Roby replaces O’Brien as athletic director

Roby replaces O’Brien as athletic director

Peter Roby had the interim removed from his title June 21 when he was named Northeastern’s ninth athletic director. He had been acting as the interim AD since Dave O’Brien announced he was leaving for a faculty position at Drexel in March.

“He is ethical, he is a role model, he believes in excellence and, first and foremost, he believes in sport in society and that in a university setting athletes have a higher calling in upholding certain ethics and certain standards,” said President Joseph Aoun at a press conference June 21.

Roby, a native of New Britain, Conn., has been the director of Northeastern’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society since 2002 and last year was named associate athletics director for Student-Athlete Welfare. Prior to that he was vice president of American marketing at Reebok. He was also an assistant basketball coach at Stanford, the US Military Academy and Dartmouth, his alma mater. He captained the team his senior season. He was head basketball coach at Harvard from 1985-1991.

“It’s one of the reasons that I felt qualified,” Roby said at the press conference. “I’ve been in the business, in coaching and as a student-athlete. I feel like I have a perspective from many angles, and from my plateau as head of the Center for Sport in Society. I’ve been able to see some of the things I didn’t like much about athletics at college.”

Roby becomes the second African-American Division 1 athletic director in New England, joining C.J. Jones of Central Connecticut.

“I think we all realize the significance of it,” Roby said. “We know there is a shortage of people of color in positions of real influence and authority in the world of sport and in particular in collegiate athletics.”

Roby said he is focused on the entire student body and hopes to have the same impact on Northeastern student-athletes that his role models had on him.

“I look forward to being a role model for all athletes and all students at Northeastern no matter what their ethnicity,” Roby said. “They need to see that leadership comes in all shapes and sizes and all shades of color.”

At the press conference, Roby touched upon the current Matthews Arena renovations and its necessity to the hockey and basketball programs, but did not mention the on-campus football stadium, which is constantly discussed by Northeastern administration.

“President Aoun wants every department to achieve excellence and pursue excellence,” Roby said. “I hope I can provide the leadership that’s necessary for us to achieve that excellence. I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”

Leave a Reply