NEW BRITAIN - Tom Pincince has worked in the Central Connecticut State athletics department for the past 18 years. Now, he’ll get a chance to show he can lead it.
CCSU’s Assistant Athletic Director for Communication and Media Services was named the schools interim athletics director on Wednesday.
“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity,” Pincince told the Herald. “I’m been here for a long time and this is home to me. I care a lot about this school and the student-athletes here. This isn’t something I take lightly.”
Pincince fills the spot vacated by Brian Barrio, who left for the same position at UMBC on Dec. 10. Barrio was hired to run CCSU’s athletics department on July 12, 2018, ending a then 10-month vacancy after the departure of Paul Schlickmann to Fairfield University. Barrio’s tenure officially began on Aug. 10 of that year.
But unlike last time when the school was without a permanent AD following Schlickmann’s departure and used a group of administrators to run the day-to-day operations athletics department, CCSU tapped Pincince for the role quickly. He was one of several considered for the interim job after the UMBC announcement.
“My decision was based on feedback from members of the CCSU community, including athletics coaches and staff, and from several alumni and donors," CCSU President Dr. Zulma R. Toro said in a statement. “Another heavily weighted factor was the in-person interview. In discussing priorities and challenges for the Athletics Department, Tom demonstrated an understanding for the role he would step into and shared a vision for leading the Blue Devils during this transitional period.”
CCSU’s timetable to hire a full-time director of athletics still hasn’t been decided on. But Pincince believes he is more than ready for the task ahead. The department and its sports teams won four Northeast Conference championships during Barrio’s tenure. Overall, the school has won 34 NEC crowns since 2007-08.
Over the past eight years, Pincince has seen a steady increase in his responsibilities within the athletic department. In addition to being the administrator for men’s basketball and baseball as well as being the department’s main spokesperson, he’s overseen ticket sales for the last 12 years. He also played an instrumental role in the school’s rebranding and marketing.
“I think anybody who gets into this profession, this is the goal,” said Pincince, who graduated from Stonehill College in 1997 and received his Master of Science Degree in Communication from CCSU in 2014. “I started working here when I was 27 and spent most of my working life as a Blue Devil. I’ve learned a lot along the way. We have a staff and coaches that are very good at what they do. It’s just a matter of continuing what we did in the fall.”
But whatever happens down the line, Pincince is grateful for the opportunity ahead of him.
“I’m happy that they have a trust in me to do this,” Pincince said. “I’m extremely excited. I keep saying this, but this is home for me.”
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or email@example.com