Former Stonehill Sports Information Director (SID), Bob Richards died on March 7 after a brave battle with a variety of health issues.
Bob joined the College in 1985 and retired in 2000. Whether serving the Athletics program, teaching journalism, or advising The Summit, Bob lived for the Stonehill cause and, in the process, became a beloved mentor to countless alumni.
The following appreciation is adapted from remarks that Francis Dillon, vice president for Advancement, gave in tribute to Bob at a dinner held in his honor in Alumni Hall in January 2008.
In recognizing Bob, we must accomplish two distinct tasks.
First, we have to outline the many roles that he occupied at the College for over two decades. Second, we have to highlight the ways in which he fulfilled those roles.
Primarily, Bob served as Sports Information Director, a position he loved. A former baseball coach at the College, he was the SID during a period of great growth and excitement for Stonehill and, in particular, for our athletics program, which experienced a major increase in the number of varsity teams.
As an SID, Bob not only covered the teams, recording their statistics, triumphs and defeats, but he also was an advocate for collegiate athletics and for student-athletes.
Whether staying late to report a victory, providing inspiration for the establishment of the Athletics Hall of Fame or helping to respond to changes such as Title IX, he was in the thick of things, helping to move our athletics program forward and doing so with a personal touch.
“His most important role was friend and confidante to all of our coaches and players,” said Paula Sullivan, Vice President for Inercollegiate Athletics. “We were really his second family and he was really part of ours as well.”
After sports, journalism was Bob's professional passion. At Stonehill, he served generations of students not just in the classroom as a teacher, but also as an advisor helping them with everything from career advice to best practices in the profession to networking.
He took his love of journalism one step further when he became an advisor to The Summit where he shared his vast experience in the world of newspapers with countless student reporters and writers.
Under his guidance, the student newspaper garnered national awards as his charges rose to the challenge of being young professionals. Bob also served as an advisor to Acres, the College's Yearbook.
In whatever role he held at Stonehill -- Sports Information Director, coach, professor, official or unofficial advisor -- Bob gave his all. It was always a labor of love for him.
He did not mind the long hours, the routine, or the deadlines. Instead, he relished them as opportunities to work with students, meet alumni, spread the good word, and to build and tell the Stonehill story with pride and passion.
In everything he did at Stonehill, Bob did not punch the numbers or do things without feeling. He was a people person, warm-hearted and a master of staying in touch with an amazing array of people, friends, colleagues, and contacts.
To every game he covered, to every paper or yearbook he helped produce, to each class he taught, to every student he advised, Bob brought his big, kind heart.
He did his job well. He made great friends and he stuck by them throughout the years as they did to him. That is no mean achievement and it is why the more than 130 alumni and friends who gathered in Alumni Hall in 2008 to honor Bob, hailed him as a "man for all seasons."
On Saturday, March 17, Fr. John Denning, C.S.C. will preside at a funeral Mass for Richards in Stonehill's Chapel of Mary at 11 a.m.