Page 1


2009-10 Universit y of R hode Island Women's B asketball

| r h o d y a t h l e t i c s | t h e t e a m | t h e c o a c h i n g s t a f f | t h e o p p o n e n t s | t h e 0 8 / 0 9 re v i e w | t h e re c o rd s | t h e u n i ve r s i t y | m e d i a i n f o r m a t i o n |


| m e d i a i n f o r m a t i o n | t h e u n i ve r s i t y | t h e re c o rd s | t h e 0 8 / 0 9 re v i e w | t h e o p p o n e n t s | t h e c o a c h i n g s t a f f | t h e t e a m | r h o d y a t h l e t i c s |



DR. DAVID M. DOOLEY University of Rhode Island President B.A., University of California, San Diego, 1974 Ph. D., California Institute of Technology, 1979 As Dr. David M. Dooley embarks on his first year as president of the University of Rhode Island, he aims to strengthen the sense of community and discovery. With a strong background in research Dooley believes every student at the University should gain experience in research and creative work, regardless of their field of study. "We have to integrate the entire undergraduate experience into the academic goals and missions of the University," Dooley said. "We want students to feel everything they are doing at URI will help them achieve their goals."

Focused on building student success and community, Dooley oversaw Montana State’s central academic advising office and added an advisor especially for students changing majors. He provided leadership to a multi-campus effort to substantially improve transferability in the Montana University System and his office created the Academic Advising Council to develop university-wide improvements in advising and to identify and share best practices.

A native of California, Dooley earned a bachelor of arts in chemistry from the University of California in San Diego and a doctorate in chemistry from California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He was selected in May from among three finalists for the University of Rhode Island position after a nationwide search that attracted 55 candidates.

The University also instituted convocation, particularly targeting first-year students; established learning centers for mathematics and chemistry in residence halls; and improved relationships with the Athletics Department to enhance the success of student-athletes. Like URI, Montana State is affiliated with NCAA Division I athletics, with football competing in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Dooley has more than 30 years of experience working in higher education and places high value on giving students a well-rounded university experience.

Dooley played a role in adding new Ph.D. programs in Animal and Range Science, Neuroscience, Ecology and Environmental Science, History (first Ph.D. in the humanities at MSU), Computer Science, Earth Sciences (including Paleontology) and Molecular Biosciences (a multidisciplinary, cross-departmental program). New Ph.D programs in English (emphasizing the public humanities) and a novel collaborative Ph.D. in American Studies with European university partners were in the planning stages when he left Montana State.

"It's a simple fact that the kinds of skills that the students are going to need for the future are the kinds of skills and experiences that are going to be hard to come by in the formal classroom. We need to prepare students for things we don't yet know exist," Dooley said. Dooley comes to URI from Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont., where he served as provost and vice president of academic affairs. He had nearly 16 years experience as chief academic officer and department chair. He led the chemistry and biochemistry department for six years before being named interim provost and vice president for academic affairs in June 1999, a position he was appointed to permanently in June 2001. Even after taking the post as provost and vice president of academic affairs, Dooley maintained an active laboratory at Montana State. The National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation have funded his research. Dooley also chaired the university's planning, budget and analysis committee, which is responsible for strategic planning, assessment and for setting the university's operating budget. He also managed the university's international partnerships. As Chair, his responsibilities included setting the agenda, guiding the processes of budget development, planning, and priority setting, moderating discussion, and presenting the budget to the University community and the President. He also served as the principal representative for the committee to external constituencies, the media, and the public. A strong believer in shared governance, Dooley helped foster a strong culture of collaborative process at Montana State. This approach earned the University status as a major research university, ranked in the Carnegie “Very High Research” category. During Dooley’s service as Provost, he was a central figure in attracting research dollars to Montana State, as annual research expenditures there grew from $45 million in 1999 to more than $100 million in 2007 while he was there. Montana State committed itself to excellence in undergraduate education and to the success of its students. Dooley helped lead the strategic planning process that incorporated these goals and values into Montana State’s Five-Year Vision - which is assessed and updated annually - and the university’s marketing plan. Working closely with faculty, he fostered the development of a nationally-recognized, new core curriculum that includes a required first-year seminar taught in small sections, quantitative reasoning, writing, inquiry courses in the major disciplinary areas, contemporary issues in science, diversity, and an undergraduate research experience. He also developed new interdisciplinary undergraduate degrees in Liberal Studies and American Studies based in the new University College, a new undergraduate major in Paleontology, Bioengineering, and Medical Laboratory Science, and minors in Latin American and Latino Studies and Museum Studies.

