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More Division III Standouts

Division III student-athletes featured in the 40-in-40 series weren’t the only ones who excelled after their playing days.

 

Division III’s observance of its 40th Anniversary year is ending, but its purpose – to celebrate the division’s history and philosophy while promoting its uniqueness in intercollegiate athletics – will remain in sight during coming years.

The celebration kicked off last summer with a panel discussion commemorating the August 1973 vote to create Division III, and continued at the NCAA Convention in January and at all of the division’s 28 men’s and women’s championships.

Member conferences and institutions also took advantage of events such as Division III Week in April to acknowledge the 40-year milestone.

The celebration also featured a weekly series of profiles of Division III student-athletes who have graduated since 1973, and who have exemplified the division’s attributes of Proportion, Comprehensive Learning, Passion, Responsibility, Sportsmanship and Citizenship.

The series, titled “40-in-40,” showed how individuals ranging from the current White House chief of staff to an Oscar-winning film producer to three prominent woman broadcasters followed their passions and discovered their potential during their time on Division III campuses.

While those 40 stories included in the series were noteworthy, the featured individuals provide only a small sampling of the achievements of former Division III student-athletes, in a wide variety of professions and avocations.

Last summer, Division III conferences and schools suggested nearly 120 individuals worthy of inclusion in the series. As a final salute to the many former student-athletes who have competed since 1973 at Division III schools, brief profiles of individuals who were nominated for but not included in the 40-in-40 series follow:

 

Business

Frank Baker (Chicago 1993), football: Managing director and a founding partner of Siris Capital Group; Chicago athletics hall of fame member who ranks as the leading rusher in Chicago’s modern era, and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient and two-time Academic All-America selection.

David Brennan (Gettysburg 1975), football: Former chief executive officer of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals; three-time letter winner as offensive tackle.

Craig Deaton [Carthage (Wisconsin) 1972], baseball and football: Founder and president of a mortgage company; most outstanding College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin offensive player as quarterback and first-team all-conference infielder.

Paul Elsen [Wheaton (Illinois) 1997], wrestling and track: Advisor to real estate companies on hedging interest rate and foreign currency risks; two-time Division III 177-pound national wrestling champion and three-time decathlon all-American.

Devean George (Augsburg 1999), basketball: Real-estate developer specializing in affordable urban housing, and former player for the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors; two-time Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference most valuable player and first Division III student-athlete drafted in the first round of the NBA draft.

Joel Manby (Albion 1981), baseball and football: Chief executive officer at Herschend Family Entertainment (operator of Dollywood and Silver Dollar City amusement parks) and former CEO of Saab Automobile USA; first-team all-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association selection in baseball, and Rhodes Scholar finalist and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient.

Lew Miller (Kalamazoo 1993), tennis: Executive vice-president for operations at Xerox and attorney; two-time Division III singles champion (undefeated in senior season), and two-time Academic All-America of the Year and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient.

Blake Moore (Wooster 1980), football: Executive vice president at Mackenzie Financial Corporation in Toronto and Harvard Law School graduate, and former player with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers; three-time Academic All-America selection and football all-American.

Haruske Naito (SUNY Oneonta 1978), swimming: President of U.S. and Japanese companies that manufacture water purification devices, and Japanese Olympic swimming coach; NCAA College Division 200-yard breaststroke champion in 1973 and State University of New York Athletic Conference most valuable swimmer.

Martin Nesbit (Albion 1985), basketball: Co-owner of the Vistria Group with interests in education, health care and financial services and founder of The Parking Spot, and treasurer for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign; co-captain of the Albion basketball squad.

Robert Ortenzio (Gettysburg 1979), wrestling: Co-founder and chief executive officer of Select Capital Ventures and Select Medical Holdings; three-time Division III all-American and three time conference champion.

Tassos Paphites (Virginia Wesleyan 1979), basketball, soccer and tennis:   Founder and chief executive officer of BurgerBusters Inc., and former professional basketball player in Europe; Virginia Wesleyan athletics hall of fame member who was a two-time all-conference selection in basketball.

Angie Rieger (Augsburg 2001), ice hockey and volleyball: Senior business analyst at Target; three-time all-American and two-time Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player of the year in ice hockey, and all-conference player in volleyball.

