Q&A with new director of athletics
Luke Bosso, the Indianapolis campus’s new director of athletics, started his career with Indiana University Sports Properties and Learfield Sports. He returns to athletics following an extensive career leading policy and economic development initiatives for the state. He talked to IUPUI Today about priorities, goals and encouraging student-athletes to embrace the campus and Indianapolis community — and vice versa.
Question: You began your role as director of athletics in June. How are things going so far?
Answer: They’re going well; it’s been a lot of fun. I’m learning a lot and getting to know our student-athletes. It’s really fun to wake up every day and enjoy going to work.
Q: What are some of your priorities as the fall semester gets underway?
A: First and foremost, student-athlete experiences are number one. We want to make sure our student-athletes have the best Division 1 experience we can offer them. It starts in the classroom. We want our athletes to win in the classroom, and then we want them to win on the field.
We know that we have a lot of great student-athletes; all 275 are great. We know the reality is that when they’re done playing, they’ll more than likely be in the workforce, and we want to make sure we’re turning out great student-athletes that will become great employees.
Q: What are some of your bigger-picture priorities?
A: We want to make sure we have a great relationship with our alumni. Something I’m focused on is meeting as many alumni to the athletics program as I can. We also want to make sure that our student-athletes and our coaches know that the athletic staff are here to be advocates on their behalf — to make sure that if they need help in the classroom, or they want to figure out ways to get connected in the community, we’re here to do that.
The other plan is to instill the fact that Indianapolis is our home. It’s literally my home. I’m from here. But I want the student-athletes to know that this city is just as much their city as it is anyone else’s. We recently participated in community service with Downtown Indy Inc. to clean up parts of downtown. I want that to be a staple, that our student-athletes will be out and about in Indianapolis.
Q: Can you share anything about what to expect next year, when the IUPUI Jaguars become the IU Indianapolis Jaguars?
A: We’re going to really lean into the Indianapolis community. This will give us an opportunity to reset and reintroduce the athletics department to the city. We’re going to be at places that we’ve never been before, from farmers markets to other local events. I’ve told our student-athletes, there is no city in the world that embraces athletics and winners like Indianapolis. We’re going to do some wonderful things and get some really good city support.
Q: How can faculty, staff and students support the athletic department’s mission?
A: Come to games! First and foremost, we need people to come to games. If faculty or staff have kids that want to be ball kids for soccer games or ball retrievers for volleyball, just shoot me an email or call me. We want you there.
We really want to turn this athletics department from being an internal-facing group to an external group, so that when you’re walking in the middle of campus, you see our student-athletes and know that we’re part of this community. We’re going to come to campus events, and we hope that students come to our events as well.
We need to win that support. I’ll give a shout-out to our men’s soccer team; we have a top 100 player in the country in Josemir Gomez. People should come out and see him, because he’s going to be really good for a really long time.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: There is no ownership of ideas in the athletics department. If students, faculty and staff have ideas on what we can do, bring them up. Send me an email or call me. I would love it.