Oglethorpe Names New Athletics Director

Oglethorpe University has chosen Rebecca “Becky” Hall as director of athletics. Hall is currently the assistant athletics director and senior woman administrator at Wittenberg University and will become Oglethorpe’s fourth director of athletics since reassigning to NCAA Division III in 1990.

OU's newest Petrel - Rebecca Hall

Becky Hall will replace Jay Gardinerwho has served as director since 2004. Gardiner is now the inaugural commissioner of the new Southern Athletic Association, Oglethorpe’s athletic association beginning in the 2012-2013 season.

“After a national search that yielded exceptional candidates, the committee identified the best match for Oglethorpe,” said Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students Michelle Hall. “Becky is truly a great fit, full of energy, ideas and experience that will guide our growing athletic program.”

A 1998 graduate of Urbana University where she was a star softball player, Hall was immediately hired by Wittenberg University as an assistant coach and rapidly made an impact on Tiger athletics. She was promoted to head softball coach in 1999 and, just one season later in 2000, led Wittenberg to their first North Coast Athletic Conference Championship. That season concluded with the Tigers making their first trip to the NCAA Championships and securing the school’s first NCAA Tournament softball victory.

While remaining as head softball coach, Hall took on progressive responsibilities. She served as Wittenberg’s director of intramurals and club sports from 2003-2007 before being promoted to assistant director of athletics and senior woman administrator in July of 2007. In that span, Hall has continued to lead a successful softball program and overseen a 3.5 million dollar budget while also fundraising over $58,000 of supplemental income to the department.

In recent years, Oglethorpe has experienced a surge in growth, having added two new dormitories to the campus with plans to break ground on a state-of-the-art new campus center soon.

“Becky’s addition to our leadership team is a strategic move to continue to elevate our athletic programs, build a winning tradition and develop scholar-athletes who are successful on and off the playing fields,” said Oglethorpe University President Lawrence M. Schall.

In addition to her fundraising success, Hall directly supervised all phases of 10 varsity sports teams while at Wittenberg. An advocate for several non-profit organizations, Hall engaged the Wittenberg student-athletes in a variety of community service efforts including events for Strike Out Cancer and Toys for Tots. Continue reading

Four Stormy Petrel Soccer Stars Earn All-Region Honors; Lavery Named to Division III First Team All-America

Pictured: Mark Lavery

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) announced the 2011 NCAA Men’s Soccer Division III All-Region teams recently and four Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels received recognition: Senior center back Mark Lavery (Woodstock, Ga.) and senior midfielder Aaron Walker (Woodstock, Ga.) were tabbed as members of the All-South Atlantic First Team while sophomore defender Nikos Papanikolopoulos (Atlanta) and junior goalkeeper Frank Petersen (Woodstock, Ga.) received Third Team nods.  

Just days later, the NSCAA named Lavery to the First Team of the NSCAA/Continental Tire 2011 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer All-America Team. Lavery is the first Stormy Petrel in school history to receive a First Team All-America designation in men’s soccer.  He was also named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Defensive Player-of-the-Year.

These individual postseason honors come on the heels of unrivaled team success for an Oglethorpe squad that won a conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2011—all during Oglethorpe’s 50th anniversary year of soccer.

“I’m thrilled that four deserving players like Mark, Aaron, Nikos and Frank were recognized…” said Oglethorpe head men’s soccer coach Jon Akin. “It’s the icing on the cake after all the hard work these kids put in to push us to our first conference title and first trip to the NCAA’s in program history.”

Congratulations to all!

Frank PetersenAaron WalkerNikos Papanikolopoulos

OU Men’s Soccer Team Captures First SCAC Title, Accepts First NCAA Bid

The Oglethorpe University men’s soccer 2011 season will roll on into the middle of November after the team accomplished a couple of program firsts this past weekend. The Stormy Petrels captured their first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championship by topping Centre 1-0 in Birmingham on Sunday afternoon and, in the process, clinched the school’s debut trip to the NCAA Tournament!

Still celebrating their first league title, the Petrels learned today that their first round NCAA Tournament game will be against the University of Texas at Tyler on the Patriots campus at 8:00 p.m. Eastern this Thursday, November 10.

