A Message from the Desk of Director of Athletics Scot Dapp
Transitioning From Winter to Spring Sports - March 8, 2013
Winter into Spring
As we wind down our week of spring break, many of our spring sports are gearing up for their seasons by competing in sunny Florida. Before we discuss those teams, allow me to look back at how things have been going in Greyhound athletics over the past couple of months.
Our men’s & women’s basketball teams both had successful seasons as both qualified for the Landmark Conference playoffs and then participated in their respective ECAC tournaments. Coach Mary Beth Spirk received well-deserved Coach of the Year honors and she is very optimistic for the future as she loses only one starter from this year’s line-up.
Our indoor track teams (men’s and women’s) swept the Landmark Indoor Championships and Head Coach Jesse Baumann and his staff were named Coaching Staffs of the Year for the both teams. Three members of the track team (two women; one man) qualified for the NCAA Indoor Nationals and are heading to compete at North Central College in Illinois.
As the basketball and track teams were finishing their seasons, other Hounds were heading south. Our baseball, golf, men’s tennis, and softball teams all traveled to Florida to open their 2013 season. The women’s tennis team traveled to Virginia for their spring trip. These spring trips provide our teams with a great opportunity to go focus on their game, play against some great competition, and grow together as a team.
Changes Taking Place
Since my last message, a number of changes have taken place around campus, or at least, will be taking place. The biggest news was the announced retirement of President Chris Thomforde. Dr. Thomforde will begin to enjoy his well-earned retirement in June and we in Athletics certainly wish him well. His successor will be Dr. Bryon Grigsby. Some of you may recognize that name as Dr. Grigsby is a 1990 Moravian graduate who participated in both soccer and basketball during his time here.
Julie Del Giorno, the President’s Chief of Staff is also leaving Moravian. In her position as the Chief of Staff, one of Julie’s main duties was to oversee Athletics and she has been a great advocate for us. She is leaving Moravian to take a newly created position of Chief Integrity Officer for Athletics at Penn State University. This is a great opportunity for her and we wish her the best.
While changes can occur often, it does not mean our goals in Athletics should change. All of the coaches are heavily engaged in recruiting activities as they try to fill their rosters with quality student-athletes. The recruiting process in Division III seems to be never-ending and most coaches will tell you that it takes a year or two to actually be able to judge the quality of a recruited class of players.
It has always amazed me that despite the fact that Moravian College is the 6th oldest college in the nation, so many high school students and their parents have heard nothing or very little about us. When I say that, I am not talking about potential recruits from distant states, I am talking about these families that are located within a couple hours of our campus. A few years back, the College had the motto “A Hidden Treasure.” To be honest, it seems like we are still hidden.
How do we become “unhidden”? I do not think there is neither a single answer nor a simple answer to that question, but I do know that the best sales people we have are our current student-athletes and our Greyhound alums. Since taking over as the AD, I have heard some of the coaches talk about an alum from their team who sent the name of a potential recruit from their area to the coach; or how an alum spoke to a recruit and helped sell the great attributes of “Houndland” to the recruit. You cannot deny the power of the “word of mouth”. All of our teams can benefit from a strong group of Alumni Ambassadors. The best part about being such an ambassador is that it costs nothing, all you have to do is speak often and speak loudly about the great experiences you had while you were a Hound and spread the news about Moravian College.
Connect and Reconnect
When was the last time you were on campus? If it has been a number of years since you have been here, you may be surprised at some of the changes that have occurred. Once a month, I meet with a group of student-athletes (the group is comprised of one player from each team), and we discuss various aspects of athletics and the college. In one of these meetings, we talk about our athletic facilities. I enjoy seeing the group’s reaction when I tell them what things were like when I first came to Moravian in 1987 (gosh, I am old!). The softball field, the baseball field, the football field, and the track were a far cry from what they are now.
These students think I am making it up when I tell them that the roof of Johnston Hall was half skylights and that the gym floor was practically impossible to mar. The term “fitness center” did not exist, but we had weight rooms, if you want to call them that. And then there is our Breidegam Field House – a.k.a. the ARC – that building now stands in the area formerly known as “Otis Place”. If you were on campus back then and did not live in one of those houses on Otis Place, you probably attended one or two parties there.
My point is that while these current Hounds may have a hard time visualizing what things were like 15+ years ago; if it has been years since you have been on campus, it may be equally hard for you to visualize how things have improved. I think the connection between our current student-athletes to players from the past is very important. Connecting and reconnecting to Greyhound alums help form a solid foundation for every team.
