Associate Vice President/Athletics Director Robert G. Driscoll, Jr.
Entering his 12th season as Providence College’s Associate Vice President & Athletics Director, Bob Driscoll has transformed and reinvigorated Providence College’s athletics program. Having established a vision of student-athlete success in the classroom, in the community and in competing for championships, Driscoll maintains focus on fostering one of the nation’s most respected programs.
Recently, Driscoll helped position the College’s athletics program for success as a member of the reorganized BIG EAST Conference, where the Friars will compete against top-flight academic and athletic institutions in a new era of rivalries built on a rich athletic traditions. With a long-term television contract with FOX Sports and its marquee men’s basketball championship tournament at Madison Square Garden, the BIG EAST is poised for success. Additionally, Friar hockey will continue to compete in the Hockey East Association, one of the premier hockey conferences in the nation.
Driscoll also has ushered in stability and success by hiring and mentoring highly respected coaches and staff, including men’s basketball Head Coach Ed Cooley, women’s basketball Head Coach Susan Robinson-Fruchtl and men’s hockey Head Coach Nate Leaman. The department’s coaching patriarch, Ray Treacy, enters his 30th season at the helm of the perennially successful men’s and women’s cross country and track programs at Providence College.
Under Driscoll, the Friars have excelled in the classroom. In the NCAA reported Graduation Success Rate (GSR), Providence averages a 92-percent mark with an average GPA of 3.0 for all student-athletes. Following the 2012-13 competition year, four Providence College athletic programs received Public Recognition Awards as part of the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) program. The Friars have had multiple teams honored in all eight years that the NCAA has given out the Public Recognition Awards. Epitomizing the drive for success in athletics and in the classroom, the 2012 women’s cross country team placed second at the NCAA Championships, boasted three All-Americans, earned a NCAA Public Recognition Award for the second-consecutive season, had three USTFCCCA All-Academic Team Selections and team captain Sam Roecker was named the BIG EAST Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Last season alone, Friar student-athletes combined for over 3,000 hours of community service and raised over $38,000 for charitable causes. The men’s hockey team combined with Team IMPACT and added youngster Kevin Rich, who is battling cancer, to their roster. They welcomed Kevin to all team activities throughout the year. Other teams were involved with Relay for Life, the Project GOAL and raising money in support of the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation to fund research to name a few. Additionally, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) sponsored a We “CAN” Do It can drive that involved the entire Providence College community.
In Driscoll’s 11 seasons, the Friars have consistently competed for championships. Last season, eight Friar teams qualified for conference tournaments, including women’s cross country finishing as the national runners-up and a second-consecutive Hockey East semifinal appearance by the men’s hockey team. The men’s basketball team advanced to the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament and then went on to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Three additional teams made BIG EAST Tournament appearances in 2012-13 including the women’s tennis, field hockey and softball teams. The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams sent 26 individual qualifiers to the BIG EAST Championship. The men’s and women’s indoor/outdoor track teams combined for five individual BIG EAST titles and five runners combined for eight All-America honors.
The Friars also have had success in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings. Most recently, Providence finished the 2012-13 year ranked 12th amongst Division I-AAA schools. Since Driscoll joined the Friars, Providence has finished in the top-12 for Division I-AAA nine times.
One of the biggest impacts Driscoll has had on the Providence College Athletics Department and the College as a whole has been with facility development, construction and renovation. Since his arrival in 2001, Driscoll has transformed the College’s athletics facilities. In September of 2013 a state-of-the art, $18 million renovation and 30,000-square foot addition project to Schneider Arena was completed. The project included new locker rooms, new coaches’ offices, a renovated press box, a state-of-the-art video board and sound system, luxury boxes, as well as a new hockey and lacrosse strength and conditioning room. A new track and artificial field was built over the summer of 2013 to give the men’s and women’s cross country and track programs an improved place to train and race, as well as serving the whole Providence College community. Taylor Natatorium also underwent extensive renovations. Next to Schneider Arena, construction on a new soccer and lacrosse stadium is in planning phase.
Other facility upgrades that have highlighted Driscoll’s tenure include an $80 million renovation of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, the home of Friar men’s basketball. The project was the result of Driscoll working strategically with lead officials in the City of Providence and the State of Rhode Island. The renovations enhanced the game-day experience by adding 20 luxury boxes, new seats, a video scoreboard, sound system, updated restaurant and concession stands, team store, locker rooms and new weight training/fitness areas. These renovations enabled Providence College to successfully serve as host for the First and Second Rounds of the 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. In September of 2012, renovations of Alumni Hall were completed. Alumni Hall, which is the practice facility for men’s basketball and the home of the Friar women’s basketball and volleyball teams, is now a state-of-the-art facility.
