By Dylan Butler
The school made it official Tuesday, naming Monasch the fifth athletic director in school history. Monasch, currently the America East Conference commissioner, takes over for interim AD Jim Pellow Mar. 12, following the conclusion of the America East men's basketball tournament. St. John's has been without a full-time athletic director since Ed Manetta left in July, 2001.”St. John's has a long and rich tradition of athletic success as a member of the Big East conference, one of the great conferences in the United States,” Monasch said in a conference call with reporters. “I'm thrilled to be part of it and very much looking forward to our future.”According to Pellow, who also the chairman of the search committee, the hiring of Monasch, 45, ends an eight month search.”We're delighted with Chris and if I look back at the profile that the board, the president and the coaches shaped, Chris is precisely what we had in mind when we started this eight months ago,” Pellow said.Monasch brings with him a wealth of experience. After graduating from St. John's in 1981, he began his career as an assistant athletic director at Fordham before being named interim AD in 1985. He was an associate athletic director at Seton Hall, went on to become the commissioner of the Northeast Conference before serving in the same capacity in the America East for the past eight years.Monasch also has extensive dealings with the NCAA, serving on numerous committees throughout the years. That should be especially critical in the uncertain future of the men's basketball team.He expects an outcome in the spring from the NCAA's ongoing investigation of the program. The school already levied self-imposed sanctions on the program, including a post-season ban this year after it found evidence a member of last year's coaching staff paid former player Abe Keita $300 a month.Monasch will also lead St. John's into the new era of the Big East conference, with Louisville, Cincinnati, DePaul, Marquette and South Florida becoming members next year.”His whole career has been in that and one of the nice pluses is that he's a St. John's graduate,” said Fr. Donald J. Harrington, president of St. John's. “He knows St. John's and he's always been a part of St. John's over these years since he graduated. So I'm very happy to welcome him.”Scianna moves upBayside resident Dominic Scianna has been promoted to Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs, St. John's University announced late last month.Scianna, 44, has been employed at St. John's for nine years and has been head of the Athletic Communications Department serving as Media Relations Director since 1996. He was promoted to Associate Athletic Director for Communications in 2001. “Dom is a consistent contributor, always quick with ideas and ways to effectively implement. His experience and commitment will all but ensure success in his new role,” said Brenda Majeski, St. John's Vice President for Marketing and Communications and Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs.His marketing background comes from extensive training during an eight-year career as a Senior Account Executive with Edelman Worldwide Inc., a public relations and sports marketing firm in Scianna's hometown of Chicago. While at Edelman, Scianna worked on Fortune 500 accounts with Philip Morris USA, Nike Inc., Kraft Foods, Brown Forman Beverage Company and the 1994 World Cup Soccer Opening Ceremonies.”My family and I are thrilled at this wonderful career opportunity the University has afforded me,” Scianna said. “I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead at St. John's as we move toward a new era of athletic success.” Women's basketballSeton Hall 73, St. John's 54. Angela Clark had 18 points and 5 rebounds and Kia Wright and Tara Walker had 9 points apiece for the Red Storm (14-5, 3-5 Big East). Ashley Bush had 25 points and 11 rebounds for Seton Hall (12-8, 4-5) Saturday.Queens College 82, Mercy College 44. Erin White and Lauren Tartamella scored 17 points apiece for Queens College (7-9, 7-8 NYCAC), which snapped a two-game losing streak Saturday in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. Michelle Malverty added 10 points off the bench for the Lady Knights.Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.