The Petrels will bring their 17-3 overall record to Tyler, Texas to face a Patriot squad that is 15-2-2 overall and Sunday winners of the American Southwest Conference Championship. The Petrels and Patriots shared one common opponent from the 2011 season: Southwestern University. Texas-Tyler topped Southwestern 2-1 in their first match of the year back on September 3. Oglethorpe bested Southwestern by the score of 2-0 in last Saturday night’s SCAC Semifinal in Birmingham.

If the Petrels are fortunate enough to top the Patriots on their home field, Oglethorpe will travel down the road to San Antonio, Texas for a Sunday afternoon matchup with conference rival Trinity. To view the entire 2011 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer bracket, go here.

The 2011 Oglethorpe men, coached by Jon Akin, enjoyed a year unlike any other in the program history. The team set a school record by winning twelve straight games during the campaign en route to posting the 17-3-0 overall record. The 17 wins are a program best and the .850 winning percentage is also tops all-time for a team that celebrated 50 years of soccer being played on the campus just this season. The Petrels also posted their best SCAC mark in school history at 8-1 overall and the squad’s success gained national attention when the team appeared in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America rankings for the first time in 50 years.

CONGRATULATIONS!

A Historic Season for Oglethorpe Men’s Soccer—And It’s Not Over

The Oglethorpe University men’s soccer team just put the finishing touches on a historic regular season that saw the 2011 Stormy Petrels set several school records. With the first season complete, Oglethorpe is now excited about their second season—this weekend’s conference tournament with a chance to qualify for the school’s first-ever trip to NCAA Tournament on the line.

Coached by Jon Akin, the men enjoyed a year unlike any other in the program history. The team set a school record by winning 12 straight games during the campaign en route to posting a 15-3-0 overall record. The 15 wins are a program best, and the .833 winning percentage is also tops for a team that just this season celebrated 50 years of soccer being played on the campus. The Petrels also posted their best SCAC mark in school history at 8-1 overall. The squad’s success gained national attention when the team appeared in the rankings for the first time in 50 years.

This weekend the men travel to Birmingham, Ala. for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Tournament (Nov. 4-6), hosted by Birmingham-Southern. The Petrels will face the winner of Friday night’s Colorado College/Southwestern match-up on Saturday at approximately 8:30 p.m. Eastern. A semifinal victory on Saturday would spring Oglethorpe into the Championship game on Sunday (2:30 p.m. Eastern) against the likely opponent of the nation’s No. 4 ranked team, the undefeated Trinity Tigers.

To follow Oglethorpe’s quest for their first conference championship using live stats and live video, visit the Championship website here.

Go Petrels!

Pictured: The recordbreaking 2011 Oglethorpe Men’s Soccer team; Coach Jon Akin

National Sports Authorities Recognize Oglethorpe’s Outstanding Scholar-Athletes

This week, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) released its ITA Scholar-Athlete honors, and Oglethorpe’s Kayla Atkins ’11, Kate Siess ’14, Ethan Motz ’14 and Ross Beall ’11 were on that list.

Kate Siess '14 is one of only 35 women SCAC tennis players to be recognized by the ITA for excellence in the classroom.

The ITA is the governing body of college tennis, and oversees men’s and women’s varsity tennis across all three NCAA divisions as well as NAIA and Junior/Community College tennis.  Each season, ITA recognizes outstanding  varsity athletes in all divisions who maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2.

A total of 35 female and 27 male student-athletes in the SCAC conference were named Division III Scholar-Athletes. 

In golf news, the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA)announced Oglethorpe rising sophomores Chelsea Gatterdam ’14 and Dona Kiosef ’14 as 2011 Divison III All-American Scholars.

Gatterdam and Kiosef made the cut after maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.50 and competing in more than 12 rounds of competitive golf with a stroke average of 95 or better.

The 2010-11 women’s golf lineup featured five freshmen producing an average score of 92.32 to create a relative strength number of 398.96.  Golfstat.com‘s Freshman Impact analysis measures the impact of a team’s freshmen in their lineup, and ranks the Oglethorpe women in 9th place nationally.