Welcome To Your New Conference
Plus: College Cornhole Blossoms at Adrian; Academic A-A Men's T&F
JULY 3, 2023 | written by STEVE ULRICH
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»🎇 The First Monday of July. Happy FY 24 and Happy Fourth of July.
1. Welcome To Your New Conference
It is the first day of the new fiscal year at colleges and universities and the first weekday that conference membership changes take effect.
Here is a look at the changes around Division III.
Hartford joins the Commonwealth Coast Conference
Lebanon Valley moves to the MAC Freedom
Salve Regina joins New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference
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2. College Cornhole Blossoms At Adrian
by Tess DeMeyer, The Athletic
“In the summer of 2021, Max Benedict worked as a manager at a campground in Frederic, Mich. I said, ‘You know what sucks? The only thing I like doing right now in my life is playing cornhole, and you can’t do that as a job,’” the 25-year-old said.
Months later, Indeed.com produced exactly that: Adrian College needed someone to lead its new cornhole team, which was already backed by Killshots Cornhole, a local bag and board manufacturer. On Christmas Eve of 2021, Benedict got the offer. By January, the first organized collegiate cornhole program with a full-time coach was taking shape. On Benedict’s first day, Mike Duffy, the former Adrian College athletic director who retired in June 2022 after 17 years at the helm of the Division III school, offered few words of encouragement for his newest hire.
“Here’s a desk. Make cornhole.”
» Situational Awareness: “To most, cornhole is a backyard game. But to a growing community of players in the American Cornhole League (ACL) who often travel across multiple states to face the nation’s best bag tossers in organized tournaments, it’s an intricately strategic battle that demands an ice-in-your-veins mentality you wouldn’t think necessary for throwing bead-filled bags at a slanted wooden board.”
» Why It Matters: “A year and a half after starting at Adrian College, Benedict is bringing cornhole to high schools around Adrian, with help from a midwestern supermarket chain. Meijer awarded a $20,000 grant to jumpstart the creation of a cornhole league in schools around the community, and it will culminate with a championship at Adrian College. Benedict also regularly fields calls from other colleges that are seeking advice on how to start their own programs, a resource he didn’t have on Day 1.”
» The Big Picture: “Reaching the peak of the collegiate cornhole scene, where national champions are awarded $2,500 for each event title they win and interviewed on ESPN, requires a level of practice and dedication akin to other sports recognized by the NCAA. Angel Camarena, reigning NCCC doubles champion, estimates that he played 30 hours a week in the two months leading up to the championship while still going to school full-time — 10 hours more than the NCAA allows athletes on varsity teams to practice.”
Representing Adrian College, Griffin Reynard snags three bags on one shot in this round. 🔥 Between having an ACL Pro for a brother and being part of one of the first and largest college cornhole teams in the county, it’s no wonder the kid can sling some bags. 👏
— American Cornhole League (@iplaycornhole)
Jan 13, 2023
» What They’re Saying: “We’re trying to supply some equipment to universities big or small to help them get started,” ACL College executive director Tyler Key said. “Then we try to create an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome when they come to compete.”
3. MIT’s Kearney Named XC/T&F Academic All-America of Year
Recent MIT graduate Matthew Kearney was selected as the Men’s Track and Field/Cross Country Academic All-American of the Year as the College Sports Communicators announced their 2023 Academic All-America team.
An All-American in the 10,000, his performance helped the Engineers to their first-ever national track and field championship. An electrical engineering, computer science and philosophy major with a 4.00 GPA, Kearney is also a five-time All-Region honoree.
Division III led the four Academic All-America® teams with a 3.91 average GPA with the first team boasting a 3.97.
Sam Acquaviva, MIT, Sr., 3.92, Computer Science / Cognitive Science
Ryan Beard, Westminster (Pa.), Grad, 4.00, Business Administration
Jack Begley, Case Western Reserve, Sr., 4.00, Engineering Physics
Jeff Candell, Washington U., Sr., 3.98, Computer Science
Daniel Chen, Johns Hopkins, Sr., 3.93, Molecular & Cellular Biology
Ethan Domitrovich, John Carroll, Jr., 3.99, Exercise Science
Henry Hardart, MIT, Jr., 4.00, Chemistry / Biology
Ryan Harvey, Loras, Jr., 3.99, Politics / Philosophy
Steven Hermsen, Carroll, Grad., 3.97, Physical Therapy
Will Houser, Washington U., Jr., 4.00, Computer Science
Matthew Kearney, MIT, Sr., 4.00, Electrical Engineering / Computer Science / Philosophy
Connor Lancial, Wartburg, Sr., 4.00, Business Adm. / Accounting
Matthew Lecky, RPI, Sr., 3.96, Chemistry
Andrew McGovern, Carnegie Mellon, Jr., 3.97, Mechanical Engineering
Spencer Moore, Emory, Sr., 3.97, Political Science
Kenneth Wei, MIT, Sr., 3.84, Biological Engineering
4. Lightning Round ⚡️
🗞 News. The Mississippi College For Women has been approved for full membership in NCAA Division III. The Owls will become members of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
🗞 News. More than 206,000 viewers tuned in to watch the NCAA Division III football championship game in December. That number was the highest of all NCAA finals broadcast on ESPNU, exceeding the viewership of the DII football title game, as well as the DI men’s and women’s soccer finals.
5. Comings and Goings
AUGUSTANA - Chad Gunnelson named director of cross country/track and field
BABSON - Judy Blinstrub retired as head women’s basketball coach
BRYN ATHYN - Suzanne Nelson stepped down as director of athletics. Sal Capone named interim director
BRYN MAWR - Shannon Algeo named head lacrosse coach
BUNEA VISTA - Jessi Juarez named head track and field coach
CABRINI - Steve Colfer stepped down as head men’s lacrosse coach. Tommy DeLuca named head coach
CROWN - Colt Sedbrook named head baseball coach
CURRY - Sarah Dacey stepped down as head women’s soccer coach
DUBUQUE - Paul Wyczawski retired as head baseball coach
GETTYSBURG - Brian Leib named head women’s golf coach
HEARTLAND COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE - Grace Schott named assistant commissioner. Ben Miles named coordinator of athletic communications
IMMACULATA - Susan Callahan named head tennis coach
JOHNS HOPKINS - Ryan Cain named head men’s basketball coach. Nikki Betz named associate director of athletics. Erin Long named assistant director of athletics and head athletic trainer
KALAMAZOO - Lydia Christian named interim head volleyball coach
METHODIST - Jack Brunecz stepped down as director of cross country/track and field
NYU - Michele Canning stepped down as head women’s soccer coach and named assistant athletic director
NORTH PARK - Bisrat Kidane named director of track and field/cross country
ONEONTA - Michael Harmon named head tennis coach
PIEDMONT - Brittany Walker named associate head athletic trainer
ROCHESTER - Abby Hurley-Martin named head softball coach
SAGE - Stephanie Reinhardt named head softball coach
SCHREINER - Damian Macias named head women’s soccer coach
SOUTHERN MAINE - David Chadbourne named head women’s basketball coach
TRINE - Kati Horstmann stepped down as acrobatics and tumbling head coach
TUFTS - Ken Legler retired as head sailing coach. Johnny Norfleet named head coach
WAYNESBURG - Erin Leaver named head athletic trainer
WESTFIELD STATE - Matthew Nodell named head swimming and diving coach
WESTMINSTER (Mo.) - Brian O’Connor named head men’s soccer coach
YORK (N.Y.) - James Wilkerson named head cross country coach
📬 Thanks for starting your day with us.
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