November 27, 2001

Rhode Island College
Associate Athletic Director Gail Davis to Retire

Providence, RI—Rhode Island College Associate Athletic Director for Internal Affairs Gail Davis will officially retire on Dec. 29 after 25 years of service to the College.

"What I am most proud of is that I think I can appreciate and treat all sports equally," Davis says. "I think I have been able to make a positive contribution to Rhode Island College Athletics. One of the biggest changes [in RIC Athletics] is that student-athletes are seeking us out now. We have a good reputation, good programs and our facilities have improved dramatically. Athletics is such a vital part of the College and we work with many other offices on campus. I have enjoyed being part of committees and learning about other areas."

During her quarter of a century of service to the College, Davis has twice served as RIC’s Interim Director of Athletics, in 1980-81 when then Athletic Director Bill Baird took the College’s Development Officer’s position for a year and a half, and then again for a three-year stretch from 1992 until 1995. It was during that time period that she helped guide RIC Athletics through perhaps its most difficult hour when Walsh Gymnasium was destroyed by fire on January 5, 1992. Davis oversaw much of the day-to-day activity at that time. Although she began a sabbatical in May of 1992, an unexpected twist occurred: Bill Baird retired. She returned to assume leadership of the department in July. Davis was involved in much of the planning of the current Intercollegiate Athletics Building, which is a cornerstone of the facility renaissance at the College.

When current Director of Athletics Don Tencher came on board in 1995, Davis resumed her duties as an Associate Athletic Director and focused primarily on athletic compliance, which makes sure every RIC student-athlete is in good standing with the NCAA. Her responsibilities also included overseeing RIC’s fleet of athletic vans and cars, which allows the teams to travel and the coaches to recruit.

During her tenure, Davis also coached both the softball and women’s tennis teams, but she will always be remembered for her coaching of the women’s gymnastics team. Gymnastics was the last sport Davis gave up coaching, stepping down in 1995. She has continued to stay involved with the sport and she stills helps out with NCAA National Collegiate Regional and National Championships each year. She has judged gymnastics competitions worldwide, but has recently concentrated on the Rhode Island High School scene.

Prior to joining the RIC staff, Davis was a graduate assistant at Southern Connecticut State University from 1967 until 1970 when she earned her master’s degree in education. In 1970, she was hired for a full-time faculty position. In addition to her gymnastics coaching duties, Davis taught fencing, golf and gymnastics classes.

A native of Philadelphia, she earned a bachelor’s degree in education from East Stroudsburg University in 1963. Davis competed in field hockey, lacrosse and archery, as well as performing on a traveling, co-ed, exhibition gymnastics team during her collegiate career.

Davis will relocate to Ocean City, New Jersey in the near future after spending the past 16 years in Cranston. "I’m not really sure what I’ll look to do next. I will probably stay involved with the sport of gymnastics in one way or another."



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