Aug 23, 2013
A new academic year and the beginning of the fall sports season are now upon us. As we look to embrace all the challenges ahead, it's worthwhile to pause and reflect upon this moment in time. This is a very exciting era to be a Hoya. We are especially proud to be a vital part of the Georgetown University community.
TRADITIONS EVOLVE. This year, we will see the next step in the evolution of the BIG EAST Conference. Make no mistake; this is not "the new BIG EAST." This is THE BIG EAST. At Georgetown, we are looking forward to seeing the positive results from all the work that has gone into this transition. The buzz surrounding a successful first week for our media partner FoxSports 1 has been the talk around McDonough this week. We enjoyed the network debut on Saturday morning and we anticipate outstanding quality productions, as well as increased television coverage of our conference.
Taking the next step forward requires proven leadership. We are extremely fortunate to have a high-caliber leader like Commissioner Val Ackerman. I am personally excited for her vision for the future of our conference. Her experience and knowledge will serve the BIG EAST well.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS. The games begin today. As we all work toward a culture of winning on the Hilltop, let me cite some excellent ambassadors who will set the tone during the fall season. Brian Wiese and our men's soccer program were recently selected first in the preseason BIG EAST poll and No. 3 in the nation. Dave Nolan and the women's soccer team was selected No. 18 in the country and second in the BIG EAST. Steve Neumann was named the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year on the men's side. For the women, Daphne Corboz was named the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, Emily Menges -- the Defensive Player of the Year, and Emma Newins -- the Goalie of the Year. Such acknowledgements have developed into the expectation for our coaches and student-athletes. After witnessing firsthand the hard work and dedication of both teams, I know that neither is looking to settle for preseason honors.
The volleyball and field hockey teams also arrived on campus earlier week to begin training camp to prepare for their upcoming BIG EAST seasons. These teams have truly embodied the term "student-athlete." Coach Arlisa Williams' volleyball team earned the BIG EAST's Team Academic Excellence Award for having the highest grade point average of any team in their sport. The field hockey program, under coach Tiffany Hubbard, had 21 student-athletes named to the BIG EAST All-Academic Team.
Football begins its third week of training camp, with opening day less than two weeks away. Kevin Kelly and his staff have done a remarkable job turning this program into a force to be reckoned with in the Patriot League. We're very proud of Dustin Wharton for earning preseason Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year honors. Again, we know the preseason honors will not be enough to keep the team satisfied and if Saturday's scrimmage is any indication, we are in for an exciting season on the Hilltop.
ATHLETIC RECOGNITION. In September, we will host our annual Athletic Recognition Event, where we honor some of the true standouts associated with our program over the past year. I am pleased to announce our awardees:
Outstanding Coaching Achievement Award Brian Wiese, Head Coach, Men's Soccer
Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Female Athlete Shikara Lowe '13, Softball
Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Male Athlete Otto Porter '15, Basketball
Outstanding Contribution to Athletics Award Irene and L. Edward Shaw '66
Robert A. Duffey Scholar-Athlete Award Andrew Riemer '13, Men's Soccer
All of these honorees are very deserving. They each contribute in a special way to make Georgetown one of finest institutions in the world. As we move closer to the men's and women's soccer season, a special thank you to Irene and L. Edward Shaw for their generous gift for the renovations and upgrades to the newly-named Shaw Field.
TEACHING. I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from many impressive colleagues during the course of my career, but a wise woman once said, "you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back." This summer, Assistant Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Leadership and Development, Dr. Mike Lorenzen and I taught a leadership course to graduate students in Georgetown's Sports Industry Management program. It's was an opportunity for Dr. Lorenzen and me to share our life and career experiences with a group of young sports professionals and future colleagues. In addition, Georgetown Athletics hosted participants of the NCAA Leadership Institute in July. It was another opportunity to share our experiences with other professionals in the industry and to expose them to the wonders of the Hilltop!
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES. The following is a brief list of some of the marquee athletic-related events taking place this fall. Please be sure to add them to your calendar. We enjoy having you join us on the Hilltop and on the road as often as possible.
September 8 M. Soccer vs. New Mexico
September 19 W. Soccer vs. Central Florida
September 20-21 M&W Tennis - Georgetown Classic
September 27 Athletic Recognition Event
September 28-29 Homecoming
Football vs. Princeton
W. Soccer vs. Xavier
M. Soccer vs. Creighton
Field Hockey vs. Louisville
M&W Crew -- Head of the Potomac
October 4 Swimming & Diving - Potomac Relays
October Sailing - Tom Curtis Regatta
October 12 Football vs. Fordham
October 25 Basketball Tip Off (formerly Midnight Madness)
October M. Golf - The Georgetown Intercollegiate
November 8 M. Basketball -- Armed Forces Classic - South Korea
November 8-9 Georgetown Crew Celebration Weekend
November 21-24 M. Basketball -- Tip Off Classic - Puerto Rico