Brian Katten

Wesleyan's first full-time sports information director, hired in 1982. Wesleyan class of 1979.

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

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

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.

Roosa ’13, Lark ’12 to Represent Wesleyan at NCAA Championships

Kyle Roosa ’13

Two Wesleyan athletes are going to the NCAA Championships.

Kyle Roosa ’13 will represent Wesleyan at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships at The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse March 11-12, while Tommie Lark ’12 will participate in the NCAA Division III Men’s Indoor Track Championships at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, March 11-12.

Roosa ’13 recently extended the wrestling team’s string of claiming at least one New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) title when he claimed the crown at 174 pounds during the annual NEWA Championships hosted by Trinity Feb. 26-27.

The Cardinals, with two runner-ups, three fifth-place finishers and one sixth-place finisher, placed third in the field of 14 NEWA teams.

Tommie Lark ’12 (Photos by Brian Katten)

Lark earned his trip to the NCAAs at the New England Division III Men’s Indoor Track Championships hosted by Springfield on Feb. 19. There, Lark ’12 broke his own school record in the triple jump while winning the event with a leap of 48′-2 1/2″.

Men’s Hockey to Play in 1st NESCAC Semi-Final

Wesleyan won a first-round NESCAC tournament game in its fifth trip to the playoffs on Feb. 27. (Photo by Brian Katten)

Wesleyan’s men’s ice hockey will play in its first NESCAC semi-final ever when it takes on No. 2 seed Williams on March 5.

It is just the latest in a series of firsts by this squad. They began their record-setting run by Jan. 15 by knocking off Middlebury for the first time in 35 all-time meetings with a 4-3 overtime decision. On Jan. 21, the Cardinals defeated defending national champion Norwich 5-2, which was the first time a Wesleyan men’s hockey team had beaten a team after they had won a national championship.. The string of firsts continued on Feb. 12, when the Cardinals downed the Bowdoin Polar Bears fort the first time on the road. Most recently, Wesleyan won a first-round NESCAC tournament game in its fifth trip to the playoffs, downing top-seeded Hamilton, 5-2, Feb. 27. Another first, as a number 8 seed had never beaten a number 1 seed in the opening round of the NESCAC hockey tournament.

Men’s Crew Places 2nd at Head of Charles Regatta

From left, Elliot Skopin '11, Terrence Word '11, Trevor Michelson '13 and Spencer Hattendorf '12 placed second at the Head of the Charles Regatta Oct. 23. (Photo by Arya Alizadeh '13)

Wesleyan’s varsity four entry Elliot Skopin ’11, Terrence Word ’11, Trevor Michelson ’13 and Spencer Hattendorf ’12 with coxwain Peter Chu ’14 turned in an outstanding performance during the Collegiate Four event at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston Sat., Oct. 23.

With a time of 17:41.27 over the three-mile course, the Cardinals quartet of rowers bested 39 other crews in the 41-boat affair, trailing just WPI by a seven-second gap.  Wesleyan made up more than two minutes in moving past the University of Massachusetts team. 

Football Players Serve as Role Models to Cromwell Students

Wesleyan football players pose for a photo at Woodside Intermediate School. Pictured, standing, from left are: #68 Bobby Rosenthal '10, #77 Ryan Coffey '11, #37 Tim Morley '11, #60 Nick Seara '11 and #5 Shea Dwyer '10. Seated, from left, are: #18 Steve Hauser '11, #23 Prince Emenalo '13, #3 Kyle Weiss '12, #14 Joe Giaimo '11 and #87 Ernest Wingate '14.

Ten members of the Wesleyan University football squad visited the Woodside Intermediate School in Cromwell, Conn., Oct. 1 to join in some of the activities enjoyed by the students in grades 3-5.

Arrangements for the visit, which is one of four the Cardinals will make during the season, began during the summer through a connection between Wesleyan assistant coach Jeff McDonald and Woodside principal Bo Ryan, a former quarterback at Western Connecticut State University.  Plans formalized after McDonald spoke with the Wesleyan team captains and each Friday before Wesleyan’s home games, a contingent of players will travel to the school at midday to recreate with the students and serve as role models.

The student-athlete attendees included Bobby Rosenthal ’10,  Ryan Coffey ’11, Tim Morley ’11, Nick Seara ’11, Shea Dwyer ’10, Steve Hauser ’11, Prince Emenalo ’13, Kyle Weiss ’12, Joe Giaimo ’11 and Ernest Wingate ’14.

The squad members visited several classes but spent most of their time around the area of physical education.

“It was great to have football players from Wesleyan visiting us today,” says Bo Ryan.  “We look forward to having them come back on Oct. 22 during the recess and lunch hours.  All of the players are exceptional students and great role models for our kids.”

Sonnenfeld ’11 Joins National Academic All-America Squad

Julian Sonnenfeld '11 had 25 doubles during the 2009-10 baseball season, setting a Wesleyan school record.

Junior left-fielder Julian Sonnenfeld ’11 became the second Wesleyan athlete during the 2009-10 academic year to receive national recognition from the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) as a member of a CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine national academic All-America squad.

Sonnenfeld, who led the baseball team to a 22-14 record and its second straight appearance in the NESCAC tournament, was named a third-team academic All-American. He was a first-team all-NESCAC choice, a third-team all-New England selection by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) as well as a first-team District I academic All-American. During the 2010 season,