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Fordham Names New Director of Intercollegiate Athletics


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By MIKE MCMAHON
Sports Editor
Published: October 4, 2012

After conducting what the university has called “an extensive national search,” Fordham has named David T. Roach as the new director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation. Roach comes to Fordham with 22 years of experience as an athletic director at the college level, having worked in that capacity at both Brown University and Colgate University.

During his eight-year tenure at Colgate, Roach oversaw an athletics department that had 14 teams in NCAA tournaments. Programs under Roach also won 16 Patriot league championships and an ECACHL championship. Vicky Chun, longtime coworker of Dave Roach and Colgate’s current athletic director, offered up some words of praise regarding her former boss’s legacy.

“I think what he’ll be remembered for at Brown and Colgate, and eventually Fordham, is that he is someone with great experience with Division I athletics and higher level academics,” Chun said. “He has a lot of integrity, competing at the highest level without giving up any part of the academics. When he does things, he wants them to be the best experience for the student athletes. He would always tell us in meetings that, if we do something wrong, we’re going to say it and not try and hide behind anything. Wherever he goes is a real clean program, and teams find ways to succeed.”

Fordham President Father Joseph M. McShane, S.J., noted the importance of the aforementioned balance between academics and athletics as key to the university’s decision in a press release. “Though we had a number of highly qualified candidates from whom to choose, David’s long experience, winning record in Division I and his emphasis on superior academic performance made the decision an easy one for us,” McShane said.

As for any challenges he may have faced while at Colgate, Chun identified fundraising to be the great challenge of any Division I program. “I think that’s something that’s a concern across the board nationally,” Chun said. “Division I athletics is always changing. I wouldn’t say that it’s a struggle, but I think that’s something that’s entered our lives, that’s become part of our jobs. But he did that too; he brought money in here at Colgate. What’s great about Dave is that he loves challenges, and so he takes them head on.” As part of Colgate, Roach was also instrumental in increasing the athletics endowment from $10 million all the way up to $45 million, overseeing $16 million in capital improvements.

Student athletes can look forward to a hands-on approach when it comes to their new athletic director. When asked about the interaction between student athlete and Roach during his time at Colgate, Chun said, “that was what brought him the most joy, being around the student athletes. He knew players from every team, and would find opportunities with them, go to lunch with them. He actually revamped our student athlete banquet in which every student athlete was involved, and it was really terrific.”

At each of the two schools where Roach has been athletic director, he implemented a program called Adopt-a-Class, a pattern Chun didn’t see ending with Colgate. “I think a program that he’ll probably bring over to Fordham would be the Adopt-a-Classroom, where student athletes would look after a program from a local school, and he loves that,” Chun said. “He loves doing things with them, especially at a community level.”

The success of Roach’s programs is not without its history. In his final year at Brown, Roach’s program was recognized by U.S. World News and Report as one of the top 20 athletic programs in the nation. With success at the fundraising, community, athletic and academic levels, it seems that Roach may be a vital part of a bright future for athletics at Fordham.

 

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Fordham Names New Director of Intercollegiate Athletics