Montana State added M.S./M.A. degrees in Native American Studies, Neuroscience, Ecology and Environmental Science, Environmental and Ecological Statistics, Science and Natural History Filmmaking, and the Art History during Dooley’s tenure. With the senior leadership at Montana State, Dooley led the implementation of a new budget and planning process. With the Vice President for Administration and Finance, and the Vice President for Research, he had a lead role in securing the approval for the new $24 million Chemistry and Biochemistry building. Dooley represented the University to the Legislature to secure funding for the renovation of the former chemistry building into a state-of-the-art instructional facility (approximately $34 million). In the area of diversity and internationalization Dooley led the effort to upgrade the Native American Studies Program to full departmental status. He made recruitment of women and other under-representative groups into leadership and faculty positions an academic priority. Five of Montana State’s nine deans are women and one is Native American. Dooley increased Montana State’s emphasis on international partnerships, leading to new relationships with, among others, Norway, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, Mongolia, Japan, India, Korea, and Turkey. The relationship with Turkey led to the development of novel dual degree programs with Turkish universities. Several new institutes and divisions were established at Montana State during Dooley’s time, including the Energy Research Institute for comprehensive energy research, including carbon sequestration, clean coal technology, fuel cell technology, materials science, wind energy, solar energy, and biofuels. Montana State is the lead institution in a partnership that was recently awarded $66.9 million from the Department of Energy for Phase III research on carbon sequestration. Partners include several major research universities and national laboratories. Also developed were the Humanities Institute for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies in the humanities; the Big Sky Institute for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem; the Division of Health Sciences, to provide leadership and coordination for research and education in health and biomedical disciplines, as well as fostering interdisciplinary research and education; and the Center for Native Health Partnerships for community based public health research and outreach on tribal reservations. His career began in higher education in 1978 as an assistant professor at Amherst College in Amherst, Mass. and later became a full professor and department chair there. Dooley's wife, Lynn Baker-Dooley, is a Baptist minister. The couple has two adult children, Chris and Samantha, and a dog named Rhody.

2009-10 Universit y of R hode Island Women's B asketball


University of Rhode Island Director of Athletics B.A., Univeristy of Massachusetts, 1990 M.Ed., Univeristy of Massachusetts, 1995 In late July, 2007, Thorr Bjorn became the 11th Director of Athletics in University of Rhode Island history. Since that day, he has worked tirelessly to instill a new championship culture in Kingston. "We want to be champions in the three most important areas: in competition, in the classroom, and in the community," Bjorn said. "Our athletics department is wholly committed to making the necessary changes in order to achieve a true winning attitude." In competition, Rhode Island's 2008-09 athletics programs showed the results of Bjorn's championship culture and his commitment to excellence. The baseball team won a program-record 37 games, defeating four nationally ranked opponents - including a shutout at No. 8 and national powerhouse Miami. The men's basketball team won 23 games and advanced to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. In the classroom, 151 Rhode Island student-athletes earned a 3.5 grade-point average or better and were named to the Atlantic 10 Commissioners Honor Roll. Jimmy Baron, a member of the men's basketball team, was named to the 2009 ESPN the Magazine Second Team Academic All-American and earned the ECAC Robbins Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Three others: Shayna Daugherty (women's track & field), Grace Hedstrom (women's tennis) and Oliver Palmer (baseball) earned ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District honors. "It is a true point of pride to have so many of our student-athletes being honored for their academic achievements," said Bjorn. "To have so many of our student-athletes performing on and off the field of competition is a tribute to the hard work of so many involved with Rhode Island Athletics." Many of the Rams' athletic programs and student-athletes have made an impact in the community. Several teams participated in a local National Reading Week promotion this past April, traveling to local elementary schools to read and interact with the students. The volleyball team took part in a Habitat for Humanity activity, while the baseball team participated in the Rhode Island Autism Project walk during the fall. Head coach Joe Trainer and the football program organized a bone marrow drive during the spring. Additionally, URI athletics sponsored its third annual "Pink Out" during a nationally televised men's basketball game, which raised more than $10,000 for a local breast cancer awareness charity. Bjorn's championship attitude is rooted in a philosophy in which everyone in the URI athletics department is a fundraiser and marketer. "We need to be tireless in our efforts to bring in external dollars - not just to sustain, but rather to grow all of our programs," Bjorn explained. "As we go out into the community, we have the opportunity to `sell' URI and our mission to our current and future donors, sponsors and ticket buyers. We have to continue to move forward and become increasingly creative in how we accomplish our goals." Bjorn has helped cultivate donations of close to 2 million dollars toward the Student-Athlete Development Center (SADC), which includes the construction of a new 10,000 square foot weight room, along with renovated athletic training room and academic support area. "To reach that dollar amount in such a short period of time shows the tremendous passion for URI athletics by our alumni and friends," he added. "We expect that this is just the beginning, as we work to raise $3.5 million for the SADC and another $1.5 million for other important athletic facility upgrades under the umbrella of the University's `Making a Difference' capital campaign."

