OwlNews Summer 2013
A newsletter update for SCSU Owl Club members produced Winter, Spring, and Fall seasons
news OWL for the Team behind the Team • SUMMER UPDATE 2013 Jess Dow to be Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame Jesse L. “Jess” Dow, the founder of the intercollegiate athletic program at Southern and its first head football coach, has been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. He will be inducted posthumously at an event in Atlanta later this summer. “Jess Dow left an indelible legacy on the Southern community over the span of four different decades in his roles as a coach, administrator and faculty member,” said Director of Athletics Patricia D. Nicol. “He set the foundation for sustained athletic excellence for our football program and the entire Athletic Department. I am extremely pleased that the National Football Foundation has From the Director of Athletics The SCSU Athletic Department enjoyed continued success in the classroom, on the playing fields and in the community during 201213. Among the highlights was finishing among the top 20 percent of more than 300 Division II institutions in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, an annual awards program that recognizes broadbased athletic excellence in NCAA competition. It marked the seventh consecutive year that Southern placed among the top 20 percent in this competition. Eight programs were represented in NCAA action, in addition to an selected him for this prestigious honor. It is certainly well-deserved for his many contributions to Southern, to college football, and to college athletics on the whole.” A native of Tona, Texas, Dow joined the Southern faculty in 1946, when there were just 25 men enrolled as students. He established the intercollegiate football program, for which he is best known, in 1948 and went on to become one of the nation’s outstanding football coaches. In 18 years as the Owls’ football NCAA individual national championship, two NCAA individual runner-up marks and 16 All-America selections. On the academic front, we had 330 selections to the Northeast-10 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll during the year, including 160 student-athletes in the spring semester. Student-athletes must maintain a 3.0 semester grade point average (GPA) to earn recognition. This total is in addition to our record-setting semester in the classroom last fall, which was punctuated by an overall cumulative student-athlete GPA of 3.05. For the second year in a row, Brittany Bucko (softball) was named an Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America for her athletic and academic prowess. In addition, A.J. Guerra (men’s track and field) and Kimberly Lachowicz (volleyball) were named Academic AllDistrict picks. Furthermore, with the OWL CLUB coach, from 1948-65, Dow enjoyed 16 winning seasons, including Southern’s only unbeaten, untied campaign in 1956. His teams lost only once in a season seven different times (1949, 50, 51, 53, 55, 58, 59) and his 1959 team participated in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Playoff Bowl semifinal. After winning the Eastern Football Conference title and being named the EFC “Coach of the Year” in 1965, the league’s inaugural season, Dow retired as football coach to devote full-time duties as director of athletics, a position he held until retiring Jan. 31, 1975. He completed his career as the winningest college division coach in New England with a 108-40-6 won-lost-tied record for a winning percentage of .730. Dow was twice selected as the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance Dow continued on Page 4. announcement of spring selections still forthcoming, we have already had 18 selections to the Northeast-10 Conference All-Academic Teams. In addition, A.J. was named the 2013 Northeast-10 Conference Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winner for his successes in the classroom and on the track. Amanda Thomas (women’s swimming and diving) was selected as a finalist for the Honda Award, presented to the Division II Female Athlete of the Year, for the second consecutive year. Amanda was also chosen as a finalist for the Northeast-10 Conference Woman of the Year award. Our student-athletes continued to make a difference in the community, as well, having volunteered more than 3,000 hours of their time at more than 75 events both on-campus Director continued on Page 8. Nicol Selected for Athletic Alumnus Award Patricia Nicol, director of athletics at Southern, was selected as the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island House of Representatives. She was recognized in a ceremony at the Rhode Island State House in Providence on April 29. Nicol earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from URI and, as a student-athlete, was a five-time NCAA qualifier in track and field. She was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990. She recently concluded her ninth year as director of athletics and 14th overall as an athletic administrator at Southern. A past nominee