I never really paid all that much attention to Monmouth University until the past few years when we established a relationship with them involving the broadcasting of their football and now men’s basketball games on our Shore Sports Network.

Actually that’s not completely accurate as I followed the Hawks closely when local players like Alex Blackwell and Cory Albano were part of their basketball program. I was also there when Kevin Callahan was introduced as the first-ever football coach when the program was launched in 1993…this coming fall will be the 20th season of Monmouth football.




However I never really though much of the school outside of athletics even when it went from Monmouth College to Monmouth University in the mid-90’s. However in recent years I’ve been invited to speak on a somewhat regular basis to students who are majoring in communications and I’ve started to take a closer look at the school which is home to about 4500 undergraduate and 1750 graduate students.

I’m probably like many who live in the shore area who take for granted the fact the Monmouth is our own backyard and don’t realize the strides that school has made in some many facets.

I thought about this yesterday as news got out that Paul Gaffney II announced he will retire as president of the university in June of 2013 when his contract expires. In keeping with what’s almost become a tradition Gaffney will have served ten years as the college leader and move on to make way for someone else. I’ve gotten to know him just a little from our sports relationship and I like the guy because it’s clear to me he loves the university and has been totally dedicated to making Monmouth the best it can be. I also learned that Gaffney is known for his hard and firm handshakes…it’s an aggressive one in which he seeks control so you automatically go on the defensive. He got me on a couple of occasions but not too long ago I got my revenge and I felt a sense of victory.

Okay…that’s all pretty stupid but to get back to my point… Gaffney has done a lot for the university and in his tenure Monmouth’s status has been elevated, locally and nationally.

If you have not been on campus in some time you might not even recognize the place…there’s been many upgrades and more are on the way. Gaffney along with the Board of Trustees deserve credit and we’re lucky to have a school like Monmouth so close for students in our area to attend.