Bjorn came to Kingston after spending 15 years at his alma mater - the University of Massachusetts - in a variety of athletic administrative roles. At the time of his hire, Bjorn had entered his fourth year as the senior associate athletic director at UMass, serving as the day-to-day sport supervisor for football and ice hockey, while also overseeing the men's and women's lacrosse programs. He directly supervised the UMass athletic marketing staff, corporate sales - including the UMass Radio Network, coaches shows and signage - and ticket operations. Bjorn also served as liaison between the athletic department and Global Spectrum - the management company for the William D. Mullins Center, home of UMass basketball and hockey. Bjorn played an integral role in UMass' department-wide apparel deal with adidas, oversaw all aspects of the funding and installation of a multi-million dollar video scoreboard system in the Mullins Center, and helped to secure funding sources for a new artificial surface at Alumni Stadium - home of the nationally-ranked Minutemen football program. From Sept. 2003-Feb. 2004, Bjorn was the interim athletic director at UMass. In that role, he oversaw all the department, including supervising a senior administrative staff of 10 associate and assistant athletic directors, as well as the head football, men's basketball, and men's ice hockey. During his tenure, he negotiated a contract extension with Don "Toot" Cahoon, head men's ice hockey coach, and was the athletic department liaison in a viability study on elevating to Division I-A (now "BCS") football status. After a three-year stint as the director of regional sales and marketing for Resorts Sports Network in Portland, Maine, Bjorn returned to UMass in April of 2003 as the Associate AD/External Affairs. At RSN - a company which provides cable systems with programming at ski resorts - he was personally accountable for $1 million in television and web advertising revenue. In his role as Associate AD, Bjorn was responsible for soliciting all radio and television advertising and corporate sponsorship dollars for the athletic department, Mullins Center, and UMass Magazine - a total exceeding $1 million dollars. Under his watch, annual sponsorship revenue increased by over 135 percent. Bjorn also directed the department's retail merchandise program, coordinated advertising campaigns and directed the ticket office. He also established "MinuteFan Park," an interactive fan experience at Alumni Stadium. After graduating from UMass and spending six months as an intern in the business office at the University of Connecticut, he returned to his alma mater as assistant athletic director for tickets and game operations in December of 1990, a position he held until being promoted in 1996. A three-year letterwinner for the Minutemen football program, he earned his bachelor's degree in sports management from UMass in 1990, following with a master's degree in higher education from his alma mater in 1995. He met his wife Cyndy at UMass, and the couple has three daughters, twins Stephanie and Robyn, and Rachael. The Bjorn family resides in North Kingstown.

He serves as chair of the Atlantic 10 scheduling policy committee, while sitting on the A-10's television and men's basketball championship site selection committees. On the national level, Bjorn was recently named to the NCAA Division I women's rowing committee.

2009-10 Universit y of R hode Island Women's B asketball

| r h o d y a t h l e t i c s | t h e t e a m | t h e c o a c h i n g s t a f f | t h e o p p o n e n t s | t h e 0 8 / 0 9 re v i e w | t h e re c o rd s | t h e u n i ve r s i t y | m e d i a i n f o r m a t i o n |



| m e d i a i n f o r m a t i o n | t h e u n i ve r s i t y | t h e re c o rd s | t h e 0 8 / 0 9 re v i e w | t h e o p p o n e n t s | t h e c o a c h i n g s t a f f | t h e t e a m | r h o d y a t h l e t i c s |




Deputy Director of Athletics Rhode Island native Gregg Burke begins his fifth year at the University of Rhode Island. He served in the role of URI's acting and interim director of athletics, from May, 2006-August, 2007. Burke came to the University in September 2004 as deputy director of athletics. In this role, he served as chief operating officer of the department with special oversight of men's and women's basketball, men's golf, and all external relations of operations. Prior to his arrival in Kingston, Burke had founded his own consulting firm, in 2001, which included client work in golf, event management, media relations, fundraising, and business development. Before that, in 1999, Burke joined a group of nationally respected basketball administrators in launching the International Basketball League. As vice president of the league, he played an integral role in developing the business plan, marketing organization, and public relations strategy while directing the special events, public relations, corporate sales, licensing, and merchandising staffs. In 1987, Burke was hired at Providence College as assistant director of athletics. He was promoted to associate athletic director in charge of administrative and external relations efforts, where he initiated and developed the corporate partnership program, the campus-wide licensing program, and managed the tickets operations, media relations, marketing, promotions, development, advertising, and licensing staffs. He was responsible for all broadcast contracts, basketball game management, basketball scheduling, and special events. He was named sports information director at Holy Cross in 1982, where he engineered the Heisman Trophy campaign of Gordie Lockbaum - still the only non-Division I player to finish in the top five in Heisman Trophy balloting and one of just a handful of athletes to ever finish in the top five twice. Prior to his work at Holy Cross, Burke was the assistant director of sports information at the University of Michigan where he worked with the men's basketball and football programs in 1981 and 1982. He began his career as a graduate assistant in the Boston College Athletics Department in 1980. Burke was the Tournament Manager for the 1989 and 1996 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship in Providence and the 1995 and 2000 NCAA Hockey Championship in Providence. During his nearly quarter century of work with the Academic All-America Awards Program he has held a number of key positions including time as National Chairman (1989-94). He was one of the two founding fathers of the Academic All-America Hall of Fame and still serves as a voting member. Burke has served on the board of a number of community organizations, including Rhode Island Special Olympics, Rhode Island ALS, and the Holy Cross Club of R.I. Along the way he has been honored by a number of organizations for his work in athletics and in the community. He is the recipient of the 2002 Amby Smith Award for Contribution to Sport in Rhode Island, the 2000 Scoop Hudgins Lifetime Achievement Award for Contribution to College Football, and the 1999 Providence College Sixth Man Award for contribution to Friar Basketball. In 1994 he was honored with the first-ever Lester Jordan Award for service to the Academic All-America Program and the StudentAthlete Ideal. He has earned 10 Best in the Nation Writing and Publication Awards from the College Sports Information Directors of America. Burke graduated from Holy Cross in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He earned a master of education from Providence College in 1998.