for the Division II Athletic Director of the Year award, Nicol has guided the Owls to sustained excellence on the playing fields, in the classroom and in the community. Nicol is also a past recipient of recognition by the National Register’s ‘Who’s Who Among Business and Professional Achievers’. During the past nine years, Southern has won a team NCAA Division II championship (women’s basketball in 2007) and nine individual NCAA Division II championships. The Owls have made 85 NCAA championships appearances and produced 195 All-Americans during her tenure. Southern has ranked among the top 20 percent among all institutions in each of the past six years in the Learfield Sports Division II Directors’ Cup, including four finishes among the top 15 percent and two finishes in the top 10 percent. The Directors’ Cup recognizes broad-based sport excellence on the playing fields and involves more than 300 Division II institutions. The university also has enjoyed unprecedented success in the academic realm. Last fall, the Owls’ 395 studentathletes combined to record an all-time high GPA with a 3.057 average for the semester. Academically, the department has had more than 1,500 selections to the Northeast-10 Commissioners Honor Roll during the past six years. In addition, the overall graduation rate of studentathletes continues to exceed that of the general student population. Southern’s student-athletes, coaches and staff members also continue to Patricia Nicol participate in various volunteer programs on campus and in the local communities under the guidance of Nicol. The Owls have volunteered nearly 15,000 hours as part of many outreach efforts in the last six years. Before joining Southern, she had served as assistant director of athletics at the University of Maryland and as associate director of athletics at Providence College. ••• ••• Finalist for Female Athlete of the Year Amanda Thomas, who recently concluded her senior season Amanda Thomas again proves to be queen of the pool, earning a slew of awards and titles in 2013. 2 as a member of the Southern women’s swimming and diving team, was named as a finalist for the 2013 Collegiate Women Sports Award for the Division II Athlete of the Year. It’s the second straight year that she was selected as a finalist. Thomas, the 2013 Division II Swimmer of the Year as voted on by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, continued her dominance at this year’s NCAA Championships, where she won her third consecutive national title in the 200-yard individual medley. That title was the fourth of her collegiate career. A three-time Northeast-10 Swimmer of the Year and 26time conference champion, Thomas claimed four more AllAmerica titles at this year’s NCAA Championships to boost her total to 18. Thomas also was a four-time NE-10 Championships Most Outstanding Performer. A two-year team captain, Thomas also excelled in the classroom during her time at Southern. She was a multiple selection for the Northeast-10 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll and a 2013 nominee for the Northeast-10 Conference Woman of the Year award. ••• New England Basketball Hall of Fame Inducts Quartet with Southern Ties Four individuals with ties to Southern – Chazz McCarter, Belinda ‘Boe’ Pearman, Rich Radicioni and Carol Stiff – were selected for induction into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. The quartet was among those honored at the DCU Center in Chazz McCarter Worcester, Mass. on June 22. McCarter, a former member of the men’s basketball team, was recognized in the Junior/Community College category. A First-Team Junior College All-American at nearby Gateway Community College, McCarter averaged 11 points and 5.4 rebounds in his lone season with the Owls in 2010-11. Pearman, who recently concluded her eighth year as associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator at SCSU, possesses a background of more than 20 years Rich Radicioni in collegiate athletics as a student-athlete, coach and administrator, in addition to experience in professional sports and the private sector. She was inducted in the Contributor category. Her experiences as a coach within the region include five years as women’s basketball coach at the University of Rhode Island and two seasons as associate head coach with the New England Blizzard of the American Basketball League. As coach of URI, she guided the team to the Atlantic-10 Conference Championship game for only the second time in the history of the program. She also led her teams to three consecutive and collegiate ranks. winning seasons for Radacioni played his only the second time high school basketball in school history, and at St. Bernard’s in graduated all players Uncasville. that completed their Stiff, one of the eligibility. most influential Before her stint individuals in the at URI, she spent realm of women’s two seasons as college sports, serves associate head coach as vice president, of the Blizzard. She content program previously had a 16Belinda ‘Boe’ Pearman & integration at year association as