St. John’s (NY) and AD Mike Cragg Mutually Agree to Part Ways

By R.G. Mason



Mike Cragg (courtesy St. John’s Athletics)

QUEENS, N.Y. – St. John’s announced Monday that Director of Athletics Mike Cragg and the University have mutually agreed to part ways after six years leading the department. Cragg will complete his tenure directing St. John’s Athletics on June 30, 2024.

Cragg was named the seventh athletic director at St. John’s in 2018 where he has provided oversight to the University’s 17 Division I programs and nearly 350 student-athletes. Since his arrival in Queens, the Red Storm won six BIG EAST championships and had 15 teams participate in national postseason competition. In addition, St. John’s fencing program captured two NCAA individual titles while the Red Storm men’s golf program took home back-to-back BIG EAST individual championships the past two seasons.

“It has been an honor to lead the athletic department at St. John’s University,” said Cragg. “I am proud of what we have accomplished together and am confident that the department is in a strong position for continued success.

“As I bid farewell to St. John’s, I extend my gratitude to our passionate fans and loyal alumni whose support has been the bedrock of our community. I am profoundly thankful for the dedicated and incredible staff of administrators and coaches whose commitment has propelled us forward. Most importantly, I celebrate our remarkable student-athletes, whose hard work and spirit have been a constant source of inspiration. Together, we have achieved great things, and I will forever cherish our shared journey.”

Under his leadership, St. John’s student-athletes achieved success in the classroom and made significant contributions within the University and local community. The Red Storm earned nine public recognition awards from the NCAA for finishing in the top 10 percent of their sport in Academic Progress Rate (APR). Over 1,100 student-athletes were named to the BIG EAST All-Academic Team while 16 sports programs received BIG EAST Team Academic Excellence Awards for posting the highest cumulative grade point average in the league for their respective sports.

“We thank Mike for his leadership and all of his contributions to the University community,” said Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., President of St. John’s University. “He strengthened the foundation for the continued success of St. John’s Athletics and its student-athletes while always representing the University in a first-class manner. We wish Mike all the best in his future endeavors.”

This past season, Red Storm student-athletes achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.51. Nearly 90 percent posted a 3.0 GPA or higher and 56.5 percent earned a 3.5 or better. Nine teams recorded a mark of 3.5 or higher across both semesters and 16 recorded a 3.0 or better. In the community, St. John’s student-athletes dedicated nearly 2,800 hours to service during the 2023-24 academic year.

Cragg executed several new initiatives during his tenure, notably facility and branding enhancements to athletic venues as well as numerous strategic partnerships, such as LEARFIELD, Madison Square Garden and Nike. In addition, the Red Storm played the first-ever basketball game at UBS Arena when St. John’s hosted eventual national champion Kansas in 2021.

Under Cragg’s leadership, the Athletics Council on Community, Culture and Social Justice (CCCSJ) was created to lead a department-wide effort to help advance the University’s commitment to anti-racism, social justice and equality. St. John’s also relaunched its Athletics Hall of Fame and Homecoming Weekend under Cragg’s direction.

During his time with the Red Storm, Cragg launched the St. John’s UNLIMITED program to help provide Name, Image, and Likeness resources to student-athletes. The program features an academic minor in Name, Image, and Likeness in Sport in conjunction with the Peter J. Tobin College of Business and the Lesley H. William L. Collins College of Professional Studies that is available to all St. John’s students. In addition to the academic coursework, St. John’s UNLIMITED features department wide partnerships with both Influencer and Opendorse to empower Red Storm student-athletes with innovative technologies, education and support services to navigate the NIL landscape.

Cragg guided St. John’s Athletics through the COVID-19 pandemic to help ensure continued success on and off the field of play. He also represented St. John’s on NCAA and BIG EAST committees. Most recently, Cragg served as a member of the NCAA Division I Competition Oversight Committee as well as the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Executive Committee.

St. John’s will begin a national search for his successor.