WALTHAM, Mass. – Bob DeFelice, only the second director of athletics in Bentley University's history, will step away from that role at the end of the academic year following an amazing period of growth for Bentley athletics over the past three decades.
Coach DeFelice will continue in his role as baseball coach, a position he's held since the program's inception in 1969. Remarkably, the upcoming 2020 season, his 52nd at the helm, will mark the seventh different decade he which he's led the Falcons.
The announcement was made in an email to the Bentley community on Monday by Andrew Shepardson, Vice President of Student Affairs.
DeFelice was named the Director of Athletics in 1991, following four years as the associate athletics director, and the Bentley athletic program has enjoyed significant prosperity under his leadership.
On the playing fields and courts, there have been 116 Northeast-10 Championships under his watch, along with NCAA Division II Championships earned by the women's basketball and field hockey teams. The hockey team moved to NCAA Division I, football made the shift to Division II and hosted two NCAA playoff games, men's basketball had a 55-game regular season winning streak, and women's soccer, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, men's swimming and women's swimming were added to the number of sport offerings.
Over the last two decades, DeFelice has played a significant role in the expansion of the athletic facilities, including the planning and construction of the impressive Bentley Arena, which debuted as the home of the hockey team in February 2018.
Other major projects that he has been involved are the building of the DeFelice baseball field, a soccer field and track in the early 2000's and the renovation to the Dana Center in 2006.
His tenure as athletics director has seen Bentley student-athletes prosper in the classroom. Bentley has been recognized as number one nationally among Division II institutions in Academic Success Rating the last three years, with a 99 percent rating the last two years. In the most recent rankings, Bentley was ninth nationally among all NCAA institutions.
"Throughout his career, Bob has instilled a commitment to academic excellence in our athletic program and across all 21 of our varsity teams," noted Dr. Shepardson. "We're particularly proud of that commitment to scholarship and grateful to Coach for emphasizing academic excellence as a hallmark of Bentley athletics."
DeFelice has been recognized numerous times for his achievements, including induction into eight Hall of Fames, and Bentley has received a number of major donations in tribute to his commitment and dedication. The baseball field, the hockey rink and the plaza outside the Bentley Arena all carry his name, and there is also a statue of the legendary coach outside the Arena.