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Category Archive for 'Uncategorized'

The Middlebury Campus can be accessed electronically in two ways:

in Digital Collections (up to 1985)

Besides the Campus, other resources Digital Collections that are pertinent to our work are the Middlebury Newsletter, Middlebury Magazine, College News Bureau photographs, and College Archives.

at LexisNexis (05/03/1999 – present)

For the period from Jan. 1986 to May 1999, the paper can be accessed on microfilm (film 200 in the Davis Family Library).

Hard copies of the paper are also available in Special Collections for the period 1905-2007.

Interview with Bill Mandigo

Women's Hockey & Golf Coach Alma Mater: Wesleyan '83 Years at Midd: 25

Women’s Hockey & Golf Coach
Alma Mater: Wesleyan ’83
Years at Midd: 25

Interview with Bill Mandigo

Interviewed by Jordan Glatt

Bill Mandigo is head women’s ice hockey coach (25th season, five national championships), head women’s golf coach (5th season), assistant baseball coach (8 years), and assistant football coach (20 years).  He graduated from Wesleyan in 1983 and started at Middlebury in 1988.

 

“(Athletics) are like a fifth class.  I think there are as many lessons learned on the practice field, or on the golf course, on the ice rink, or in the pool as there are in a classroom.  These are different lessons though.  These are lessons about accountability, respect, ownership, trust, and being a good teammate.”

 

 

J: Why did you decide to come to Middlebury?

 

B: It was timing.  90 percent of your life is timing; being in the right place at the right time, when the right job opens up.  I went to Wesleyan and my dad went to Middlebury, and I looked at Middlebury briefly but I wasn’t really interested in coming up here.  Going back to Wesleyan,when I was at Wesleyan, I played three sports and I thought my coaches had the greatest lives.  They got to coach different sports; there weren’t just one-sport coaches, and the fact that they wore different hats, they got to do different things and dealt with different people, I thought that was awesome.  So Middlebury ended up being the job that was open for football and women’s hockey.  You had to have both, and I had to have hockey and football which is a strange combination because those overlap. So anyway, that job opened up and I was coaching both of those at the Hill School, and if it wasn’t Middlebury, it was hopefully some place else, but it was Middlebury that had the position, and then one thing led to another.

 

J: Did Division III have anything to do with your decision or would you have taken a position at a Division I school if it was open?

 

B: Again, I think it goes back to if I had to coach football twelve months a year, I don’t think I would like that.  I wouldn’t want to do hockey twelve months a year; I don’t think I would like that.  I think the fact that you can do different things and be part of different people’s lives is way more attractive.  Again, going to a NESCAC school or a small liberal arts college, that was just more appealing to me.

 

J: Also, why do you think you have chosen to stay here for as long as you have?

 

B: It’s a great place.  I had opportunities to leave, but I haven’t found a school or a location or a situation that was better than here.  It’s a great place from a family standpoint; it’s a great place to raise your kids.  They love Middlebury.  My wife works at the college, and she loves her job and the people she works with.  And the idea that we have unbelievable facilities, it’s a great school, it’s in a great location, and the people who come to Middlebury are top-notch, so it’s not like you are going to find better things somewhere else; you may find different things.  Or if I had gone to a Division I or an Ivy, then it just goes back to doing the same thing all year long.  So that is why I have stayed.

 

J: What is one thing that really stands out to you in your early years here at Middlebury?

 

B: When I first came here, Middlebury was different than it is now. Back then, the facilities aren’t what they are now and the academics weren’t what they are now.  It was a little bit of a different place.  It was still Middlebury with all of the mountains and all of the skiing.  I’m not saying it was better and I’m not saying it was worse, it was just a different place with a different feel to it.  I don’t know how to explain it, it was just different.  I know I’m not answering your question, and I apologize.

 

J: So you were talking about how Middlebury has changed over the years, so do you think that the creation of Title IX or the creation of the NESCAC altered that in some way?

