Associate Vice President/Athletics Director Robert G. Driscoll, Jr.
Entering his 13th 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.
During the 2013-14 academic year, Driscoll was the architect of one of the most successful seasons in Friar history. The women’s cross country team claimed the College’s second NCAA Championship, the men’s basketball team won the 2014 BIG EAST Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament and the men’s hockey team advanced to the NCAA East Regional Final. The men’s soccer team made a run to the BIG EAST Tournament title game and to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, while the men’s cross country team placed 16th at the NCAA Championship. Additionally, the women’s cross country and track teams combined to earn seven All-America honors in 2013-14. Men’s basketball senior guard Bryce Cotton, who led the BIG EAST in assists and led the nation in minutes played (39.9 mpg), earned Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America accolades and was named the BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
Providence College finished 71st (out of 297) in the 2013-14 Division I Learfield Sports Directors' Cup. The Friars finished second in the nation among Division I non-FBS/FCS institutions and their 71st-place finish marked the highest final ranking under the direction of Driscoll. During Driscoll's tenure, the Friars have finished in the top-100 of the Division I Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings six times and inside the top-125 during 10 of his 13 years as athletics director.
The Friars also have excelled in the classroom and Providence’s student-athletes have combined for an average GPA of 3.02. Following the 2013-14 competition year, a school-record six Providence College athletic programs received Public Recognition Awards as part of the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) program. Multiple Friar teams have been honored in each of the nine years that the NCAA has given out the Public Recognition Awards. Epitomizing the drive for success in athletics and in the classroom, the 2013 women’s cross country team won the 2013 NCAA Championship, boasted three All-Americans, earned a NCAA Public Recognition Award for the third-consecutive season, was named the USTFCCCA Division I Scholar Team of the Year and senior co-captain Emily Sisson was named the BIG EAST Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Aside from excelling in the classroom and competing for championships, Driscoll’s student-athletes are very active in the local community. Last season alone, Friar student-athletes combined for over 2,300 hours of community service and raised over $17,000 for charitable causes. Some of the charitable efforts included working with Team IMPACT, taking part in Rhode Island’s reading week, volunteering at the Special Olympics and participating in Relay for Life.
Driscoll helped position the College’s athletics program for success as a member of the reorganized BIG EAST Conference, where the Friars compete against top-flight academic and athletic institutions in a new era of rivalries built on 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.
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. Most recently, the initial phases of construction for a new soccer and lacrosse complex began in the summer of 2014.
In September of 2013 a state-of-the art 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. The Ray Treacy Track 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 in 2013.
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 was completed in August of 2008.
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 1,000% increase in fundraised dollars over a 12-year period. In July of 2014, Driscoll and his fundraising staff announced that they reached their goal of raising $4.2 million for the 2014 fiscal year. The additional revenue remains critical to building and supporting championship programs and providing the best opportunities to Providence College’s 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 serving his first year as the President of the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association. He also 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, culminating in serving as the Acting Executive Director for Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports. Prior to that, he was Cal’s 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
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