Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Ken Weller: A Founding Father of DIII


written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III
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1. Ken Weller: A Founding Father of DIII

Ken and Shirely Weller at NCAA headquarters
Ken Weller and his wife, Shirely, behind the Flying Wedge at the NCAA Hall of Champions

"He was regarded as one of America's top college and university presidents. He oversaw the physical transformation of the Central College campus and the rise of the school's enrollment to record levels. As an NCAA vice president, he was instrumental in integrating women's athletics within the NCAA. His was a prominent and highly respected national voice in intercollegiate athletics. He was a passionate advocate for the student-athlete concept and even authored the original Division III philosophy.
This isn't about any of that.
Ken Weller, who passed away Friday at age 96, was Central's president from 1969-90 and the school's president emeritus for the 32 years since, but to students, coaches and fans he was a wise mentor, cheerleader, Central fan and loyal friend.
He was Forever Dutch."

>> Situational Awareness: "Central has won 11 NCAA Division III team championships and he personally witnessed most of them. When coach Ron Schipper put Central on the athletics map with an improbable Stagg Bowl victory in Alabama in 1974, he was there. When Cam Ratering and her Central teammates navigated the snowy, slippery cross country course in Kenosha, Wis. en route to capturing the NCAA's first-ever women's championship in 1981, Weller was there, with his patient, heavily bundled wife Shirely snapping photos with the family's Kodak Instamatic camera. When Central's Deana Bergquist lined a 3-run hit with two outs in the bottom of the seventh for a one-run NCAA softball title game win over Allegheny College (Pa.) in 1988, he and Schipper were loudly cheering from behind the center field fence."

>> Why It Matters: "It was mostly just making campus feel like home," said Laura (Bach) Olson '93, who was a softball catcher and a member of two national championship squads.. "Everyone always talks about how when they walk on Central's campus, it just feels like home. And I think he was one of the reasons, quite honestly. You knew you were important to him. I don't know how many people would think that if they were having a rough time or they needed something that you could walk into the president of the university's office and talk with them. We went to his house right away when we were freshmen and he knew who I was. It felt special."

>> Of Note: "Weller’s Division III philosophy advocated that the focus of intercollegiate athletics should be on benefits for the participant rather than the spectator, and that student-athletes be treated no differently than students involved in other co-curricular activities. He also was passionate in his belief that excelling in one aspect of campus life need not come at the expense of other areas and that academics and athletics pursuits were, in fact, complementary. Weller pointed with pride to Central’s lengthy list of NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients and CoSIDA Academic All-America honorees. He was called a founding father of Division III by The Intercollegiate Athletic Forum in 1996."

>> The Final Word: "There will never be another Dr. Weller," said wrestling coach Eric Van Kley. "He is as impressive of a leader as I've ever met, but an even better friend."

>> Read More
>> Obituary


2. All-Americans

Randolph-Macon basketball player Buzz Anthony (right)  Hope's Kenedy Schoonveld takes the ball to the basket during the third quarter against Calvin Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, at Calvin University.

Now that the Division III basketball season has come to an end, it is time to recognize the outstanding players that made the 2021-22 campaign memorable. - Men
First Team

G-Buzz Anthony, Sr., Randolph-Macon
G-Jack Davidson, Sr., Wabash
G-Matthew Schner, Sr., Emory
F-Ryan Turell, Sr., Yeshiva
F-Matthew Leritz, Sr., Illinois Wesleyan

Player of the Year: Buzz Anthony, Randolph-Macon
Rookie of the Year: John Adams, WPI

>> Complete Team

NABC - Men
First Team

Marcus Azor, Mass-Dartmouth
Buzz Anthony, Randolph-Macon
Levi Borchert, UW-Oshkosh
DJ Campbell, Stockton
Conner Delaney, Johns Hopkins
Jason Ellis, Marietta
Josiah Johnson, Mary Hardin-Baylor
Mathew Leritz, Illinois Wesleyan
Sam Peek, Wesleyan
Ryan Turell, Yeshiva (Player of the Year)

>> Complete Team - Women
First Team

G-Elyce Knudsen, Soph., Millikin
G-Kenedy Schoonveld, Sr., Hope
F-Hanna Geistfeld, Sr., Bethany Lutheran
F-Jenna Taylor, Sr., Simpson
F-Hailey Coleman, Sr., Trinity (Texas)

Player of the Year: Kenedy Schoonveld, Hope
Rookie of the Year: Belle Pellecchia, New York U.

>> Complete Team

WBCA - Women
First Team

Abby Anderson, Scranton
Tara Bieniewicz, Trine
Sondra Fan, Christopher Newport
Hanna Geistfeld, Bethany Lutheran
Elyce Knudsen, Millikin
Diarra Oden, Johns Hopkins
Maggie Russell, Tufts
Kenedy Schoonveld, Hope (Player of the Year)
Dani Valdez, Amherst
Jenny Walker, New York U.

>> Complete Team

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3. Playing Rules Waivers

Due to continuing challenges resulting from COVID-19, playing rules waivers for several sports have been granted for the 2022 spring season. 

Click here to access the waivers found under “Playing Rules Resources” on the playing rules page on

The playing rules waivers are consistent with the guidance included in the previously published NCAA Resocialization of Collegiate Sport documents. In this regard, the NCAA playing rules committees and staff will continue to monitor any additional developments and make adjustments as appropriate.

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact Rachel Seewald.


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4.   Pioneers Stake Hold on No. 1

Pioneers take series with 20-run performance
Jack Thomson, Lewis & Clark

In a week that saw some shakeup in the top 10, Marietta solidified its hold atop the rankings.

  1. Marietta (24), 12-2
  2. Birmingham-Southern, 14-4
  3. Eastern Connecticut, 8-1
  4. Lynchburg, 14-3
  5. Texas-Dallas, 17-3
  6. LaGrange (1), 17-1
  7. Cortland, 13-6
  8. Webster, 10-3
  9. Rowan, 8-3
  10. North Central (Ill.), 13-5
>> Movers and Shakers: Loras (+7), Johns Hopkins (-11)
>> New to the Poll: Oswego State, Hendrix
>> Undefeated Teams (5): Loras 16-0, Roger Williams 10-0, New York U. 9-0, Colby 5-0, Tufts 5-0

>> Home Run Leaders: Jack Thomson (Lewis & Clark) 9, Peter Giombetti (Catholic) 8, Joe Jimenez (Texas Lutheran) 8, Freddie March (Elmhurst) 8, Ryan McCarty (PSU Abington) 8
>> Strikeout Leaders: Sayers Collins (East Texas Baptist) 61, Jack Hodgins (Hendrix) 55, Collin Kiernan (Kean) 54, Logan Martin (Sewanee) 53, Jay Cassady (CNU) 50

>> Complete Poll

    5.   Lightning Round  

      Rhodes junior attacker Emily Bruner and Franklin & Marshall senior goalkeeper Emily Kitchin were named the IWLCA Division III Players of the Week.

      Centre's JP Vaught and Carnegie Mellon's Kendra Noneman named National Athletes of the Week by the USTFCCCA.

      Central OF Franie Burnett and Loras RHP Ashlyn Hemm captured the NFCA Player and Pitcher of the Week awards.

      Randolph-Macon's Josh Merkel named NABC Division III Coach of the Year

      Cake and candles to Franciscan head men's soccer coach Brent Ridenour.



      6.  Comings and Goings
      1 THING

      7.  Food for Thought

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