Jemal Griffin begins his first year at St. Thomas as Senior Associate Athletic Director, Student-Athlete Welfare and Development in August 2019. As such, Griffin oversees the areas of sports medicine, strength and conditioning, life skills programming, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), community outreach, academic support, and student-athlete conduct.
In addition, Jemal will serve as the sport administrator for Tommie football, men’s swimming and diving, women’s swimming and diving, and softball.
Griffin comes to St. Thomas from Penn State University, where he earned the title of Assistant Athletic Director and Chief of Staff for the football program beginning in 2014. In that role, Jemal retained oversight of the day-to-day administration of the Nittany Lion football program, including team travel, bowl trips, training camp, budgets, negotiating contracts, facility upgrades, and assist with non-conference game scheduling.
He also led the football administrative staff, which included 11 individuals in the areas of football administration, operations, player personnel, player development, administrative assistants, analysts, and consultants. He also served as the liaison in a number of areas such as compliance, human resources, residence life, dining services, law enforcement, Big Ten representatives, and NFL agents.
Prior to Penn State, Griffin spent three years in the same role with James Franklin at Vanderbilt University from 2011 to 2014. His duties again included overseeing daily administrative operations for the Commodore football program. He also managed the game day timeline for the team, along with planning, organizing, and executing career and professional development opportunities for student-athletes and staff, and serving as the team’s liaison to Nike and its representatives.
Jemal got his start in college football at the University of Maryland. He began his time with the Terps in 2006 as the Assistant Recruiting Coordinator before being promoted to the Director of Football Operations in 2008. Griffin spent a total of five years in College Park. While there, his responsibilities began in all aspects of the recruiting process, including mailings, visits, game day events, evaluation, and transportation.
The move to Director of Football Operations brought duties in the areas of admissions, facilities, academic support, strength and conditioning, team faculty, the NCAA Clearinghouse, compliance, housing, alumni clubs, and administrative functions, along with additional responsibilities with the team’s budget, scholarship management, travel planning and accommodations, and oversight of administration.
Before making his way onto the college scene, Griffin spent six years as a teacher and assistant football coach at Woodlawn Senior High School from 2001 to 2006. He also has experience as a financial specialist, claims representative, account executive, and General Manager of the Baltimore Blacksox Baseball Association.
Jemal earned his bachelor’s degree from Coppin State University, where he was a four-year starter and two-time team captain for the Eagles baseball team. He was named to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) All-Tournament Team as a senior.
Jemal and his wife, Carla are the parents of three children, two sons Brandon and Joshua, and a daughter, Billie Grace.