Associate Athletics Director/SWA/Finance Sue Bergen enters her seventh year at the University of Rhode Island, joining the athletics department in April, 2002. In her role as associate AD for business and finance, Bergen is the department's chief financial officer, working with department heads, head coaches, and administrators in preparing the annual budget. She also manages the day-to-day fiscal aspects of the athletics department, including monthly reporting, budgetary forecasts, and all expenditures related to the athletics department and the Rhode Island Ram Athletic Association (RIRAA). She also prepares several reports for the athletics department, including the NCAA audit and gender equity reports, as well as the Atlantic 10 Conference salary survey and annual report. Bergen serves as the department's Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) and sport administrator for the men's and women's soccer and softball programs at URI. Prior to joining the Rhody staff, Bergen served as a Financial Analyst III, in the Strategic Planning and Analysis Department for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. She worked with the tribe from 1993-2002. She earned her bachelor's of science degree in accounting and computer information systems from Northern Michigan in 1986. Bergen is is also a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Rhode Island and is a member of AICPA. Bergen lives in Ashaway, R.I. with her husband Tom and children, John and Jessica.


Associate Athletics Director/NCAA Compliance Paul Kassabian begins his 11th year heading URI’s NCAA compliance office. In this role, Kassabian serves as advisor to the University President regarding compliance issues and eligibility of studentathletes on all 18 varsity teams. During his time at URI, Kassabian has developed a compliance procedural manual for coaches and has developed and instituted a hazing policy statement for student-athletes. Kassabian also conducts NCAA rules education sessions for the University community and its athletic booster groups. He has also developed and presented educational materials for local high school guidance counselors and athletic directors as to the NCAA Eligibility Center's process and procedures for initial eligibility of prospective student-athletes. He was also a member of the University of Rhode Island's Steering Committee for NCAA re-certification. Prior to his role as chief compliance coordinator, Kassabian served as an instructor in the kinesiology department and the assistant coach for the men's track and cross country teams at URI. Prior to arriving in Kingston, Kassabian was the assistant men's and women's track coach and strength & conditioning coach at Boston University and Bentley College. Kassabian received a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University, with a major in speech communication and minor in economics. After completing his undergraduate degree, Kassabian went on to pursue a master’s degree in education, concentrating in Student Personnel Counseling. While completing his studies, Kassabian served three years as academic advisor for athletics and developed a pilot practicum program for graduate students in academic advising for athletics. Paul and his wife, Chelle, the former gymnastics coach at URI, reside in Wakefield with their three children, Ardemis, Kerkor, and Tateos.


Associate Athletics Director/Athletic Development Dr. Kevin T. McGinniss is entering his third year as the associate director of athletics for development. McGinniss owns a strong educational and professional background which includes over 25 years experience as an educator, author, coach, athletics administrator and athlete. In his role at URI, McGinniss heads up all aspects of fundraising for the athletics department, with a particular emphasis on the athletics component of URI's $100 million "Making a Difference" capital campaign; raising $5 million for the new Student-Athlete Development Center and other important athletics capital projects. During the fall of 2008, the largest outright gift to URI Athletics was procured; $1 million for capital improvements to the baseball facility. McGinniss also serves as the department's liaison to the Rhode Island Rams Athletic Association, URI Foundation, and URI Alumni Association. Prior to coming to Kingston, McGinniss served as director of athletics at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. In recognition of his efforts, he was nominated for the 2007 National Association of Collegiate Athletics Administrators (NACDA) Division II Athletics Director of the Year Award. From 2001-05, McGinniss served as the director of athletics development at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. He was responsible for coordinating all fundraising and the annual giving program for athletics - including the New Millennium Campaign, a $25 million campaign for a state-of-the-art athletics center. McGinniss' experience in higher education administration also includes serving Southern Connecticut State University as its director of athletics development and director of alumni affairs, as well as as the director of athletics and recreation at Lehman College, The City University of New York. Additionally, McGinniss was the director of athletics development and executive director of the Blue & Gray Club at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY. A former men's basketball coach, McGinniss' was the head coach at Lehman College and led a program with just eight wins over the previous four years to the CUNYAC North Division title. He also served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, helping lead SCSU to a 20-win season and a postseason berth in 1992. Active in professional organizations both locally and on the national level, McGinniss has served as Vice-Chair for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District I Board of Directors, is a member of the National Association of Athletic Development Directors, National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, National Association of Basketball Coaches Research Committee, and serves on the ECAC Board of Directors and ECAC Marketing Committee. McGinniss earned his bachelor's degree in health, master's degree in physical education/athletics administration, and a sixth year professional diploma of advanced graduate studies in educational leadership from Southern Connecticut State University. He received his doctorate in education from the Teachers College Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Columbia University. Kevin and his wife Amy have a son, Kyle, and daughter, Kelly.