How can you connect, or I should say ‘reconnect’ to your old team? Following your team on our website is a pretty easy thing to do. Does the current coach of your team have your updated contact information? Each coach’s contact information is on the web site, so take a minute and send your info to that coach. The person coaching your team now may not be the coach you had when you were here, but that does not mean he or she does not want to hear from you.
I still enjoy meeting and talking to former Hound football players who were here long before I became the head coach.
The ideal way to connect would be to visit the campus. I know that getting back here for many of you may not be an easy task, but it would be great if you find the time to make it happen. Many of the coaches schedule alumni games or functions – a perfect time to return. Just know that you are welcome to come to campus and “reconnect” at any time.
How to Make it Happen
How can I reach out to the hundreds, maybe thousands of Greyhound alums of whom we have lost track? If you are reading this message, than you are not in that group. Despite all the advanced technology in communications, there are still too, too many people who do not know what is happening back at their alma mater. I’ll be the first to admit that facebook, twitter, etc. are not venues I use, but I do know that our web site can be read by anyone with a computer.
You can help spread the message for me. Many of you may remember a fad that was around years ago called a “chain letter”. Too young to remember that; in essence, you would receive a letter that told you to make copies of the letter and then send it to maybe ten people. The letter you received also contained a list of names and on the copies you would send, you took off the top name and put your name at the bottom. As the chain of letters continued, eventually your name would get to the top and you would get money, good luck, or maybe baseball hats (yep, I got suckered into that one).
No, I am not saying start a chain letter, but maybe you could start a type of chain and contact some of your old teammates with whom you stay in touch. If they have not checked our web site, encourage them to do so. If they have, ask them to pass along the message to others. Text, tweet, Facebook, e-mail; it does not matter what method is used, but start the chain and play it forward. Hey, almost forgot, the telephone also works.
Help Comes in Many Forms
When I became the AD, I quickly developed a fairly long “wish list” of things I felt we needed to help the Greyhound teams stay in the race to be the best. Do not get me wrong; while I think we have some great things going for us, I think it is important to keep forging ahead. As the saying goes, “if you are standing still, you may as well be going backward.” At least I think someone said that at one time.
You are probably thinking that now is when I hit you with the “please send money” message. Well, I am not going to do that. Well sure, if you want to send money, we will put it to good use, because the majority of the items on my wish list do have a dollar sign in front of them. Both the college web site www.moravian.edu and the Greyhound sports web site www.moraviansports.com contain links to how you can contribute financially; if you are so inclined.
One of the biggest things on my wish list is to reach out to as many Greyhound alums as possible and get them interested in becoming involved; in connecting or reconnecting; and/or in bringing the past and the present together. That is my message for now. Our coaches would love to hear from former players; I would love to hear from Hounds of the past; and Greyhound athletics wants to know that you have our backs.
As we head into our spring sports season, please check the web site for the schedules of these teams. We may be playing a game or match or competing in a meet in your area. Can’t make back to campus to see the Hounds in action… maybe you can see them in a town near you.
HAVE A GREAT SPRING!
The fall semester of the 2012-13 school year is coming to an end and this gives me a chance to take a quick look back at the just completed fall sports season. Hurricane Sandy forced some juggling in our sports schedules, but compared to some of the devastation that took place in other areas, we were spared any major problems. My thoughts and prayers go out to those still recovering from that event.
There were a number of bright spots with our fall teams highlighted by our Men’s Cross Country Team who repeated as Landmark Conference Champions. The coach of that team, Jesse Baumann, was named the Conference Coach of the Year.
Our Volleyball Team and Women’s Soccer Team both made it to their respective conference playoffs and earned spots in ECAC tournament play. Brienne Smith, the 3rd-year coach of the Women’s Soccer Team, was honored as the Conference Coach of the Year.
With the fall sports all completed, we now turn our attention to the Hound basketball teams. Both the men’s and the women’s team have had great starts to their seasons and Coach Mary Beth Spirk and Coach Jim Walker are very optimistic about their respective team’s chances in the very competitive Landmark Conference.
The teams still have a few games scheduled prior to a short break for the Holidays. If you get a chance, please come see the Hounds in action. Each team’s schedule can be found on their home page on our web site. Why not start the new year off right and come watch the action in Johnston Hall when the Hounds host the annual Basketball Tournaments on January 2nd & 3rd.
In early November, we welcomed four new members to the Greyhound Hall of Fame. Tony Jaso, ’50; Tara Wartman McClimon, ’97; Heidi Wolfsberger Peoples, ’02; and Fred Reinhard will have their plaques added to the Hall of Fame lobby of Johnston Hall. Jaso was a standout football player for the Hounds while McClimon and Peoples excelled in cross-country and track. Fred is a true friend to Greyhound athletics and is a Life Time member of the Moravian College Board of Trustees.
