Tag Archive for athletics

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:

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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.).

‘Dresser Diamond’ Honors Former Board Chair

Wesleyan named the baseball diamond "Dresser Diamond" in honor of Jim Dresser '63, P'93. (Photos by Bill Burkhart)

The Wesleyan baseball diamond on Andrus Field was named in honor of Jim Dresser ’63, P’93 during a ceremony May 1. Six generations of Dresser’s family has coached, played, or watched games on “Dresser Diamond.”

Baseball began at Wesleyan – and on this ground – in 1865.  Two years earlier, Dresser’s great-grandfather, James Cooke Van Benschoten, arrived at Wesleyan to teach classics, which he did for almost 40 years.  He named the team “the Agallians.”

Student Athletes Receive Wesleyan’s Scholar-Athlete Award

From left, Keisuke Yamashita '10, Jory Kahan '10, Clare Smith '10 and Beth Kenworthy '10 were honored during a luncheon April 9 as being recipients of 2009-10 Wesleyan’s Roger Maynard '37 Memorial Award.

Keisuke Yamashita ’10 of Yokahama, Japan; Jory Kahan ’10 of Norwich Vt.; Clare Smith ’10 of Lexington, Mass.; and Beth Kenworthy ’10 from New York, N.Y., were named the recipients of Wesleyan University’s Roger Maynard ’37 Memorial Award for the 2009-10 academic year.

The award is presented annually to the outstanding male and female scholar-athletes in their last year of eligibility. Yamashita, Kahan, Smith and Kenworthy represent the finest combination of athletic accomplishment and academic achievement at Wesleyan.

Kahan and Yamashita were starters on the 2009 men’s soccer team that posted the first undefeated regular-season since 1940 and set a school record for longest unbeaten streak (15 games), going 11-0-4 before dropping its NESCAC semi-final game to Middlebury. Receiving an at-large bid to NCAA Division III tournament, the team’s third

Cohen ’10 Honored for Sports Information Efforts

Ben Cohen '10

Ben Cohen ’10 was chosen to receive the 2010 Bill Esposito Memorial Award by the Eastern College Athletic Conference – Sports Information Directors Association (ECAC-SIDA).

Named for long-time sports information director Bill Esposito, who served in the profession at St. John’s University in Jamaica, N.Y. for 25 years, the award recognizes the outstanding contributions of a senior student among the ECAC membership (more than 300 East Coast Colleges from all NCAA Divisions) who plans to pursue a career in sports information.

Cohen has been a stalwart of Wesleyan’s sports information student staff for three years. A staff sportswriter for the student newspaper in the fall of 2007, Cohen asked for feedback from Wesleyan sports information director Brian Katten on a volleyball article, establishing the connection. He has since gone on to serve as sports editor of the paper for two years and become the primary in-office, game-day stats, post-game release and website student worker for sports information. His self-directed contributions to the office are immeasurable and recently rewarded as he has been chosen the student supervisor for Wesleyan’s smooth transition to a new athletic web site content manager this summer.

With a 3.60 GPA as an economics major,

Crazy Eights: 3 Wesleyan Spring Sport Teams get off to 8-0 Starts

Casey Simchik '10. (Photo by Brian Katten)

Casey Simchik '10. (Photo by Brian Katten)

Wesleyan women’s tennis posted a 4-0 mark during its fall dual-match schedule, then added four victories in Orlando, Fla. during its spring training trip in March to head into the meat of its schedule with an 8-0 record. The rest of the season features matches against nine consecutive NESCAC rivals. The outcomes of this part of the schedule will dictate qualification for the NESCAC tournament.

Women’s tennis is one of three Cardinal squads to inaugurate the season with an 8-0 start. Both the baseball and softball teams also have started 8-0.

The 8-0 record is the best ever season opening records for both softball and tennis. Each, however, is shy of the all-time program record for consecutive victories: women’s tennis won nine matches in a row during a 15-4 season in 2000-01; softball won 12 straight during its 21-15 season just three years ago in 2007. Baseball, which extended its streak to 10 games this year before dropping a game in California, began the 1988 season 13-0 and had a string of 15 consecutive victories in 1983.

