University announces new Director of Athletics

John Ashaolu brings 14 years of professional experience to Point Park Athletics Department


Photo by John Ashaolu (Submitted)

Point Park’s new Director of Athletics, John Ashaolu, pictured during his coaching days. Ashaolu brings both coaching and administrative experience.

Written By Dara Collins, Co-Sports Editor

Point Park University announced John Ashaolu was hired as the new Director of Athletics last Thursday.

Ashaolu began as a college athlete, became a coach and now holds 14 years of experience in athletics under his belt, including the last seven as an athletic director.

“I think I can identify with a student athlete on what their needs are and what they want,” Ashaolu said. “I can identify with the coaches because I’ve been on the sideline before as a coach…and then as an administrator, I’ve learned to look at the athletic program [as a whole]. What’s best for not just one team or one student athlete, [but] what’s best for the athletic department as a whole?”

With a desire to work at a four-year institution, Ashaolu kept an eye on Point Park.

“When I saw the opportunity, I had to jump at it,” Ashaolu said. “You hear about Point Park, and it’s situated right in the heart of the city, and I kind of kept my eye on the program from afar for the last couple years.”

The university’s location stands out to Ashaolu as a bonus.

“It’s situated in a sports-crazy region…I think we’re just situated in the right area where we have a lot of resources where we can compete nationally,” Ashaolu said.

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Keith Paylo, believes Ashaolu holds the ability to launch Point Park to the next level following the retirement of longtime Athletic Director Dan Swalga.

“With any change, I always say there is a couple things that happen,” Paylo said. “One, the slate is clean and you can make it your own…We needed to bring [athletics] to another level and Dan helped to do that. Now it’s taking it to the next level, and I believe John can take it now to the next level without having to worry about filling big shoes, because now it’s his time to take this, our sports program, or yet another successful run.”

Ashaolu most recently served as the Director of Athletics at the Community College of Allegheny County, which he began in January 2018.

As the Director of Athletics and Student Programs at Community College of Beaver County, Ashaowlu completed a number of feats from 2014-18. He doubled the number of National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) sports offered, raised the student athlete GPA to 3.13, placed 70 percent of student-athletes on the Dean’s List and oversaw a fitness center renovation. The men’s basketball team was also ranked in the top ten in the NJCAA.

Ashaolu also served at the Director of Athletics at Seton-La Salle High School in Pittsburgh from 2011-14 in addition to girls’ basketball head coach and transportation director.

Before Ashaolu became an Athletic Director, he held multiple positions in athletics at East Carolina University, Duquesne University and Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College. Ashaolu’s resume also boasts prep level experience.

As an athlete, Ashaolu played NCAA Division I basketball at University of New Orleans before transferring to Xavier (La.) University, an NAIA school in the same area, after his sophomore year. Ashaolu graduated with a Master’s Degree in Sports Leadership from Duquesne University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications-Public Relations from Xavier.

Ashaolu aims to further his career with a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership-Higher Education from the American College of Education while at Point Park.

The fresh Director of Athletics promises a bright future to Point Park Athletics.

“He is going to be the face of athletics, so he needs to be able to work with alums, companies and corporations, parents, student-athletes and coaching staff,” Paylo said. “His personality was just very open, welcoming, very articulate, just everything in a sense of it made me feel like, ‘yes this is the right person.’”

Ashaolu expressed he would like to address a variety of topics, including travel conditions and an athletic complex during his time at Point Park. He firmly believes the university can be nationally recognized in all facets.

“Under my direction, I want us to be consistently competing nationally in all sports,” Ashaolu said. “I think that with everything that Point Park has – academics, the location, the facilities – I think we have all the ingredients to recruit high-level students and also high-level athletes.”

Ashaolu admires the investment the university administration puts into athletics, and he will follow suit.

Assistant AD and SID Kevin Taylor looks forward to working closely with Ashaolu as his official start date nears on Sept. 10.

“It’s an opportunity to see what comes next for Point Park Athletics, and we’re all excited about it,” Taylor said.

Check out for Director of Athletics John Ashaolu’s full biography.