Monday, October 24, 2022

'Best Job In The World'


written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III
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1.  'Best Job In The World'

Pink The Rink' set for Feb. 3 vs. Oswego - Fredonia State University  Athletics

by Anthony Dolce, Observer Today

"For the last 34 years, Jeff Meredith has served as the head coach for the SUNY Fredonia Blue Devils men’s hockey team. As he enters year 35, one might think he’d be approaching the end of his career."

You wouldn’t get that from talking to him though. In fact, he’d tell you the opposite. Meredith is not only still one of the best at his job, it’s also, according to him, the most fun he’s ever had while doing the job."

>> Ice Awareness: "But coaching wasn’t always that easy for him. During his first three years at Hamilton, Meredith had to supplement full-time coaching with painting houses, substitute teaching, and several other things so he could support himself. Prior to his interview at Fredonia, he had one interview total over those first three years, and Meredith had almost gotten out of coaching entirely. That persistence and ability to hang on just a little bit longer is a lesson he still teaches to this day."

>> Why It Matters: “We want to have the most positive experience that when people graduate and leave, we want them thinking about when they can get back and how they can stay connected,” Meredith said. “The unique thing is how strongly connected our alumni are.”

>> Reality Check: “I have the best job in the world,” said Meredith. “I am having more fun now than at any time in my career. I love the guys we have; I love recruiting and helping kids get to the next point. I am loving it, and as long as I am, and we can have success, I’ll keep doing it.”

>> Continue Reading


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2. Puget Sound Receives $10M Gift

The Tom and Meg Names Family Foundation affirmed its longstanding support of University of Puget Sound's athletics programs with a new commitment of $10 million to bolster the college's endowment for athletics programming, helping to elevate Logger athletics to new heights.

The generous contribution includes $8 million to establish the Tom and Meg Names Family Foundation Endowed Fund for Athletics Programming, supporting in perpetuity the Puget Sound Performance Success (PS2) Program, and $2 million to enhance the Tom and Meg Names Family Endowed Fund for Athletics, established in 2009 from a grant received from the Names Family Foundation* in honor of Logger alumni Tom '59 and Meg '56 Names in 2017.

"A gift of this magnitude not only has an immediate impact on our student-athletes, coaches, and athletics staff, but enables us to build on current momentum, creating a championship athletics culture on our campus that will benefit generations of Loggers to come," says Puget Sound President Isiaah Crawford

>> Situational Awareness: "Positioned at the intersection of Logger athletics and experiential learning, the Puget Sound Performance Success (PS2) Program supports student-athletes through enhanced opportunities and services related to physical readiness, wellness, and personal and professional development."

>> Quotable: "Student-athletes gain experience in collaboration, leadership, creative problem-solving, and the pursuit of excellence through hard work and dedication," says Erin Shagren '88, P'17, who serves on the boards for both Puget Sound and the Tom and Meg Names Family Foundation. "By establishing the endowed fund for athletics programming, we seek to support the whole student-athlete, empowering Loggers to excel in their sports, in their studies and cocurricular activities, and in their lives after Puget Sound, so that they may become leaders, influencers, and inspirations within their communities."

>> Read More


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3. Preseason Women's Rankings

With the start of 2022-23 women’s wrestling season nearing, the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) released their NCAA Women’s Wrestling Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

For the first time in the four-year program history, North Central College is ranked atop the poll with 95 points. The Cardinals finished fourth at the 2022 National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Coalition (NCWWC) National Championships. They are followed by 2022 runner-up and NWCA National Duals champion King University who has 88 points. These two programs are the only two that have at least 10 individuals ranked with North Central having 13 individuals ranked and King having 11.

In addition, three Division III wrestlers are ranked No. 1 in their weight class entering the new season.