2009-10 Universit y of R hode Island Women's B asketball

ATHLETICS ADMINISTRATION A 1977 graduate from the University of Rhode Island, Kim Bissonnette enters his 18th year at URI in 2009-10. Most recently, he was promoted from Head Athletic Trainer to associate athletics director for health & performance. Prior to his appointment at URI he was the Head Athletic Trainer at Bentley College in Waltham, Mass. for six years. He was a member of the athletic training staff at Northeastern University from 19791985. In the summer of 1985, Bissonnette also worked as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Rhode Island Gulls of the United States Basketball League. Bissonnette is an active member of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association (EATA), and the Rhode Island Athletic Trainers Association (RIATA). He has served on many national, regional, and state committees and was instrumental in the development of the current licensing law that governs the practice of athletic training within the state Rhode Island. He served as the president for the Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts and co-founded the Rhode Island Athletic Trainers Association, serving as the inaugural president as well. He has been a lecturer, clinician, and member of the support medical staff for many regional events including the USFSA National Championships and the Boston Marathon. He received the University of Rhode Island Staff Excellence Award in 2001 and was inducted into the Rhode Island Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in 2007. A native of Portsmouth, R.I. Bissonnette earned his bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island in 1977 and his master’s degree from the University of Arizona in 1978. He is in charge of the overall athletic training program, with direct responsibility for intercollegiate football. A certified member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association, Bissonnette has three daughters - Jocelyn, Lindsay ,and Kara - and resides in Wakefield.


Associate Athletics Director/Athletic Programs Gina Sperry begins her second year as associate director of athletics at the University of Rhode Island in 2009-10, serving as the sport administrator to the men's and women's cross country and track, rowing, and women's swimming programs. Sperry also oversees the NCAA/Champs Life Skills Program, serve as an academic liaison with URI Advising Programs for student-athletes, and monitor the academic performance of student-athletes. Sperry will also serve on the following committees: Student Affairs Diversity Committee, URI President's Commission of the Status of Women, Association for Professional and Academic Women (past president), URI Harassment Committee, and Rhode Island Association of Intercollegiate Athletes for Women (RIAIAW). Prior to her appointment, she was an academic advisor/learning specialist for the men's basketball and men's track & field squads. In addition to her academic work with student-athletes, Sperry is committed to assisting student-athletes’ overall development, having served as the coordinator for the Rhody Life Skills Program. Prior to her arrival at Rhode Island, Sperry was an academic coordinator and Champs Life Skills coordinator at Arizona State. While in Tempe, she developed programming to enhance student-athlete welfare in such areas as study skills, career planning, health & wellness, and leadership & character. Her CHAMPS/Life Skills program was honored in 2000 with a Program of Excellence Award by the NCAA Division I Athletic Directors' Association. She served in a similar capacity at the University of New Hampshire prior to her stint at ASU. Sperry moved into academic advising and life skills enhancement following a successful career as a collegiate cross country and track & field coach. She was the head coach of the New Hampshire's women's track & field/cross country team from 1992-99. She was named the 1997 America East Cross Country Coach of the Year. From 1988-92, she was head women's cross country and assistant women's track & field coach at the University of Vermont, twice earning North Atlantic Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year honors. Sperry earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education (coach specialization) from Eastern Illinois in 1983. She also earned her master’s degree in physical education (adult fitness and cardiac rehabilitation) from EIU in 1984. During her own athletic career, Sperry was a national-class distance runner. She was a National Amateur Champion at 10-kilometers in 1986. Sperry also qualified for the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the Marathon and finished 18th at the 1986 Boston Marathon. Sperry resides in Newport, R.I.


