Damore announces retirement from SUNYAC

Fredonia – State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Commissioner Dr. Patrick R. Damore has announced he will retire from his position at the end of his current contract which concludes June 30, 2012. Damore has served as the first, and only, commissioner in the history of the Division III athletics conference. He has held the post since 1979, acting in the full-time capacity since 1985.

“It has been a great honor to serve the SUNYAC Conference membership during my time as commissioner,” Damore said. “After spending over three decades with the conference it will be hard to move on, but the league-wide leadership is as strong as it has ever been.”

During his tenure in the SUNYAC, Damore coordinated the addition of women’s sports programs in 1983. In 2008-2009, the women’s programs celebrated their 25th anniversary and the SUNYAC also celebrated its 50th anniversary. The conference has also increased its sponsored sports by adding women’s lacrosse (1996-97) and reinstating field hockey (2000-01) and men’s lacrosse in (1999-2000).

Since his appointment, Damore has overseen the crowning of 591 SUNYAC champions, soon to be one more when he crowns the 2011-12 men’s ice hockey champion on Saturday March 3. Twenty-nine SUNYAC teams have won NCAA national titles and the student-athletes have claimed such honors as Capital One academic All-Americans, Woman of the Year finalists, and Regional and National athletes of the year.

Dr. Damore has been involved in SUNYAC athletics for many years even before filling the role of Commissioner. He first came to Fredonia State in 1956 as an assistant professor.  Three years later he began the first soccer team at Fredonia and originated the national collegiate soccer rating system in 1968. He continued to coach soccer for nine years, four years of basketball and 12 years of tennis while also holding the title of Fredonia State Athletic Director from 1968-1985.

A national search for the next SUNYAC Conference commissioner is expected to begin soon.

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