As Director of Athletics for 23 years, Doris led the Stags to success on and off the field.
Gene Doris, who led Fairfield University as director of athletics for 23 years, has been chosen by his peers as the recipient of the 2018 Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association's highest honor and is annually bestowed upon an individual who has contributed to intercollegiate athletics in such a manner to bring honor to themselves, their institutions, and the profession as a whole.
The award will be presented at the DI-AAA ADA Membership and Awards Meeting on Thursday, June 28 in conjunction with the NACDA Convention in Washington, D.C.
"When I received the call I was stunned," explained Doris. "Having been part of the DI-AAA ADA and knowing the stature of past recipients, I am truly humbled and honored to be in their company. Having been a basketball coach and an administrator, it is particularly special to receive an award named for Gary Cunningham, who accomplished greatness in both endeavors. When you are honored by your peers, the award is the most meaningful you can receive. I want to thank the leadership of Fairfield University for the opportunity to lead their athletics program. And, I want to thank my staff, many of whom were with me for a good portion of my time and with whom I share this honor."
Fairfield University athletics flourished under Doris with the Stags winning 45 conference championships and 58 regular season conference championships culminating with 35 NCAA postseason berths during his 23-year tenure as the program's Director of Athletics. The program captured the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Commissioner's Cup for overall performance four times, the MAAC Commissioner's Cup for Women's Athletics seven times, and the MAAC Commissioner's Cup for Men's Athletics three times.
Student-athletes also excelled in the classroom under his watch as Fairfield consistently placed among the best in the MAAC and in the nation for graduation rate and in the annual NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR).
His vision brought the best of athletics to Fairfield County by bringing the NCAA women's basketball first and second rounds as well as the NCAA women's basketball regional semifinals and finals to Bridgeport. And, he partnered with Yale University to host the best in college hockey when the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Regionals came to Webster Bank Arena. And, Fairfield University will serve as the host institution for three NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship events at Rentschler Field from 2019-22.
Doris was recognized for his contributions to Fairfield University and to college athletics both regionally and nationally over the years. He was inducted into the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Hall of Fame in 2016. He also received the 2010 Northeast Athletic Director of the Year award and was presented with the Distinguished Faculty/Administrator Award from Fairfield University in 2013, a tribute to his accomplishments and contribution to the University community.
Prior to his arrival at Fairfield in 1994, Doris was the athletics director at Marist College for five years, during which time the number of intercollegiate athletic teams grew from 14 to 20. Before that, he was an associate athletics director at Fordham University, as well as assistant basketball coach under Richard "Digger" Phelps. Doris coached both basketball and baseball at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, N.Y. and junior varsity baseball at Archbishop Molloy High School in Jamaica, N.Y. In 2007, Doris was inducted into the Catholic High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame for his contribution to the New York City-based league. He holds both a bachelor's as well as master's degree from Fordham University.