Monks in Motion

New conference, new sports, new athletic director

Brian Curtin

Athletic director, Brian Curtin

The behind-the-scenes work on conference membership and sports development had been ongoing, but Brian Curtin couldn't help but enjoy the timing when, shortly after his arrival as the new athletic director in May, he had the chance to announce that Saint Joseph's College was joining the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) and adding three new sports in swimming and men's and women's lacrosse. The varsity teams, including the three new ones, will begin conference competition in the fall of 2007.

According to Curtin, the new conference "will offer a strong competitive experience and build more rivalries and excitement on campus." It is the first full NCAA conference affiliation for Saint Joseph's. For the past four years, all teams at Saint Joseph's have been competing as NCAA independents, except for baseball.

The Division III GNAC will consist of Albertus Magnus College (New Haven, Conn.), Daniel Webster College (Nashua, N.H.), Emerson College (Boston), Emmanuel College (Boston), Johnson & Wales University (Providence, R.I.), Lasell College (Newton, Mass.), Mount Ida College (Newton, Mass.), Norwich University (Northfield, Vt.), Pine Manor College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.), Rivier College (Nashua, N.H.), St. Joseph College (West Hartford, Conn.), Simmons College (Boston) and Suffolk University (Boston).

Curtin was men's basketball coach and athletic administrator at Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., for nine years. During that time, Curtin's teams set numerous school records. He then became an assistant coach at Dartmouth College, where his duties included player development, scouting and recruiting. He then joined the basketball staff at American University, where he has served for the past two years.

Curtin earned his B.A. in Journalism from Saint Michael's College and his M.A. in Education and Human Development from George Washington University. While at Saint Michael's College, he set several records in cross country that still stand, and he has been inducted into the Saint Michael's College Athletic Hall of Fame.

"This is an exciting time for Saint Joseph's College and Saint Joseph's College athletics," says Curtin. "David Roussel has placed athletics on solid ground at the College, and I very much look forward to working with President House and the whole athletics staff." Curtin, who grew up in Clifton Park, N.Y., is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He replaces David Roussel of Freeport, who has been appointed as the director of Institutional Research at the College.

Student-Athletes in the Spotlight

Charlie Furbrush

Charlie Furbush '08

Charlie Furbush '08 of South Portland, Maine, was named New England Pitcher of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association after compiling a 10-1 record with five saves while striking out 115 and walking just 22 in 74.2 innings pitched. He is the first Saint Joseph's pitcher ever to receive that honor.

This award is the latest of numerous accolades for Furbush, the lefty who helped lead the Monks to one of their most successful campaigns in school history - a 34-10-1 overall record, a North Atlantic Conference Championship and a first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Two members of the softball team were honored by the Association of Division III Independents. First-year players Kristi Albert of Farmingdale, Maine, and Gabrielle Burrola of Gallup, N.M., helped the young St. Joe's squad and Coach Jamie Smyth '92 make a remarkable turnaround this season, posting a 24-17 record after finishing just 12-25 in 2005.