Inside Athletics

Ettore Chosen To Lead Owens Athletics

J.D. Ettore has been named the athletic director at Owens. Photo by Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
J.D. Ettore has been named the athletic director at Owens. Photo by Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

John-David Ettore has been named the sixth athletic director in the history of Owens Community College.

"I am very excited and honored to be the athletic director at Owens Community College," Ettore said. "I inherit an excellent coaching staff that took four of our eight teams to nationals last year as well as staff members who are true professionals."

Known better as J.D., his responsibilities will include overseeing all administrative aspects related to the leadership and management of Owens Express Athletics initiatives involving the college’s eight intercollegiate athletic programs. Furthermore, he will assist with the department's fundraising efforts.

"The goals of the Express athletic department are to continue to be heavily involved in the community and interact with our alumni," Ettore said. "Fundraising is also a primary goal of my office, and I look forward to working with the Executive Director of the Owens Foundation, Jeff Keim, to build a stronger endowment. In regard to our student-athletes, academic excellence is the main priority along with athletic intensity as we compete at the highest levels. Our goals are to have numerous team and individual academic award honors while also competing for conference, regional and national championships in our respective sports."

Ettore was most recently employed at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kansas, where he spent the past six years as the Athletic Director. While there, he oversaw a vast improvement in their athletic facilities, including a new synthetic turf practice field in 2010, the addition of the first ever volleyball locker room in 2011, the remodeling of the football locker room in 2012 and the new football meeting and recruiting room in 2013.

Aside from fundraising, Ettore developed Fort Scott into a superior academic institution. During the 2014-15 academic year, 14 student-athletes earned NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards. They were one of four schools in the nation to have five Pinnacle Award recipients, which goes to a student-athlete who records a 4.0 cumulative GPA. The baseball team finished as the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) team GPA champion from 2009-14 and the volleyball team finished as the NJCAA National Runner-Up in team GPA in 2013.

Furthermore, Fort Scott graduated 98.5 percent of all student-athletes who stayed two years since 2010. After not having a single NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete award recipient during Ettore's first year, Fort Scott totaled 51 over the next five school years. Over 500 student-athletes also moved on to four-year schools with academic or athletic aid during this period, as well.

During Ettore's tenure, the football program captured its first Region VI championship in 35 years and finished as the national runner-up after being ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation. Also, the men's basketball team won KJCCC and Region VI championships in 2014.

Other duties for Ettore included serving as the Citizens Bank Bowl Director from 2009-12, the Football Capital of Kansas Bowl Director in 2013, Title IX Coordinator, Region VI Director of the KJCCC Division II Softball Championship, KJCCC Chair of Coaches and Officiating Football Task Force, Co-chair of Fort Scott's Annual Spring Fundraising Auction, and Director of the Fort Scott Greyhound Golf Classic. Moreover, he negotiated and contracted a 12-year exclusive sponsorship deal with Pepsi and established strategic partnerships with ESPN 99.1 and ESPN 100.7.

Prior to Fort Scott, Ettore gathered extensive experience in the professional sports industry, including the NFL, NBA and NASCAR, as a marketing executive for America Online, Inc. (AOL Time Warner) for seven years.

In his work with the NFL, Ettore led partnerships with all 32 teams on behalf of AOL, which included marketing, advertising, licensing rights, stadium advertising and community development. He led all of AOL's marketing dealings with the Super Bowl for six years and managed the field marketing team behind the NFL Experience. With NASCAR, he was in charge of the title sponsorship of AOL's No. 30 car with team owner Richard Childress and he led marketing for the Winston Cup, later known as the Nextel Cup, for four years. Furthermore, Ettore also managed AOL's marketing and sponsorship partnership with the NBA All-Star weekend, which included the use of clips and behind the scenes footage.

Including his work at AOL, Ettore spent 20 plus years as a marketing executive. He has worked at Adorn Ventures as a Strategic Partnership Consultant in Kansas City, Dayak, Inc. in San Diego as a Senior Vice President of Online Marketing and at Student Loan Xpress as the Senior Vice President of Online Marketing.

Ettore received a BA in political science and communications from Mount Saint Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Md. and a Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) with a concentration in organizational leadership from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan.

J.D. and his wife, Sarah, have two children, Joseph and Nathan.