 

B: In some ways, I think Middlebury has been ahead of Title IX.  The fact that Middlebury has had women since the 1880s has kind of helped, and I know that a lot of the NESCAC schools didn’t accept women until the 1970s.  There were completely separate schools, but Middlebury has had women since the 1880s, and I think Middlebury has been in the forefront, a little bit ahead.  I do think that because of the location and the type of school that it is, it is very attractive to women, but in the twenty-five years that I have been here, I don’t feel like Title IX has been an issue due to a lack of fairness or equity.  Maybe every once in a while, but not like it has been at other places.

 

J: What are some of your most successful seasons, and who are the most exceptional athletes and people associated with the program that you can recall?

 

B: From a hockey standpoint, we have won five national championships.  In the mid-90s, I was probably one of the only full-time hockey coaches and kind of got a head start on the recruiting process, but the fact that the men were successful helped.  That kind of opened up people’s eyes and we got to be pretty good.  At one point, we won one hundred and thirty-something games in a row in Division III.  Like I said, I was full time and I was using some of the techniques I had learned in recruiting for football in recruiting for hockey.  So it kind of pushed us to the front of the pack for a while.  And then in the early 2000s, we won the national championship in 2000 and 2001, and then we kind of fell off a little bit, not a whole lot, but off a little bit.  We then got it back again in ’04, ’05, and ’06.  Those teams all had very good players who were cohesive units who just had a will to win.  They were remarkable groups to be around.  That was really fun and really challenging in its own way.  To repeat as a national champion is pretty hard to do and to three-peat is even more difficult.  So it was a good period of hockey for Middlebury, and we have been close but we haven’t been quite up to that since.  I am assuming that you are just talking about hockey, right?

 

J: Well, I know that you have also coached football, baseball, and golf, so how has coaching multiple sports at once changed your coaching philosophy or your outlook on athletics here at Middlebury?

 

B: You try to balance everything in your lives.  I talk all the time about balance: balance in your academics, balance in your social life, balance with your athletic life, balance with your family life, and balance with everything else that goes on.  When I first came to Middlebury, football was the priority and hockey was important but not what it is today.  I remember the football coach telling me to make sure they like you, make sure that you show up on time, and make sure that you care about them.  That has changed drastically.  As the years went by, it would be twenty years of football and hockey and recruiting for both.  We usually have a two week overlap with football and hockey, and leaving the football field and six-thirty or quarter of seven, and then coming into hockey practice from seven to nine.  It began to become very trying, especially as you get older.  Coaching football is a lot of hours and a lot of work.  As hockey grew and became stronger and stronger, and more important, trying to balance the football kids, the head football coach knew I was still working and still cared, but I still needed to make sure that the hockey kids knew that I cared.  I wouldn’t be in this office (the ice hockey office) very often during football season.  I was always in the third floor staff room.  For the hockey kids to get to me was pretty hard.  They would have to literally call and make an appointment as opposed to now just walking in and stopping by and saying hi.  It was a challenge, as I said.  As the years have gone, whatever sport you are coaching, requirements have grown, whether it is recruiting or setting up travel.  It is like your kingdom and you need to make sure that everything is done right and done well and make sure that everything is done that falls underneath the direction of Erin Quinn, the athletic director, and that everything has to be done under his approval.  It has to follow NESCAC guidelines and NCAA guidelines.  And if you are a hockey player or a baseball player, you care about hockey or you care about baseball, you don’t care that you are coaching football too.  Try to make people understand that there are things in our lives, as coaches, that are difficult too.  Also throw in that you have a family and other things like teaching classes or something else.  There have been challenges in trying to balance everything and to make sure that everyone felt that they were being treated fairly.  Like I tell the hockey kids, you don’t have to treat everyone equally, you just have to treat everyone fairly.  That’s the way it goes.

 

J: Then kind of going off of that with your secondary assignment as the physical education golf instructor, how has that also affected your relationship with student-athletes?

