Cullen to receive 2015 NACDA Golden Anniversary Award!


Bev Wiley, Vin Cullen, Joe Pavone

Bev Wiley (left), Vin Cullen (middle), Joe Pavone (right)

Warwick, R.I. – June 9, 2015: The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced the recipients of its 2015 Golden Anniversary Awards, recently. The Golden Anniversary Award is a unique award recognizing those individuals, companies and organizations that have had significant impact on NACDA over its first 50 years. Honorees will be recognized at the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Luncheon, in conjunction with NACDA's 50th Anniversary Convention on Tuesday, June 16 in Orlando, FL.

Honorees include the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), represented by Grant Teaff;Collegiate Licensing Company, represented by Pat Battle; Host Communications, represented by Jim Host; John McLendon Minority Foundation, represented by NACDA Past President Kevin Anderson;NACDA Exhibitors, represented by Kathy Polanshek for NACDA Insurance; NAIA, represented by Jim Carr; National Football Foundation, represented by Steve Hatchell;NATYCAA, represented by Vincent A. Cullen; NCAA, represented by Mark Emmert; Raycom Sports, represented by Ken Haines; SportsBusiness Journal, represented by Richard Weiss; and USA TODAY, represented by Tom O'Toole.

In 1999, NATYCAA officially began its operation under the management of NACDA but in 1992 Vin Cullen, Director of Athletics Emeritus at the Community College of Rhode Island, led a contingent of athletics directors whose charge was to integrate the junior college entities under one umbrella. This was no easy feat, as within the realm of the community college ranks there are three separate entities, the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) and the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges.

Hired as a CCRI mathematics professor in 1965, Vin Cullen had no idea that he would be the architect of the college’s enormously successful athletic program. Cullen served as the Community College of Rhode Island’s first director of athletics from 1965 until his retirement in 2002. He shaped and molded CCRI Athletics into what it is today – a national model for all junior colleges, with 12 men and women’s intercollegiate sports, an intramural program for a four-campus system and a community recreation program.

Cullen served as CCRI’s first basketball coach. After 37 years of coaching, he retired with a complied 711-270 record, good for 10th all-time among junior college coaches for wins. His teams earned 10 regional championships, were nationally ranked during 16 seasons, and achieved the No. 1 ranking and a national runner-up finish in 1991.

Cullen has been a member of NACDA since 1973, serving on the Executive Committee, Kickoff Classic Committee and as chair of the Continuing Education Committee. He was secretary from 1984-89, making him the second community college administrator to have ever held a NACDA office. Cullen was one of the founders of the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA), serving on the Executive Committee as first, second and third vice president and was president from 1995-96. In 2006, Cullen was inducted into NACDA’s Hall of Fame. He was awarded the NATYCAA, L. William Miller Award in 1997. In addition, Cullen was named NACDA’s first National Community College Athletics Director of the Year in 1999.

In 1986, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics selected Cullen to serve as one of five ambassadors at the Goodwill Games in Moscow, Russia. And in 1987, he was selected by USA Basketball to serve as an assistant coach of the East Team in the U.S. Olympic Festival.

At CCRI, the Knight Campus field house bears his name, as well as the athletics enhancement fund. Cullen is a member of eight Hall of Fames: CCRI, NATYCAA, New England basketball, International Scholar-Athlete, NJCAA Basketball, Rhode Island Heritage, Rhode Island College and the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors.

For more information please follow link to NACDA site:

The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 18,000 students in credit courses and thousands more in non-credit and job training classes. Its athletic program boasts 12 varsity programs and an academic support program for all student-athletes.

Contact Information

Please send Newswire stories and photos to:
Dan LaCorbiniere

Kevin Salisbury
Interim Director of Athletics/Student Life
Website Content Manager
Flanagan Campus
Tel: 401-333-7324

This page developed and maintained by CCRI Athletics. Send comments and suggestions to

Last Updated: 6/13/17