The 1989 Greyhound Men’s Track Team was also inducted that night and we had 20 team members and coaches in attendance for the induction ceremony and dinner. William Marsh, Class of 1956 was the 2012 recipient of the Robert M. Herbstman Award and received his award at the dinner.
You can find more information about our honorees on the Greyhound web site: www.moraviansports.com (click on the tab for “Inside Sports” and then the link for the Hall of Fame). The Hall of Fame link also provides information on how you can nominate someone for the 2013 Hall of Fame class.
Our web site is a great way for all of you to get up with what is happening with Greyhound athletics: read about what has taken place with our teams or the athletic department in general and learn about upcoming events. There is also a link where we want to post newsworthy items about our Greyhound alums – young and old. To do that we need to hear from you, so feel free to drop me an e-mail or even an old fashion letter. My e-mail address is email@example.com and my mailing address is:
Another important link on our web site is the one for our Blue & Grey Club. I cannot begin to tell you how important this club is to Greyhound Athletics. Membership to the Blue and Grey is at an all-time high, but all of us would like to see it grow even more. Go to www.moravian.edu/blueandgrey to learn more about this organization and how you can become a part of what they do throughout the year.
Finally, this is the time of year when family and friends take center stage and to the Greyhound Family, I want to wish all of you a very Happy, Healthy, and Blessed Holiday season.
We are already a month into the 2012-13 school year and our fall sports teams are well into their seasons. Volleyball, men’s & women’s soccer, and field hockey have had a number of non-conference games and are now preparing to head into the all-important conference part of their schedules.
Our cross-country teams have competed in a couple of invitationals and have a few more before getting to the Landmark Conference Championships later in October. The football team had a tough opener against a very strong Ithaca team but rebounded the next week to defeat conference rival McDaniel. All of their remaining games are Centennial Conference games.
Our men’s & women’s tennis teams and our golf team have the unique set-up of having split seasons as they have matches in the fall and then will continue in the spring. The women’s tennis team already has a victory over rival Muhlenberg under their belts.
You can find details about all of the games/matches that have taken place so far by going to each team’s home page on the web site.
A few of our teams, with assistance from our Blue & Grey Club, hosted alumni events this fall. Field Hockey alums showed flashes of their old skills as they teamed up to play Coach Amy Endler’s current team. Cross Country coach, Jesse Baumann held a 2-mile race for alums and current Hound harriers which he hopes will become an annual event. By the number of alums who participated, I do not think he will have a problem in doing that. Finally, our men’s tennis team also had a match with alums and there was definitely some good tennis played in that event.
In each of these aforementioned events, the common thread was the enthusiastic showing of the alumni participants. All of our teams plan to host some type of alumni event this year and will work with our Blue & Grey Club to make it a special and enjoyable time. Strong support from a team’s alums is vital in the success of a program. It was nice to hear alums, who had not been back to campus in a long time, say how much they enjoyed themselves in these events. Please keep your eyes and ears open for your team’s event.
If you are one of those that have not been back to campus in quite a while, why not plan to change that this year? Homecoming 2012 is right around the corner October 12 – 13. The Rocco Calvo Golf Tournament is the “tee-off” event of the Homecoming festivities; taking place on Friday morning at the Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course. Why not get a foursome together and start the Homecoming weekend with some long drives, accurate chip shots, and perfect putts OR, if you are like me, some wayward drives, chip shots into a bunker, and three or four putts per green. (Information about this event can be found on the college web site: www.moravian.edu ).
If a visit at Homecoming does not fit your schedule, look for a time that does and plan to come back. I have talked to so many alums over the past year whom are shocked to hear about all the changes that have taken place on the campus. They are even more shocked (pleasantly shocked, I might add) when they view these changes in person. Our web site www.moraviansports.com provides an easy way to keep up to date with your former team and athletics in general, but there is no better way to rejuvenate that Greyhound Pride than to be here in person.
If you have made it to one of our football games, you saw that the Blue & Grey tent has been replaced by a permanent Blue & Grey Pavilion. The Blue & Grey Club hosts it game-day hospitality event in the Pavilion for all Blue & Grey Club members. What’s that???? You say that you are not a member of Blue & Grey Club…well, shame on you, but that is an easy fix. Go to either of the web sites mentioned above and you can find information about this all-important organization and how you can become a part of it.
There are also a couple of other new additions down by Calvo Field. For the first time in many years, we do not have to sell game tickets from a card table on the sidewalk. Two new permanent ticket booths have been erected and they keep our ticket sellers safe from the elements.
