THE FLATS – Veteran athletics administrator Jon Palumbo, who has most recently served as athletics director at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi since 2018, will join Georgia Tech’s athletics staff as executive deputy athletics director and chief operating officer, athletics director J Batt announced on Friday.
In his role, Palumbo will serve as Georgia Tech’s primary football administrator and oversee other internal operations. He will officially join the Tech staff on Nov. 14.
“I’m excited that Jon is coming to The Flats as our executive deputy A.D. and C.O.O.,” Batt said. “Jon has extensive experience at all levels of college athletics, from being a student-athlete himself to serving as an A.D. He will be a great addition to our staff and provide outstanding support to our student-athletes and coaches. We can’t wait for Jon and Rachel to join us in Atlanta.”
Palumbo comes to The Flats after leading Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to unprecedented achievements during his four years as A.D. (2018-22), including perhaps the most successful year in school history in 2021-22. The Islanders’ 2021-22 highlights included:
- winning a school-record seven Southland Conference championships, including in men’s basketball, where Texas A&M-Corpus Christi went from 5-19 in 2020-21 to 23-11 in 2021-22 under first-year head coach Steve Lutz, who led the Islanders to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007;
- claiming the Southland Conference’s women’s all-sports championship for the first time in school history;
- earning the Southland Conference’s Academic Performance Award for the first time in school history (recognizing the conference member with the highest four-year NCAA Academic Progress Rate score;
- student-athletes performing 2,778 hours of community service.
Other achievements during Palumbo’s four years at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi include the first women’s basketball conference championship in program history in 2019-20, a 17% increase in men’s basketball attendance prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Islanders’ student-athletes earning a 3.0-plus grade point average in every semester of his tenure as A.D. and the completion of an ambitious five-year strategic plan to serve as the blueprint for future success entitled “Making Waves.”
Prior to his arrival at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Palumbo served as deputy A.D. at VCU from 2012-18. At VCU, he supervised the day-to-day operations of the athletics department and was the administrator for the Rams’ flagship men’s basketball program, which made five-straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2013-17 and sold out every game during Palumbo’s six-year stint in Richmond. He also implemented budget management procedures that resulted in five-straight years of surpluses, which were reinvested in capital projects, including the construction of a $25 million basketball practice facility, a project that Palumbo was involved with during every stage of construction.
Palumbo also owns experience in the ACC, having served as associate A.D. for business at Maryland from 2008-12, where he worked alongside Batt. Palumbo’s professional experience also includes stints at American (associate A.D. – 2006-08), William & Mary (business manager – 2003-06) and LaSalle (graduate assistant – 2001-03).
As a student-athlete, Palumbo played baseball at LaSalle, where he was a team captain, member of the Athletics Relations Council and graduated with honors in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in communication in 2001. He went on to earn an MBA from LaSalle in 2003.
“I’m incredibly excited about joining the team at Georgia Tech,” Palumbo said. “I want to thank J Batt for the opportunity to join this world-class Institute. I am confident that his leadership will take this wonderful program to new heights. I look forward to working with J, the student-athletes, coaches and the entire Yellow Jacket team to make our fans and alumni proud.”
Palumbo and his wife, Rachel, have two Australian shepherds, Camden and Dan.
Competitive Drive Initiative
In a unified endeavor, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Tech Foundation, Georgia Tech athletics and the Alexander-Tharpe Fund have come together to accelerate funding for student-athlete scholarships with the launch of the Competitive Drive Initiative. The initiative kicks off with the Accelerate GT Match Program, where any new gift to the A-T Fund’s Athletic Scholarship Fund made through Dec. 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Georgia Tech Foundation, up to $2.5 million. Should Accelerate GT reach its $2.5 million fundraising goal, the matching gift would result in a $5 million impact for Georgia Tech athletics. To learn more and to contribute online, visit atfund.org/accelerate.