Student-Athletes with a GPA of 3.70 or higher attended an Academic Recognition Dinner on Monday.
Since being named Director of Athletics at Boston College in late 2012, Brad Bates has met with hundreds of student-athletes, coaches, faculty, staff, fans and other constituents while leading BC Athletics through a strategic planning process aimed at ensuring its growth and success for future generations. During his first two years on the job, he made two of the most important hires in any Athletics Director's tenure when he named Steve Addazio head football coach and Jim Christian head basketball coach.
"Boston College offers a world-class education with first-rate athletics in one of the nation's best cities," he said, "and its Jesuit/Catholic tradition demands that we seek knowledge in ways that better the human condition and promote student development."
After taking the reins in October of 2012, Bates immediately conducted a thorough review of the football program that culminated in the hiring of Addazio as head coach. In announcing Addazio's hiring, Bates called him "one of the most energized, passionate people I've ever been around. His enthusiasm is contagious." Addazio's first season as head coach was a success by any measure as he led a team that finished 2-10 the previous season to a 7-6 record and the school's first bowl game berth in three years. Senior running back Andre Williams received the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top collegiate running back and earned a trip to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist. The 2014 Eagles wrapped up another successful season when they landed a spot in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
Bates has instituted sweeping changes in football gameday parking, pregame hospitality, game atmosphere and customer service. The changes were based on feedback from current and former season ticketholders who attended "town hall" style meetings and more than 1,400 responses to a follow-up survey.
"Our message to our fans is that we will strive to present the best gameday experience in the ACC," Bates said. "We will continually strive to find new ways to enhance the gameday experience."
Bates is leading his staff in the development of a long-range strategic plan for BC Athletics that includes a defined vision and mission statement and blueprint for student-athlete development, graduation and competitive success. Donations to BC Athletics topped the $19 million mark in the 2013-14 year and many teams achieved athletics excellence, led by the men's and women's ice hockey teams, which both reached the NCAA Frozen Four and saw Johnny Gaudreau capture the 2014 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, the school's third.
Student-athlete success in the classroom is a top priority for Bates. Boston College ranked fifth in the nation for overall Graduation Success Rate (GSR) in all sports in 2013-14. The football team's score of 92 was tied for tops in the ACC and sixth in the nation. Twelve BC sports teams received a perfect GSR score of 100.
Bates came to BC after 10 successful seasons as Athletics Director at Miami University. Bates oversaw a program that featured the school's first back-to-back football bowl game appearances in nearly 30 years (2003-2004) and two Mid-American Conference (MAC) championships in 2003 and 2010. Under his direction, 14 of Miami's 18 teams won at least one conference championship, including football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, soccer, cross-country and field hockey. The RedHawks men's ice hockey team won a Central Collegiate Hockey Association championship and appeared in two consecutive NCAA Frozen Fours, including the national championship game in 2009. In addition, Bates implemented retention strategies to raise student-athlete graduation rates, achieving an overall Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 89% in 2011, while also raising private funds to upgrade Miami University's athletics facilities--including a complete renovation of Yager Football Stadium--and a new ice hockey arena and softball field.
Prior to being named director of athletics at Miami, Bates served as senior associate AD at Vanderbilt University, where he had held positions of increasing responsibility within the athletics department between 1985 and 2002. In addition to overseeing the administration of all 15 sports, Bates supervised the athletic department's budget, while leading its marketing, development, licensing and Title IX compliance efforts. A graduate of the University of Michigan, where he began as a walk-on defensive back before earning a football scholarship under legendary coach Bo Schembechler, Bates holds a master's degree in education from Michigan and a doctorate in education from Vanderbilt. He was also a member of the faculty at Miami University, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in sports administration.
Boston College President William P. Leahy, S.J., praised Bates, who previously served as president of the NCAA Division IA Athletic Directors Association, as an experienced and respected leader in collegiate athletics administration who possesses the background and vision to lead Boston College athletics in the years to come. "Brad is thoughtful, a proven leader, and someone who understands and supports Boston College's commitment to excellence in both academics and athletics," Leahy said.
At Boston College, Bates is responsible for one of the nation's premier athletics programs with 750 student-athletes competing in 31 varsity sports. A perennial leader in NCAA student-athlete graduation rates, BC student-athletes continue to be national leaders in volunteer service, with Boston College winning the National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Award of Excellence in 2010 in recognition of the community service endeavors of Eagle student-athletes.
A native of Michigan, Bates and his wife, Michele, were active members in the Miami University and local community, serving as volunteers with Special Olympics, the American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels and the Community Reading Program.