Robert M. DeGregorio, Jr., was introduced as Atlantic Hockey’s first commissioner on June 30, 2003. He now oversees 10 league members which include American International College, Bentley University, Canisius College, College of the Holy Cross, Mercyhurst University, Niagara University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Sacred Heart University, the United States Air Force Academy and the United States Military Academy.
Under DeGregorio’s tutelage, Atlantic Hockey has grown from nine member institutions at it’s inception in 2003 to the current 10-member roster. He orchestrated the moving of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament Championships to a neutral site, negotiating with the City of Rochester, N.Y., and the Blue Cross Arena to make the BCA the home of the semifinals and final, where it remained from 2007 to 2018. DeGregorio then worked with Buffalo’s HarborCenter administration to keep the Atlantic Hockey Tournament in Western New York beginning in 2019.
Additionally, DeGregorio was introduced as College Hockey America’s commissioner on September 9, 2010. He currently oversees a five-team league that includes Lindenwood University, Mercyhurst University, Pennsylvania State, Rochester Institute of Technology and Syracuse University.
He also became the first commissioner of the New England Women's Hockey Alliance in September 2018. Comprised of two NCAA Division I institutions and five NCAA Division II institutions, members of the NEWHA include Franklin Pierce University, Post University, Sacred Heart University, Saint Anselm College, Saint Michael's College, Long Island University and Stonehill College.
DeGregorio is no stranger to guiding a major Division I ice hockey league, having served as commissioner of Hockey East from 1993-96, as he replaced Stuart P. Haskell, who resigned to devote full-time energies to his position as Commissioner of the North Atlantic Conference.
The former treasurer and Executive Council member of Hockey East, DeGregorio also oversaw the elevation of Merrimack’s men’s hockey program from Division II to Division I status in 1989, where it now competes as a member of Hockey East.
DeGregorio, the former Director of Athletics at Merrimack College for 19 years, joined the staff at Merrimack as business manager for the Athletic Department and for the College’s S. Peter Volpe Physical Education Center in 1978.
He was promoted to Director of Athletics in May of 1983. Throughout his tenure, many of the Warrior teams become national powers. The 15-sport Division II program reached its pinnacle in 1999-2000 when it captured the Northeast-10 President’s Cup, awarded for the top overall performance of all teams.
DeGregorio was also Merrimack’s softball coach from 1982-1992, posting 211 victories in ten seasons and guided the Warriors to four Northeast-10 Conference titles. He was named Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year three times (1986, 1989, 1992). The Warriors won the 1994 Division II National Softball Championship and the softball program has a total of five appearances in the national championship tournament.
Although winning is always a goal, DeGregorio has constantly recognized and encouraged success in the classroom as well as community involvement. This was evidenced in July, 2001, when the first USA Today/NCAA Foundation Academic Achievement Awards were announced. Out of the 264 Division II schools in the country, Merrimack ranked second with an impressive student-athlete graduation rate of 86 percent.
DeGregorio has sat on numerous committees and held many posts while at Merrimack serving his institution nationally on various NCAA committees. He was a member of the NCAA Division I Ice Hockey Committee from 1994-98. Degregorio served as director on the Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) Board of Directors, Chairman of the NE-10 Men’s Basketball Championship and the NE-10 Finance Committees. He was a member of the NCAA Northeast Region Advisory Committees for both men’s basketball and baseball.
DeGregorio also previously served as a director of the Eastern Football Conference and as the conference’s treasurer, member of the ECAC Finance Committee, and chairman of the ECAC Investment Committee. He was also on the executive council for the ECAC and Vice-President in 1995.
DeGregorio and his wife, Michele, reside in Winthrop, Mass.