By Ronald Hanaki
On Tuesday, Sept. 1, East Stroudsburg University announced that Chris Monasch will serve as the Interim Athletic Director for the university.
Monasch brings a wealth of experience to ESU as he has been involved with collegiate athletics for thirty years.
Before coming to ESU, Monasch spent ten years as the Athletic Director for St. John’s University. He also served as the commissioner of the America East Conference for seven years and the Northeast Conference commissioner for nine years.
Monasch got his professional start at Fordham University where he served as the Assistant Athletic Director for four years. He then served as the Associate Athletic Director at Seton Hall University for two years.
Monasch earned his bachelor’s degree from St, John’s University and his master’s degree from Fordham University. He also holds a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Seton Hall University.
Only a few weeks ago, Monasch was tapped by ESU President Marcia Welsh to step in as the Interim Athletic Director to steer the ship for the fall. Needless to say, Monasch has the experience to adapt to the responsibilities of his new job fairly quickly.
Monasch said, “The (university) president is very supportive of the program. My focus is to serve the university for the fall as they go through the search process.”
“I am familiar with the PSAC conference,” Monasch continued. “I will steer the program as if they had an athletic director and maintain continuity.”
Monasch said, “All the coaches that I’ve met are terrific. I am impressed with the spirit on campus and the enthusiasm. Clearly, there is a pride that the students have in the university. That is something to build on.”
Asked about the differences between Division I athletics where he spent virtually all of his time and Division II, Monasch replied, “It is very similar to other institutions that I’ve been at. Fundamentally, Division I and Division II are the same. It’s about students competing. The focus is on the student and the student-athlete. Athletics and education are fundamental parts of the experience.”
While there are no plans for a formal official introduction to ESU’s athletic community, Monasch plans to introduce himself at team practices and meetings and get up to speed as soon as possible.
Monasch’s goals for ESU’s athletic program include “improving the facility and determining which sports need greater support through scholarships.”
On the subject of being competitive and the challenges of recruiting student-athletes, Monasch said, “The market drives a lot of that. Being competitive is also a big part of that. It is important to have as many of our programs as competitive as possible within the conference.”
“It is a question of identifying who is a good fit for your program,” continued Monasch. “It has to be a student who can compete at this level, and the coach is a big driver of that.”
Monasch added, “If a person is interested in pursuing a certain course of study, that major has to be offered by that particular school.”
Monasch professes to be a fan of social media. “Social media is a great way to promote our brand and collegiate athletics. We can use social media to promote and advertise, so that has been a positive change that I’ve seen.”
As for possibly video streaming ESU’s games online, Monasch said, “There is a cost involved in video streaming, but we should expand on it if we can.”
Separately, a national search is currently underway to find a permanent athletic director for the university.
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