job opened up, Giunta applied. He said he immediately felt a sense of warmth from not only those he met while on campus, but the actual campus itself.
“It was kind of funny the first time I was here,” said Giunta. “When I was competing against Cabrini, it was like going against the evil empire. Then all of a sudden, I was like, ‘Wow. This is a great place.'”
Several Cabrini coaches remarked how much they appreciate Giunta’s administrative style. Although he insists on being informed of all developments, he relies heavily on his coaching staff’s professionalism and prefers a hands-off approach.
According to Giunta, that is why it’s imperative to employ the right kind of inspanidual.
“When you hire the right people, you don’t have to micromanage,” said Giunta. “We’re surrounded by so many terrific people around here.”
Giunta said there’s a distinct possibility he’ll get to know those people for quite a long time.
“There are so many variables that go into jobs, but this is a place where I could potentially stay forever,” said Giunta. “It’s like a little world here where people are warm and friendly and open their arms to the students and employees. I feel fortunate to be here. I think a lot of this place.”
Cabrini undoubtedly feels the same about Giunta.
John Knebels can be reached at email@example.com
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103