ESPN. In this newly both a student-athlete and an created role, which she assumed assistant coach at the University of in February 2013, she focuses on Maryland, during which the Terrapins integrating the content and stories won six ACC championships and from the comprehensive multi-platform appeared in 12 NCAA tournaments with initiative. She was recognized in the three Elite Eight berths and two Final Contributor category. Four berths. A graduate Radicioni remains of Southern and the all-time scoring former member leader in the history of the women’s of the Owls’ men’s basketball and field basketball program hockey teams, (1,936 points) more Stiff also served than two decades after as a member playing his last game. of the coaching He also ranks No. 1 in staffs at Western school history in free Connecticut throws made (554) State University, and is No. 6 in career Rensselaer rebounds with 763. Carol Stiff Polytechnic and Brown He was inducted in the University, before joining ESPN in Ron Perry category, which recognizes 1990. ••• career excellence both in the scholastic Follow the Owls via Social Media OWL CLUB o45 The SCSU Athletic Department continues to provide extensive information through its social media platforms, in addition to its official athletics website, www.SouthernCTowls.com. Owls’ fans can follow their teams as games progress with Twitter updates. The department’s YouTube page provides an array of studentathlete features, as well as game highlights and post-game interviews. In addition, regular updates are available through the department’s Facebook page. Fans can check out more on these efforts at www.SouthernCTowls.com. 3 Gymnastics Team Vaults to Community Service Cup Title After a spirited competition among all intercollegiate programs at Southern, the gymnastics team has been recognized as the winner of the Tim Greer Insurance Agency Inc. Community Service Cup for the 2012-13 academic year. In addition, junior Erica Martino of the women’s lacrosse team was named the recipient of this year’s individual Community Service Cup award. The awards were presented at the annual Senior Athletic Awards banquet on April 25. The competition allows studentathletes to gain an enriched experience through engagement with the oncampus and local communities by supporting ventures of citizens, campus community members and peer students and student-athletes. “I would like to congratulate the gymnastics team for claiming this year’s Tim Greer Insurance Agency Inc. Community Service Cup team award and Erica for capturing our individual Community Service Award,” said Director of Athletics Patricia D. Nicol. “These individuals have made community service a priority through their assistance at numerous events throughout the course of the year. “In addition, I would like to thank all of our programs for serving as outstanding ambassadors for Southern through extensive community service efforts. As a group, our student-athletes volunteered approximately 3,000 hours of their time to community service causes this past year. I commend all of our coaches and student-athletes for their efforts.” The gymnastics program assisted with many programs, both on-campus and in Greater New Haven. On-campus events included Friends of Rudolph, Take Your Kid To Work Day, Girls and Women in Sport Day and the annual Day of Service program. In addition, the team also participated in initiatives such as ‘Adopt a Family’ and ‘Yoga Pink’ as part of campus projects. In addition, the team was also extremely active in academic tutoring and assistance programs in New Haven Public Schools. They also conducted clinics at the Wallingford Boys’ and Girls’ Club’s ‘Sports Night’ event. The team also completed service assistance for the American Cancer Society, at St. Ann’s Soup Kitchen in Hamden and participated in a series of events that benefited groups such as the U.S. Armed Forces and senior citizens. A member of the university’s Service Team, Martino took time out to volunteer for an array of outreach efforts to earn recognition. She participated in weekly (Above) Erica Martino works with youngsters at the Clinton Avenue School in New Haven during an academic session this year. (Left) Martino accepts this year’s Individual Community Service Cup award from Tim Greer, sponsor of the program. reading and tutoring programs at the Clinton Avenue School in New Haven. She also assisted with on-campus events such as Girls and Women in Sport Day and Day of Service, Friends of Rudolph and Relay for Life. Martino also has served as a peer mentor and volunteered her time toward local programs such as Loaves and Fishes, Comcast Cares Day and the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days event. Martino was previously named as a recipient of the 2012 Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Community Awareness Award. This prestigious honor is awarded to just one women’s lacrosse student-athlete in each of the three NCAA divisions annually. The team champion was determined through a scoring system that awards points based on the percentage of each team’s roster that participates in an event. Student-athletes can earn points through a variety of means, including: participation in community service events (on- or off-campus), host pre- or post-game clinics, and participation in campus events. The individual winner was selected through event participation during the academic year. ••• The gymnastics team is this year’s team winner of the Community Service Cup award. 