Troy Ruths [Washington (Missouri) 2008], basketball: Founder of Ruths Analytics & Innovation, a software solutions company and recent doctoral graduate at Rice; two-time Academic All-America selection and a two-time all-American who led Bears to the 2008 Division III Men’s Basketball Championship title as the tournament’s most outstanding player.

John Smolinski and Ty Foster (Manchester 2011), baseball: Founders of Positive Reinforcement Clothing, marketed via a Twitter feed that has more than a quarter-million followers; teammates on Manchester baseball team who majored in sports management.

Harold “Sam” Stovall (Muhlenberg 1977), football and track: Chief equity strategist at Standard and Poor’s and author of three books on investing; Muhlenberg athletics hall of fame member who was perfect with extra-point attempts as a kicker during his senior season, and was a four-year letter winner throwing the javelin.

Theodosia “Billie” Streets (Oberlin 1986), basketball: Vice president of corporate events and communications administration at Madison Square Garden; starter at forward in basketball.

 

Coaches

Sandy Augstein-Collins (Sage 1987), volleyball: Head women’s volleyball coach and associate director of athletics at Sage; Sage athletics hall of fame.

Chris Creighton (Kenyon 1989), football: Head football coach at Drake; all-American quarterback and Kenyon athletics hall of fame.

Scott Frey and Brad McCarty (Messiah 1984 and 1993), soccer:  Women’s and men’s soccer coaches at Messiah, who have coached teams to a combined nine Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championship titles; McCarty was a two-time all-Middle Atlantic Conference first-team selection as a student-athlete.

Jack and Beth Groselle (Hiram 1976 and 2006), swimming: Jack is swimming and diving coach at Hiram; he won the Division III 50-yard freestyle title in 1976, then coached daughter Beth to the 100-yard breaststroke title in 2006.

Mike Haviland (Elmira 1990), ice hockey: Head coach of the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears and former assistant coach for Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks; ranked statistically among Elmira ice hockey student-athletes.

Scott Hvistendahl (Augsburg 1999), football and baseball: Assistant football coach and staff member at Northwestern (Minnesota); two-time Gagliardi Trophy winner who broke Jerry Rice’s all-divisions career receiving yardage record and currently ranks among top 10 NCAA receivers, and two-time Academic-All America selection.

Billy "White Shoes" Johnson (Widener 1974), football: Assistant football coach at Duluth (Georgia) High School and former running back and kick returner for the NFL’s Houston Oilers, Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins, named to the league’s 75th anniversary team as a punt returner; set nine NCAA records and is a College Football Hall of Fame member.

Scott Lakatos (Western Connecticut State 1988), football: Former Georgia and Connecticut secondary coach; played on 1985 football team that was selected to play in the Division III Football Championship.

Becky Martin (McDaniel 1980), basketball: Head women’s basketball coach at McDaniel, where she has compiled more than 400 victories; career leading scoring at the school.

Brian Nigro (Mount St. Vincent 2000), basketball: Head men’s basketball coach at Mount St. Vincent; helped lead team to appearance in 1997 Division III Men’s Basketball Championship.

Sharon Goldbrenner Pfluger (TCNJ 1982), field hockey and lacrosse: Coach of 11 Division III women’s lacrosse and eight Division III field hockey national championship teams at TCNJ; member of 1981 field hockey team inducted into the TCNJ athletics hall of fame.

Veronika Platzer (Grinnell 1987), track and field: Head girls’ coach at Community Rowing, Inc., in Massachusetts and former rowing coach at Massachusetts-Lowell, and former member of U.S. Rowing Team; Grinnell athletics hall of fame member who was a three-time Division III discus champion and 13-time all-American in throwing events, and Division III Track and Field Athlete of the Decade for the 1980s.

Dave Seibert (McDaniel 1978), baseball and football: Head baseball coach at McDaniel, where he has compiled more than 400 victories; served as graduate assistant football coach at the school.

Alison Swain (Williams 2001), tennis: Head women’s tennis coach at Williams, where her teams have won an NCAA record-tying six team championships; Division III doubles champion in 2001.

