Brockport, Geneseo Join Empire 8

Plus: Gustavus Goaltender Killed In Two-Car Crash; All-Time Winningest Football Coaches; DIII Heisman Votes

AUGUST 22, 2023 | written by STEVE ULRICH

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1. Brockport, Geneseo Join Empire 8

“The Empire 8 Conference is pleased to announce the addition of SUNY Brockport and SUNY Geneseo, anticipated for the 2024-25 academic year. With the addition of Brockport and Geneseo, the E8 will be comprised of 11 members, all located in New York State. The conference currently sponsors 23 NCAA Division III sports.”

The two schools had been members of the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) and become the first public institutions to join the E8 which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2023-24.

» Quotable: “I extend a warm welcome from the Empire 8 Athletic Conference to SUNY Brockport and SUNY Geneseo,” said Nazareth University President Dr. Beth Paul, who serves as the Chair of the Empire 8 President’s Council. “As our newest core members, Brockport and Geneseo reflect the deep commitment of the Empire 8 to maximizing the strengths of the student-athlete experience.”

» What They’re Saying: “We are ecstatic to welcome Brockport and Geneseo as core members of the Empire 8,” said Empire 8 Executive Director Chuck Mitrano. “Both institutions have excellent academic profiles, field competitive teams, and are committed to enhancing the student-athlete experience. They fit into our geographic footprint enabling us to retain and strengthen opportunities for our student-athletes while being fiscally responsible.”

2. Gustavus Goaltender Killed In Two-Car Crash; Three Teammates Injured

by Paul Walsh, Star-Tribune

A member of the national champion Gustavus Adolphus College women's hockey team was killed and three of her teammates injured in a two-vehicle collision at a rural intersection west-central Minnesota, officials said.

All four women were taken by emergency responders to Montevideo Hospital. Jori Lynn Jones, 19, of Little Canada, did not survive her injuries, the patrol said.”

The SUV occupants who suffered noncritical injuries, were identified by the patrol as driver Gianna K. Gasparini, Kayla M. Bluhm, and Lily K. Mortenson. Gasparini’s grandfather, Gino, coached the University of North Dakota men's team to three national titles during his tenure from 1978 to 1994.”

» Accident Report:The crash occurred about 12:40 p.m. Sunday about 20 miles west of Willmar on Hwy. 40 at the intersection with Hwy. 29 in Grace Township, the State Patrol said. The women's SUV was heading east on Hwy. 40 in tandem with two other vehicles of teammates when it collided with a southbound minivan.

» Of Note: “All four women were freshmen on the Gustavus Adolphus hockey team, which won the NCAA Division III championship in March 2023.”

» What They’re Saying:Jones had a "hard-working ethic that obviously came from her supportive family," Mike Carroll, head coach of the Gustavus Adolphus women's hockey team said. "She fit right in [and] embraced her role" as a backup goaltender..

3. All-Time Winningest Football Coaches

Steve Johnson, Bethel

Two of the longest-tenured head football coaches in Division III are within reach of milestone victories in 2022.

Bethel’s Steve Johnson needs six wins to become the 11th coach in Division III history to win 250 games. Salisbury’s Sherman Wood is four wins shy of 200 for his coaching career.

Active Wins

  1. Steve Johnson, Bethel, 244

  2. Norm Eash, Illinois Wesleyan, 225

  3. Sherman Wood, Salisbury, 196

  4. Paul Vosburgh, St. John Fisher, 184

  5. Mike Sirianni, Washington & Jefferson, 176

  6. David Murray, Hamilton, 170

  7. Andy Frye, Centre, 166

  8. Geno DeMarco, Geneva, 158

  9. Dean Paul, Ohio Northern, 149

  10. Joseph Smith, Linfield, 148

Active Winning Percentage

  1. Duke Greco, Delaware Valley, 86.3

  2. Jeff Devanney, Trinity CT, 85.0

  3. Gary Fasching, Saint John’s, 84.3

  4. Joseph Smith, Linfield, 84.1

  5. Chad Braun, Monmouth, 80.8

  6. Mike Sirianni, Washington & Jefferson, 80.7

  7. Jeff McMartin, Central, 76.2

  8. Peter Stuursma, Hope, 75.4

  9. Rod Sandberg, Whitworth, 75.3

  10. Jim Hilvert, Baldwin Wallace, 74.6

min. 5 seasons

» The Only One: Johnson has the seventh-most wins among coaches who have been at just one Division III institution. Legendary Saint John’s coach John Gagliardi won 465 of his 489 games at the school, while Larry Kehres posted 332 victories at Mount Union. Roger Herring (261, UW-La Crosse), Frosty Westering (261, Pacific Lutheran), Rick Giancola (260, Montclair State) and Frank Girardi (257, Lycoming) are ahead of Johnson.

4. Lightning Round

📰 News. “A former administrator who is now a trustee at St. Norbert College is suing a graduate for allegedly defaming him in 2018 while criticizing his response to sexual assault on campus. Now, public criticism from Margaret Uselman ‘18 is the subject of Rev. Jay Fostner’s defamation lawsuit. Fostner filed the suit in December; last week a judge set a jury trial for next September.

🏈 Football. “Only one Division III football player - Plymouth State’s Joe Dudek - has ever finished in the top 10 of Heisman Trophy balloting. says that if anyone could get votes today, it’s Mount Union QB Braxton Plunk.

5. Comings and Goings

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