Kicking off Driscoll’s vision for the improved athletic facilities footprint at Providence College, the Concannon Fitness Center, an $18 million facility, opened in August of 2007, adjacent to the $6 million Lennon Family Field (Astroturf facility), which was completed in August 2005. The Fitness Center houses the Friars’ Jimmy Walker Strength and Conditioning Center for varsity student-athletes as well as administrative and coaching offices, conference rooms and locker rooms. Additionally, the Concannon Fitness Center serves the whole Providence College community and houses the recreation sports staff, furthering the bond between the campus community and Friar Athletics. Next, the Canavan Sports Medicine Center, which was completed in August of 2008, is equipped with an AlterG anti-gravity treadmill and a hydrotherapy room, which includes a SwimEx rehab pool and two plunges for cold/hot therapy.
Driscoll established the athletic fundraising philosophy and department that has been instrumental in making program upgrades possible. He and his staff have exceeded fundraising goals on a yearly basis, achieving a 1000% increase in fundraised dollars over an 11-year period. In July of 2013, Driscoll and his fundraising staff announced the successful completion of “Mission 4 Million,” in which the department raised $4 million. The additional revenue remains critical to building and supporting championship programs and providing the best opportunities to the Providence College student-athletes. The funds Driscoll and his staff raise help directly support all 19 of Providence College’s Division I programs, the Friars Forever Fund and capital projects.
On June 10, 2008 Driscoll was named the 2007-08 Astro Turf Athletics Director of the Year for the Division I Northeast Region at the 43rd National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Annual Convention. He also was honored in 2009 by his alma mater, Ithaca College, when he received the Distinguished Sport Industry Leader award.
Currently, Driscoll is the First Vice President of the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association. He represents the BIG EAST’s athletic directors on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, serves as a mentor for the Division I-AAA mentoring program and serves on the HOCKEY EAST Television Negotiations and Marketing Committees. He previously served on the NCAA Division I Management Council, the NCAA Ice Hockey Championship Committee (Chair 2010-11) and was the Chair of the Big East Athletic Directors in 2011-12. Driscoll was an NCAA Fellows Programs Executive Mentor.
Driscoll joined the Providence community after 14½ years in athletic administration at the University of California, Berkeley. At Cal, Driscoll served as the Executive Associate Athletic Director and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the department as well as overseeing football, men’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s water polo, rugby, strength training, equipment and the sports medicine programs.
Driscoll was hired at Cal as the Associate Athletic Director for Student Services, a position he held for five years. He then assumed the position of Executive Associate Athletic Director, at which point he was responsible for the administration of 27 varsity sports, a staff of 250 and a $36 million budget. Prior to coming to Providence, he served as the Acting Executive Director for Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports. During his tenure, Cal won over 20 national championships and competed in the Citrus, Copper, Alamo and Aloha Bowls. The Bears also finished as high as 12th in the NACDA Directors’ Cup.
Before arriving at Cal, Driscoll served six years (1981-87) as the Athletic Director and Chair of the Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Intramural Sports at Mills College in Oakland, Calif. Prior to Mills, Driscoll was Assistant Athletic Director and Head Baseball and Hockey Coach at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. from 1977-81. Driscoll played hockey and baseball at Ithaca College (N.Y.), where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in 1974. He earned his Master of Science in Physical Education/Psychology of Sports from Ithaca in 1975.
A native of West Concord, Mass., Driscoll was inducted into the inaugural class of Concord-Carlisle High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame (football, ice hockey and baseball) in 1993. He and his wife Cathy have three grown children.
THE DRISCOLL FILE
FULL NAME: Robert G. Driscoll, Jr.
BIRTHDATE: September 6, 1952
FAMILY: Wife, Cathy; daughters, Tara and Kelly; son, Sean.
Ithaca College `74 -- B.S. Physical Education
Ithaca College `75 -- M.S. Psychology of Sport
2004 - Athletic Director/Associate Vice President for Athletics, Providence College
2002-04 - Athletic Director/Assistant Vice President for Athletics, Providence College
2001 - Senior Associate Athletic Director, Capital Projects, University of California, Berkeley
2000-01 - Acting Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports, University of California, Berkeley
1999-00 - Director of Athletic Administration/Sports, University of California, Berkeley
1992-99 - Executive Associate Athletic Director, University of California, Berkeley
1991-92 - Associate Athletic Director - Varsity Sports Program, University of California, Berkeley
1987-91 - Associate Athletic Director - Student Services, University of California, Berkeley
1981-87 - Director of Athletics, Mills College
1977-81 - Assistant Director of Athletics, Union College
1975-77 - Director of Intramural, Recreational and Physical Education Programs, Union College
ATHLETIC DIRECTORS AT PROVIDENCE COLLEGE THROUGH THE YEARS
Francis A. Howley, O.P. - January, 1920 - December, 1925
Frederick J. Baeszler, O.P. - December, 1925 - December, 1933
Edward H. Schmidt, O.P. - February, 1934 - December, 1937
Robert G. Quinn, O.P. - December, 1937 - January, 1940
Vincent C. Dore, O.P. - January, 1940 - September, 1941
Aloysius B. Begley, O.P. - September, 1941 - June, 1971
David R. Gavitt - June, 1971 - July, 1982
Louis A. Lamoriello - July, 1982 - April, 1987
John M. Marinatto - August, 1987 - July, 2001
Robert G. Driscoll, Jr. - November, 2001 - Present