John Scarpino has been named Palm Beach State College’s new athletics director. The announcement comes as the program transitions this fall from Division I to Division II in the National Junior College Athletic Association.
“I look forward to the challenge of transitioning into Division II and working with our seasoned, veteran coaching staff to establish PBSC athletics as one of the premier programs in the nation,” said Scarpino, who has 32 years of student services administration experience and more than 15 years as an athletics director.
As part of Division II, PBSC’s volleyball team has moved to the Sun-Lakes Conference. Other PBSC teams will also move into new conferences as more team’s transition to Division II. The program will also welcome women’s beach volleyball in the spring and a new men’s basketball coach will be chosen soon. Scarpino will also oversee the college’s club sports, a role previously managed by student activities.
“Switching divisions is going to make us more competitive, and I do believe we can win national championships,” Scarpino said. “Being a part of Division II makes the playing field more level in regard to scholarships we can offer students.”
Other goals are to increase community engagement with athletics and to see more than 90 percent of student athletes graduate and transfer. “I want our athletes to know that playing sports here is not just about winning and losing,” said Scarpino, who was elected to the Florida College System Activities Association Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Hall of Fame in 2020. “Athletics is the tool for them to get their degrees, and nobody can ever take away the education they receive.”
Prior to his new role, Scarpino was the manager of the college’s Student Learning Center, where he developed and implemented a departmental reorganization, online tutoring services and pilot projects to increase retention rates for first-time-in-college students, among others.
He also served as PBSC’s interim athletics director from 2016 to 2017, where he developed many internal procedures and processes that improved operational aspects within the department, including developing and implementing a tutor and academic monitoring program to increase both the retention and graduation rates of student athletes.
“Intercollegiate athletics is an important part of the history and fabric of Palm Beach State College,” said Dr. Peter Barbatis, vice president of student services and enrollment management. “Many of our student athletes continue to move on and compete at the NCAA Division 1 level and have even participated in the Olympics. I look forward to working closely with Mr. Scarpino to create an even stronger relationship with our area high schools and community.”
Scarpino served as director of athletics at Seminole State College from 2002 until 2016. During that time, he oversaw a successful athletics program, which included women’s basketball that qualified for the FCSAA State Tournament four times, were ranked in the top 20 nationally for both athletics and academics, and produced numerous individual academic award recipients before the program was discontinued following the 2008 season. While at Seminole, Scarpino also began a women’s golf program that has gone on to win three national championships.
In 2004, he was elected by the FSCAA to serve as Women’s Basketball State Chair. Even after Seminole discontinued its program, he continued to serve as chair until 2016. In that role, Scarpino began the women’s JUCO Shootout and was the driving force behind establishing the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
In addition to his role as director at Seminole, he served as the Mid-Florida Conference chair, was actively involved on both National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and National Alliance of Two Year College Athletic Administrators executive committees and was tapped to serve on the NJCAA national reorganization committee. He was also NATYCAA’s first vice president.
Scarpino officially began his new role Aug. 2. He can be reached at (561) 868-3048 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.