CCRI Compliance Officer and Rhode Island Amateur Softball Association Commissioner, Bev Wiley will receive the Amby Smith Lifetime Achievement Award at the 68th annual Words Unlimited banquet on Sunday. Words Unlimited, the statewide organization of sports writers, sportscasters and sports publicists, will hold its 68th annual Sports Awards Banquet at 5:45pm on Sunday, February 16 at The Radisson on Post Road in Warwick.
There are few individuals in Rhode Island who have been involved in sports on more levels than Bev Wiley. The list of her involvement includes being the Rhode Island commissioner of the Amateur Softball Association; serving as the public address announcer for Brown University athletics; working as compliance officer at the Community College of Rhode Island; being involved with the Women’s Sports Foundation; serving as president of the Rhode Island Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women; officiating high school and college volleyball; and serving as a member of the Advisory Board for the Rhode Island Sports Commission.
In addition to her sports involvement, she also is on the board of directors at School One and a trustee with the Community College of Rhode Island Foundation. She served on the advisory board of the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) and has worked as the summer recreation director for the town of Foster, R.I., among many other community activities.
In 1980, she was appointed a deputy commissioner for Rhode Island ASA and ran all aspects of the Women’s program. In 1992, she was appointed the state commissioner for Rhode Island, serving as only one of six women out of 76 to hold that position in the United States. Locally she is responsible for registering players, teams and umpires in all levels of play and has the responsibility for awarding and supervising ASA-sanctioned tournaments, appointing the umpire-in-chief, Junior Olympic commissioner and deputy and district commissioners as well as promoting ASA softball and providing opportunities for youth and adults to play and officiate at all age levels. Along with her role as state commissioner, she is also a member of the ASA Board of Directors as one of two Eastern territory vice presidents. On the national level, she serves on the Long Range Planning, Hall of Fame and Communications committees and is chairwoman of the Boys and Men’s Fast Pitch Committee.
Wiley has been involved with softball on every level as a player, coach and umpire. As a player she earned a reputation for coming up with the key hit or defensive play and competed in several national tournaments. As an umpire she worked across all levels and began training many of the top umpires who are still working today. However, it was probably as a coach that she made the most impact.
Toward the end of her playing career she became a player coach and later head coach in slow pitch, helping her team earn berths to several ASA national tournaments. Later, she moved on to the fast pitch side by becoming a volunteer assistant coach at Brown University, where she would assist the coaching staff members with their daily duties and was the head statistician. From there she went on to become head coach at North Smithfield Junior High School in 1998 and 1999.
She was hired as the head coach at the Community College of Rhode Island, where she coached from 1999 to 2009. Wiley rebuilt the program into an NJCAA Division II New England powerhouse. During her tenure, Wiley became the all-time winningest softball coach in Lady Knights’ history with an impressive 108-81 record, earning coach of the year honors in 2002 and 2008. The Lady Knights won the region in her fourth year and also charted her first winning record that year (14-12). From there, Wiley coached the Lady Knights to five more winning seasons before handing the reins to then-Assistant Coach Liz Afonso, who has maintained that same standard of excellence.
Wiley left coaching after the 2009 season for a new role at CCRI. Her previous work as an advisor in the Athletic Department Student-Athlete Academic Support Program (SAASP) groomed her to become the college’s first-ever compliance officer. She is responsible for monitoring compliance for all NJCAA rules and regulations in the areas of eligibility, grants in aid, recruiting and academic standards while also coordinating all aspects of the SAASP. In addition, she is responsible for monitoring procedures to ensure compliance with Title IX and gender equity for the Athletic Department and serving as academic adviser for 225 student-athletes in 16 varsity sports.
Those who have been to a Brown University women’s basketball, soccer, ice hockey, softball or even the occasional men’s basketball game, have heard her voice over the public address system with an emphatic call of who has scored or made a play. Wiley has served as the public address announcer in the Brown University Sports Information Department since 1978. Whether it is in the Pizzitola Sports Center, Meehan Auditorium or even Marvel Gym, fans immediately recognize “the voice of Brown.”
In 1997, along with other local women business leaders, she started GirlsRI (Girls and Women in Rhode Island Love Sports) to foster the growth and recognition of girls and women in sports in the community. GirlsRI provides awareness, opportunity and education in all areas of sports and physical fitness, while increasing access to financial grants and awards for local athletes and sports groups.
Wiley is not done yet and has no plans to slow down despite this lifetime achievement award. She will look to continue to follow her passion for sports by continuing to be a positive role model for adults, youth, student-athletes, coaches and other administrators. Wiley lives in Foster and has one son, Dan, who also works at CCRI.