4 Alum Named ECAC Commissioner Southern alumnus Kevin T. McGinniss ’79, M.S. ’85, 6th year ’92, has been named commissioner of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). The ECAC is the nation’s largest athletic conference and the only multidivisional conference, with 302 Division I, II and III colleges and universities from Maine to North Carolina to Utah. He will be the eighth commissioner in the 75-year history of the organization. McGinniss joins the ECAC following six years at the University of Rhode Island as associate athletic director for development. Previously, he was the director of athletics at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. While at Mercy, McGinniss was nominated to receive the 2007 NACDA (National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics) Division II Athletics Director of the Year Award. “It’s an honor and privilege to be named the next commissioner of the Eastern College Athletic Conference,” McGininss said. “I’d like to thank the ECAC Board of Directors and its Administrative Committee for having the confidence in me and my abilities to afford me this wonderful opportunity. I am excited and look forward to working with the Board and serving the membership as we advance the mission of this great organization.” McGinniss previously served as director of athletic development at Quinnipiac University (2001-05); director of athletic development and director of institutional advancement at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1997-2000), Ex-Owl Earns Spot In National High School Hall of Fame Former Southern men’s swimming standout and Owls’ Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame member Ed Aston ‘69 has been selected for induction into the National High School Hall of Fame. He was formally inducted on June 27 at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. In 37 years as girls’ swimming coach at Cheshire High School, Aston’s teams won 25 Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference state championships and compiled a 414-21-1 record. He coached the boys’ team for 33 years, claiming 18 state titles, and recorded an overall record of 410-47. His girls’ teams won a national-record 281 consecutive dual meets from 1986 to 2011. While a student-athlete at Southern, Aston was a three-year letter winner, NCAA qualifier in the 200-yard butterfly, co-captain and MVP of the men’s swimming team. The Class of 2013 inductees includes notables such as former Super Bowl winning quarterback Joe Theismann, Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Chauncey Billups, four-time Olympic gold medalist Harrison Dillard, and Kristin Folkl Kaburakis, who helped her St. Louis (Missouri) St. Joseph’s Academy teams to four state volleyball championships and four state basketball titles in the early 1990s. ••• Ed Aston ’69 is part of the newest class of inductees into the National High School Hall of Fame. director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation and men’s basketball coach at Lehman College, the City University of New York (1992-94) and as director of athletic development, director of alumni affairs and assistant men’s basketball coach at SCSU (1989-92). In addition to his degrees from Southern, McGinniss also holds a doctorate in education from Columbia University with a dual specialization in sport and physical education pedagogy/ administration of physical education and athletics. ••• Dow continued from Page 1. Coach of the Year, in 1950 and 1953. The Alliance also honored him with the coveted Gold Key following his retirement from coaching. He also received one of the nation’s highest honors athletically when he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame for his contributions to college athletics. Southern’s outdoor athletic facility, Jess Dow Field, was dedicated in his honor in 1988, and he was among the first group of inductees into the Southern Alumni Sports Hall of Fame. Dow, a professor emeritus of health and physical education, didn’t limit his coaching to football. He also guided Southern teams in basketball, baseball, track and golf in his 28-year career. He had an outstanding record as Southern’s golf coach with a 4923 won-lost record over his final six seasons. Dow attended West Texas State University, where he was named a Little All-America fullback in 1937. He joined the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League for three seasons following his graduation. During World War II, Dow served in the U.S. Navy for three and a half years, achieving the rank of lieutenant commander. Dow was a member of the American Football