July 20, 2012
STORRS, Conn. -- University of Connecticut Associate Director of Athletics/Senior Women's Administrator Pat Babcock, who has been a member of the UConn community since 1967, has announced that she will retire effective August 1, 2012.
Babcock has touched the lives of UConn student-athletes in every way imaginable since joining the school's faculty in '67. She has served as a coach, athletic department administrator and instructor at the school for the past 46 years.
Babcock has held her current position since 1993. She worked directly with UConn student-athletes and coaches in all 24 sports in such areas as housing, financial aid and student wellness. Prior to become the Senior Women's Administrator she was the Associate Athletic Director for Student Services.
"Although I have worked with Pat for only a short amount of time, I have quickly realized the important roles that she has had at our university as both as a coach and an administrator," said Director of Athletics Warde Manuel. "Pat has made a positive impact on literally thousands of student-athletes and coaches. She has been a source of leadership and guidance for all of us - and she will be missed."
Babcock has served as the sports administrator for numerous Husky teams over the years and has been associated with seven NCAA National Championships in women's basketball and two in field hockey. UConn has also won numerous BIG EAST Championships and produced over 60 All-American selections in sports she has served as the administrator. In the early 2000's, Babcock was instrumental in the administration of three new sports on the UConn campus - women's lacrosse, rowing and women's ice hockey.
"Pat grew up in an educational environment, which was a great benefit for her," said John Toner, who served as UConn's Director of Athletics from 1967-87. "Pat has an understanding and love for college athletics. I think that the greatest salute I can give to here is that she supported the move from the traditional philosophies of how women's college athletics was organized to modern day philosophies. This can only truly be understood by people who were part of the transition. My wife Claire and I both wish Pat the very best for the future."
"I was very blessed to have Pat Babcock on the scene when I came to the University of Connecticut," said Pat Meiser, who currently serves at the Director of Athletics at the University of Hartford and was the Associate AD For Administrator/Senior Women's Administrator at UConn from 1983-93. "Pat always understood the essence of a quality collegiate athletic program. I know I join many people around the country who celebrate the contributions that Pat Babcock has made over the years and wish her the very best in her retirement."
Babcock is a 1962 graduate of Northeastern University and added a master's degree from Springfield College in 1968. She joined the UConn faculty in 1967 when she accepted a position in the Department of Physical Education.
"Pat has been a great friend to the UConn field hockey program and our other teams," said longtime Husky field hockey coach Nancy Stevens. "Her support and guidance throughout the years is something for which I am truly grateful. Pat Babcock embodies the best qualities of UConn Athletics. As she moves forward with the next chapter of her life, she leaves a legacy of service with honor."
The UConn women's basketball team honored Babcock with its Service Award following the 1998-99 season for her behind-the-scenes support to both its coaches and student-athletes.
"From the time I walked on this campus in 1985, Pat Babcock has been there for the women's basketball program," says UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma. "She has been a staunch supporter and advocate for our team from the beginning - before there were national championships, Finals Fours, BIG EAST titles and national television. Our student-athletes and support staff realize how special Pat is - she has helped and touched each one of their lives. It won't be the same in women's basketball without Pat, but her influence will be felt for years to come."
"With the news of Pat Babcock's retirement, I celebrate her and all of her efforts that have significantly and positively impacted so many student-athletes, the University of Connecticut, and of course the BIG EAST Conference," said BIG EAST Conference Senior Associate Commissioner for Administration Donna DeMarco Eagan. "Her commitment to furthering women's opportunities has become the foundation on which so many of us stand, myself included. Pat has given her professional life in the pursuit of making a difference for others and she managed this with a sense of humor second to none. Personally, she has been a great mentor, colleague and friend. She has a tremendous gift in making you feel heard, respected and cared for. I admire all that she is and all she continues to be."
Prior to moving exclusively into administrative roles, Babcock had served for 19 years as head coach of women's tennis at Connecticut and was the winningest women's tennis coach in New England intercollegiate history.
"I can't believe Pat is retiring," said Karen Ford '90, who played for Babock and later served as a graduate assistant coach. "When I first came to UConn, I had not intended on playing tennis, but then I decided to try. When I went to her office she said to me 'Are you good enough.' That was the first time in my life anyone had ever asked me that. I practiced for ten minutes against some of the older players and was on the team. Pat was a great mentor, lady and leader -- she is a fantastic woman."
Ford has made a career in tennis as she works for USTA Serves, the community foundation for the USTA, in White Plains, N.Y.
Babock established the women's tennis program during the 1974-75 academic year. She compiled an overall record of 222-92-2 and in a total of 37 seasons (fall and spring) she recorded 32 winning seasons. Babcock was the first coach in New England women's tennis to reach the 200-win plateau.