Under the steady guidance and watchful eye of Terry Driscoll, the William & Mary Athletics Department has solidified its standing as one of the nation’s preeminent broad-based programs. As Driscoll enters his 20th year as athletics director, he has overseen an unprecedented era of improvement in terms of funding and facilities while also maintaining the College’s rich history of producing well-rounded student-athletes.
Driscoll oversees a program that is committed to balancing academic demands with athletic success. One of the department’s stated goals each year is to finish among the top 100 in the annual Director’s Cup rankings, which has happened in all but five of the years that Driscoll has been the director. Additionally, W&M has ranked as the highest Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) school 10 times during his tenure, including each of the past two years.
During the last 12 years, W&M teams have combined to win a total of 51 CAA titles, as the Tribe added championships in men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s basketball (regular season), men’s swimming, men’s tennis and women’s tennis in 2014-15. Additionally, the women’s gymnastics team claimed its second consecutive Eastern College Athletic Conference title last year. Overall, no institution in the CAA can claim more all-time league championships than the 123 W&M has earned.
As impressive as the athletic accomplishments have been during Driscoll’s tenure, the program’s academic successes have been equally notable. In the NCAA’s inaugural (2004) APR rankings, a measurement of academic progress based on academic eligibility, retention, and graduation of student-athletes, W&M was fourth in the nation overall and first among institutions offering athletic performance-based scholarships. Additionally, the Tribe football team has posted a 100 percent graduation rate three times, while the majority of the program’s squads have consistently ranked among the nation’s finest in terms of graduation. In 2002, the CAA started recognizing Scholar-Athletes of the Year for each of the 22 sports it sponsors, and the College has had a conference-record 62 individuals receive the honor.
In addition to the many academic and athletic successes, Driscoll’s impact on the program has been equally impressive in terms of physical and financial improvements. Since taking over as athletics director, Driscoll has overseen the construction of more than $50 million in new facilities, including Plumeri Park (baseball), Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field (soccer, lacrosse) and the Millie West Tennis Facility (tennis). The most recent additions include the $27 million Zable Stadium renovation and baseball indoor practice facility ($990,000), which both began undergoing construction during the summer of 2015.
The Zable Stadium renovation punctuates a long list of significant improvements to the football facilities in recent years, as the College dedicated the $11 million, 30,000 square-foot Jimmye Laycock Football Center at Zable Stadium in the summer of 2008. The venerable stadium has also been enhanced with the installation of a $650,000 permanent lighting system (2006), an $840,000 state-of-the-art Field Turf Pro artificial playing surface (2006) and an $800,000-plus video scoreboard (2007).
Other notable upgrades include those at Busch Field, the home of the William and Mary Field Hockey program, where water cannons (2011) and a new synthetic turf (2012) were recently installed.
In addition to the physical structures, Driscoll has also worked with the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development, Bobby Dwyer, to increase the annual fund-raising totals for non-capital projects from $1.36 million in 1995 to the current annual total of more than $4 million.
A true student-athlete himself, Driscoll’s leadership skills were developed during his collegiate years. As a student-athlete at Boston College, Driscoll captained the basketball team to the National Invitation Tournament Finals as a senior, and was named the tournament MVP. In addition to being named an All-American, his success in the classroom as a biology major garnered him an Academic All-America honor.
After graduating from BC, he was the fourth overall pick of the 1969 NBA Draft, selected by the Detroit Pistons, just three spots after the Milwaukee Bucks chose UCLA’s Lew Alcindor, later to be known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Driscoll chose to play a year in Italy first, but then returned to the U.S. to play for the Pistons, Washington Bullets and Milwaukee Bucks before going back to Italy as a player and then coach until 1980.
Driscoll then entered the corporate world in 1980, working for Kazmaier Associates, Inc., an international sporting goods sales and sports marketing firm. After Kazmaier purchased Bike Athletic in 1986, KSG Inc. was formed with the objective of becoming the first, and only, national sales agency in the sporting goods industry. By 1987, Driscoll was president of the company and had expanded the agency to all 50 states just two years later. In early 1990, Driscoll’s contribution to a marketing research project for the NCAA was the initial step moving him from product marketing and sales to sports marketing and management. The result of the project was a joint venture between Kazmaier Associates and Host Communications - with Driscoll being named managing director and chief operating officer of NCAA International.
In 1993, Driscoll diversified his experience in the athletic world by working as the venue executive director of the 1994 World Cup site in Boston. In September of that year, Driscoll was again enlisted to launch a new business, Eagle International Group, an event management and services company. As vice president, Driscoll worked with Hawaii Pacific Sports to organize the Women’s World Volleyball Grand Prix competition in Honolulu.
Driscoll resides in Williamsburg with his wife, Susan. The couple has two children - Keith, a 1997 graduate of Holy Cross, and Leslie Anne, a 2001 graduate of William and Mary. Keith and his wife, Jennifer, have an 8-year-old daughter, Hadley. Leslie Anne and her husband, Brian Nelson, also a W&M graduate, have a daughter, Lula, 7, and three sons, Edward, 5; Archer, 2; and Wil, who was born this summer.