Athletics

Chicago Cubs Executive VP, GM Jed Hoyer ’96 Discusses His Wesleyan Experience

Jed Hoyer at Wesleyan, 1995.

Jed Hoyer at Wesleyan, 1995.

(By Mike O’Brien, Director of Athletic Communication)

On April 18, Chicago Cubs Executive Vice President and General Manager Jed Hoyer ’96 spoke to the news site MLB Trade Rumors about his career and his time at Wesleyan. When asked what led him to choose Wesleyan, Hoyer responded:

“The over-arching goal of my college search was to combine three factors – great academics, the ability to continue playing baseball, and a campus environment that would broaden my limited horizons. I looked at a lot of different schools and the best combination of those factors was Wesleyan. In hindsight, I was less intense and strategic about that decision than I would have been later in life. I simply had a great feel for the school, loved my interactions with the baseball coach (Pete Kostacopoulos), and could picture myself on campus. I had a wonderful four years at Wesleyan and will always be thankful that my instincts were right.”

Hoyer was also asked to comment about how his major in history influenced his future career: “I loved being a history major. I loved the professors I had. I really enjoyed the reading material. Even today, if I get a chance to sit down and read a book, I’m going to grab a biography or something about a historical period. But I will say if I knew I’d be where I’m sitting right now, I certainly would have angled myself more towards economics or something more quantitative. I do think that’s important when you start your life after college to know that every move you make doesn’t have to be planned so specifically. I was kind of referencing that before in regards to coaching. I coached baseball because I loved being out there, and I wanted to stay involved with the game. It gave me an awesome perspective on the game that I never had. I worked for a couple consulting firms later on, and that really helped me learn how to build business models and advanced my quantitative skills. I think every job I’ve had has provided me with different skills or knowledge that I can use every day in baseball.”

Hoyer also reflected on his favorite professor, Richard Slotkin, Olin Professor of English, emeritus, on lessons learned at Wesleyan that he still uses daily, on his playing days at Wesleyan, and more: “The most vivid memory of the classroom at Wesleyan – and I think back on this quite a bit – there was a professor named Richard Slotkin, and he taught American Literature. His classes were incredibly hard to get into because he was such an amazing lecturer. I remember sitting in his lectures and thinking … I hope someday I can be as good at my job and as passionate about my job and as knowledgeable about the field of study as this guy is. Candidly, I think I’m still trying to get there. I think it’s great when you see anyone in any walk of life that so dominates their field – and you can tell that it brings them so much joy to share it.”

Read the full story here.

Wesleyan Football Team Helps Artists for World Peace Pack for Health Mission in Tanzania

Members of the Wesleyan football team and coach Dan DiCenzo, second from right, celebrate their successful packing service for Artists for World Peace. Founder and executive director Wendy Black-Nasta P’07, center is shipping the equipment to a Tanzanian village where she and others will offer an eye clinic this summer. (Photo by Lucy Guiliano for Artists for World Peace)

Members of the Wesleyan football team and coach Dan DiCenzo, second from right, celebrate their successful packing service for Artists for World Peace. Founder and executive director Wendy Black-Nasta P’07, center is shipping the equipment to a Tanzanian village where she and others will offer an eye clinic this summer. (Photo by Lucy Guiliano for Artists for World Peace)

On April 2, in a relentless rain, 20 Artists for World Peace volunteers—including Wesleyan Football Coach Dan DiCenzo and staunch members of the football team—loaded a 20-foot shipping container with $648,000 worth of medical equipment, eyeglasses, and other items.

“It was great to see our guys help such a fine organization,” said DiCenzo.

Jewelry artist Wendy Black-Nasta P’07, founder and executive director of Artists for World Peace (AFWP), had contacted the coach when she realized her group needed help. She had arranged for the shipping container, which arrived in the parking lot of Ace Hardware in Middletown, at 10 a.m. She and her team had only two hours to pack it with the donated equipment she had been collecting for the past two years. Included in the shipment were two complete eye examination rooms, one donated by Professor Raymond Dennis, who heads the Ophthalmic Design and Dispensing program at Middlesex Community College. Individual pieces weighed as much as 350 libs. It will be used in the small village of Kibosho-Umbwe, in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, where Black-Nasta and her group are returning this summer. On their previous visit in 2014, the team opened the first health clinic in the region, which they had helped build.
Black-Nasta, who arranged that trip and the one upcoming, has been traveling to the village since 2008. Her organization supports and educates the 20 children in the Good Hope Trust Orphanage.