Ryan Turcott [Pacific (Oregon) 2008], basketball: Doctoral student at Georgia and director of skill clinics and youth development camps for the Turkish Basketball Federation; three-year starter who regularly led the team in steals and assists.

Joe Vavra (Wisconsin-Stout 1982), baseball: Third-base coach for Minnesota Twins and former one-year head coach at his alma mater; Wisconsin-Stout hall of fame member who led his teams in hitting over three seasons.

 

Education

Kathy Cottingham (Drew 1990), field hockey and lacrosse: Professor of biological sciences at Dartmouth; Academic All-America of the Year, NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient and Drew athletics hall of fame.

Gladstone “Fluney” Hutchinson (SUNY Oneonta 1982), soccer: Associate professor of economics and business at Lafayette; all-State University of New York Athletic Conference selection.

Adrienne Musu Jackson-Buckner (SUNY Oneonta 2006), field hockey and track: Academic advisor at Temple; Division III 200-meter champion, and NCAA Top VIII honoree and Postgraduate Scholarship recipient and Woman of the Year finalist.

Caitlin Lehberger [Westminster (Pennsylvania) 2012], swimming: Elementary school teacher; nine-time all-American and two-time Presidents’ Athletic Conference most valuable swimmer.

Cindy Schendel (Augsburg 1974), volleyball: Assistant professor of kinesiology at Shenandoah and former lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy; Augsburg athletics hall of fame member and a recipient of the school’s Honor Athlete Award.

Laura Schmelzer (Capital 1994), basketball: Associate professor of occupational therapy at Findlay; led Capital to two Division III Women’s Basketball Championship titles and was Division III player of the year in her senior season.

Wil Smith (Bowdoin 2000), basketball: Dean of community and multicultural affairs at the Berkshire School and former associate dean at Bowdoin, and the subject with his daughter of an 2012 NPR Story Corps feature about caring for Olivia as a single dad while attending Bowdoin; captain of men’s basketball team.

 

Foundations

Liza Janssen-Petra (Wellesley 1994), basketball: Executive director of Guilford Foundation in Connecticut; all-American selection and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient.

Molly Moilanen (Grinnell 1997), soccer:       Director of public affairs at ClearWay Minnesota and member of two adventure racing national-championship teams; all-Midwest Conference first-team selection.

Marjorie Snyder (Kalamazoo 1975), basketball, field hockey, swimming and tennis: Research director for the Women’s Sports Foundation, where she also has served as chief program and planning officer and interim chief executive officer; first woman Kalamazoo athletics hall of fame inductee and three-time Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association tennis singles and doubles champion.

 

Intercollegiate athletics

Angela Baumann (Wisconsin-La Crosse 1992), volleyball: Commissioner of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference; four-year starter and conference scholastic honor roll at Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Marilyn Pearson Florian (Augsburg 1976), basketball, track and volleyball: Retired women’s director of athletics and former head women’s volleyball and basketball coach at Augsburg; Augsburg athletics hall of fame member who was named to the school’s 1970s All-Decade Team.

Keelin Godsey (Bates 2006), track: Physical therapist and assistant coach at Williams and former nationally ranked competitor in the hammer throw, who prominently came out as transgendered during senior year in college; two-time Division III champion and 16-time all-American in throwing events.

Mark Griffin (Montclair State 1985), swimming, track and field, and water polo: Director of athletics at Rutgers-Newark; three-time javelin all-American and water polo all-American.

David Horne (Centre 2006), soccer: Director of soccer operations at Louisville and founder of the Louisville Lightning of the Professional Arena Soccer League; National Soccer Coaches Association of America all-academic team.

Jamie Pollard (Wisconsin-Oshkosh 1987), cross country and track: Director of athletics at Iowa State; Wisconsin-Oshkosh athletics hall of fame member, and Division III 5,000-meter run champion who also became the school’s first cross country all-American.

Harry Sheehy (Williams 1975), basketball: Director of athletics at Dartmouth and longtime athletics director at Williams, where the school won 10 Directors’ Cups under his leadership; two-time all-American in basketball.

 

Law

Jeremy Cole (Kalamazoo 1996), basketball: Partner in the Chicago law firm Jones Day and Chicago Working in the Schools board member; Kalamazoo athletics hall of fame.

