Sparkill, N.Y. - St. Thomas Aquinas College Director of Athletics Gerald Oswald will retire effective August 31, 2019. His announcement will close out a trailblazing career of more than 45 years in college athletics, including the last 19 at St. Thomas Aquinas College.
"Gerry's legacy will have a lasting positive impact on STAC. His creativity and skill in growing our programs have resulted in Athletics' being established as a central part of the student experience at the College. I appreciate all that he has done to take us to new heights of excellence and student engagement, and I wish him much health and happiness in his retirement,” remarked Dr. Kirk Manning, Vice President and Dean for Student Development.
Oswald has guided the Spartans from their NAIA days with seven sports teams, to the NCAA Division II era, growing the department to 20 intercollegiate sports teams and two varsity teams; Sprint Football and Men’s Ice Hockey.
“Over the past years, I have had the pleasure and opportunity to work with an excellent group of young men and women in their respective coaching and administrative areas, who have been truly devoted to “Making Success a Habit,” commented Oswald.
During Oswald's tenure, the St. Thomas Aquinas Athletic Department has won numerous conference championships and postseason accolades; success has flourished throughout the entire athletic department. Eight different sports teams along with multiple individuals have represented the College, advancing to the NCAA Championships and competing at a national level, many of them multiple times.
Other advancements that have gone on during Oswald's time at STAC are major renovations to the athletic department facilities including turf fields, newly renovated fitness center, new locker rooms, the student-athlete team room, Esports center and much more.
“With the support of Dr. Margaret Fitzpatrick, we have grown the athletic department to new heights. Our greatest achievement has been the development of terrific student-athletes who have consistently performed well both on and off their respective playing fields.”
Gerry has served on several committees both on the National and Conference level including the National Basketball Chair as well as the Northeast Regional Committee Chair for both basketball and golf. He also held different positions within the NYCAC and ECC throughout his years including conference treasurer.
Commissioner of the ECC, Robert Dranoff comments, “Gerry is a combination of a ‘throwback’ to the old days of college sports - he knows everyone in the business - and as innovative a leader as I have seen. His efforts to grow and develop STAC athletics into a power in the ECC and NCAA DII through adding teams, staff, facilities have been outstanding. He has been active in conference and committee leadership throughout his time at STAC and has served as a mentor for many including me. But more than those things had been his commitment to the student-athletes he has worked with. He had made an impact on those men and women, on the ECC and STAC. Congratulations on a great career."
Oswald’s involvement in college athletics started as a four-year player and captain for the Men’s Basketball Team at Manhattan College, from 1971-1974. Upon graduation, he was hired as an Assistant Professor of Physical Education as well as Head Basketball and Tennis Coach at SUNY Maritime. He returned to Manhattan College as head tennis coach for both men and women and head golf coach. He also held titles of, Administrative Assistant to the Athletic Director and Supervisor of Draddy Gymnasium.
After his time at Manhattan, he went to Fairleigh Dickinson University as head golf coach, and was named coach of the year three times. He led his team to six consecutive Northeast Conference Championships during his nine years as the coach. At FDU, he was the Director of the Rothman Center and also the Chair of the Department of Physical Education before being named the Athletic Director in 1995. A few years later, Gerry was hired as the Director of Athletics at St. Thomas Aquinas in 2000.
Gerry’s commitment to athletics is well recognized among his friends, staff, and peers. In 2007, Gerry was awarded the Joseph DeBonis Award by the N.Y. Basketball Officials Association. He was honored by his alma mater, Manhattan College with the Distinguished Service Award in 2011 and the Met Basketball Writers Association Distinguished Service Award in 2016, for his service in college athletics as well as NCAA and NIT basketball. In January of 2018, Gerry received the Spartan Award for his dedication and commitment to athletics at the St. Thomas Aquinas Alumni Hall of Fame Dinner.
Mr. Joseph Donini, Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration said, “STAC Athletics has thrived under Gerry’s guidance growing from seven to 20 NCAA sports today. Our programs have become perennial participants in regional and national tournaments. More important to Gerry, is how our student-athletes perform in the classroom and serve our community. These accomplishments are a reflection of the entire athletic program under Gerry’s guidance and he will be missed.”
The Oswald family have created a fully endowed athletic scholarship fund in memory of his late sister, Margaret Manning Oswald, therefore the Oswald legacy on Spartan athletics will continue in the years to come. Gerry will enjoy retirement with his wife Cathy and their three adult children, Tom, Ellen and Edward.
Release provided by the St. Thomas Aquinas Sports Information Department.