Martha and the Vandellas asked for “Jimmy Mack” to come back to Motown in the winter of 1967, but Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber and the Tigers got their Mack to return to Old Nassau in the summer of 2021.
John Mack, a 2000 Princeton graduate, was announced as the school’s sixth director of athletics on Wednesday. Mack will replace Mollie Marcoux Samaan, Class of 1991, who will become the next commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). Mack starts his new position on Sept. 1.
After the end of a celebrated four-year track and field career, Mack received the William Winston Roper Trophy as the top male senior student-athlete at Princeton. Following graduation, he stayed on campus as the assistant director of intercollegiate programming responsible for coordinating facility use and competition schedules for all varsity programs. During his four-year tenure in the department of athletics, he was the assistant women’s track and field coach from 2002 to 2004.
The New Haven, Mich. native left his alma mater for the Big Ten, where he served as associate director of championships from 2004 to 2006. While at the Big Ten, he was involved in site selection, budget management and event oversight for the conference’s 23 annual championships. For the next five years, Mack was senior associate director of athletics for sales and marketing at Northwestern. With the Wildcats, he provided oversight for baseball, cross country, fencing, field hockey and women’s tennis, as well as the marketing plans for the school’s 19 varsity programs.
In 2011, Mack left the department and enrolled in the university’s School of Law. By the end of his three years, he was associate editor of Northwestern’s Journal of Law and Social Policy, captain of the Mock Trial Team and education chair of the school’s Black Law Students’ Association. For the next 10 years, Mack served as an associate at several law firms in the Detroit area.
Mack is also an ordained pastor and led the Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in his hometown, where his father had served as spiritual leader for more than 30 years. The new AD and his spouse, an oncologist and fellow Tiger, have three young children.
With the selection of Mack, Princeton continues its history of hiring from within the Tiger family. While he is the sixth straight alum to hold the position, he is the school’s first Black athletic director and the third in Ivy League history (Charles Harris and Peter Roby).