The NCAA Division I men's ice hockey world is set to convene at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York, as the puck gets dropped for the 2019 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four. Two of the programs that have advanced to the season’s final weekend — Providence College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst — are led by athletic directors who graduated from IC.
The semifinal round takes place on Thursday, April 11. The first game features Providence College against Minnesota-Duluth, while the second features the University of Denver against the University of Massachusetts. Robert G. Driscoll ’74 is in his 18th year as vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics at Providence, while Ryan Bamford ’00 is in his fourth full campaign as the director of athletics at University of Massachusetts.
Driscoll has had an exceptional 40-plus year career as an ambassador and leader in intercollegiate athletics. He began his post-graduate time at Union College, serving in as an assistant athletic director and as well as holding coaching responsibilities in several of the institution's varsity athletics programs. Other stops include a six-year stint at Mills College and 14 years in a variety of senior administrative positions at the University of California, Berkeley prior to his current stop at Providence. During his time with the Friars, he has ushered in a golden era for the department, which has seen several facility upgrades, as well as the construction of the state-of-the-art Ruane Friar Development Center that emphasizes training as well as academic services. Driscoll has earned a myriad of accolades and honors during his illustrious career, which includes being recognized as the Under Armour I-AAA Athletics Director of the Year in 2016.
On South Hill, he was a standout on the college's men's ice hockey program. He was a three-year captain, and he led the program in scoring all three seasons.
Upon being named athletic director at Massachusetts, one of Bamford’s first hires was men’s hockey head coach Greg Carvel. During his time in Amherst, Bamford has also enhanced the department’s student experience with a new 3,400-square foot student-athlete lounge, while amplifying its student-athlete academic services. He has also been influential in negotiating new cable and digital broadcast contracts.
Bamford’s career also featured stops at Springfield College, Plymouth State University, University of New Hampshire, Yale University and Georgia Tech. He spent eight years at Yale, including five as the senior associate director of athletics. While with the Bulldogs he had sport oversight of the football, men’s basketball and fencing programs, as well as overseeing Yale’s event management, operations, sports medicine and strength and conditioning departments. Bamford was at Georgia Tech for four years in Atlanta as a senior administrator at Georgia Tech, including the final two seasons as senior associate athletic director. Among his responsibilities were handling all operational aspects for the Yellow Jackets’ football, baseball and men's basketball programs, as well as playing a key role in fundraising for scholarships, endowments and capital projects.
A standout on the Bombers’ men's basketball team, Bamford graduated as the school’s single-season and career leader in three-point field goals, and in 13th place on program’s career scoring list.