Associate Athletics Director John Vanner enters his 32nd year at the University of Rhode Island, having worked in the athletics department since 1986. Vanner serves as sport administrator for the football, baseball, and volleyball programs. He is a URI graduate and began working at the university in 1977 as a teacher in the physical education department. In 1986, Vanner replaced URI legend Ernie Calverly as the Associate Director of Athletics, overseeing the men's athletics program. He is credited with making several coaching hires that helped bring the University's athletics program to the national level, including his first hire - men's basketball coach Tom Penders, who led the Rams to the NCAA Sweet 16 in his second season in Kingston. He also hired former men's soccer coach Ed Bradley, former baseball coach Frank Leoni, and Hall of Fame golf coach Tom Drennan, who have each guided their programs to postseason NCAA competition. Vanner lives in Johnston with his wife Cynthia (Rhode Island, '82) and children, John, Torrey, and Jessica.


Assistant Athletics Director/Sports Communications Mike Laprey enters his fourth year as the assistant athletics director for sports communications at the University of Rhode Island. In this role, Laprey oversees all media relations and sports communcations efforts for the athletics department, including printed publications and – URI’s official athletics website. During his tenure at Rhode Island, Laprey has coordinated the complete redesign and overhaul of, including new interactive and multimedia features. He serves as the primary media contact for the men’s basketball, golf, and women’s soccer teams. Before coming to Kingston, Laprey spent the 2005-06 academic year at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. Prior to that, he spent seven years at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., elevating to the role of Associate AD/Athletic Communications. While at Iona, Laprey was in charge of all media relations efforts for the Gaels’ 21 varsity sports, including serving as department spokesman and chief editor and publisher for all athletic publications and media releases. During the summer of 2003, he played an integral role in Iona’s rebranding efforts, including the development of a new logo and series of wordmarks, as well as a total revamping of the official athletics website. In May 2003, he earned his master’s degree in journalism from Iona. He began at Iona in the fall of 1998, serving a dual role as a graduate assistant in the sports information office and an assistant coach for the Gaels’ nationally-ranked men’s cross country team. During the 1997-98 academic year, Laprey served as a media relations assistant at the BIG EAST Conference. A 1997 graduate of Fairfield University, with a degree in economics and philosophy, Laprey began his career as an undergraduate assistant in the Fairfield sports information office. He was a three-year letterman for the Stags cross country squad and was president and co-founder of the Fairfield University Track Club. He also served as head men’s basketball manager for the Stags’ 1995-96 NIT season.


Assistant Athletics Director/Operations Walter Boyle begins his 31st year at the University of Rhode Island in 2009-10. In his current role, Boyle handles all aspects of game operations, including its annual budget, hiring and training event staff, and as a liaison between all ancillary agencies (police, fire, etc.) as well as lands & grounds crews. Boyle arrived at URI in 1978 as assistant director of athletics for tickets and promotions, where he handled all aspects of tickets for events as well as special promotions and marketing venues. In 1991, he also took charge of the University's Athletic Volunteerism Program. A 1970 graduate of Providence College, Boyle was an administrative assistant to the executive director and box office supervisor at the Providence Civic Center for six years. With a Bachelor of Arts in English, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, graduating from the PC ROTC program. He rose to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves as a Field Artillery Officer. Active in student affairs at Providence, Boyle was elected to 'Who's Who' and the 'National Student Register' as an undergraduate. As a senior, he served as vice president of the Student Congress. He is currently a member and past officer of the Narragansett Lions Club and is a member of the Board of Canvassers for the town of Narragansett. Boyle and his wife, Janet, were married in 1983 and reside in Narragansett. The couple has two children - Peter and Karen.

2009-10 Universit y of R hode Island Women's B asketball

| r h o d y a t h l e t i c s | t h e t e a m | t h e c o a c h i n g s t a f f | t h e o p p o n e n t s | t h e 0 8 / 0 9 re v i e w | t h e re c o rd s | t h e u n i ve r s i t y | m e d i a i n f o r m a t i o n |


Associate Athletics Director/Health & Performance


| m e d i a i n f o r m a t i o n | t h e u n i ve r s i t y | t h e re c o rd s | t h e 0 8 / 0 9 re v i e w | t h e o p p o n e n t s | t h e c o a c h i n g s t a f f | t h e t e a m | r h o d y a t h l e t i c s |





Assistant Athletics Director/Operations

Director of Business Development

Vinny Turco begins his 13th season as assistant athletics director for operations at the University of Rhode Island in 2009-10. In this role, Turco oversees all game operations for men’s and women’s home athletic contests, coordinates the athletic master schedule, and manages the administrative purchasing process of athletic material and equipment for all 18 URI varsity sports. Turco is also responsible for the management and planning of daily practice and team travel equipment requirements, facility set-up and breakdown for football, men’s and women’s basketball, and volleyball home events, and administration of athletic material sports budgets. He is the department’s liaison to the Ryan Center. A former defensive back on the URI football team, Turco returned to Kingston following a two-year stint as assistant director for athletic equipment at Ohio University. While at Ohio, he helped coordinate game day operations and event management for athletic contests and also controlled the purchasing and inventory of team athletic equipment and budgets. Turco graduated from Rhode Island in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and earned his master’s degree in athletic administration from Ohio University in 1994. In addition to his duties at URI, Turco also works as a field producer and does specialty statistics for Fox Sports and works in conjunction with Dorna USA, with his primary responsibility being the operation and maintenance of rotating marketing signs at men’s and women’s basketball games. He also served as the public relations/statistical distribution crew supervisor at Super Bowl XXVII, XXVIII, and XXVIV. Turco and his wife, Cheryl, reside in Kingston with their two children – Rae and Joseph.


