The legend of Dawn Staley (Col ’92) begins a new chapter.
Staley, the greatest women’s basketball player in UVA history, accepted the head coach’s position at the University of South Carolina in May after eight years at Temple University in Philadelphia. During her time at Temple, she became the school’s winningest coach, with a 172-80 record.
At Virginia, Staley led the Cavaliers to four NCAA Tournament appearances and was named National Player of the Year twice. A three-time Olympic medalist, she also made her mark in the pros with the Charlotte Sting by making the All-Star team five times and being voted to the league’s All-Decade Team.
Kudos for coaches, program
Cavalier coaches received numerous distinctions this year, both on the national and conference levels.
ACC Coach of the Year honors went to Mark Bernardino for men’s and women’s swimming; Julie Myers for women’s lacrosse; Al Groh for football; Kevin Sauer for rowing; Jason Dunn for men’s cross country; Kim Lewellen for women’s golf; and Brian Boland for men’s tennis.
In addition, Boland was named National Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Men’s lacrosse coach Dom Starsia was selected for the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame; he’ll be inducted Nov. 10 at a ceremony in Hunt Valley, Md.
Coaching excellence was one factor in UVA’s No. 17 finish in the 2007-08 U.S. Sports Academy Directors’ Cup competition for Division I schools. The Cavaliers have finished in the top 30 each of the 15 years since the award was established.
UVA also had two teams—men’s tennis and lacrosse—reach the NCAA semifinals last season, and the women’s rowing team placed fifth in the NCAAs. In addition, Somdev Devvarman repeated as the nation’s top collegiate singles tennis player.
It’s how you play the game
You won’t find integrity and character among sports stats, but the role of sportsmanship definitely has its place in collegiate athletics.
And two UVA teams—women’s golf and tennis—proved the best in the ACC among spring sports.
“The Sportsmanship Award is an honor because the other coaches vote for the team they feel best represents good attitude, school spirit and similar values,” says Kim Lewellen, head coach of the women’s golf team.
Her team finished second at the ACC Championships and 12th at the NCAA Championships. The women’s tennis team reached the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament and finished the year 10-13.
Angela Hucles (Col ’00) earned a trip to the Summer Olympics in dramatic fashion.
On June 21, she scored on a free kick in the closing minutes of the 2008 Peace Queen Cup Title to give the U.S. a 1-0 win over Canada. Two days later, Hucles was named to the 18-member national team headed to Beijing.
Hucles, whose 59 goals as a Cavalier still stand as a school record, already has one gold medal under her belt from the 2004 Olympics. At 30, she is the fourth-oldest player on the Olympic squad (details of Olympic matches were not available at press time).
From Chris Long to Sharneé Zoll, Cavaliers made their marks in the drafts held this spring by pro leagues.
Long, a defensive end, and Brandon Albert, an offensive guard, went in the first round of the NFL draft. Long was picked No. 2 overall by the St. Louis Rams; Albert went to the Kansas City Chiefs as the 15th pick. Teammate Tom Santi, a tight end, went to the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round.
Zoll got the nod from the Los Angeles Sparks in the third round of the WNBA draft. She later was waived by the Sparks and signed by the Minnesota Lynx.
In the NBA draft, former Cavalier guard Sean Singletary was selected by the Sacramento Kings in the second round. He was the 42nd player selected overall.
Six Cavaliers, four of them with a year of eligibility remaining at UVA, were selected in the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in June. Second baseman David Adams was a third-round pick of the New York Yankees;Greg Miclat, also an infielder, was a fifth-round pick by Baltimore; pitcher Jacob Thompson, a fifth-round pick as well by Atlanta; and infielder Jeremy Farrell, an eighth-round pick by Pittsburgh. Fourth-year pitcher Pat McAnaney also was picked in the eighth round by Arizona, and Michael Schwimer, also a fourth-year pitcher, went in the 14th round to Philadelphia.
Four soccer players were picked by pro teams in the MLS draft: Jeremy Barlow (Houston Dynamo), Yannick Reyering (FC Dallas), Chris Tierney (New England Revolution) and Zola Short (Columbus Crew).