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De Smet Jesuit promotes Pukala to athletic director, drops interim tag

John Pukala

The interim tag has been dropped for De Smet Jesuit’s John Pukala as the school has named him its new athletic director; he joined De Smet last August as the interim athletic director.

“We are thrilled to make John Pukala’s appointment permanent,” Principal Trevor Bonat said in a statement. “He integrates athletics into the greater mission of our school through his mentorship and guidance of players and coaches alike, and empowers all our participants to practice and play for the greater glory of God. His wealth of experience in St. Louis athletics has had a tremendous impact on our young and talented coaching staff. We look forward to his many contributions to the De Smet Jesuit athletic program.”

Pukala is looking forward to building the program.

“I am very pleased to be returning to the De Smet Jesuit family for the foreseeable future,” Pukala said. “The relationships our faculty and students build are productive and caring, and it is rewarding to use my 30 years of experience as a coach and an athletic director to mentor a young staff.”

In addition to his role as athletic director, Pukala also joins the varsity football staff as an assistant coach.

Prior to his tenure at De Smet, Pukala spent 11 years as the Athletic and Activities Director at Hazelwood Central High School. During the past 30 years, he has coached baseball, golf and football.


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