Daryl Jasper begins his second year as the Director of Business Development for The Ryan Center and the University of Rhode Island (URI) Athletics Department. Jasper’s role is a collaborative effort with the Ryan Center - the home of URI's men's and women's basketball teams - and the athletics department to generate advertising, sponsorship, promotions, and corporate partnerships. Most recently, Jasper worked with Nelligan Sports Marketing as the general manager of Brown University's property. He worked closely with the Brown athletics administration in all facets of marketing. In just six months, Jasper negotiated and restructured corporate partnerships, while creating new innovative opportunities for local, regional, and national sponsors. Prior to working with Nelligan, Jasper spent 13 years in professional minor league baseball. During the 2007 season, he served as executive vice president of business operations with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats - the Eastern League (AA) affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. Directly responsible for all departments in the organization, Jasper administered and managed all aspects of marketing, sales and corporate partnerships for the Fisher Cats. From 1995-2006, Jasper worked for the Pawtucket Red Sox, elevating to the role of assistant general manager. While at McCoy Stadium, he sold corporate partnerships, organized community outreach events, oversaw individual and season ticket campaigns, and supervised a game day staff of over 250 employees. Jasper graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Isenberg School of Management/Sport Management Program in 1993. He currently serves on the Sports


Assistant Athletics Director/ Management & Planning Art Tuveson enters his 29th year at URI. He is responsible for facility management and planning with respect to the intercollegiate, club and recreational sports programs. He handles all facility maintenance issues while serving as the athletic department’s liaison with architectural firms. Tuveson is responsible for special operations/projects which may be on-going or short-term and which require planning, coordination and supervision. He served as assistant director for recreational services and facilities from 1990-2004. Tuveson was instrumental in the completion of the $12 million Bradford Boss Ice Arena in 2002 while also helping with the plans for the Ryan Center. He has also helped with the planning and construction of Mackal Field House, Arrigan Sailing Pavilion, and Campanella Rowing Center. Tuveson came to Kingston in 1980 as Director of Recreational Services. During that time, he was responsible for the planning, organization, and coordination of a comprehensive and diverse recreational services program that would meet the needs of the URI community. Prior to that, Tuveson served in similar roles at New Hampshire and Wisconsin-Stout. A 1972 graduate of New Hampshire, Tuveson received his master’s degree in recreation administration from Oregon in 1977.

Faculty Athletics Representative

Dr. Barbara F. Luebke has served as the faculty athletics representative at the University of Rhode Island since January, 2007. Dr. Luebke is a professor of Journalism and former chair of the Department of Journalism. She has been at URI since July 1989 and previously taught at the University of Missouri, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the University of Hartford. A longtime member of the university’s Athletics Advisory Board, she currently is a member of the NCAA’s Committee on Athletics Certification and the Atlantic 10’s Finance Committee. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, her M.S. from the University of Oregon and her B.A. from Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Jim Foster Baseball

