In October 2014, I gave a lecture as part of the Step Up! Bystander intervention program. I created a PowerPoint presentation as well as prepped 2 students to assist with the 1-hour lecture. This particular event was for all 350 student-athletes at Providence College. The presentation was filled with videos, scenarios, and group discussions. Step Up! became a huge campaign to address the possible pitfalls that college students could face on a college campus and how to help one another. This presentation was so successful, each year, I also gave a lecture to all 1,500 incoming Freshmen at orientation. We created tee shirts that said "Friar Family" and "I got you back", which were worn at each lecture. Pictured, Ed Cooley (Head Coach) and Bob Driscoll(AD).
The Friar Development Center, a $30 million dollar project that was just approved to start construction in 2016. I was chosen as lead project manager, representing men's basketball and the athletic department as a whole, consulting on every phase of this project. I spent 2 years researching other facilities around the country and working with architects from Perkins-Eastman, a New York based company. I also was part of the fundraising efforts, including the final $10 million dollar donation that closed the deal to get the project approved!
Bob Driscoll, athletic director at Providence College, was gracious enough to allow me to negotiate a 5 year, all school Nike deal because of the relationships I developed with Nike grass roots and Nike College Basketball family. The deal was the largest in Providence College history for apparel and was well over $1 million dollars. It was because of my relationships with Nike that we got this done and I would hope to bring them to Bristol to help our community projects and camps if needed.
A sample of an actual budget during my time as Director of Basketball Operations at Providence College. Not only did I manage this $2M budget, but I built it every year with our Associate Athletic Director for Finance. Our basketball staff worked hard to raise extra money to compete with the other Big East schools on the court, in recruiting, and also facilities. Any extra money we spent was raised by Development or the Men's Basketball program and I assisted in all those efforts. I took great pride in making sure that we never spent money we did not have. Our budget grew each year because the program needed more, but we found ways to bring in more money to cover all our costs.
I have been very fortunate to have coached several players that have gone on to the NBA. Pictured here are just a few current of former players. Top left is Kris Dunn, the most recent of them all who played at Providence College. Several former players and coaches would be resources to help achieve any goals that we set for our programs.
In 2014 with the assistance of Providence College Legal Counsel, the Men's Basketball Computer Program was adopted. After researching other Division I institutions, I approached our athletic administrators to assist our Men's and Women's basketball players and provide them with laptop computers. With the travel and demands of the student athletes, and most coming from situations where they could not afford a laptop, I presented a program that used NCAA SAOF(Student Assistance Funds) to provide a laptop for each student athlete granted they signed an agreement on the care and proper use of the computer. This agreement made the computer the property of the individual in possession after graduation and the property of Providence College if the student-athlete left for any reason prior to that. This program is just one of the ways I have shown my ability to think outside the box and get the necesssry equipment for success through means other than dollars that are not available.
Also, in 2014 with the assistance of our Office of Academic Services, I co-founded the Honorary Coach program. On several college campuses, but not all, there is a divide amongst faculty and athletics. The honorary coach program gave faculty a 2 day look inside the Men's Basketball program and the demands of the "athlete" in "student-athlete". The program was a huge success and really started helping bridge that gap on our campus at Providence College.
In April 2014, Sam Lopes was named Head Women's Soccer Coach at Providence College. Since then Sam has taken the program to new levels and played in the Big East Championship Game in 2015! I took part on the search committee that hired Sam. I also sat on the search committees that hired our Associate Athletic Director for Finance, Ashlee Magosin, and Academic Coordinator, Marissa Mezzanotte. I developed a great relationship with Sam and tried to help him in any way I could to become a great head coach after being a top assistant at Providence College. We met regularly to discuss strategies to be successful. I am prepared to hire staff for any position needed and also provide leadership and assistance along the way.
I have been very fortunate to have coached in the following great conferences. Mid-American Conference (Toledo), and Atlantic 10 (Dayton) for 2 years each. Big East for 4 years (Providence), Midwestern Colegiate Conference for 5 years at my Alma Mater, University of Detroit Mercy, and Big Ten for 6 years at 2 different universities: University of Michigan and Purdue University. My vast knowledge of coaching/business/administration across 5 collegiate conferences will hopefully add something to the Director of Parks and Recreation position.
The most important thing in the world to me is family. I was lucky enough to experience winning a Big East Championship with them in 2014 at Madison Square Garden. I met my wife, Amira, in college and we have been married almost 19 years. We are blessed with two children: Our son, Mylan, diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, is 15 years old and daughter, Amani, age 12. While life has its ups and downs, it's always your family that keep things in perspective. My family loves the Warren/Bristol area, we love Colt State park, and we plan to remain in Rhode Island for a long time!