Tag Archive for athletics

Softball Captures Little Three Title

Wesleyan’s softball team.

The Wesleyan softball team, led by head coach Jen Lane, captured the 2013 Little Three title after taking two of three games from Amherst over the weekend. Combined with their two wins earlier this year over Williams, the Cardinals went 4-2 for the Little Three crown. Su Pardo ’16 picked up both pitching wins vs. Amherst, giving up just six hits and one earned run over 12 innings of work with 13 strikeouts. Jill Gately ’15 was tremendous at the plate, going 5-for-9 in the series with two doubles, a home run, five runs scored and six RBI. She broke school seasonal records for both doubles (14) and RBI (44) while tying the mark for homers (6). Allee Beatty ’13 went 5-for-11 with four runs scored.

The Cardinals, now 24-7 on the year and ranked fourth regionally by the NCAA, need one win in the final NESCAC West series vs. Middlebury Fri.-Sat., April 26-27 to lock up a NESCAC tournament spot as well as set a program record for wins in a season. Two wins will make Wesleyan the top seed in the West for the playoffs to be hosted by Tufts Fri.-Sun., May 3-5.

Coach McDonald Writes for American Football Monthly

Jeff McDonald is a columnist/blogger for en elite football coaching magazine.

Jeff McDonald is a columnist/blogger for en elite football coaching magazine.

Assistant football coach Jeff McDonald will be a regular columnist/blogger for the online edition of American Football Monthly, the top college football coaches’ magazine in the country, during 2013. His first article titled, “The Importance of Off-Season Self Scouting to Keep Your Defensive System Evolving,” is currently live. In addition, McDonald has an article in the February edition of the print magazine involving the use of the iPad as a coaching tool. The article can be seen in part here, but is only available fully to magazine subscribers.

This past summer, McDonald began working with AFM with a series of instructional videos dealing with lineback play. McDonald recently completed his fourth season as a defensive assistant coach for Wesleyan and serves as linebacker coach, special-teams coach and recruiting coordinator for the Cardinals. He also is integral in the football team’s community service initiative. Before joining the Wesleyan staff in 2009, McDonald was a defensive assistant at Towson University in 2008 and served for six years as an assistant at Yale (2002-07). He began his college coaching career at Quincy University in 1998.

Biddiscombe, 1983-84 Wrestling Team to Join Athletics Hall of Fame

Wesleyan’s Athletics Hall of Fame will induct its sixth class Friday, Oct. 19 as part of the university’s Homecoming/Family Weekend. This year’s inductions will include an outstanding coach, administrator and leader and the championship wrestling team he coached in 1983–84. The coach and team will join the 30 individuals and five teams currently in the Hall.

Being honored and inducted is recently retired and long-time athletics director John Biddiscombe and the New England Championship Wrestling Team he coached in 1983–84, Wesleyan’s last New England wrestling champion until this year’s 2011-12 title squad.

Wellness Tips, Vendors at Cardinal Fit Kick-Off

Human Resources hosted a Wellness Program Kick-Off event for faculty and staff May 3 in the Freeman Athletic Center. Participants learned about the Wesleyan Incentive Points Program, entered their name in a raffle, got a free chair massage and met representatives from more than a dozen vendors.

Solomon Named New Head Swimming, Diving Coach

Peter Solomon

Peter Solomon has been appointed faculty head coach of men’s and women’s swimming and diving at Wesleyan University as well as aquatics director, it was announced April 16 by Wesleyan Athletics Director John Biddiscombe.

Solomon is an 18-year veteran head coach of men’s and women’s swimming and diving at NESCAC colleges Middlebury (1997-2011) and Amherst (1993-97).

“Wesleyan is very excited to welcome Peter Solomon as our swimming and diving coach,” Biddiscombe says. “He brings to the position a wealth of experience and a winning tradition.”

“I’m proud to represent Wesleyan and I look forward to getting to know the team in the months ahead and begin planning for next season,” Solomon says.

Over his 14 seasons in charge of the Panthers’ program at Middlebury, Solomon was named NESCAC Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year five times, most recently in 2010, and led his squad to a team championship in 2002. His women compiled a cumulative dual-meet mark of 79-37 while his men went 71-45. Over his years at Middlebury, Solomon coached 64 NESCAC champions, 60 NCAA Division III All-Americans and five NCAA Division III National Champions. In addition to his coaching assignment at Middlebury, Solomon was aquatics director and served an NESCAC Championships meet director for the 2005 and 2010 women’s championships and the 2008 men’s championships. He also helped establish and/or direct several camps and swimming programs at Middlebury.

Prior to his appointment at Middlebury, Solomon served in the same capacity at Amherst College for four seasons, directing his 1997 women’s squad to sixth place in the NCAA Division III Championships while being named New England Division III Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year in both 1995 and 1996.

“I have been fortunate to work at some of the most elite colleges in the country and feel as though I bring a wealth of experience as a swimming coach and recruiter in Division III and in NESCAC,” Solomon explains. “I believe this will pay big dividends in helping me build a stronger and deeper team here at Wesleyan.”

A 1985 graduate of North Carolina State University who went on to earn his M.A. at the University of Connecticut in 1993, Solomon most recently served as an assistant swimming coach and director of operations at the University of Vermont during the 2011-12 campaign.

“I’m excited to share my passion and enthusiasm for the sport with this team and future prospective student-athletes,” Solomon says. “In talking to several of the swimmers during the interview process, it was obvious that the transitional year has brought the team closer together and I look to build off of this energy and enthusiasm as well as the successes of their past season.”

Solomon steps into a position held on an interim basis in 2011-12 by Frank Keefe. Keefe came on board to fill a void when 11-year veteran head swimming and diving coach and aquatics director Mary Bolich left Wesleyan to take a position in the athletic department at Penn State University.

Video on Recess at Wesleyan

The Recess at Wesleyan Program welcomed 100 students from a local intermediate school who were rewarded for exemplary behavior with a midday recess excursion to Wesleyan’s Bacon Field House. Dozens of university student athletes hosted the children in a variety of play activities including basketball, kickball and capture the flag. Recess at WES is an ongoing partnership with regular visits by student athletes to the Intermediate school. It is supported by the Wesleyan Athletics Advantage Program, which integrates community service into the undergraduate student athlete experience.

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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,