Feb. 5, 2018
CLEVELAND - The Division 2 Athletics Director Association (D2 ADA) have selected Dr. Bob Boerigter and Bill Fusco as this year's Lifetime Achievement Award winners. The two have been recognized for their exemplary contribution to Division II athletics and the student-athlete experience.
"It is with great enthusiasm that the D2 ADA bestows its highest honor on two absolute legends in the business," stated D2 ADA President and Bellarmine University Director of Athletics Scott Wiegandt. "Bob and Bill have led storied careers and have made countless contributions to Division II athletics. My most sincere congratulations to both Bob and Bill on this well-deserved honor. We thank them for their dedication to our association, their conferences, institutions and communities. We are proud to recognize them in the tenth anniversary of our most prestigious award."
Boerigter most recently served as Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Commissioner since 2010, while D2 ADA Past President Fusco, served as athletics director at Sonoma State for 20 years. Both honorees recently retired from collegiate athletics.
After completing a bachelor's degree in physical education, Boerigter's career in collegiate athletics began in 1972 at Northwestern College where he assumed the role of basketball, baseball, football and golf coach. In 1974, he earned a master of arts from the University of Northern Colorado and followed that with a Ph.D. from the University of Utah in '78.
Throughout a career that spanned 45 years, Boerigter served as director of athletics at five collegiate institutions, including NAIA member institution Hastings (Neb.) College, where he was inducted into its Hall of Fame.
Following a fruitful tenure in the Cornhusker State, Boerigter spent nearly a decade as the director of athletics at Northwest Missouri State University, serving as the lead administrator for the department of athletics including recreational sports, club sports, campus recreation and the campus fitness center.
In 2010, he was appointed as the fourth full-time commissioner of the MIAA. During his time with the MIAA, he implemented an expansion program of both full-time and associate members to the conference. He oversaw the MIAA Centennial in 2012, serving as a principal figure in attracting NCAA national championships to sites within the MIAA membership. As Commissioner, Boerigter guided the conference through an era of immense success that saw the MIAA produce 10 national championships in six different sports.
Over nearly half a century in collegiate athletics, Boerigter served in multiple capacities on the national level. He was named Chair of the Division II Football Committee, served as a member of the Division II Championships Committee and the Planning and Finance Committee as well as on many other association-wide and Division II task forces. He also was the Chair of the Division II Management Council and served as a member of the NCAA Executive Committee. Finally, Boerigter served as D2 ADA Board Member from 2003-08.
Receiving the D2 ADA Lifetime Achievement Award is another gleaming example of the profound impact and contributions of Boerigter's career as a Division II athletics administrator. Boerigter retired from his post as the MIAA Commissioner in February of 2017.
Before his retirement in 2017, Fusco led Sonoma State University athletics for 20 years after being named director of athletics in 1997. Under his leadership, the Seawolves earned two NCAA Division II national championships, eight regional championships and 20 conference championships, while over 70 student-athletes earned All-American laurels. He helped guide Sonoma State into the era of athletics scholarships and membership in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
With Fusco at the helm, Sonoma State acquired funding for multiple on-campus sports facility upgrades resulting in millions of dollars going towards the development and improvement of Seawolves athletics facilities and the student-athlete experience. Over two decades in Rohnert Park, California, he was instrumental in the addition of three athletics programs (men's and women's golf, women's water polo) as well as the reinstatement of the Sonoma State women's track and field program in 2013.
From 2012-14, Fusco served as a mentor in the NCAA & Division 2 Athletics Directors Association Women and Minorities Mentoring Program.
Fusco has served on countless committees including as the President of the CCAA - twice, a member of NACDA's Executive Committee from 1999-2003, a member of the NCAA Division II Degree Completion Scholarship Committee and as a member and the eventually the chair of the NCAA Division II Championships Committee.
With more than 36 years of combined athletics administrative experience, Fusco served as director of athletics at the University of San Francisco and Dominican University of California, where he was named NAIA West Region Administrator of the Year twice ('95-'96; '96-'97). In 2003, Fusco was appointed D2 ADA's seventh President and was integral in developing the Division II Model Athletics Department, a program that establishes the guiding principles of operating a Division II intercollegiate athletics program.
Fusco received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in sports management from the University of San Francisco where he started his career as a student sports information director.
In 2016, Fusco was named as the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year. The D2 ADA Lifetime Achievement Award comes as a cherry on the top of an incredibly impactful career in collegiate athletics.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious award presented by the D2 ADA. To be eligible for this award, a person must be at least 60 years old, or have spent a minimum of 25 years in collegiate athletics, with a majority of those years as an athletics director. The honoree must be retired or no longer serving as an active athletics director. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes athletics directors who, over the course of his/her career, have made an exemplary contribution to Division II athletics and the student-athlete experience.
About D2 ADA: The D2 ADA is the first organization of its kind to provide educational and networking opportunities; enhancement of acceptable operating standards and ethics; and establishment of the overall prestige and understanding of the profession of Division II athletics directors. For more information about the D2 ADA, please visit www.div2ada.com. The D2 ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 53nd year. For more information on NACDA and the 17 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.