The mention of these new additions is evident of some of the changes that have taken place just in the past month or so. In my last message, I talked about our new Fitness Center and Performance Center which still elicit raves from first-time visitors. There is more to be done, and it will take time. Our field hockey field had to relocate two home games over to Lehigh because of the poor conditions of their game field. They will play three of their home games at Calvo Field on Saturdays when the football team is away. The Betty Prince Field is in a nice location, but we are now the only team in the Conference that has a grass field. The bottom line is that, another turf field would solve practically all of our field scheduling problems and create a venue that would enable us to expend our intramural programs and even possibly our athletic offerings.
Our tennis courts, long suffering from reoccurring cracks, received a bit of a face lift this summer and only time will tell if the upgraded repair job makes a difference when that first freeze occurs. Even if the cracks do not come back, the courts are still in a tough location being directly between our softball and baseball fields. This problem was recognized years ago and the relocation of these courts was seen as a solution. The problem still exists so working on the solution needs to be brought back into the picture. As I said, it will take time, but I am confident we can continue to move in the right direction.
Homecoming or anytime – come back to see us. The coaches and team members always enjoy seeing Hounds from the past. Greyhound Pride is a past; present; and future quality
It has been a year since I made the move from the Football Office to the Athletics Director’s office. I will admit that the year has flown by and to say it has been an interesting year for me is a very drastic understatement. The most often asked question posed to me this past year is whether or not I miss coaching; again, a bit of an understatement. When you do something you love doing for over 30 years and then stop, you are not human if you do not miss it. The day-to-day interaction with the players and the thrill of competition on games days are the two biggest voids I have experienced, but this job has presented me with a host of new challenges that have helped to fill those voids. I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by a very supportive staff and administration who have help guide me through this transition.
Looking back at the past 12 months, I feel pleased with what took place with Moravian College athletics. We had teams reach conference playoffs, win conference titles, participate in ECAC post-season tournaments, and participate in NCAA post-season tournaments. We had individual student-athletes excel on the field, on the courts, and in the classroom. All of these honors and more news about our teams and student-athletes can be found in the athletics web page www.moraviansports.com and each team’s individual homepage.
Speaking of our web site, this was a much needed addition to Moravian athletics and I thank of Blue & Grey Club for funding this project to make it possible. In today’s age of technology, getting information out to our alums can take on many forms. This new web site is a step in that direction.
“WOW!” This exclamation is usually the first word out of the mouth of visitors to our campus when they first see our brand new Fitness Center. This 10,000 square foot facility was initiated by the Moravian College Board of Trustees in February of 2011. Ten months later, in December, the facility was up and running and a few weeks later, the College staged its grand opening.
The space that housed our old Fitness Center was converted into a Performance Center where many of our teams are able to work on specific training programs designed by our Fitness Center Director. Both of these areas provided Greyhound athletics and Moravian students with a much needed boost. You can see numerous photos of these two facilities on our web site, but it is much better if you can see them in person.
When I look at the new Fitness Center and Performance Center it is hard not to think about the state of athletic facilities when I first came to Moravian 25 years ago. For those of you who were here back then and even before, I am sure you can understand my astonishment. Just think – the Breidegam Field House (the ARC) sits on the site many of you remember as the row home on Otis Place. A 10,000 square foot Fitness Center – remember the single universal gym in the back of Johnston Hall or the free weight room equipped with a bench or two a stack of weights where the heat and humidity caused just about every piece of equipment to be covered in rust? How about the skylights in the roof of Johnston Hall which allowed the sun to glare on the old floor that was harder than concrete – the skylights are long gone and the floor was also replaced years ago (just had it repainted this summer and it looks great).
The Steel Field complex has had a complete makeover in the past 10-15 years. The artificial surface turf on Calvo field will enter its seventh year of use this fall as will the 8-lane Mondo surface Breidegam track. For some you “old-timers” in softball, the wooden benches along the baselines and small backstop, have been replaced with one of the nicest softball facilities around. A similar makeover has taken place with our baseball field, Gillespie Field.
I mention these things because in some conversations I have had with some of our Greyhound alums, I have found that they are unaware of some of the changes that have taken place. The face of Moravian College campus as a whole has taken on a new look over the years: the Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic sits in the area where row homes once lined Monocacy Street across for the HUB. The HUB itself has undergone a couple of renovations since I came here (remember the old “MC’ or was it “EmCee”?). The Hurd Living and Learning Center (the HILL) is a beautiful addition to our south campus and provided much needed living quarters for our growing student population: new buildings, renovations of old buildings, new facilities – all part of the changes made to keep us moving ahead.
