Tag Archive for athletics

Coaches Black, Bloom, Alumni Honored by Wrestling Coaching Association

Head Wrestling Coach Drew Black and Assistant Coach Dan Bloom ’10 led Wesleyan to its second New England Division III Wrestling Championship, edging out powerhouse Springfield College in Middletown on Feb. 25. Wesleyan had five wrestlers advance to the finals and produced three New England Champions. This is the second championship for the Cardinals, the first in 1984 under the leadership of head coach John Biddiscombe.

Voted on by their New England Coaching Association (NEWA) peers, Drew Black took home “Coach of the Year” honors and Dan Bloom ‘10 was named "Assistant Coach of the Year."

Biddiscombe to be Inducted into Local Sports Hall of Fame

John Biddiscombe.

John Biddiscombe, in his 37th year at Wesleyan and 24th as its athletics director, will be one of 12 individuals along with one team inducted into the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame on Jan 26.

Biddiscombe came to Wesleyan in 1974 as a three-sport coach of football, wrestling and track and field. He was head coach of wrestling from 1974 to 1989 with a won-loss record of 128-85-3, and in 1984 the team won the New England championship. He was voted New England wrestling coach of the year in 1984 and 1989, and was inducted into the New England Collegiate Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004.

As director of athletics, Biddiscombe has overseen the development of the Freeman Athletic Center, one of the premier athletic facilities in New England. He championed the recruitment

Coach Klecha-Porter Inducted into Lacrosse Hall of Fame

Patti Klecha-Porter

Patti Klecha-Porter, who has directed the field hockey team at Wesleyan since her arrival in Middletown in 1985, was inducted into the Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame on Nov. 13, for her long-time service as a lacrosse umpire.

Klecha-Porter was one of eight individual enshrined during a ceremony in Southington, Conn.

Klecha-Porter graduated from Ithaca College in 1981.  As a student athlete at Ithaca, she was captain and MVP of both the field hockey and lacrosse teams.  After graduating she continued playing field hockey at the U.S. Hockey level as well as club lacrosse for Hampshire New England. Klecha-Porter was inducted into the New York State Section V Hall of Fame in 1988 and a year later into her alma mater’s Sports Hall of Fame.

She earned a M.S. from Springfield College under the tutelage of Dottie Zenaty where she served as both assistant field hockey

5th Class Inducted to Athletics Hall of Fame (with VIDEO)

At right, John Biddiscombe, director of athletics, presents John Gardner ’74 with a plaque honoring him for athletic achievement. Gardner, who was the starting goaltender for the first three varsity men’s ice hockey seasons at Wesleyan (1971-74), was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame Nov. 5.

Wesleyan inducted the fifth class into its Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony Nov. 5 as part of the university’s Homecoming/Family Weekend activities. The addition of five individuals and one team will bring the total in Wesleyan’s Athletics Hall of Fame to 30 individuals and five teams. 

Like Father ’81 (and Mother ’81), Like Sons – The Herzlichs

The Herzlich family at the Senior Bowl.

When asked about his strongest football memory from his playing days at Wesleyan, Sandy Herzlich ’81 came up with a 20-7 win at Amherst in 1979.  “We beat Amherst up there in just a great game,” Sandy recounted.  “Kosty [defensive coordinator Peter Kostacopoulos] put in a wild game plan and we were shuttling personnel in and out, and it worked.  I remember that as being a very satisfying win.”  Head Coach Bill Macdermott called it “one of the best defensive games I’ve ever seen Wesleyan play.”  Mac was in his ninth season at the helm.

Sandy’s memory of his first date with Barb Martin ’81 on Saturday, Oct. 8, 1977, is a bit more sketchy, very sketchy, actually.  “I don’t remember the date at all.  I just don’t remember any of it,” remarked the 1980 Wesleyan football team co-captain about the first time he went out with his future wife.  It’s not that his mind was clouded with the passion of the moment.  Sandy had started the first game of his outstanding Cardinal gridiron career at Coast Guard, a 24-7 Cardinal victory, that afternoon and got his bell rung, but good, from his spot along the defensive line.  “I was really woozy that night,” he said.

