Quinnipiac University Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald received the DI-AAA Athletics Directors Association's 2015 Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award, presented during the Division I-AAA ADA Membership Meeting at the NACDA Convention in Orlando, Fla. on Monday, June 15. It is the highest award presented by the Association.
“I am grateful to the I-AAA ADA for this wonderful award named after Gary Cunningham. I am also even more grateful to all at Quinnipiac University, especially President John Lahey, Executive Vice-President Mark Thompson and my outstanding athletics & recreation staff. Without their incredible support, I would not be receiving this wonderful award,” stated McDonald.
“Our Association is proud to present Jack McDonald with the 11th annual Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award,” stated Ken Kavanagh, chair of the Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award Committee and director of athletics at Florida Gulf Coast University. “He is a well-deserved addition to the illustrious group of previous recipients, all of whom epitomize what this high honor represents to its core. Jack recently announced his retirement from Quinnipiac after a tremendous career and this award recognizes a lifetime of achievement in his role serving student-athletes and in contributing to our profession. We wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors at the University of New England, and appreciate him being a valued member of our I-AAA Athletics Directors Association since its foundation.”
McDonald will step down after 20 years at Quinnipiac in June, and will take over the same position at the University of New England. McDonald has steered Quinnipiac athletics through unparalleled growth during his 20 years as the department’s head, most notably as the guiding force in the University’s elevation from a NCAA Division II program to the Division I-AAA level, and the securing of NCAA certification in its first year at the Division I level.
McDonald was instrumental in the design and dedication of the TD Bank Sports Center – a dual-arena venue on the York Hill Campus that houses Quinnipiac’s men’s and women’s ice hockey and basketball programs. The impressive arena was a major factor in the Quinnipiac ice hockey program’s move to the prestigious ECAC Hockey league in 2005-06.
Last year, McDonald was named the Under Armour Division I-AAA Athletic Director of the Year, after he guided the transition of the department’s athletics programs from the Northeast Conference (NEC) to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). In addition, he secured the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four and National Championship Game at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center.
Members of the Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award Committee include Division I-AAA athletics directors: Ken Kavanagh, committee chair, Florida Gulf Coast; Peg Bradley-Doppes, Denver; Bob Driscoll, Providence; Tom Hickman, Winthrop; Bill Hogan, Seattle; Ed McLaughlin, VCU; Lynn Robinson, Mount St. Mary’s; Mike Roth, Gonzaga; Jim Schmidt, Illinois-Chicago; and Eric Sexton, Wichita State.
About Division I-AAA ADA: Now in its 13th year, the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association's mission is to enhance initiatives common to its Division I-AAA membership, in particular, aspects related to their flagship basketball programs. For more information on the Division I-AAA ADA, please visit www.div1aaa-ada.com. The Division I-AAA ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 50th year. For more information on NACDA and the 15 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.