Gene Doris has been a staple in the Fairfield athletic department since 1994. In his time at the helm, he has brought Stag sports to new heights, sponsoring over 20 varsity sports and bringing home 48 conference championships in the process.

All of his work with Fairfield, including having the Stags annually rank among Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference leaders in their percentage of athletes who graduate, has been rewarded as Doris was recently selected into the Eastern College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.

“It’s really a humbling experience to be inducted alongside such amazing people,” Doris said. “These are people I have a great deal of respect for and have learned a lot from.”

After two decades as the leader of Fairfield athletics, Doris continues to look at each day as an opportunity to learn more about the business and work with the great people involved in Fairfield athletics. He values the relationships he has with the coaches and players, and is proud of the way they personify Fairfield’s mission on and off the field.

“Our student-athletes represent us well when it comes down to it,” Doris said. “The kids we have here have to value academics greatly. I hope our culture never changes.”

Doris partly credits his success as an athletic director to the background he has in sports, dating back to his playing days in high school and his coaching experience at Archbishop Stepinac High School and Fordham University. He calls himself part of a “breed that is going extinct” one that includes only a handful of athletic directors nowadays that have both played and coached at various levels.

“I benefitted from the fact that I went from being an athlete to a coach, being a teacher as well, that I bring a perspective where I can understand and relate to the problems that the coaches have,” said Doris about his history. “A high percentage of the athletic directors today have not played since high school or coached in their careers, so you really have to get to know the guys you are working with because they may not have the same knowledge as you do of the business.”

Doris teaches a sports business management course at Manhattanville College, preaching to his students that they need to gain valuable experience in the field before they jump into a profession where knowledge really is power.

“You have to get to know as much about it as you can. In today’s world everybody gets their degree and automatically thinks they know it all,” Doris said about his advice to aspiring athletic directors. “I tell people I’m learning everyday, but if you tell people you have nothing to learn anymore, it is probably time to retire.”

Well in this case we are certainly happy Doris still has much to learn. The 32 National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament appearances under his belt, the 11 MAAC Commissioner Cup wins and the rest of his storied accomplishments speak for themselves.
For the past 22 years, Doris has exemplified what Fairfield athletics is all about, propagating hard work and dedication inside and outside the classroom. Doris will be formally inducted into the ECAC Hall of Fame April 15 at the Matrix Conference and Banquet Center in Danbury, Conn.

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