Fortunately for the couple, Barb didn’t hold it against him and six years later, they wed in her hometown of Rowayton, Conn., not far from Sandy’s own native West Hartford.  That was after each finished a stellar athletic career at Wesleyan, one that earned Barb a spot in the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the first class inducted in 2008.  Barb was a school record-holder in both field hockey and lacrosse as well as a top squash player.  Sandy was a standout on defense in both football and lacrosse.

Not surprisingly, the couple’s two sons, Mark and Bradley, were both football and lacrosse stars in high school but each abandoned lacrosse, unlike their father, once they got to college. For Mark, the decision has certainly paid off, but not without some serious drama along the way.

Enrolled at Boston College, Mark made an immediate impact for the Eagles as a linebacker. During his junior year in 2008, Mark

Biddiscombe Announces Retirement from Physical Education Department

John Biddiscombe.

After 37 years at Wesleyan, John Biddiscombe, director of athletics and chair of the Physical Education Department, is retiring at the end of this academic year.

Biddiscombe came to Wesleyan in 1974 as a three-sport coach of football, wrestling, and track and field. He was head coach of wrestling from 1974 to 1989 with a won-loss record of 128-85-3, and in 1984 the team won the New England championship. He was voted New England wrestling coach of the year in 1984 and 1989, and was inducted into the New England Collegiate Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004.
As director of athletics, Biddiscombe oversaw the development of the Freeman Athletic Center, one of the premier athletic facilities in New England. He championed the recruitment of full-time coaches for women’s sports, initiated a team mentoring program with faculty, helped establish the alumni Athletics Advisory Council, and developed the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame. In 1999-2000, he was named Division III Athletic Director of the Year for the Northeast Region by the National Association of College Athletic Directors.
Biddiscombe’s involvement in the wider athletic arena has been extensive. He chaired the NCAA Management Council responsible for oversight of Division III operations and was a member of the NCAA Executive Committee. He contributed to the Mellon Foundation’s study of college athletics that resulted in the book, Reclaiming the Game, and has been an important voice in the New England College Athletic Conference,

McDonald to Appear in American Football Monthly, Training Videos

An article by Jeff McDonald, assistant football coach, will appear a national football magazine in August. He also hosts three accompanying instructional DVDs, teaching fellow football coaches and players an array of techniques and defenses.

Jeff McDonald, an assistant football coach at Wesleyan, will have a trio of instructional DVDs and an article produced by  American Football Monthly (AFM) magazine, one of the premier trade magazines for football coaches in the United States.

The article will appear in the August issue of the magazine and will be accompanied by online promotional samplings of the instructional DVDs, each of which will run approximately one hour.

McDonald flew to Florida in June to help prepare the DVDs. In each he presents instruction on different techniques and defenses, including defensive schemes, unique approaches to eight-man defensive fronts, and linebacker plays against the run and pass. Film clips of the techniques and defenses being used in game situations are widely used in the presentations as McDonald instructs and narrates.

The DVDs complement the August magazine article, which McDonald describes as focusing on linebacker fundamentals throughout the season.

“A lot of the time coaches get so caught up in weekly game plans during the season they forget to make time to continue to work on the fundamentals,” McDonald says. “The article discusses what I call the six-pack concept.

Student-Athletes Host Recess at Wesleyan (with VIDEO)

Approximately 115 students from the Woodside Intermediate School in Cromwell joined Wesleyan student-athletes from the men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s ice hockey, football, softball, women’s tennis and wrestling teams and the rugby club for an hour in the Bacon Field House for “recess.”

Three play stations were set up, allowing groups of third- to fifth-graders from Woodside to interact with the Wesleyan students in kickball, capture the flag, red light/green light and basketball.

