Saint Francis welcomes new Athletic Director James Downer

Local Sports

LORETTO, Pa. (WTAJ) – A new era was ushered in Wednesday afternoon at Saint Francis.

The Red Flash officially introduced James Downer as its 12th Athletic Director in school history. Downer comes to Loretto after spending the last few year as a Senior Associate Athletic Director at Eastern Kentucky University.

In his role at EKU, Downer served as the sport administrator for football and men’s basketball and supervised several departments including compliance, media relations, ticket operations, marketing and development.

He additionally oversaw football and men’s basketball scheduling, played pivotal roles in several coaching hires, secured athletic department contracts with Adidas and Learfield/IMG College and launched the EKUSports Mobile App.

Downer will be thrust into an athletic department with a lot of questions needing answers with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting all collegiate programs. Arguably, the most important one on the docket will be what to do with the football games against Buffalo on September 12th. SFU is slated to make close to $300,000 for playing the game.

A native of Springfield, Illinois, James graduated from Millsaps College in 2002, where he played baseball. He received his master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma.

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