Staples welcomes new athletic director, VJ Sarullo, in March 2023


Photo by Phoebe Miller ’23

VJ Sarullo will officially begin his role as Staples’ new athletic director in March of 2023.

Students, don’t you love the pep rally and the spirited homecoming football game? Getting rowdy in the bleachers surrounded by all your friends and peers? Athletes, don’t you love all those party buses you’ve been getting for your away games? Coaches, all the new equipment you get each year? This may seem miraculously organized, but there is someone coordinating all this magic. In fact, we have the athletic director to thank for everything behind the scenes of Staples Sports, from the schedules and bussing, to the purchasing of equipment and resources provided to each team. 

Following the retirement of Marty Lisevick, Staples will welcome a new athletic director starting in March 2023, V.J. Sarullo. 

“I always knew I wanted to be involved with sports. I had come from a big sports family and always loved watching sports, and then playing sports growing up,” Sarullo said.

Sarullo hasn’t always been an athletic director. He began his education career as a history teacher and assistant baseball coach at Notre Dame High School in Fairfield. He always knew that working with kids was a passion of his, so becoming a teacher was an obvious first step for him. But when the Notre Dame High School athletic director left, Sarullo felt it was time for a slight career change.

They say that if you love your job, you won’t ever work a day in your life. And I—I feel very, very fortunate. I feel exactly that way. Every day I go to work, I love it.

— V.J. Sarullo

“I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, you know?” Sarullo said.  “I went through the interview process there, and now I’ve been doing it for 17 years and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.” 

With a background fueled by a mutual love for sports and kids, he attempts to attend practices for each sports team and as many games as possible. He does this not only because it is a responsibility of the athletic director position, but simply because he loves to be involved and supportive of the sports programs. 

“It’s great that I have a positive influence over the team and the student athletes that are on the teams,” Sarullo said. “But I could have an even bigger influence over a larger group of student athletes, coaches and community members.”

Although Sarullo has not started his new position at Staples yet, he has already made many efforts to forge relationships with many in the Staples community, including sending an email to all the coaches and attending several games already.

“I have met VJ on a couple of occasions and know and serve on committees with a number of individuals who work with him closely, and they share my feeling that we are lucky to have him leading our programs,” Principal Stafford W. Thomas Jr. wrote in an email sent to the Staples community. “His energy, passion for not just the games but the experience of our student athletes will be evident once he arrives on campus to continue building the storied programs here at Staples.” 

In the same email, Superintendent Thomas Scarice also expressed a similar feeling of excitement and joy for Sarullo to join the Staples community.

“I am very enthusiastic about VJ joining our team,” Scarice said. “This was a very comprehensive and rigorous process and his lengthy successful track record, and his exemplary leadership experiences which prioritize communication, and student success, not only on the field of play, but also in the classroom and community will make him a success here.”  

Ultimately, Sarullo is ecstatic about being a part of the Staples Athletics team and joining the Staples community. 

“They say that if you love your job, you won’t ever work a day in your life. And I—I feel very, very fortunate,” Sarullo said. “I feel exactly that way. Every day I go to work, I love it.”