David T. Roach, who was named the director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation at Fordham in October of 2012, begins his sixth season with the Rams in 2017-2018. Roach, who served as the president of the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors in 2010-2011, brought 22 years of experience as an athletic director to Fordham.
Roach has put his mark on the Fordham athletic programs, both on and off the fields of competition. On the playing fields, Roach has overseen the resurfacing of the Murphy Field athletic complex along with Jack Coffey Field and the installation of new chair back seating to the grandstand. In the Rose Hill Gym, new seating was installed in the summer of 2017 and two large video scoreboards were added in 2013, allowing high-definition in-game video. In the Lombardi Memorial Center, the women’s basketball team received new offices and the playing surface of the fieldhouse was replaced.
The Rams have enjoyed on-field success in Roach’s first five years with eight Atlantic 10 titles (softball in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017; women’s basketball in 2014; and men’s soccer in 2014 and 2016), eleven NCAA appearances (softball in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017; football in 2013, 2014, and 2015; women’s basketball in 2014; and men’s soccer in 2014 and 2016), one Patriot League championship (football in 2014) and three WNIT bids for women’s basketball (in 2013, 2015 and 2017). Fordham sent three teams to the NCAA Championships in 2013-14 for the first time in school history (football, women’s basketball and softball) and followed that with three more in 2014-2015 (football, men’s soccer and softball).
Fordham has recorded back-to-back season of an overall winning record, including a .601 winning percentage in 2016-2017, the highest for the Rams in recent history.
Off the playing fields, Roach teamed with the Janssen Sports Leadership Center to establish the Fordham Leadership Academy for Fordham student-athletes, which aims to cultivate, test and aid the school’s student-athletes and coaches as they work towards becoming world-class leaders in athletics, academics and life.
Roach has also been instrumental in athletic marketing initiatives, signing a consulting and sales partnership with Learfield to handle all commercial rights for Fordham as well as partnering with Barnes and Noble to serve as the official online e-commerce vendor for Fordham Athletics.
Roach arrived at Fordham after spending the previous eight years as the director of athletics at Colgate University, where he managed the university’s programs in physical education, recreation, and competitive athletics for 25 Division I men’s and women’s teams, as well as intramural and club sports.
During his eight-year tenure at Colgate, where Roach earned UnderArmor Athletic Director of the Year honors in 2009-2010, the Raiders placed 14 teams in NCAA tournaments and captured 17 Patriot League titles or ECAC championships. Colgate student-athletes earned 18 All-American honors and 34 students were named Academic All-American scholars. In 2010-11, Colgate was No. 1 in NCAA Division I with its 100 percent graduation rate.
While at Colgate, Roach coordinated the development of a new athletic brand and mascot; enhanced Colgate’s scoreboards and overall look of its athletic venues; started the Raider Academic Honor Roll honoring student-athletes for academic accomplishments; increased ticket sales for football, hockey, basketball, and lacrosse; increased revenue from corporate sponsorships from $18,000 to more than $200,000 per year; and signed an agreement with Time Warner Cable Sports to televise selected athletic events.
Roach has also been very active in shaping the landscape of intercollegiate athletics, being appointed to a four-year term on the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel beginning in September of 2017 as well as currently serving on the Atlantic 10 Finance Committee. He has been a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) board since 2006, serving as president in 2010-2011 and, prior to that, was a member of the NACDA Executive Committee as an officer from 2006-2010. Roach was appointed to the NACDA/USOC committee which strives to enhance the relationship between the USOC and intercollegiate athletics and serves on the Board of Directors for the U.S. International University Sports Federation (US-IUSF), a governing body for the U.S in all FISU events, such as the World University Games and the World University Championships.
In the past, Roach served on the NCAA Diversity Leadership Strategic Planning Committee, the NCAA Management Council, the NCAA Championships and Competition Cabinet, the NCAA FCS Football Championship Committee, the joint NCAA OSL Sub Committee with the U.S. Olympic Committee and the National Governing Bodies and as chair of both the NCAA Swimming and Diving Committee and the NCAA Olympic Sports Liaison Committee.
Prior to Colgate, Roach served as the Director of Athletics at Brown University for 14 years. In 2002, Brown’s athletics program was honored by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 20 athletics programs in the nation.
Under his tutelage, Brown won seven national championships and 58 Ivy League/Eastern titles with the Bears appearing in 34 NCAA championships. Seven Brown student-athletes received NCAA or NACDA Post Graduate Scholarships.
Roach created the school’s first Student Athlete Advisory Board at Brown and implemented new sports marketing/promotions programs, including a new athletic logo and corporate sponsorship program. He helped increase endowment for athletics from $10 million to $45 million and oversaw $16 million in capital improvements.
At both schools, Roach instituted a program where each varsity team adopted a local school. The student-athletes mentor the students at the school, helping guide them academically and help the classroom teacher achieve the set goals for the school year.
Prior to his time as an athletic director, Roach served as the head swimming coach at the University of Tennessee from 1986-1990 and at Brown from 1978-1986. At Tennessee, he was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1988 and 1989, coached 26 All-Americans and had a 23-13-1 dual meet record. He helped improved the Volunteers’ national recognition by moving the program from 39th to fourth at the NCAA Division I Championship.
As the head coach at Brown, Roach guided the Bruins to a 74-6-1 dual meet record, three Ivy League team championships and two Eastern team titles.
Roach was inducted into the Rhode Island Aquatic Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Brown University Hall of Fame in 1989. In 1985, he was appointed as assistant coach of the United States National Swimming Team which competed at the World University Games in Kobe, Japan.
A native of Waterbury, Conn., Roach received his bachelor’s degree from Springfield College in 1971, and earned a master of science degree in physical education from the school in 1972. He was a member of the Springfield College men’s varsity swimming team that won three consecutive New England Conference championships, serving as the team’s co-captain in 1971.
After receiving his master’s degree in 1972, Roach served in the United States Marine Corps from 1972-75 attaining the rank of Captain.
Roach and his wife, Anne, have three daughters, Elizabeth, Michelle and Alexandra.