Presidents Council Recap

Plus: Champs Committee Recap; Winningest Field Hockey Coaches; Risky Betting Behaviors

AUGUST 21, 2023 | written by STEVE ULRICH

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1. Presidents Council Recap

The NCAA Division III Presidents Council met via video conference on August 2.

» Convention Education: The Council endorsed the proposed topics for the Division III educational sessions for the 2024 Convention in Phoenix (Hosting a Division III Championship; and Understanding the Work of the Division III Championships Committee), as well as the topic for the session being sponsored by the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (Playing Rules).

» ADR Funding: The councils approved allocating $75,000 annually to support a new and enhanced professional development program for Division III Athletics Direct Reports (ADRs) that includes sessions at the annual NCAA Convention as well as periodic webinars focusing on networking, professional development, and orientation programming for new ADRs.

» Budget Projections: The councils reviewed the budget projections and noted that the new CBS/Warner Brothers contract begins in fiscal year 2025, during which the division will receive a 13% revenue increase. The contract ends in 2032. The councils also were reminded that in fiscal years 2023 and 2024 the division will intentionally overspend its budget by an approximate average of $2.7 million per year to reduce the amount above the mandated reserve.

» Welcome Aboard: Crystal Gibson, director of athletics at St. Mary’s (Md.), and Joe Bednarsh, associate dean of students at Yeshiva, were named to the Management Council beginning in January. Four August vacancies on the championships committee were filled - Shannon Howley, associate AD, Montclair State; Renee Bostic, AD, New Paltz; Chad Eisele, AD, Hampden-Sydney; and Sara Shoffner, FAR, Huntingdon. Jason Doviak, AD, Alfred State, and Duey Naatz, AD, Wisconsin-Stout, will fill two January openings.

2. Championships Committee Recap

NCAA Championship Trophies

The NCAA Division III Championships Committee met via videoconference last Tuesday. Among the items discussed were the Nominating Committee report, an AQ waiver request and a pair of sports committee reports.

» Nominating Committee: Six appointments to sports committees were approved: Graham Johnson (MSOE coach, Men’s Ice Hockey); Stephanie Smyrl (Emerson AD, Women’s Soccer); Tom Linhart (RIT coach, Women’s Tennis); Melanee Wagener (Mount St. Joseph AD, Women’s Volleyball); Ron Beaschler (Ohio Northern coach, Wrestling); Robert Charlton (Wellesley coach, Men’s and Women’s Fencing).

» AQ Waiver Request: The committee reviewed and approved a request from the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) to allow the Northeast Women’s Hockey League, a single-sport conference that is dissolving, to transition into the multisport SUNYAC and maintain its automatic qualification.

» Women’s Ice Hockey Site Pilot: The committee approved the women’s ice hockey committee’s request to conduct a four-year pilot during which two championship finals (2025 and 2027) would be held at predetermined sites and the remaining two (2024 and 2026) would be held at the campus of the highest eligible seed as is currently done.

» 2024 Softball Site: The committee approved the softball committee’s request to move the 2024 Division III Softball Championship to the campus of East Texas Baptist University. The change became necessary when the softball committee was informed that renovations to Moyer Park in Salem, Virginia, which had originally been selected as the site for the 2024 championship, would not be completed in time to host.

3. All-Time Winningest Field Hockey Coaches

Sharon Pfluger, TCNJ

Did you know that the top two winningest active coaches, as well as the top two in winning percentage, in all divisions reside in Division III?

TCNJ head coach Sharon Pfluger and Lynchburg’s Enza Steele are 1-2 with 648 and 645 victories, respectively. The duo stand 3-4 in all-time wins, trailing just North Carolina’s Karen Shelton (745) and UConn’s Nancy Stevens (700). Stevens began her career at Franklin & Marshall (1979-80).

Active Wins

  1. Sharon Pfluger, TCNJ, 648

  2. Enza Steele, Lynchburg, 645

  3. Dawn Chamberlin, Salisbury, 552

  4. Amy Watson, Keene State, 470

  5. Katharine DeLorenzo, Middlebury, 446

  6. Nicky Pearson, Bowdoin, 379

  7. Beth Hallenbeck, Skidmore, 376

  8. Andy Whitcomb, Mount Holyoke, 284

  9. Alix Barrale, Williams, 282

  10. Jackie Neary, Cabrini, 273

Active Winning Percentage

  1. Sharon Pfluger, TCNJ, 83.2

  2. Brooke Good, Messiah, 82.8

  3. Nicky Pearson, Bowdoin, 81.3

  4. Dawn Chamberlin, Salisbury, 80.6

  5. Katharine DeLorenzo, Middlebury, 77.9

  6. Tina Mattera, Tufts, 76.5

  7. Carrie Moura, Christopher Newport, 75.2

  8. Kaitlyn Eager, Franklin & Marshall, 75.0

  9. Jane Wells, Johns Hopkins, 74.0

  10. Gina Wills, Washington and Lee, 72.7

» The 500 Club: Two other DIII coaches have won more than 500 games - Salisbury’s Dawn Chamberlin (552) and Messiah’s Jan Trapp (536). Only 12 collegiate coaches have reached the 500-win plateau.

4. Lightning Round

📰 News. “The State University of New York at Potsdam plans to phase out four academic programs as it stares down a $9 million budget hole. The public institution intends to discontinue bachelor’s programs in computer science education, geographic information science, and speech communications, as well as a graduate-level certificate in college teaching.”

🎰 News. “According to a recent NCAA survey of 3,527 individuals ages 18 to 22, 16% engaged in what the NCAA defines as “risky” betting behaviors. Notably, many, if not most, of those students aren’t of legal age to be making bets with regulated sportsbooks in the first place.”

5. Comings and Goings

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