By Hannah Langley ’21
As athletic director at Providence College for the last 18 years, Robert, or Bob, Driscoll understands the importance of athletics at PC, not only for the student athletes and coaches themselves, but for the entire institution.
Recently promoted to the position of Vice President, Driscoll discussed his hopes for PC’s future not only in athletics, but in all areas of the College, in the effort to promote and build on the strong sense of community and pride that already exists on the PC campus.
When asked about his experience in athletics, Driscoll had no shortage of knowledge and expertise. “I’ve been doing this for 44 years at four different colleges,” Driscoll noted, including the University of California, Berkeley. Since his arrival at PC in 2001, Driscoll has seen tremendous success and growth in the College’s athletics.
Driscoll believes that his new position as vice president, along with other vice presidents, such as Kristine Goodwin, vice president of student affairs, and President Father Brian J. Shanley, O.P., will allow him to help the College grow and develop in a positive way. “[Being VP] will allow me to do my job differently,” Driscoll noted, “and I have great teammates with me.”
Since his new role as vice president gives him more authority in matters beyond athletics, Driscoll is excited for the opportunity. “I like to push myself out of my comfort zone,” Driscoll stated. He continued, saying, “Change is a great opportunity to grow and take on new challenges,” and he looks forward to these challenges in his new position.
He discussed the College’s initiatives for the next several years, specifically in the future of the College’s athletic department. Driscoll mentioned how the College currently has around 60 different initiatives it hopes to implement, but is going to begin by selecting the most important three, decided by Fr. Shanley, Fr. Kenneth Sicard, O.P., and the other vice presidents.
From an athletic standpoint, Driscoll mentioned how the College is working on expanding the department by renovating facilities, such as Alumni Gym, and building on the relationship the College currently has with the Big East, Fox, and Madison Square Garden.
Driscoll also hopes to help work towards the school’s goal of expanding the academic aspect of the College, by taking steps to renovate the Center for Career Education and Professional Development, raising more money to be put towards scholarships, and increase the diversity and inclusivity of the school.
As Driscoll said, “These are bigger issues than just winning and losing games,” which is why he believes there are multiple aspects of the College that he wants to be involved with in order to better everyone’s PC experience.
Driscoll strongly believes that athletics is a big part of what makes PC such a great school, because our sports teams help not only enhance the reputation of the school, but also the experience of the PC community. “Athletics has an impact on admissions, fundraising, the [College’s] brand,” said Driscoll, “It’s important to the image of the institution.”
One thing Driscoll wanted to stress was how PC’s athletic and academic programs are not mutually exclusive from one another. He talked about how PC’s athletes have a 93% graduation rate with an average GPA of 3.2, which is statistically better than many other schools with similar athletic programs. “Great academics and great athletics aren’t mutually exclusive,” said Driscoll.
Driscoll is excited for the future of the College and the progress that is yet to come. He believes that over the past several years, the College has expanded and grown in a tremendous and positive way. Indicating that things can only get better from here, Driscoll said, “The best indication of the future is the past.”
He would like to personally thank Fr. Shanley and Fr. Sicard for the opportunity he has been given, reiterating the idea that he is proud and excited to be part of the committee that will be responsible for the future growth of the College.