|Lewis University announces Dr. John Planek as Director of Athletics
Published: August 29, 2012.
Lewis University President Brother James Gaffney, FSC announced on Wednesday (August 29) that Dr. John Planek has been selected as the sixth Director of Athletics in Flyer history.
Planek brings a wealth of experience to Lewis, as he spent 12 years as the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Loyola University Chicago. Prior to his arrival on the Rogers Park campus, he was the Director of Athletics at Saint Ignatius Prep from 1997-99. Planek made the move to Saint Ignatius following 13 years as the Associate / Assistant Director of Athletics at DePaul University (1984-97).
"I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to work with the student-athletes, coaches and administration at Lewis University as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics," Planek said. "I hope to build upon the great success Lewis has had as one of the premier NCAA Division II programs in the nation.
"With the vision and leadership of Brother James, I am confident that the athletic department will continue its excellence while serving the students by providing a Catholic and Lasallian-value based education along with a tremendously competitive athletic experience".
Brother James Gaffney, FSC believes that Planek will make a seamless transition into his new role.
"The Director of Athletics position was highly sought by numerous qualified applicants, but Dr. John Planek stood out among them," Br. James said. "His extensive background serving at other fine Catholic institutions, such as DePaul and Loyola, and his dedication to the total development of student-athletes, including their academic success and character growth, makes him a perfect fit for not only our University community, but also our mission."
While at Loyola, the Rambler Athletics Department made tremendous strides under Planek's direction. All told, Loyola squads captured a total of 25 regular-season or tournament championships with a total of 10 NCAA Tournament appearances. The Rambler student-athletes were equally successful in the classroom as 73% of them achieved a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.0 or above, while 35% maintained at least a 3.5 GPA.
Planek played an instrumental role in several facility upgrades and constructions at Loyola, including a new softball / soccer locker room facility, and the installation of Field Turf and a new lighting system at the soccer / softball complex. He oversaw the renovation of the weight room in Alumni Gym and the construction of a new outdoor track at Halas Field. Planek then helped facilitate the construction of Loyola's Norville Center, which houses new weight and athletic training rooms, locker rooms and meeting spaces for all Rambler squads.
At DePaul, Planek held various roles on the Lincoln Park campus, including overseeing the athletics budget, ticket sales, marketing, corporate sponsorships, game contracts, rental agreements, television and radio contracts. He was also charged with personnel responsibilities, travel plans as well as all revenue and expenses within the department.
Planek has a Ph.D from Loyola, M.S. in sports administration from St. Thomas University in Miami and a B.S. in accounting from Illinois Institute of Technology where he played collegiate baseball. A graduate of Fenwick High School, he and his wife Mary Alice have five children - Elizabeth, Mary Kate, John, Thomas and Margaret.
Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.