Mark Mosier (Chicago 1997), baseball: Attorney who has argued cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and state and federal appellate courts, and former law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justices John Roberts and William Rehnquist; Chicago athletics hall of fame member who was an Academic All-America selection and all-American who led Division III during 1997 in four statistical categories.

Mary VanderWeele (Kalamazoo      1983), soccer: Senior counsel at Nike and chair of the Beaverton (Oregon) School Board; two-time letter winner in soccer.
 

Letters

Vince Flynn [St. Thomas (Minnesota) 1988], football: Best-selling novelist known for series of thrillers featuring CIA operative Mitch Rapp; played football for 40-in-40 profile subject Mark Dienhart (died June 2013).

Kristin Maschka (Chicago 1991), basketball: Author, and former board president of Mothers and More; Chicago athletics hall of fame member who holds career records for steals and free-throw percentage and was a two-time all-American, and a recipient of the NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship.

 

Media

Joe Davis (Beloit 2010), football: ESPN broadcaster; threw for eight touchdowns and rushed for five touchdowns as quarterback/wide receiver, and broadcast basketball games and hosted sports show as Beloit student.

Melissa Ludtke (Wellesley 1973), basketball and rowing: Journalist and former editor of Nieman Reports, and plaintiff in a lawsuit while reporting for Sports Illustrated that resulted in equal access for women to Major League Baseball locker rooms; instrumental in setting up Wellesley’s first intercollegiate rowing competitions.

Tony Petitti (Haverford 1983), baseball: President and chief executive officer of MLB Network and former executive vice-president and executive producer for CBS Sports, and Harvard Law School graduate; captain of baseball team as catcher.

George Smith (Oberlin 1987), basketball and track: News anchor at WIOI-TV in Cleveland and former ESPN reporter; Oberlin athletics hall of fame member who was a track all-American and team captain, and also sports editor of the Oberlin student newspaper.

 

Medicine

Carla Ainsworth (Kenyon 1995), swimming: Clinic medical director; 26-time national champion and Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship recipient.

Trevor Bayliss (Williams       1999), ice hockey and track: Hematologist/oncologist; recipient of Eastern College Athletic Conference Award of Valor after returning from cancer treatment to excel in track.

Catherine “Cat” Beuerle (Shenandoah 2009), softball and volleyball: Sports physical therapist; Academic-All America in softball and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient.

Wiemi Douoguih (Washington & Lee 1993), lacrosse: Orthopedic surgeon and hospital sports medicine director, and medical director for the Washington Nationals; Old Dominion Athletic Conference player of the year during senior season.

Whitney Dropsey (Hiram 2010), softball and soccer: Currently attending medical school studying to become a surgeon; three-time NCAA statistical leader as toughest to strike out.

Grant Jones (Denison 1988), football: Orthopedic surgeon and team doctor for Ohio State men’s basketball and the Columbus Clippers minor-league baseball team; all-conference defensive player, Academic-All America of the Year and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, and Denison valedictorian.

Alicia Moore Krichev (Emory 1998), basketball, track and field, and volleyball: Physician specializing in sports medicine; Emory athletics hall of fame member who was an all-conference selection in three sports, captain of the basketball and volleyball teams, and high jumper.

Zach Morris (Ripon 2002), baseball, football and swimming: Oncologist and resident physician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Hospital; Rhodes Scholar who helped lead Ripon to two conference baseball championships.

Caitlin Mullarkey (Swarthmore 2009), soccer and track: Postdoctoral research fellow at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City; Rhodes Scholar and Academic All-America selection in two sports, and four-time all-Centennial Conference selection in soccer and all-American in track.

Brandon Roberts [Washington (Missouri) 2003], football: Pediatric anesthesiologist; 2002 Campbell Trophy winner as defensive player, and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient.

Jason Slaikeu (Wisconsin-Eau Claire 1998), track: Vascular surgeon; Academic All-America selection, and four-time Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference individual champion and five-time all-American who was named to the WIAC all-time team in men’s track and field.

 

Military

Flynn Cochran (Rensselaer 2004), baseball and football:    U.S. Navy officer and Harvard Business School graduate; wide receiver and running back on Division III Football Championship semifinalist, and National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete.

