Pioneering Brandeis athletic director receives distinguished service award

Nick Rodis honored by Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference

Former Brandeis University Director of Athletics Nick Rodis has been selected by the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) as the 2010 winner of the James Lynah Distinguished Service Award. Rodis will be honored at the Honors Banquet at ECAC 2010 Fall Convention on Sept. 28, at noon.

Rodis, the University's Director of Athletics from 1967 to 1984, was inducted in the Brandeis Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000. Brandeis won its only two NCAA Division III national championships during his tenure: the 1976 men's soccer crown and the 1983 men's cross country title. Brandeis teams also made 27 other trips to the NCAA tournament in that span, reaping numerous All-Region and All-America honors.

In addition, Rodis helped initiate seven women's intercollegiate sports in his tenure as the head of Judges' athletics. He hired Brandeis Hall of Fame coaches Bob Brannum and Tom O'Connell, as well as current Judge coaches Mike Coven, Denise Dallamora, Bill Shipman and Pete Varney, plus assistant director of athletics Jim Zotz. After leaving his post as director of athletics, Rodis was also instrumental in fundraising for the Gosman Athletic Center under then- president Evelyn Handler.

A member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame, Rodis is a Harvard University graduate who coached at American International College and the University of Connecticut. He was the first American to serve as vice president of the International University Sports Federation and served as the president of the United State Collegiate Sports Council. Rodis joined Brandeis in 1967 after a five-year stint as a special assistant for athletic programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the State Department under John F. Kennedy.

Established in 1957 in appreciation of the ECAC's principal founder James Lynah, the award is bestowed periodically upon an ECAC athletics administrator who has achieved outstanding success and has made significant contributions in the interest of intercollegiate athletics. Also receiving the award this year are Jack Powers of Manhattan College, Russ Reilly of Middlebury College and Patricia Rogers of the University of Albany.

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