Palumbo Steps Down From Islander Athletics To Start New Journey


Jon Palumbo has helped Islander Athletics student-athletes achieve success in the classroom, competition and made an impact within the Corpus Christi community. Photo courtesy of Islander Athletics

Gabriella Ruiz, Sports Editor

On Oct. 28, Islander Athletics announced that Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics/Director of Athletics Jon Palumbo will be parting ways with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to assume his new role of the Executive Deputy Athletics Director/Chief Operating Officer at the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Throughout the four years of being the director of athletics, Palumbo has made an impact on the athletic programs and established success in a culture of excellence. 

Palumbo stated how it’s been a wonderful four years with Islander Athletics by being able to build programs at a level of competitive success and academic success. This has resulted in several championships and teams being able to go compete in the NCAA championships.

“I really couldn’t be more proud of what our student-athletes and our coaches have accomplished over these last several years,” Palumbo said. “I think with some of the success that we’ve had, we’ve been able to shine a spotlight on the university as a whole. That’s something that I’m happy we were able to accomplish. I’m certainly proud of all the great student-athletes, coaches, and our staff that have been able to work together to make that happen.” 

Scott Malone, head baseball coach, described Jon Palumbo as buttoned up, meaning that he has been able to clean up everything about the baseball program and has high standards to excel in expectations. 

“I’d like to see the Islander Athletic department continue to grow, continue to develop, continue to win championships,” said Malone. “I want him to look back and say he did that. I want him to look back and say he laid all that foundation.” 

Palumbo earned his bachelor’s degree in communications in 2001 at La Salle University, and he was a baseball student-athlete. In 2003, he went back to La Salle University to obtain his masters in business administration. He has experience as an associate athletic director for business at the University of Maryland, including experience at American University, La Salle University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and The College of William and Mary. 

When it comes to his proudest moments here on the Island, he says being able to see student-athletes walk across the stage at graduation and how they’ll be able to impact the world in different ways when they go out to achieve their dreams after they leave the university. Palumbo also addresses how being able to see student-athletes’ hard work paid off once they achieve their goals as a team makes him proud.

“Watching our young men and women win championships is always a proud moment,” Palumbo said. “We’ve had numerous championships and seeing the smiles on their faces…those are the proudest moments.” 

Royce Chadwick, head coach of the women’s basketball program, spoke on Palumbo being a vivacious leader by being able to hold people accountable and bringing a leadership shift by changing the culture to a championship mentality. 

“He was fighting for us on a championship level, and I think it trickled down that we knew that he had our backs and was supporting us,” Chadwick said. “I think he did a great job for us and we will wish him well in his next chapter. I think he’ll be outstanding wherever he goes, whatever he does.”

While the state of Islander Athletics is strong, Palumbo addresses how it’s going to be an attractive opportunity for a new athletic director to come to TAMU-CC and be able to continue to build the program to new heights. Adrian Rodriguez, Vice President of Student Engagement and Success, will temporarily serve as an interim director of athletics until TAMU-CC finds a person to fulfill the role in the future.

“I hope that everyone will support the new athletic director that comes in the way that they supported me and help continue to elevate Islander Athletics,” Palumbo said. “Thank you for welcoming me and helping Islander Athletics move forward.”