John Semeraro joined the Saint Leo University Department of Athletics in July of 2010 as he brings his extensive knowledge of the NCAA, the Division II level, corporate marketing and fundraising strategies to Saint Leo, where he called home in the pursuit of his undergraduate degree. It was during his recent stint in Augusta, Ga. as Assistant Commissioner of External Operations at the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) that Semeraro developed his successful strategy in marketing and familiarizing communities with the 13-institution organization. During his work in the conference office, Semeraro assisted in tripling the conference’s corporate and championship sponsorship revenue, generated in-kind trade agreements to cut cost, oversaw championships, and created new marketing initiatives to capitalize to create a “fresh” brand. In additional Semeraro organized and implemented strategies to enhance the conference’s role in community engagement, game environment and social media.
Since arriving at Saint Leo, Semeraro has focused on many areas involving local community engagement, game environment, fundraising, corporate partnerships, athletic branding, special events and regional marketing. He has overseen the implementation of the new student, faculty and staff called “ROARwards” program, a game day attendance initiative that has over 700 members in less than a year. Other marketing and sponsorship programs that have been developed include offering a $20 All Season Sports pass, reinventing of the Lions Kids Club, and development of a local favorites small business sponsorship program. Under his leadership Saint Leo Athletics has also enhanced its brand through facility upgrades, refreshing athletic logos, developed of a new Athletic Style Guide and launched a new website by partnering with Presto Sports.
On the special event front, Semeraro coordinated a team that planned special events featuring Annika Sorenstam as our Girls & Women in Sports Honoree and Tom McEwen a Tampa Bay Treasure. The annual Spirit of Saint Leo Golf Tournament also saw a double, profiting over $40,000 in 2011. Semeraro has also elevated Saint Leo Athletic fundraising efforts with the transition of the Green & Gold Club to the Lions Athletic Fund. He spearheaded project to form Dr. Arthur F. Kirk, Jr. Endowed Scholarship that has secured over $75,000 in new pledges and donations in less than a year. Administratively he oversees Men’s & Women’s Golf and Men’s and Women’s Swimming programs.
Across the national level Semeraro is actively involved in serving on the NCAA Committee of Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct and the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Advisory Committee for Men’s Golf. He is the Sunshine State Conference Representative for the National Association of Athletic Development Professionals (NAADD) and is actively involved with the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA). In the community, Semeraro is a Dade City Rotarian and involved with the Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce. Semeraro is a participant in Leadership Saint Leo and also serves as an adjunct professor for Saint Leo University’s Business Program, teaching Sport Finance.
After earning his M.B.A. and Master's in Sports Administration from Ohio University, where he was also the class president, Semeraro landed a position with the NCAA Eligibility Center in Indianapolis, Ind. where helped with the transition from the Clearinghouse to NCAA Eligibility Center. His involvement with the NCAA during that crucial time helped open the doors into the conference setting, and eventually back to Saint Leo.
A native of Paducah, KY, Semeraro graduated from Saint Leo University with a degree in accounting. As a student-athlete he was a three-time Male Athlete and Scholar-Athlete of the Year in both soccer and golf, earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Award and served as national chair for the NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Married to the former Nicole DeBlois, the Semeraro family resides in Dade City, Fla. with their son Jack and dog, Palin.