Coaches Association, the American College Golf Coaches Association, the American Association of University Professors, Race Brook Country Club, the Pine Orchard Yacht and Country Club, and the New Haven Rotary Club. ••• 5 Southern’s All-Americans Southern student-athletes continued to thrive on the playing fields in 2012-13, earning 16 All-America selections. Since the release of the last Owl Club newsletter, the Owls had nine studentathletes earn All-America honors. The following is the cumulative list for the 2012-13 academic year: A.J. Guerra • Sarah Cebry, Field Hockey • Nick Lebron, Men’s Indoor Track and Field, Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Sarah Cebry Nick Lebron • A.J. Guerra, Men’s Indoor Track and Field, Men’s Outdoor Track and Field • Michael Cameron, Men’s Indoor Track and Field Amanda Thomas • Michelle Grecni, Women’s Indoor Track and Field • Amanda Thomas, Women’s Swim- ming and Diving – NCAA Champion, 200-yard Individual Medley • Raymond Cswerko, Men’s Swimming and Diving Michelle Grecni Michael Cameron • Rebecca Brady, Gymnastics • Twayne Forth, Men’s Outdoor Track and Field • Selasi Lumax , Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Twayne Forth • Logan Sharpe, Men’s Outdoor Track and Field • Jimm Guerrier, Men’s Outdoor Track and Field • Omar Gonzalez, Men’s Outdoor Track and Field • Brian Nill, Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Raymond Cswerko Rebecca Brady Selasi Lumax Logan Sharpe 6 Jimm Guerrier Omar Gonzalez Brian Nill Sport Shorts Men’s Outdoor Track Team Captures New England, NE-10 Conference Titles It was another outstanding outdoor campaign for the Southern men’s track and field program. The Owls started the month of May by claiming their 11th consecutive Northeast-10 Conference championship During the following week, at the AllDivision New England Championships, Southern won its second New England title in the last three years in convincing fashion. The Owls have now finished in the top two at the New England outdoor championships in each of the past three years. In terms of individual honors, John Wallin was selected as both the conference and regional Coach of the Year. Nick Lebron was named the Regional Field Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCA, while Selasi Lumax was tabbed as the Regional Track Athlete of the Year. In addition, assistant coach Bill Sutherland was named the regional Assistant Coach of the Year. Southern finished 12th as a team at the NCAA Division II Championships in Pueblo, Colo. The Owls sent 11 student-athletes to the competition, with eight coming back with All-America laurels. ••• Seniors Twayne Forth (left) receives the baton from Thomas Phommalinh (right) during a relay race this spring. Bucko Chosen as 3rd-Team Academic All-American For the second year in a row, softball outfielder Brittany Bucko was named an Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). A First-Team Academic All-American in 2012, Bucko was named to the ThirdTeam in 2013. Bucko missed time early in the year due to injury, but still battled back to earn All-Northeast-10 Conference honors for the fourth straight year and All-Region honors for the third time in her career. Bucko closed the year with a .295 batting average with six home runs and 23 RBIs. She was a perfect 13-for-13 in stolen bases and ended up second on the team in home runs and runs scored (33), and was third in batting average. Thanks in part to Bucko’s efforts, the Owls finished with a 32-22 mark and a fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament Bucko is an exercise science major with a 3.54 grade point average. ••• Softball Team Earns 5th Straight Berth In NCAA Tourney Brittany Bucko prepares for the next pitch at a recent game. For the fifth consecutive year and sixth time in the last seven years, the Southern softball team secured a spot in the NCAA tournament field. The Owls were ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation during the 2013 season. Their 2013 appearance in the NCAA tourney marked the Owls’ seventh in program history. Southern defeated Caldwell, 3-2, in its NCAA opener, before dropping a pair of extra-inning games to Molloy and Caldwell in its next two outings. Southern closed the year with a record of 32-22 and also reached the semifinal round of the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament. ••• 7 Director continued from Page 1. Department of Athletics 125 Wintergreen Ave. New Haven, CT 06515 OWL CLUB and in the Greater New Haven area this year. I again commend our student-athletes, coaches and staff members for their efforts in aligning with the university mission of community outreach and engagement. Thank you for your continued support of Owlsâ€™ athletics. I hope to see you at an upcoming home contest. Go Owls! Patricia D. Nicol Director of Athletics Players enjoy their day at the Foxwoods Resort Casinoâ€™s Lake of Isles North Course during the SCSU Annual Golf Tournament. More than 150 participants, coaches and administrators participated in the event, which was held May 21.