May 29, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Former Chapman AD David Currey earns special award from SCIAC

David Currey from Chapman University has earned a distinguished service award. (File photo courtesy Chapman sports information)

Chapman University’s former Director of Athletics David Currey is the 2021-22 recipient of the SCIAC Distinguished Service Award.

Chapman University officials and the SCIAC will officially present the Distinguished Service Award to Currey in the spring of 2022. He retired in 2015.

In 1985, the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference created the Distinguished Service Award to recognize an individual who has promoted collegiate athletics. The award is given to nominees who have retired or resigned from athletics administration and who have rendered such meritorious service to intercollegiate athletics as may seem sufficient to entitle them to this honor.

“Dave Currey poured his heart and soul into Chapman Athletics for 25 years,” said Chapman University Director of Athletics Terry Boesel. “He was the champion for a number of causes that have greatly benefited thousands of Chapman student-athletes over the last 30 years. He was a mentor, a tremendous leader and was perfectly suited to take Chapman through an era of incredible growth and success.”

Currey is the first recipient from Chapman University to earn the tremendous honor after officially gaining membership into the conference in 2011 – a cause championed by Currey for 17 years.

Currey spent 25 years at Chapman University and 46 years working in athletics as a football coach and administrator. He is a member of the St. Bonaventure Hall of Fame and the Chapman Athletics Hall of Fame.

His time at Chapman began in 1990 and it was his leadership over the next quarter century that guided Chapman through several major changes. In the early 1990s, he led Chapman through its transition from the NCAA Division II (and Division I in baseball) to the NCAA Division III.

After becoming a Division III institution and with Currey still at the helm, Chapman’s athletic department grew from nine sports and 150 student-athletes to 20 sports and nearly 500 student-athletes. The additions included bringing football back to Chapman’s campus at a time when local universities were eliminating the sport.

Chapman’s football program remains the only four-year program in Orange County. The growth of the athletic department culminated in Chapman University being offered admission into the SCIAC, ending a 17-year effort from Currey and former Chapman University President James Doti.

Along the way, Chapman found tremendous success at the Division III level. The Panthers won two NCAA D-III championships: baseball (2003) and softball (1995). Under Currey’s leadership, the Panthers were represented in 90 NCAA championships and won 18 regional titles. In its first years in the SCIAC, Chapman won SCIAC tournament titles in women’s soccer (2012) and men’s basketball (2014-15), as well as SCIAC titles in football (2014), men’s basketball (2014-15) and women’s basketball (2013-14).

Prior to Chapman, Currey had a long career as a football coach at the high school and collegiate level. He led St. Bonaventure High School to a CIF title in 1968 before moving on to Stanford, where he earned his Master’s degree in 1969. He began coaching with the Cardinal and helped the team to two consecutive Rose Bowl appearances in 1971 and 1972.

Currey became the head coach at Long Beach State from 1977-84, leading the team to the Pacific Coast Athletic Association championship in 1980. He was the head coach at the University of Cincinnati from 1984-89.

He played collegiately at Samford University in Alabama before earning his degree from Cal State L.os Angeles in 1966.

—Courtesy Chapman University sports information