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Joanne Persico '84 To Speak At St. John’s Annual Women Of Distinction Dinner Tonight

Thursday, March 24, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michael Graziano
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Persico To Speak At St. John’s Annual Women Of Distinction Dinner

Annual celebration to take place Thursday, March 24, at 5:30 p.m. at STJ’s D’Angelo Center.

Web Release:


QUEENS, N.Y. (March 23, 2011) — A member of three New York Hall of Fames, St. John’s head volleyball coach Joanne Persico will be the keynote speaker at St. John’s annual Blessing of the Women and Women of Distinction Dinner on Thursday, March 24, at 5:30 p.m. at the D’Angelo Center Room 416 on St. John’s Queens Campus.

As the cornerstone of the St. John’s Women’s History Month Celebrations, the dinner brings together St. John’s students, faculty, staff and administrators in a celebration of the history and legacy of all women.

As the founder of the program, the 17-year Queens-bred head coach earned a dual degree from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications and the Maxwell School of Business in 1987, while lettering three years on the Orange’s volleyball team. Persico was one of the first New York City volleyball players to receive a scholarship at SU and capped her outstanding career with an induction into the Orange Plus Hall of Fame in 1988. The former setter was named BIG EAST Player of the Year and team MVP following her senior campaign in 1986. Persico has since obtained her M.B.A. from St. John’s in 1991, holds her professional diploma and is currently a doctoral candidate in instructional leadership at STJ.

Persico, a St. Francis Prep High School graduate (1984) and volleyball standout at the Queens School, was selected as an inaugural member of the Catholic High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1991. In 2004, she was inducted into the St. Francis Prep High School Hall of Fame, which also includes Former New York Yankees and current Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Joe Torre and NFL coaching legend Vince Lombardi. Persico was also recently awarded a seat on the St. Francis Prep Board of Trustees and served as the President of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) for Brooklyn and Queens from 2007-09. Located in Queens, St. Francis Prep is the largest private catholic high school in the country.

The coach’s high academic standards have made a consistent impact on all of her Red Storm squads. Dating back to 2003, the squad has held a grade point average of 3.0 or higher every year. In addition, STJ volleyball has recorded a GPA of 3.3 or higher in seven seasons under Persico, and has had over 60 BIG EAST Academic All Stars.

On the court, Persico has demonstrated how to build a team and bring it to national prominence. She currently ranks third among active coaches in the BIG EAST Conference with 341 career wins and has a winning percentage of .622. Under Persico, the Red Storm celebrated its most decorated season in 2007, leading the squad to a program-best 33-4 overall record and its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Regional Semifinal Round of 16, and finishing the season with a national ranking of No. 13 in the AVCA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.

The Red Storm won the BIG EAST Conference regular season title in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and added its first-ever BIG EAST Conference Tournament Title in 2007, sweeping Louisville 3-0 on national television.

The 2006 and 2007 College Volleyball Update Honorable Mention National Coach of the Year, Persico has coached one AVCA All-American and 10 honorable mentions, 13 AVCA Northeast Regional All-Americans, two BIG EAST Players of the Year, a three-time winner of BIG EAST Libero of the Year, one BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and 25 All-BIG EAST selections. Persico also received the 2006 BIG EAST Coach of the Year honor almost exactly 20 years to the day after being named 1986 BIG EAST Player of the Year at Syracuse.

In addition to this year’s Annual Women of Distinction Dinner, Persico has spoken at several University-wide functions including multiple Campus Ministry Lectures and Women in Sports Days, as well as New York’s Empire State Games.

This year’s dinner will be held on the St. John’s Queens Campus in the D’Angelo Center, Room 416 at 5:30 p.m.. on Thursday, March 24.