Dec 04, 2020 6:45 AM
Leon Costello, MSU Director of Athletics
MSU Athletics in Covid



The underpinnings of this success, the foundation of Bobcat Athletics under Costello, have been a culture centered on the development of the program’s student-athletes. Since 2017 the department has added a registered dietician to operate a fueling station providing for student-athlete nutritional needs while counseling and mentoring in that area, an additional strength and conditioning coach, and an Academic Learning Specialist.


Additionally, Bobcat Athletics added and filled the position of Director of Student-Athlete Wellness to support mental health and performance needs while integrating other phases of development and care for student-athletics, such as athletic medicine and strength training, into a unified effort. The Bobcat Wellness Team focuses on the holistic well-being of MSU student-athletes. In an effort to support MSU student-athletes in addressing social issues in a positive way, Director of Wellness Dr. Aaron Grusonik leads a newly-created Diversity and Inclusion Committee that provides a space and platform for growth in that area.


Costello came to Montana State after serving six years in roles of progressively increased responsibility at South Dakota State. He rose to the position of Deputy Athletic Director (2014-16) after also serving as Senior Associate AD/External Relations (2010-14). He helped spearhead SDSU’s massive facilities improvement project and was involved in sport oversight of nine Jackrabbit programs while managing the department’s external operations. He managed the department’s digital and sports information operations, served as department liaison with Learfield Sports, and supervised production and distribution of radio and television content. He was also involved in several compliance and student-athlete service initiatives.


Beginning his professional career as a marketing assistant at Northern Iowa in the fall of 2002, he became Director of Athletic Marketing just three months later. In 2005 Costello became Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Promotions, and in 2008 was elevated to Associate Athletic Director for External Relations.


Costello grew up in Fairbank, Iowa, and attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He served as team captain of the DuHawk basketball team and earned Bill Bradley Scholastic All-America honors before graduating in 1998. After two years with the Briggs Corporation in Des Moines (1999-2000), he  interned for the John Deere Classic PGA Tournament in 2001 and for the Boston Celtics in marketing and game operations in 2002. He earned his master’s degree from Western Illinois in 2002. Costello and his wife Heather have a daughter, Cailin, and sons Michael and Griffin.




Costello At A Glance

2016-present – Montana State (Director of Athletics)

2010-16 – South Dakota State (Deputy AD, 2014-16; Senior Associate AD/External Affairs, 2010-14)

2003-10 – Northern Iowa Athletics (Associate AD/External Relations, 2008-10; 2005-08, Asst. AD, Marketing and Promotions; 2003-05, Director of Marketing and Promotions)


Education: Loras, BA in Physical Education and Sport Science, 1998; Western Illinois, MS in Sport Management, 2002 College Athletics: Member, Loras men’s basketball team

Family: Wife Heather, daughter Cailin, sons Michael and Griffin