Chelmsford Resident Honored By Eastern College Athletics Conference For Work at UMass Lowell
The following is a press release from the UMass Lowell Athletics Department
Dr. James Ciszek, who spent 32 years as Director of Athletics at Lowell State College and the University of Lowell, was named one of two recipients of the James Lynah Award presented by the Eastern College Athletic Conference at the 2012 ECAC Honors Dinner Sunday night at the Mystic Marriott Hotel in Groton, Conn.
A resident of Chelmsford, Mass., Dr. Ciszek will be honored alongside Dick Magee, former football coach at director of athletics at Colby College.
The James Lynah Award was established in 1957 in appreciation of the ECAC’s principal founder James Lynah. The award is bestowed periodically to an ECAC athletics administrator who has achieved outstanding success and has made significant contributions in the interest of intercollegiate athletics.
“This is a culmination of the years spent as an administrator in the athletic field,” said Ciszek. “I am honored to receive this award especially since the ECAC is such an important part of athletics, not only in the Eastern part of the country, but the country as a whole. I’m very grateful to the committee for bestowing that honor upon me.”
Dr. Ciszek served as an educator, coach and administrator for 21 years at Lowell State and 11 years at ULowell – and oversaw the University’s 27 sports before retiring in 1986.
He served as the baseball coach for several years between 1954-74 (winning three conference titles in 1957, ’58 and ’59); men’s basketball between 1954-66 and golf from 1967-70. He was inducted into UMass Lowell’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986.
Among his many accomplishments was elevating the University from an NCAA Division III institution to a scholarship-granting Division II university in 1977. In 1983, the hockey program became the University’s first NCAA Division I program, while women’s programs – namely indoor/outdoor track and field, cross country and rowing – expanded dramatically between 1975 and 1986.
Dr. Ciszek also oversaw the creation and/or enhancement of many entities during his tenure, including the establishment of the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1977; the Chiefs Club to benefit athletic scholarships; the addition of the Tully Forum as the home of ULowell hockey; as well as the Bellegarde Boathouse.
Dr. Ciszek was also very active outside the University. He was a member of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO) for 25 years, and also served on the Greater Lowell Local Board 95 as president, vice president, interpreter and executive committee member.
Dr. Ciszek earned his BS in physical education from Arnold College in 1950 and his masters in physical education from Boston University in 1951. He went on to earn his PhD in physical education from BU in 1968.
He is a member of four halls of fame: Lowell H.S., UMass Lowell, National Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the Massachusetts chapter of the National Football Foundation.