I have a number of goals I would like to accomplish as the Athletics Director. Some of these goals are long range and some I would like to see happen sooner than later. One thing I would like to do is increase and improve the connections with our Greyhound alums. I have repeatedly encouraged our coaches to reach out to the alums from their specific sport to update them on what is taking place with the current team and to encourage them to come back to campus, especially if they have been absent for a long time.
Our Blue & Grey Club is growing and more solid than I have seen it in years. I have to credit that growth and increased stability to Gary Carney, our Vice President for Institutional Advancement. I know that Gary will be quick to pass that credit to Lindsey Hughes in his office who oversees the Club. The leadership of Gary Martell, Class of ’76, as the current President of the Blue & Grey Club has also been instrumental in helping get this very important organization headed in the right direction.
Just as I mentioned how you can learn much about of teams, coaches, and student-athletes, via our web site; you can also get more information about the Blue & Grey Club and other aspects of Greyhound athletics like the Greyhound Hall of Fame and Greyhound Alumni who are making news. I encourage you to take some time and navigate your way through this vault of information.
Let me close now by saying that the formula for success by our teams contains many aspects. One of these is a strong foundation of support from our alums. If you have not been back on campus for a long time, please try to find time this year to pay us a visit. Feel free to send an e-mail or even one of them “old-fashion” hand-written notes to the current coach of your sport – I know he or she would love to hear from you (contact information for each of our coaches can be found in our web site. Finally, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or thoughts you want to pass along. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my best to respond as quickly as I can.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
It was Saturday, October 29, 2011. If you decided to leave your house and go watch a race, a look at the weather would have made one think they were going to watch the Iditarod in Alaska. It was snowing, and snowing hard, with temperatures in the low 30’s. The cold, stiff wind made it seem much colder than what the thermometer was showing. This, however; was not a day for dog sled races and we were not in Alaska. This was Bethlehem, PA, on the Goodman Campus of Lehigh University and the races were the Men’s and Women’s Landmark Conference Cross Country Championships.
Moravian was the host team for these races as the Conference was piggy-backing off the Patriot League Championships hosted by Lehigh. By the time the Landmark women lined up to start their 6K race, 1:00pm, there was already 4 inches of snow on the ground and it was still coming down. 72 women representing 8 Landmark colleges took off on the sound from the starter’s gun and headed over fields and through woods. A little over 24 minutes later, Moravian senior, Cadee Rockwell, who ran as if she was running on the beach, crossed the finish line in first place. Her senior teammate, Kristina Ruggiero, put on a big push in the last half mile to finish second. Freshman Claire DelCasale was the next Hound runner to cross the finish line coming in at 7th place with fellow freshman, Emily Lambright finished in the 11th spot.
Other Hound runners included Devon Bedell (Fr); Jessie Goldberg (Fr); Megan Hallowell (Sr); Emma Pacheco (Jr); Jennifer Smilgis (So); Jennifer Parodi (So); Alyssa Tallon (Fr); and Amanda Smilgis (So). Cadee’s first place finish garnered her the Landmark Conference Runner of the Year Award. Rockwell, Ruggiero, and DelCasale earned First Team All-Conference honors. Lambright’s finish made her a 2nd Team All-Conference selection. More importantly, the Lady Hounds were the #1 team, winning their first ever Landmark Conference Cross Country Championship.
A very short time after the women’s race was completed, it was time to start the men’s 8K race. The weather was getting worse, in fact, the race course had to be altered as the weight of the wet and heavy snow caused a tree to fall across one of the paths in the woods. Despite the ever-declining conditions, 82 Landmark Conference runners took on the challenge.
Senior Matt Lutcza was the defending champion and he ran a valiant race but fell short of repeating, finishing just over a second behind the 1st place runner, Ian Quinlan of Susquehanna. Junior Dan Noble took 4th place and freshman Alec Duncan finished 6th. Lutcza, Noble, and Duncan all earned All-Conference First Team honors with their finishes. Duncan added the Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year title to his award list.
Dylan Martin, a junior was a 2nd Team Landmark All-Conference selection based on his 10th place finish. Other runners for the Hounds were Dillon Farrell (Fr); Corey Schauerman (Fr) and Eddie Garcia (Fr). This contingent of Hound harriers followed the lead of their female counterparts by winning the team title; their first ever Landmark Conference championships.
It was a freak October snow storm; you could call it a “Halloween Trick” because it was certainly no “treat” to run in this weather. The Moravian runners, both men and women, ignored the elements and returned to campus as Champions. In Alaska and the Iditarod race it is all about the Huskies that pull those sleds. On this unforgettable day in Bethlehem, it was all about the Greyhounds.