There is winning on the field and then there’s winning off the field. Suffolk County Community College is doing both.
Suffolk CCC has been recognized as the nation’s top Division III non-scholarship school, winning the 2016 National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators Director’s Cup for the first time in school history.
Suffolk won the award based on championship success, which included national titles in women’s cross-country, women’s track and field, men’s track and field and men’s bowling.
“I think in any area of life where there’s competition to say that you’re No. 1 in the country is a pretty sweet thing,” said Kevin Foley, who has worked and coached at the school for the past 41 years and now serves as it’s director of athletics. “We’ve received national recognition the past four years. And to be considered one of the best of the Division III programs in the country is a real honor and testament to our coaches and student-athletes.”
Suffolk placed in the top six in each of the past three years for the honor, including runner-up last season. Along with the national titles won, the men’s cross-country, baseball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, bowling and soccer teams were all nationally ranked, finishing in the top of their respective sports.
Foley, who also coaches the women’s basketball team, credits his coaches, administrators and most importantly, the local talent.
“To do this with all Suffolk County kids is a real honor,” Foley said. “We have some tremendous sports programs throughout Long Island, in particularly our high schools and travel programs.”
He pointed to the consistency of coaching philosophy within the Suffolk program for the continued success. He said at least 16 of the coaches on staff have been at Suffolk for at least 10 years.
“The player pool is consistently tapped and refilled from local student-athletes,” Foley said. “To say that we competed at a level that gives out scholarships is a real honor to our players and coaches.”
Even beyond just the Division III honors, Suffolk placed second in the county in the National Association of College Director of Athletics’ Learfield Cup standings, which includes 538 Division I, II and III two-year schools, Foley said.
“We’re incredibly proud of this program and the opportunities it has provided for Long Island’s student-athletes,” Foley said.