Jim Baron Men’s Basketball

Cathy Inglese Women’s Basketball

John Copeland Men’s Track & Field/XC

Laurie Feit-Melnick Women’s Track & Field/XC

Joe Trainer Football

Tom Drennan Golf

John O’Connor Men’s Soccer

Zac Shaw Women’s Soccer

Shelagh Donohoe Rowing

Erin Layton Softball

Mick Westkott Women’s Swimming/Diving

Val Villucci Women’s Tennis

Bob Schneck Volleyball

2009-10 Universit y of R hode Island Women's B asketball


Am I a Representative of Athletic Interests? YES, If you have ever: • Been a member of the University’s “booster” organization or any of the sport specific groups under the athletic department. • Made a donation to any of the Atlantic 10 member schools’ men’s or women’s athletic programs. • Helped to arrange or have provided summer employment for enrolled student-athletes. • Contacted (by letter, telephone or in person) a high school student, grades 9-12, for the purpose of encouraging the student to participate in URI’s Athletics programs. • Assisted in providing any benefit to enrolled student-athletes or their families. • Been involved in any way with the University of Rhode Island’s Athletics programs. The NCAA stipulates that once you have become an “athletic representative” you retain that identification forever, even if you no longer contribute to the athletic program. Four Important Rules You Should Know Rule #1: Only coaches and athletics department staff members can be involved in the recruiting process. All “athletic representatives” who are not employed by the school are prohibited from contacting a prospect or members of the prospect’s family by telephone, letter or in person on or off campus for the purpose of encouraging participation in the URI’s athletic programs. Rule #2: University of Rhode Island representatives cannot provide an “extra benefit” or special arrangement to a prospect OR an enrolled student-athlete. Specific applications as they apply to the NCAA extra benefit rule to prospects and enrolled student-athletes, their relatives or friends state that you: May not give them cash or loans in any amount; May not sign or co-sign a note with an outside agency to arrange a loan; May not employ relatives or friends of a prospect as an inducement for the enrollment of the prospect; May not give them gifts of any kind (e.g. birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day) or free services (e.g. clothing, airline tickets, laundry, car repair, hair cuts, meals in restaurants); May not provide special discounts for goods or services; May not provide them hospitality in your home other than for special occasions (e.g. Thanksgiving, birthday); May not invite them to your summer home to go water skiing, sailing, etc; May not provide them transportation within or outside of the campus area (e.g., from campus to your home, from the airport to campus, to summer job, etc.); May not entertain or contact a prospect or prospect’s family on or off campus; May not provide rent free or reduced rent housing; May not provide a benefit connected with on or off campus housing (e.g. individual television sets or stereo equipment, specialized recreational facilities, etc.); May not provide guarantee of a bond; May not promise financial aid for post-graduate education; May not provide promise to a prospect of employment after college graduation. Rule #3: PLEASE assist the coaching staff in the recruiting process by notifying them of any student you think would be a strong addition to the University of Rhode Island’s athletics program. The coach can then make the appropriate contact with the prospect. Rule #4: As an athletic representative, you are not precluded from continuing friendships with families who have prospective or enrolled student-athletes (e.g., backyard barbecues, picnics). You simply cannot encourage a prospect’s participation in the University of Rhode Island’s athletic programs or provide benefits to the student-athlete that you were not providing before he or she became a prospect or enrolled student-athlete. Who is a Prospective Student-Athlete? A prospective student-athlete is a person who has begun classes for the ninth grade. However, it is possible for a younger student to be a prospect, so it is prudent to treat ALL athletes as prospects. Can “I” be involved with High School and Community College Student-Athletes (Prospects) PLEASE feel free to attend high school and community college athletic events. You simply cannot have any contact with the prospective student-athletes or relatives. Should you find yourself seated next to parents of a prospect, DO NOT initiate conversation with the relatives. If conversation is initiated with you, respond in a civil manner but DO NOT discuss the University of Rhode Island’s athletics program with them. If they raise questions about the program, remind them that the NCAA prohibits you from discussing the program with them. Direct their questions to the University of Rhode Island’s Athletics Department. CONTINUE established family relationships with friends and neighbors. Contacts with sons or daughters of these families certainly are permitted as long as they are not made for recruiting purposes and are not initiated by the University of Rhode Island’s coaching staff members. You are permitted to play “pick-up” basketball or softball games, continue neighborhood picnics or backyard barbecues and engage in your normal activities with prospects and their parents who are family friends. Again, you simply cannot attempt to recruit the prospect. PLEASE feel free to attend a public event (e.g. an awards banquet or dinner) at which prospects are in attendance. No attempt should be made to recruit the prospect. PLEASE send to the University of Rhode Island’s coaching staff any information about prospects that you think would be of interest. Your assistance in this manner is very helpful. The coaching staff will then make contact with the prospect. PLEASE feel free to offer assistance to members of the University of Rhode Island’s coaching staff who are recruiting in your community. Whom Do I Contact? If you have any questions about contact with a prospective or enrolled student-athlete, please direct these questions to: Paul Kassabian, Associate AD/Compliance University of Rhode Island Three Keaney Road, Suite One Kingston, RI 02881 Phone: (401) 874-2281 Fax: (401) 874-2158 e-mail:

2009-10 Universit y of R hode Island Women's B asketball

| r h o d y a t h l e t i c s | t h e t e a m | t h e c o a c h i n g s t a f f | t h e o p p o n e n t s | t h e 0 8 / 0 9 re v i e w | t h e re c o rd s | t h e u n i ve r s i t y | m e d i a i n f o r m a t i o n |

A Booster’s Guide To NCAA Rules & Regulations The Atlantic 10 Conference, in conjunction with the Athletics Department at the University of Rhode Island, as members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, are primarily responsible for insuring that its various constituencies (i.e. University staff and faculty, student-athletes, alumni and friends) abide by the NCAA rules and regulations. Under those rules, alumni and friends can be categorized as “representatives of the University’s athletic interests.” The following information was compiled to assist alumni and friends in complying with NCAA Rules and regulations governing the conduct of our Institution and it’s athletics programs.


2009-10 URI Women's Basketball Media Guide - Section 7  
2009-10 URI Women's Basketball Media Guide - Section 7  

2009-10 URI Women's Basketball Media Guide - Section 7