Sean Costello caoching

When Dr. John Gale Hun founded The Hun School in 1914, he believed that he could teach high-level mathematics to any student, so long as he developed a personal relationship with them. It’s a philosophy that permeates every program at the School today. Sean Costello, The Hun School’s new co-director of athletics, understands that developing positive athlete-coach relationships is essential to empowering students to develop lifelong skills such as cultural competency, leadership, and sportsmanship.

“That’s one thing that excited me about Hun,” Mr. Costello explains. “Developing personal relationships is at the core of what the community is.”

Mr. Costello will join Tracey Arndt in leading the School’s athletics programs for Middle and Upper School students and will coach girls’ varsity basketball. Previously, he served as associate director of athletics at the Shipley School and as general manager of Maplezone Sports Institute in Aston, Pennsylvania.

At Maplezone Sports Institute, Mr. Costello organized baseball and lacrosse events, negotiated field rentals, and instituted facility renovations at the seven-field turf complex. He took on that role with one goal in mind: Earn high-level management experience and then put that to use as an athletic director in a school community.

At Shipley, he coached a variety of sports at the middle and upper school levels, but primarily varsity girls’ basketball and soccer. He also created the framework for a leadership program for student-athletes, oversaw spring break athletics trips, and organized teams’ schedules. When the pandemic struck, he created a social media plan that highlighted the athletes and coaches in the program, and offered virtual workouts. Mr. Costello left the Shipley School for his position at Maplezone in January 2021.

“There are two things I really missed about being at a school: One is coaching, because I missed the time on the court and on the field with the kids,” Mr. Costello says. He even started helping out with the girls’ soccer team at Newark Charter School in his limited free time. “The other thing I missed was working within a team. I had a really good experience with the athletics office at Shipley, and going to a for-profit institution was a different experience. I’m looking forward to getting back to working hand-in-hand with people.”

And it’s not just athletics that Mr. Costello is passionate about: He served as the diversity, equity, and inclusion coordinator while at Shipley, working directly with students and families in a sort of think-tank to plan for programs and help every student feel like a valued member of the school community.

“The main thing was making sure everyone who stepped on campus felt that they belonged there and their voice was heard,” Mr. Costello says of the experience. “I got to hear from people who know a lot more about the topic than me, and I learned how to be an ally for the student body.”

Mr. Costello is excited to draw from all of his experiences when he steps foot on campus later this summer. He and his wife, Kara, recently welcomed their first child, a son named Finn. They’re looking forward to having Finn grow up in a campus community. Mr. Costello himself grew up on the campus of New York Military Academy, where his father served as head of school for many years.

He graduated from The University of Scranton in 2004 and then earned his Post Baccalaureate Teaching Certification in Health and Physical Education from West Chester University in 2008. In 2019, he earned his Master’s in Strategic Leadership and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Rosemont College.

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