The Wesleyan football team, through an arrangement between assistant coach Jeff McDonald and Woodside principal Bo Ryan, who met during their college years in the mid-1990s, has been frequenting the school since the fall.

Team members have helped out during recess, while the students were preparing for the Connecticut Mastery Tests, and in other capacities to aid the students and teachers at Woodside. On Thursday, April 7, Wesleyan hosted five students from each of the 21 classes (with a few wild card selections) for a very active hour of fun.

“This whole arrangement is unreal,” says Woodside Principal Bo Ryan. “ It has blossomed into an amazing relationship and our kids absolutely love it. It’s not just that the Wesleyan students come by. They are so actively engaged with our students. It is just amazing.”

More activity between Wesleyan and Woodside is planned for the future.

Below are video highlights and event photos:

YouTube Preview Image

At left, rugby team member Daniele Packard ’13 and wrestler Howard Tobochnik '13 shout to students during a game of capture-the-flag.

Coach Mullen Inducted into Connecticut Basketball Hall of Fame

Kate Mullen coaches the Cardinals during a game against Suffolk in Feb. 2011. (Photo by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com)

Kate Mullen, who recently completed her 19th year in charge of the Wesleyan University women’s basketball team, was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame at its 24th annual induction ceremony April 13.

Coach Mullen was honored as one of seven inductees. She was the only individual inducted as a college coach.  Two others were honored as high school players, one as a high school coach, one as a college player, one as a referee and another in the honorary area.

Hired as an adjunct assistant professor of physical education at Wesleyan in 1992, Mullen guided her teams to nine consecutive winning seasons from 2000-2009 with a 153-69 (.689) record during the span. The Cardinals had appeared in nine straight NESCAC tournaments and made two trips to the NCAAs. After going 21-4, a team best winning percentage (.840), and earning the second seed in the NESCAC tournament, Mullen was voted NESCAC coach of the year by her conference peers in 2002-03. The 2004-05 campaign led to a 22-5 record, the winningest in team history, while securing an NCAA bid and advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. In 2005-06, the team made its second visit to the NCAAs and finished with an 18-8 mark.

Bringing with her a solid background in coaching, Mullen was the head basketball coach at Elms College for seven seasons, going 4-3 against Wesleyan over that time.

Lackey to be Inducted into Volleyball Hall of Fame

Gale Lackey, head coach of women's volleyball, joined the coaching staff in 1978.

Gale Lackey, in her 33rd year of coaching at Wesleyan, and her 26th season at the helm of the women’s volleyball Cardinals, will be inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Volleyball Hall of Fame during its 13th annual induction ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 23.

The ceremony will take place at the Aqua Turf Country Club in Southington, Conn.  In total, six individuals will be enshrined this year, bringing the total in the CWVHOF up to 80.

Coach Lackey will become one of only six who are inducted as college coaches.  Others this year are being added to the Hall of Fame in the categories of high school coach, high school player, college player and official, the other primary categories.

Coach Lackey joined the Wesleyan coaching staff in 1978.  A 1970 graduate of West Chester University, Lackey was a

Softball Gives Wesleyan its Third-Ever NESCAC Tourney Title

Wesleyan softball joins the 2005 men's soccer team and 2009 men's lacrosse team as NESCAC titlists. The Cardinals take on Kean University in the NCAA first-round game May 14. (Photo by Brian Katten)

The softball team claimed a NESCAC tournament title and automatic bid to the NCAA championship May 14. Recovering from a disappointing 5-2 loss to Bowdoin in a potential title game, the Cardinals came back to trounce Bowdoin 10-1.

Wesleyan softball, coached by Jen Lane, adjunct associate professor of physical education, joins the 2005 men’s soccer team and 2009 men’s lacrosse team as NESCAC titlists. The Cardinals will play Kean University of New Jersey in the NCAA first-round game May 14 at Rhode Island College (R.I.C.).