1. Change. The winds of change kept blowing through McDonough in 2005 in a repeat of the would-have-been top story of 2004. The lead sentence has to be the appointment of Bernard Muir as Athletic Director, the first AD to be hired and not elevated from within the department in more than 75 years. The story continues with the resignations (all for unrelated reasons) of senior administrators Adam Brick (interim AD), Kim Simons (Associate AD) and head coaches Bob Benson (football), Li Liu (volleyball), and Leland Keyser (women's golf). The extent of change clearly marks the closing of one era and the beginning of a new era.
2. Sailing. Led by senior Andrew Campbell, Georgetown sailing reached its greatest heights in 2005 including some of the most impressive performances ever by Hoya athletic teams. Last spring, the Hoyas finished second in the Fowle Trophy (College Sailing Team of the Year) just a few points behind Harvard. The Fowle Trophy is awarded based on the best overall performance which includes the six National Championships: Men's Singlehandeds, Women's Singlehandeds, Sloops, Women's Dinghies, Team Race, and Coed Dinghies. In the fall, Georgetown Sailing rose to the top spot in Sailing World college rankings. The fall season was capped with Campbell making history by winning his third Singlehanded North American Championship in Hawaii. Earlier in the year, he won the Laser North American Championships and captured the gold medal at the 2005 Summer World University Games.
3. Men's Basketball. Surely the most visible of the top stories, the instant turnaround of the basketball program by head coach John Thompson III and subsequent recruiting successes, was complimented by the emergence of freshman star Jeff Green and the substantial increase in basketball ticket sales for the current season.
4. (tie) Ellington track. Through the generous support of track and field alums, Georgetown was able to partner with DC Schools to build a new 320-meter, four-lane synthetic track, located at 38th Street and Reservoir Road. The track, completed in early December, gives Hoya student-athletes a place to practice near campus on a daily basis and offers Washington, D.C. public schools in the area and community groups a facility for recreational running.
4. (tie) The Georgetown Yard. Just in time for the fall football season opener, the former Harbin Field was re-opened, completing the first stage of what will someday be a fully functional multi-purpose outdoor athletic facility. In the meantime, football and men's and women's lacrosse will practice and compete on the new synthetic turf with temporary seating for 2,500.
Predictions for 2006
1. More Change. 2006 will bring more new faces to the Athletic Department as head coaches are hired in football and women's golf and the important position of director of athletic development is filled.
2. Sailing. Look for the Hoyas in 2006 to capture the Fowle Trophy, emblematic of the best overall collegiate sailing program in the nation.
3. Lacrosse. With the women reaching the final four in three of the past five years and the men falling just one goal short of the FF in three of the past four years, count on at least one of the lacrosse teams making it to the rarified air of the NCAA tournament's final four in 2006.