Genevieve Aniello ’13

Whalen ’83 Named Head Coach of Wesleyan Football

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Mike Whalen ’83 was named assistant athletic director and head coach of Wesleyan University’s football team. He will assume this post on April 1.

Whalen was introduced to the campus community at a ceremony on Monday, March 8.

Whalen, the 2006 NESCAC Coach of the year, comes to Wesleyan from Williams College, where he had been the head coach since 2004. During that time, Whalen’s teams posted a 38-10 record.

“It is an honor and a true pleasure to welcome Coach Whalen back to Wesleyan,” says John Biddiscombe, director of athletics and chair, physical education. “He left as a standout college player and returns as one of the finest college football coaches in the nation.”

President Michael Roth says: “We are excited about the levels of excellence that he expects on and off the field from the scholar-athletes he coaches and recruits. We are confident that he can ensure the success we expect both in the classroom and in athletic competition here at Wesleyan, and his success and experience will be an asset to the overall athletic program.”

In his first two seasons as football coach at Williams, Whalen guided the Ephs to consecutive 6-2 seasons, highlighted by winning the final six games of the 2005 season and defeating arch rival Amherst to win the Little Three title. In 2006, Whalen extended the Eph win streak to 14 as he compiled just the sixth perfect season in Williams football history, leading the team to an 8-0 record.

Mike Whalen ’83 comes to Wesleyan from Williams College, where he has been the football team's head coach since 2004.

Mike Whalen ’83 comes to Wesleyan from Williams College, where he has been the football team's head coach since 2004.

Along with being named the 2006 NESCAC Coach of the Year, Whalen is the recipient of many coaching honors, including selection as a finalist for the prestigious 2006 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, which is presented to the nation’s top coach in all divisions. Whalen was the only Division III coach among the 16 finalists. He has also received the Johnny Vaught Head Coaching Award from the All-American Foundation and was named the Master Sports University/College Coach of the Year.

Whalen has had at least one Eph offensive lineman named All-NESCAC First Team every season. He has coached the only player in NESCAC and ECAC-Northeast history to win back-to-back Offensive Player of the Year awards.

Before being appointed head coach at Williams, Whalen served as an assistant football coach there for eight years, first as offensive line coach for five years and then as the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator for three years. Whalen also served as the wrestling coach at Williams from 1996 until 2004.

As the head coach of Williams wrestling, Whalen had 36 All-New England performers. In 2000 he was named the NECCWA Coach of the Year for leading Williams to a second place finish among the 15 teams in the region. NECCWA named Whalen the Rookie Coach of the Year in 1997, as well.

While an undergraduate at Wesleyan, Whalen captained the football team, earning All-New England recognition three times and an honorable-mention All-America honors an offensive lineman.  He was also a captain of the wrestling team, a four-time all-New England wrestling honoree as a heavyweight, and the first wrestler to win four consecutive NECCWA titles.

While an undergraduate at Wesleyan, Whalen, at left, captained both the football and wrestling teams, earning All-New England and All-American honors three times.

While an undergraduate at Wesleyan, Whalen, at left, captained both the football and wrestling teams, earning All-New England and All-American honors three times.

Whalen’s coaching career began at Wesleyan during the 1983-84 academic year when he served as an assistant defensive line coach and assistant wrestling coach. He went on to Springfield College in 1984 where he served as a graduate assistant in both football and wrestling while earning a master’s in physical education. Upon completing his degree requirements at Springfield, Whalen joined the staff at the University of Pennsylvania, and the 1986 Quakers went undefeated and won the Ivy League title. From Penn Whalen moved on to Lafayette College, where the Leopards won the Colonial League title in 1988 and the Patriot League title in 1989. In 1993, Whalen went to Colgate University, where he was the Associate Head Coach and offensive line coach for the Red Raiders.

Whalen’s wife Karen, and his two sons Luke and Jake, are excited about joining the Wesleyan community, as well.

Wind Screen Set-Up Signifies Baseball Season


The Athletics Department sets up a wind screen around the Andrus Field fence March 16. The brightly-colored screen allows the outfielders to easily see the fence line. The fence remains on Andrus Field throughout the baseball season.

The baseball season began March 6. The first home game is at noon, March 27 against Amherst College.

The baseball season began March 6. The first home game is at noon, March 27 against Amherst College.