Thursday, September 16, 2010

UAlbany's Patricia Rogers Receives ECAC James Lynah Distinguished Service Award on Sept. 28

Centerville, Mass. - Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Commissioner Rudy Keeling announced on Thursday, Sept. 16 the four recipients of the ECAC James Lynah Distinguished Service Award: Jack Powers (Manhattan College), Russ Reilly (Middlebury College), Nicholas Rodis (Brandeis University), and Patricia Rogers (University at Albany). They will receive their awards on Tuesday, September 28, at the ECAC Honors Luncheon presented by Jostens. The luncheon will be held at The Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis, Massachusetts during the 2010 ECAC Fall Convention and Trade Show.

Established in 1957 in appreciation of the ECAC's principal founder James Lynah, the award is bestowed periodically upon an ECAC athletics administrator who has achieved outstanding success and has made significant contributions in the interest of intercollegiate athletics.

Powers has been active in collegiate athletics, most notably basketball, since his playing days at Manhattan College through his graduation in 1958. More recently, he spent nine years serving as the athletics director at his alma mater. Prior to that, he coached the Jaspers and led them to six postseasons during his tenure.

Powers' hard work and dedication, however, was not confined to the MC athletic department. He has also spent time on the executive councils for both the ECAC and the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A), and he was a long standing member of the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association (MIBA). Additionally, Powers served as president of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and on the executive and selection committees for the National Invitational Tournament.

As well as coaching on the prep level and at MC, Powers coached six NIT All-Star teams on their respective summer tours overseas. His knowledge of the game helped lead two of those teams to win consecutive championships in 1985 and 1986.

The former Manhattan coach was also a standout player, totaling 1,139 career points while at MC, good enough for a place on the school's all time scoring list. He helped lead the Jaspers to two NCAA tournaments, including a run in 1958 which saw them upset number one ranked West Virginia with the help of Powers' 28 points. After running out of eligibility in '58, he was a draft pick of the Syracuse Nationals.

Powers has received numerous awards and honors, including induction into the Manhattan College Hall of Fame and the 2006 NACDA/NIT Athletics Director Award.

Reilly's resume includes a great deal of success at a variety of positions throughout athletics. A Massachusetts native, he spent the majority of his career at Middlebury College after working at his alma mater, Bates College. In his 29 years at Middlebury, he was an assistant coach for both the men's basketball and men's soccer teams before being named head coach of the men's basketball and women's soccer teams. At different times during his tenure, he led the fall and spring golf teams and women's soccer at the start of the team's existence. The longest coaching stint he had was 19 years as the head men's basketball coach.
Through the 80's and 90's, Reilly also worked at an assistant athletics director, an associate athletics director, and the intramural director. He began his run as director of athletics at Middlebury in 1997 where he stayed until retiring in 2006.

In his time at Middlebury, Panther teams combined to win 22 national championships and 35 New England Small College Athletics Conference (NESCAC) championships. He also brought an expansion to the school's athletic facilities, including the addition of the Kenyon Ice Hockey Arena, a softball diamond, and the Kohn all-weather field. The department also renovated and expanded the fitness center, Pepin Gymnasium, the Duke Nelson Recreational Center, and the Bubble, which houses an indoor track and five new international squash courts. In addition, the full-time coaching faculty has expanded from 16 to 20.

Reilly's career includes serving as the chair of the NESCAC Athletic Administrators and chair of the NCAA Men's Division III Ice Hockey Championships Committee. In 1996, he was selected as a Sports Ethics Fellow by the Institute for International Sport.

Rodis, the Brandeis Director of Athletics from 1967 to 1984, was inducted in the Brandeis Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000. Brandeis won its only two NCAA Division III national championships during his tenure: the 1976 men's soccer crown and the 1983 men's cross country title. Brandeis teams also made 27 other trips to the NCAA tournament in that span, reaping numerous All-Region and All-America honors. In addition, Rodis helped initiate seven women's intercollegiate sports in his tenure as the head of Judges' athletics. He hired Brandeis Hall of Fame coaches Bob Brannum and Tom O'Connell. He was also the driving force that helped make the university the training site for the Boston Celtics through a close relationship with Celtics' then-General Manager Red Auerbach. After leaving his post as director of athletics, Rodis was also instrumental in fundraising for the Gosman Athletic Center under then-president Evelyn Handler.

A member of the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors Hall Association Hall of Fame, Rodis is a Harvard University graduate who coached at American International College and the University of Connecticut. He was the first American to serve as vice president of the International University Sports Federation and served as the president of the United State Collegiate Sports Council. Rodis joined Brandeis in 1967 after a five-year stint as a special assistant for athletic programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the State Department under John F. Kennedy. He has served on several ECAC committees, including the ECAC Executive Council, ECAC Television Committee, ECAC Public Relations Committee, and ECAC Division II and Division III Basketball Committees.

Rogers' life saw her take on many jobs with varying duties. She used her knowledge and abilities while serving as a coach, a teacher, an official and a volunteer. Rogers was known for her work on behalf of student-athletes at the University at Albany, where she served as associate director of athletics and associate professor of physical education. She served as chair of the school's physical education department from 1979-94.

During the early part of her career, Rogers worked as a physical education teacher in the North Colonie School District. She was then appointed as the University of Albany's physical education instructor and women's intramural director. While at UAlbany, she coached the varsity synchronized swimming team from 1970-81. Rogers served as the meet director for the first AIAW national championship in that sport. She also worked with the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Reorganizational Committee, helping to expand the conference into women's athletics.

Rogers' impact on the UAlbany campus did not go unnoticed, as she received the 1985 UAlbany Student Affairs Division Campus Award which is given to the faculty member who most contributed to student campus life. She chaired the UAlbany's University Senate in 1984-85 and worked directly with the Athletics' Council, now known as the Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Board (IAAB). An Empire State Games official, Rogers was inducted into the SUNY-Cortland Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985. She also served as vice president of the ECAC in 1988. Rogers passed away in August of 2009 at the age of 69.

About the ECAC®

The ECAC is the nation's largest athletic and the only multi-divisional conference in the country with more than 300 Divisions I, II, and III colleges and universities. The ECAC stretches from Maine to North Carolina and westerly to Illinois. Established in 1938, the ECAC, a non-profit service organization, sponsors nearly 100 championships in 37 men's and women's sports and assigns more than 4,400 officials in 12 sports. The ECAC also administers nine affiliate sports organizations and six playing leagues, and through the public relations arm of the conference, more than 2,500 student-athletes in 23 sports are recognized annually. Finally, the ECAC serves as the primary conference for select members in the sports of men's and women's ice hockey and men's lacrosse.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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