The organization’s eye clinic will be running the first two weeks of August. To view their efforts, see AFWP’s Facebook page, blog and view the entire medical clinic and trip on AFWP’s website.

Black-Nasta was grateful to Coach DiCenza and the team for their support.

“Thank you again for being part of this with us and for bringing an incredibly joyful group of guys. Even the rain couldn’t dampen our spirits,” she said.

Female Student-Athletes Mentored by Alumni, Staff

More than 55 student-athletes attended a Women’s Mentoring Workshop on April 10 in the Daniel Family Commons. The workshop was part of the Athletics Advantage Program, also known as A+. The program combines individual training, mentoring, internships, career coaching, job shadowing, community service and other dimensions of the successful undergraduate Wesleyan scholar-athlete career.

Twenty-three alumni, current coaches and Wesleyan Career Center staff spent two hours with the students and discussed declaring a major, finding a summer job and figuring out a career. Alumni mentors range from the class of 2015 to as early as 1975.

“The event was a great success for both the mentors and the student-athletes. Mentors commented how much they enjoyed connecting with the undergraduates and students appreciated the kernels of wisdom shared by the wide range of mentors present,” said Geoff Wheeler, A+ co-director and men’s soccer coach. Wheeler co-directs A+ with Jen Lane, women’s softball coach.

This was the third mentoring workshop highlighting the female student-athlete.

(Photos by Jonas Powell ’18)

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Star Runner Bill Rodgers ’70 Featured in Runner’s World

In May 2009, Bill Rodgers ’70 – a decorated cross-country, and track and field athlete at Wesleyan – was featured in an article in Runner’s World magazine by Steve Rushin. Following graduation, Rodgers became one of the best-known and most popular American marathon runners ever. The feature takes a look at Rodgers’ life and his successes, which include four wins in the Boston Marathon, four consecutive wins in the New York Marathon, and twice qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team. In all, Rodgers won more than 20 marathon events in a span of 11 years (1973-1983). In addition to his athletic success, Rodgers also battled back from prostate cancer and now uses running as a way to raise awareness about the disease.

In the feature, titled “The Most Likely Return of Boston Billy,” the author interviews Rodgers’ college roommate and teammate, Amby Burfoot ’68. As a senior at Wesleyan, Burfoot won the Boston Marathon in 1968 to become the first collegian to win the world’s oldest continuous marathon event. The duo are pictured in the article in their 1967 cross-country team photo.

Author Nick Weldon recently updated the story seven years after it was published. Read the full article here.

Spring Baseball Season is in Full Swing

Baseball season is in full swing! Nick Miceli ’17 pitched 4.1 innings of scoreless relief, while Marco Baratta ’16 knocked in four runs and Matt Jeye ‘18 knocked in three as the Wesleyan Cardinals baseball team defeated the visiting U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 11-5 March 24 at Dresser Diamond. Wesleyan’s record is 10-3.

The Cardinals will return to the diamond March 30 and will host Eastern Connecticut at 4 p.m.

Read more about Wesleyan Athletic News here.
(Photos by Jonas Powell ’18 and Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ‘19)

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Citrin P’12, P’14 and Bennett ’00 Offer Advice, Experience in Career Workshop

Wesleyan trustee Jim Citrin P’12, P’14, (left) and Julie Bennett ’00 led a workshop, Your Career Playbook, moderated by Zacko Brint ’16 (center).

Wesleyan trustee Jim Citrin P’12, P’14, (left) and Julie Bennett ’00 led a workshop, Your Career Playbook, moderated by Zacko Brint ’16 (center). (Photos by Cynthia Rockwell)

“What Does It Take to Launch a Successful Career?” Two notable members of the Wesleyan community tackled that question in a career workshop titled Your Career Playbook, sponsored by the WESpeaker Series, the Athletics Advantage Program and the Wesleyan Career Center on Feb. 26.

Julie Bennett ’00 had the opportunity to connect with Wesleyan Women's basketbal current team members and Coach Kate Mullen (right).

Julie Bennett ’00 had the opportunity to connect with Wesleyan Women’s basketball current team members and Coach Kate Mullen (right).

Julie Bennett ’00, former captain of the women’s basketball team and member of the Athletic Advisory Council and now in sales and trading in equity derivatives at Citigroup (her “dream job”) joined Wesleyan trustee Jim Citrin P’12, P’14, leader of Spencer Stuart’s North American CEO Practice, and author of The Career Playbook: Essential Advice for Today’s Aspiring Young Professional in a panel discussion, moderated by Zacko Brint ’16, captain of the men’s tennis team. A self-professed “airline geek,” Brint will be working at United Airlines next year—a fact that he says came about through his use the Wesleyan network.