Team Rankings

  1. North Central, Ill.
  2. King
  3. Colorado Mesa
  4. McKendree
  5. Augsburg
  6. Simon Fraser
  7. Tiffin
  8. Presbyterian
  9. Lindenwood
  10. New Jersey City
>> Complete Poll

Individuals Ranked No. 1
  • 109: Sydney Petzinger, North Central
  • 136: Nina Makem, Augsburg
  • 155: Marlynne Dedee, Augsburg
  • 170: Yelena Makoyed, North Central
>> Complete Rankings

4. Red October for the Cardinals

North Central continues to top the weekly rankings with Mount Union in the two hole. UW-Whitewater fell seven spots to No. 10 after a loss to UW-Platteville.

  1. North Central, Ill. (23), 7-0
  2. Mount Union (2), 7-0
  3. Mary Hardin-Baylor, 7-1
  4. Saint John's, 6-1
  5. Linfield, 6-0
  6. Trinity, Texas, 7-0
  7. Johns Hopkins, 7-0
  8. UW-La Crosse, 6-1
  9. Hardin-Simmons, 6-1
  10. UW-Whitewater, 5-2

>> This Weekend: No. 7 Johns Hopkins (7-0) vs. No. 19 Susquehanna (7-0); No. 8 UW-La Crosse (6-1) vs. No. 24 UW-Oshkosh (4-3); No. 9 Hardin-Simmons (6-1) vs. Howard Payne (6-1); No. 10 UW-Whitewater (5-2) vs. No. 21 UW-River Falls (5-2).

>> Unbeaten (18): Albion (7-0), Alma (7-0), Carnegie Mellon (8-0), Cortland (7-0), Delaware Valley (8-0), Endicott (7-0), Ithaca (7-0), Johns Hopkins (7-0), Linfield (6-0), Mount St. Joseph (7-0), Mount Union (7-0), North Central (7-0), Randolph-Macon (7-0), Ripon (7-0), Susquehanna (7-0), Trinity, Conn. (6-0), Trinity, Texas (7-0), Wartburg (7-0).

>> Efficient: Three QBs have pass efficiency ratings above 200 - Cortland's Zac Boyes (217.4), Mount Union's Braxton Plunk (205.2) and Randolph-Macon's Drew Campanale (203.3)

>> Ball Hawks: Franklin & Marshall's Justin Gerhart (7) and Nichols' Derrick Revolus (6) are tied for the DIII lead with 1.0 interceptions per game.

>> Complete Poll

5.  Lightning Round 


  Field Hockey

  • And then there were two. Just two unbeaten teams remain in Division III - Johnson and Wales (15-0) and Salisbury (14-0). The Wildcats face a major test against MIT (12-3) today. The Sea Gulls take on Christopher Newport (12-3) on Wednesday. North Carolina is the only other team with an unblemished record in NCAA field hockey.
  Soccer (M)
  • The University of Chicago is the lone NCAA men's soccer team - any division - in the nation with a perfect record at 14-0.

  Soccer (W)

  • Case Western Reserve (13-0) is one of two teams in NCAA women's soccer with an unbeaten and untied record, joining Division II West Chester.

  Volleyball (W)

  • There are just one team remaining in all NCAA divisions with a spotless record - Claremont-M-S (23-0).

   Happy Birthday

  • Cake and candles for Courtney Bernstein, SWA, Mount Saint Vincent, and Josh Blumenthal, a fan of DIII Playbook.
Do you know of someone celebrating a birthday soon? Drop us a line at

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6.  Comings and Goings

7. Pickleball Pickle

Pickleball being played on a converted tennis court (foreground) and an official pickleball court (background) in Melville, Long Island, N.Y. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Pickleball is getting more polarizing as it gets more popular, New York Times style reporter Steven Kurutz writes (subscription):

  • Tennis players are mad about the intrusion on court space — and resentful of coverage of the sport as more progressive.

The tennis set is "serious about their disdain for pickleball, a combination of badminton, Ping-Pong and tennis played with a small paddle and a hard plastic ball," The Times adds.

  • "Pickleball devotees say their sport is a sport of the people. It can be played by the young and the old — and, indeed, it is popular in retirement communities."
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