 

Olympians

Meghan Musnicki (Ithaca 2005), rowing: Member of 2012 gold medal eights rowing team at the 2012 Summer Olympics; Ithaca athletics hall of fame member who participated in two Division III championship teams.

Nick Symmonds (Willamette 2006), track: Five-time U.S. champion in the 800-meter run and two-time Olympian in the event; seven-time individual Division III champion (four 800-meter run and three 1,500-meter run titles).

 

Public Service

Bob Delaney (New Jersey City 1973), basketball: Former New Jersey State Patrol undercover investigator and National Basketball Association referee who works with Iraq/Afghanistan veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; New Jersey City basketball captain and athletics hall of fame.

Kim Lord Driscoll (Salem State 1988), basketball: Mayor of Salem, Massachusetts; Salem State athletics hall of fame member who played on two teams selected for the Division III Women’s Basketball Championship.

Mark Green (Wisconsin-Eau Claire 1983), swimming: Former U.S. ambassador to Tanzania and former Congressman from Wisconsin; Wisconsin-Eau Claire athletics hall of fame.

Julie M. Merchant (SUNY Oneonta 1984), field hockey: National security, intelligence and biometrics expert; SUNY Oneonta athletics hall of fame member who is ranked in field hockey statistical categories.

Sheila Simon (Wittenberg 1983), track: Lieutenant governor of Illinois; high jump champion at the first Division III Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 1983.

Tony Strickland (Whittier 1993), basketball: U.S. Senate candidate in California and former California State Assembly and Senate member; starting forward and team’s leading scorer during his senior season.

 

Professional Sports

Brad Alberts (Ripon 1992), basketball: Executive vice-president and chief revenue officer of the NHL’s Dallas Stars; Ripon athletics hall of fame.

Keith Aucoin (Norwich 2001), ice hockey: Professional player with the NHL’s St. Louis Blues and New York Islanders; member of Norwich Division III championship team.

Mike Dee (Franklin & Marshall 1985), basketball: President and chief executive officer of the San Diego Padres and former executive with the Miami Dolphins and Boston Red Sox; reserve forward on Diplomats’ squad.

Bob DiBiasio (Ohio Wesleyan 1977), baseball and basketball: Senior vice-president for public affairs for the Cleveland Indians; played baseball for two seasons and basketball for one season and served as sports editor for the student newspaper.

Guy Hebert (Hamilton 1989), ice hockey: Former goalkeeper for the St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Mighty Ducks and New York Rangers and member of the 1998 U.S. Olympic team; all-American at Hamilton.

Kim Ng (Chicago 1990), softball: Senior vice-president for baseball operations with Major League Baseball; team’s leading hitter while playing third base during her junior season, and leader in stolen bases during her senior season.

Pat O'Connor (Wittenberg 1980), basketball: President and chief executive officer of Minor League Baseball; three-year letter winner.

Jeff Pellegrom (Kalamazoo 1988), swimming and diving: Executive vice-president and chief financial officer of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild; three-time letter winner in swimming.

Anthony Recker and Zach Lutz (Alvernia 2005 and 2008), baseball: Teammates during the 2013 season with the New York Mets, where Recker remains with the club while Lutz plays for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan; both played for Lutz’ father at Alvernia.

Marc Reeves (Kalamazoo 1995), tennis:       International commercial director for the National Football League and former vice president of IMG’s Consulting Division; member of two Division III championship tennis teams.

Phil Savage (Sewanee 1987), baseball and football: Executive director of the Senior Bowl and former general manager of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns; three-time all-conference baseball student-athlete.

John Schneider [St. Thomas (Minnesota) 1993], football: General manager of the Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks; played one season at St. Thomas before career-ending shoulder injuries.

 

Sciences

Laura Brenneman (Williams 1999), basketball, soccer and softball: Astrophysicist at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and most valuable player on the 2004 women’s team that won the 2004 World Cup of Baseball; soccer all-American and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient.

Shelly Roth (Wisconsin-Eau Claire 1995), track: Senior exploration geophysicist at Esso Australia, who also played in the Women’s Professional Football League; Wisconsin-Eau Claire athletics hall of fame member who was three-time Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference indoor pentathlon champion and two-time javelin champion.