Wesleyan Athletics Hosts Girls, Women in Sports Day

Kathy Keeler '78, Wesleyan's only graduate to win an Olympic gold medal, spoke to participants at Wesleyan's National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration Feb. 13 in Freeman Athletic Center. Keeler, who rowed at Wesleyan, stroked on the women’s eight crew to a top finish at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She was a member of the U.S. national team in 1982 and was part of the women’s four that captured a silver medal at the World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland. She also qualified for the U.S. Olympic rowing squad in 1980 and has been part of four U.S. national teams.

Kathy Keeler ’78, Wesleyan’s only graduate to win an Olympic gold medal, spoke to participants at Wesleyan’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration Feb. 13 in Freeman Athletic Center. Keeler, who rowed at Wesleyan, stroked on the women’s eight crew to a top finish at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She was a member of the U.S. national team in 1982 and was part of the women’s four that captured a silver medal at the World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland.

On Feb. 13, Wesleyan student athletes welcomed local girls to campus and recognized the courage, confidence, and character women and girls gain as they participate in sports.

February marks the 30th anniversary of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, an event created to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports.

The Wesleyan Athletics Department celebrated by hosting a day of fun-filled sports activities for girls, ages 5-12. Participants took part in sports clinics, had lunch and discussions with Wesleyan’s female student-athletes and coaches, and cheered on the women’s basketball and ice hockey teams during their home games.

“In our experience volunteering in the community and during our conversations with local community leaders and teachers, it became evident that this would be a tremendously beneficial event for the young girls in our community,” said event organizer Jeff McDonald. “It provided them with an opportunity to connect with our student-athletes, see all the positives that athletics brings, and experience all the different types of sports available.”

McDonald, assistant football coach, coordinated the event with help from Kim Williams, head women’s lacrosse coach; Jen Lane, head softball coach; and Olivia Berry, assistant softball coach.

As part of the celebration, Wesleyan highlighted some of their female alumni who dominated in their respective sports, including Wesleyan’s own Olympic gold medalist, Kathy Keeler ’78, who gave a short address to the group at the start of the day. Read stories from other Wesleyan alumnae athletes here.

Photos of Wesleyan’s Girls and Women in Sports Day is below: (Photos by Ryan Heffernan ’16)

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Men’s Basketball Davis ’16 Reaches 1,000-Point Milestone

B.J. Davis '16

B.J. Davis ’16

B.J. Davis ’16, a guard on the men’s basketball team, scored his 1,000th career point as the 25th-ranked Wesleyan Cardinals used a second half rally to defeat the Connecticut College Camels in NESCAC play Jan. 30, 87-79.

Wesleyan trailed the entire first half but outscored the Camels, 53-37 in the final 20 minutes of regulation to earn its fourth-consecutive win.

With 13 points, four fouls and just :43 remaining on the clock, Davis went to the foul line. He missed his first shot but hit the second to etch his name in the Wesleyan record books as he finished with 14 points on the day.

More Cardinal Athletics news can be found on this website.

(Information provided by Mike O’Brien, sports information director)

Alumnae Athletes Share Their Stories

All of the following women were Jones Award winners—women who represent the very best of Wesleyan athletics. Here are a few of their stories:

Christina Fedolfi ’90

Christina Fedolfi ’90

At Wesleyan, Christina Fedolfi ’90 (soccer) played soccer for four seasons, basketball for one season, and rugby for two seasons. “During these seasons, I made my lifelong friends- women who were dedicated, smart and fun. Athletics always provided structure to my college life- I knew I had to carve out time for my academics once practice and games were over. Playing sports made me a better student. I had my sports time and my academics time. I am trying to instill this in my kids today.”

Joanna Buffington ’81 (soccer) says she loved being part of the first varsity women’s team (after being club status for two years). “Being elected captain two years in a row (first year there were 4, second just 1) by my peers meant so much to me, as it clearly wasn’t because I was the most talented player. It was (I believe) because I had the biggest mouth and was constantly yelling encouragement and advice from all over the field (and off). Apparently my teammates thought that was helpful. Since playing soccer and running track at Wesleyan, I have managed to continue to play organized sports — I currently play pick-up Ultimate Frisbee, and am the oldest (by about 30 years) female to participate. I could be the grandmother of some of these kids. At least the more polite young men have stopped calling me ‘Maam.’

Here’s hoping to play for another 20 years.”

