In 2006, Brian Cavanaugh became D'Youville College's Athletic Director after being Assistant Athletic Director at D'Youville from 2005 to 2006.
Cavanaugh graduated from the State University at Brockport with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Health Education. He then went on at Brockport to get his Masters of Science in Education with a concentration in Sports Psychology.
While at Brockport and after completing his degrees, Cavanaugh was a Physical Education teacher, Health Education teacher and Coach for York Central High School. He was also a Graduate Assistant and Assistant Hockey Coach while working on his Masters. After his time teaching, he began work at Leisure Rinks as a Pro Shop Manager. While still working at Leisure Rinks, Cavanaugh also began working for Canisius College.
During his 24 years at Canisius, he guided the hockey program from NCAA Division III to Division I. Cavanaugh was also 24th on the All Time Coaches Association list and honored for initial development of NCAA I MAAC Hockey Conference with the Founders Award. At his time with Canisius, Cavanaugh led the team to ten consecutive winning seasons, the most of any men's sport at Canisius, had 340 career wins, and was honored for having the most student-athletes on league academic honor roll. Before becoming the Head Hockey Coach in 1980, Cavanaugh was a Physical Education Professor from 1987-1999, the Director of Intramural Programs from 1987-1988, Director of Student Center from 1983-1986, and the Assistant to the Executive Vice President from 1982-1983, all at Canisius College.
Throughout the years, Cavanaugh has received many awards including the 1972-1975 SUNY Brockport Varsity Hockey Program’s Most Valuable Player, the 1981-1982 International Collegiate Hockey League Coach of the Year, the 1986-1987 ECAC West Coach of the Year, the 1998-1999 Cazenovia Park Hockey Association Wall of Fame, the 1999-2000 Keith Metzger Memorial Award for Community Service, the 1999-2000 Bene Merenti Award from Canisius College for his 20 years of service, and the 2000-2001 MAAC Hockey League Founders Award.
On top of his numerous awards, Cavanaugh has also been active in his community serving on several committees and leagues. He volunteered as a Video Assistant Coach for the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres under the Hall of Fame Coach and General Manager Scotty Bowman from 1984 to 1986. He also serves on the Duffett Committee by assisting in the selection of the Outstanding Amateur Coach of WNY Hockey and has been doing so since 1999. Some others include being a Board of Director from 2003-2005 and President from 2009-2012 of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, the Founder and Executive Director of the Hockey Development Group from 1995 to 2005, and was a member of the Hobey Baker Selection Committee from 1999-2002.
While at D'Youville, Cavanaugh expanded the Spartans' Athletics to 14 varsity sport offerings with over 200 student-athletes and directed the Spartans move to the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. Under Cavanaugh there has also been three NCAA Tournament appearances; 2007-2008 Women’s Basketball, 2008 Women’s Volleyball, and 2011 Women’s Softball.