For Immediate Release
June 26, 2006

NACDA Names Tencher AD of the Year


     Providence, RI--Rhode Island College Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Intramurals and Recreation Donald E. Tencher was named the 2005-06 Division III National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA)/GeneralSports TURF Systems AD of the Year. Tencher received this award at the 2006 NACDA Conference in New Orleans on June 19. This is the second time in his career Tencher has received this honor, having also been recognized in 2001.


Tencher, who resides is South Kingstown, Rhode Island says, “I am very humbled to receive this award once again. I don’t look at this as an individual award, but rather as a team award for all of the work my staff has done at Rhode Island College.”


Tencher just completed his 11th year as the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Intramurals and Recreation at Rhode Island College. Under Tencher’s leadership, RIC’s athletic program has experienced the largest period of growth in the College’s history.


He oversees an athletic program that was in a state of flux when he assumed control in 1995 and is now quickly becoming one of the strongest in the powerful Little East Conference. The Rhode Island College athletic program is among the top institutions in the Commissioner’s Cup overall standings each year and set a new institutional record for total wins 2005-06.


During his tenure, Tencher has been a one-person show when it has come to fundraising and development initiatives for intercollegiate athletics. He took a leadership role in the College’s first Capital Campaign as over $4 million dollars have been raised to date and an athletic endowment fund of over $1.2 million dollars has been established. Don is quick to say that none of the Department’s fundraising successes would have been possible without the support of Vice President for Development Dr. Marguerite Brown, the intercollegiate athletics staff, President John Nazarian, and most importantly, generous alumni.


The majority of the monies being fundraised have been directed at facility renovation and student-athlete support. After completing a comprehensive facilities master plan, the varsity baseball, softball, tennis and track complexes underwent major renovations. A new five-acre outdoor practice facility was recently completed and a new outdoor competitive facility for soccer and lacrosse was completed in the fall of 2005 with seating to accommodate 2,000, a press box, rest rooms, concessions and reception area.


Additionally, The Murray Center, which was completed nine years ago at a cost in excess of $10 million dollars, has undergone significant enhancements including a “student-athlete success center”, a student-athlete computer room, as well as a video and recruiting room. Under Tencher’s guidance an athletic booster group, the Anchor Club, was established. Also, a new “legacy walk” has been established that will highlight the heritage as well as the accomplishments of the athletic program and the College.


Although athletic success is an important goal in Tencher’s ongoing plan, the academic success of RIC’s more than 340 student-athletes was an established priority from day one. The Marocco Center for Student-Athlete Support was established during Tencher’s second year as a resource for all student-athletes to insure that they are as successful in the classroom and in the community as they are in the athletic arena. Academic success and retention of student-athletes continues to be a priority and a source of great pride.


Tencher has made major hires within the administrative and coaching areas of the department and has dramatically increased the exposure of Anchormen and Anchorwomen athletics. “I am extremely fortunate to have surrounded myself with some of the finest people in the business who fully understand the team concept,” Tencher says.


Since his arrival, Tencher has created blueprints that will direct the intercollegiate athletic program for many years to come. In addition to the master plan for facilities, Tencher has created and implemented a strategic plan that involves every facet of the Department’s operation. The media relations area has been revamped with the result being upgraded media guides, a redesigned and more user-friendly website, completely computerized statistics, and the web broadcasting of all home athletic events. Professional marketing and brand imaging plans have been established. Procedure and policy manuals for both students and staff have been constructed. The College’s recreation program and its Recreation Center have been totally redeveloped as well.


In addition to his responsibilities on campus, Tencher has been active professionally on the state, regional, and national levels. He has served as the Chair of the NCAA Wrestling Committee, recently served on the NCAA’s Initiative Grants Committee, and was just appointed to one of the NCAA’s most influential sports committees, the Playing Rules Oversight Panel.  He also serves as the Secretary-Treasurer, as well the Chair of the Baseball Committee, for the Little East Conference.


He has been extremely active in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) where he has been a member of its Executive Committee, Chair of the Continuing Education Committee and a member of the games committee for both the Kick-Off and Pigskin Classic Football Games. In 2001, he was selected by NACDA as the Continental Airlines Athletic Director of the Year. He recently received the General Robert R. Neyland Lifetime Achievement Award from the All-American Football Foundation and was the recipient of the Frank Keaney Award from the International Institute for Sport. He is a member of the Rhode Island Sports Council and was the driving force behind the successful Rhode Island Basketball Media Luncheons, which promotes men’s and women’s basketball.


Under Tencher’s continued leadership the future looks bright. The endowment for intercollegiate athletics continues to grow, facilities continue to be enhanced and the success rate for all teams continues to increase. Most importantly one of Don’s greatest visions, a building to support student-athlete success, has just received preliminary approval from the College’s Administration and a cornerstone gift has been received to make the dream a reality.


He is a 1977 graduate of Barrington College where he lettered in basketball. He received a master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island. Tencher and his wife Tina reside in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. He has one son, Paul.