Homecoming Football Game Webcast Live at 1 p.m. Nov. 7

The Wesleyan Cardinals will take on the Williams Ephs Nov. 7. During the 2013 Homecoming game, Wesleyan defeated Williams 16-14 and earned the Little Three title

The Wesleyan Cardinals will take on the Williams Ephs Nov. 7. During the 2013 Homecoming game, Wesleyan defeated Williams 16-14 and earned the Little Three title.

 

(Updated: Wesleyan won 27-7)

If you’re unable to attend the 2015 Homecoming game Nov. 7, cheer on the Cardinals to victory from the comfort of your own home!

The Wesleyan vs. Williams College Homecoming football game will be webcast live at 1 p.m. EST by Northeast Sports Network accessible through WesCast. To view a live streaming video of the game, see http://www.wesleyan.edu/wescast/. The Cardinals current record is 4-2, 4-2 NESCAC. View the team’s roster online here.

Also, at 11 a.m. Oct. 7, men’s soccer (7-7-1, 3-6-1 NESCAC) will move on to the second-round of the NESCAC Tournament when they take on No. 2 seed Middlebury. This game also will be webcast through NSN.

For those on campus, tailgating for football, baseball, softball, women’s basketball, football, women’s lacrosse, squash, track and field and wrestling will be held near their respective playing areas between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Nov. 7.

The athletic contests are part of Wesleyan’s 2015 Homecoming/Family Weekend Nov. 6-8. View the entire schedule of events online here.

Rugby Team Wins 2015 Little Three Championship

The men's rugby team is one of several club sports at Wesleyan. Pictured is the 2015 team.

The men’s rugby team is one of several club sports at Wesleyan. Pictured is the 2015 team, which won the Little Three Championship this fall.

The Wesleyan Men’s Rugby Team, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, played Trinity College on Oct. 30 at the Long Lane field. The team, also known as the Wesleyan “Old Methodist” Rugby Football Club, now plays in a recognized New England Rugby Football Union league including the Little 3, Trinity and Connecticut College, and they can compete for both New England and National titles. In fact, Wesleyan beat both Amherst and Williams in league play this fall to win the Little Three championship!

Wesleyan won 19-15 over Williams on Sept. 26 and 48-35 over Amherst on Oct. 10. Rugby is coached by Peter Velcovsky and Dennis “Doc” Lyons.

Rugby is one of Wesleyan’s many club sports, which provide a competitive alternative to varsity athletics. Although schedules vary from team to team, many practice more than three times a week times and play games against other schools. All teams are run and organized by students and are supported by the Wesleyan Student Assembly and Wesleyan Department of Physical Education and Athletics.

Other club sports recognized by Wesleyan include: women’s rugby, cycling, equestrian, ice hockey, men’s and women’s sailing, co-ed Ultimate Frisbee, men’s volleyball, water polo, fencing, men’s lacrosse, badminton, Kung Fu, boxing and climbing (WesClimb).

More photos of the men’s rugby team in action are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake MALS ’08)

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Homecoming/Family Weekend is Nov. 6-8

In advance of Wesleyan football's Homecoming match, various athletic teams host tailgates on Andrus Field for family, friends and alumni, with concessions provided by the baseball and softball teams. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

In advance of Wesleyan football’s Homecoming match, various athletic teams host tailgates on Andrus Field for family, friends and alumni, with concessions provided by the baseball and softball teams. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

The entire Wesleyan community is invited to Homecoming/Family Weekend Nov. 6-8 to experience life at Wesleyan and reunite with friends and family.

Events include campus tours, WESeminars, multiple art exhibitions, a Career Center open house and Summer Experience Showcase, a family swim, “Mass Incarceration: Feminist Responses” symposium, an Asian American Arts Festival, the annual Homecoming/Family Weekend Dinner, the 12th annual Schumann Symposium “Where on Earth Are We Going?,” a Friends of the Wesleyan Library book sale, a president’s reception honoring leadership donors and volunteers, a West African Drumming performance, an A Capella concert and much more. A special celebration honoring Wesleyan’s recently-retired alumni director John Driscoll ’62 will be held Nov. 6.

Tailgating for football, baseball, softball, women’s basketball, football, women’s lacrosse, squash, track and field and wrestling will be held near their respective playing areas between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Nov. 7. Come cheer on the Cardinals to victory as they play William College at 1 p.m. in the annual Homecoming game.

View the entire schedule of events online here.

Register for HCFW online here. Check-in hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 6; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 7; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 8 inside Usdan University Center.

For more information e-mail parents@wesleyan.edu or hcfw@wesleyan.edu.