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Jean Lenti-Ponsetto

  • Sport: Collegiate Athletics
  • Decade Inducted: 2010s

One of the nation’s most widely respected leaders in intercollegiate athletics and a driving force behind the continuing expansion and development of DePaul’s athletics program, Jean Lenti Ponsetto is now in her 13th year as DePaul’s Director of Athletics and her 40th as a member of the Blue Demon athletic family.

Ponsetto was named to her current position on July 1, 2002 and the Blue Demons have experienced tremendous success both on and off the playing field ever since. Ponsetto also guided the DePaul efforts in 2003 when the university announced it would join the BIG EAST Conference in 2005.

An advocate for student-athlete welfare, Ponsetto initiated and provided the leadership for the Sullivan-McGrath Athletics Capital Campaign which has yielded the funding resources for the renovation of Wish Soccer Field, the creation of the Cacciatore Softball Stadium and renovation of the Cherry Family Indoor Track at the Ray Meyer Center.

Ponsetto had an active role in helping to organize the new BIG EAST Conference which debuted on July 1, 2013 with seven members of the previous conference (DePaul, Marquette, Georgetown, St. John’s, Providence, Seton Hall and Villanova) along with three new members (Butler, Creighton, Xavier).

She was also involved in the new DePaul basketball arena to be located near McCormick Place and scheduled to open in the 2016-17 season.

A former four-sport standout for DePaul, Ponsetto boasts a wealth of experience in three areas of DePaul athletics: as a student-athlete, coach and administrator. She had spent seven years as the senior associate director of athletics after serving 12 years as the associate director and two as an assistant director before assuming her current job in 2002. Aside from her duties at DePaul, she has served on numerous NCAA committees including a joint NCAA/USOC Task Force.

Married to former Blue Demon basketball star Joe Ponsetto, the current Assistant Village Manager and Village Prosecutor in west suburban Maywood, she comes from a family intertwined in education and athletics including her brother, Frank Lenti, who is the head football coach at Mt. Carmel High School in Chicago.