 

B: That’s a different level of communication and different opportunity to meet other student-athletes, well I guess that aren’t really considered student-athletes, and sometimes you comes across kids that you really like and connect with and other times it is a little bit tedious.  I’m sure it’s that way with a lot of people, but the kids go out to golf and want to learn and really care. We have had some great kids that are good communicators and go out to the driving range and you show them things and you start talking about their lives and what their majors and goals are.  They are kids that you would have never known or seen on campus because you just deal with the athletes.  So I think it opens another window to Middlebury and it gives you a different path to walk on every once in a while.  As I said, sometimes it is a really good path to walk down and sometimes it can be a little tedious if someone is not communicative and kind of shy and not outgoing.

 

J: Also, over the course of your career at Middlebury, what kinds of changes have you seen in the relationship between sports, academics, and other aspects of campus life?

 

B: I think that academically, it is a lot harder to get into Middlebury than it was when I first got here.  It is a lot harder to get in here in 2013 than it was in 2004.  The Middlebury name is an unbelievable name that the level of academics that you need to get in here, transcripts, test scores, and all of that outside activity that you have to do has risen drastically in the last twenty-five years and even more so I would say since 2000, it has gone through the roof.  I mean, it is what it is.  If you want to be one of the better schools in the country or in the world, you better change what you need to get into places like this.  At the same time, anyone who coaches has a certain level of competitiveness in them and you want to be successful.  It doesn’t mean that you have to win championships every season, but you want to be successful.  You want to coach good athletes and kids that want to do well.  So there have been challenges at times from wondering or worrying that the academics are so high that you can’t find kids that fit the athletic model.  You still want smart, bright, intelligent players, but when you play some of the other schools, the Plattsburghs, the Elmiras, we don’t fish from the same pond.  From the golf standpoint, Ithaca or Wellesley or Vassar; they are not recruiting the same kids we are.  It also depends on how much support you get with admissions, but I think that through the years, there is probably now a closer relationship between athletics and academics where they are a lot closer in hand.  Admissions knows for the most part how hard we go after it and look for kids.  We know that athletes have to have a certain academic standard or they are not going to be accepted to Middlebury.  It is a challenge.  It is probably one of the harder challenges that we have: finding kids who can make you better and are acceptable and want to be here.  Those are usually the three things that I like to talk about.  Who is acceptable, who makes us better, and who wants to be here?

 

J: How do you think that athletics have enriched the experiences of students here at Middlebury?

 

B: It’s like a fifth class.  I think there are as many lessons learned on the practice field, or on the golf course, on the ice rink, or in the pool as there are in a classroom.  These are different lessons though.  These are lessons about accountability, respect, ownership, trust, and being a good teammate.  All of these are lessons that last a lifetime.  I think that’s part of the reason why the NESCAC schools believe that athletics are important.  I mean the school isn’t making any money from sports, it’s not like you’re getting television rights or selling out stadiums.  Middlebury and the other NESCAC schools certainly believe that athletics are really important and they add a certain educational component to people’s lives.  There was a man who sent his daughter to play for me and his son played for Coach Beaney, and they were both here at the same time.  He was a great guy, and I still talk with him.  He was wealthy enough that he could write the checks for both kids at the same time.  Whatever it cost for both of them to go here, he could just take out the checkbook and pay for both kids.  And one day he said to me, “My kids are on a scholarship at Middlebury,” and I kind of looked at him and wondered what he meant by this because he writes the check.  He said, “I write the check for the kids to go to classes.  I am not writing the check for my daughter to play for you or for my son to play for Bill Beaney.  The fact that they get that experience is the scholarship.  They have opportunities to play hockey and learn from other players and learn those lessons.  I write the check; that is the same thing that everybody gets.  What they get playing sports, that’s something different because they are the athletes and no one else gets that.  That’s the scholarship.”  That was a great way of looking at it.  And if you think about it, you’ve got friends or classmates that don’t get to play golf at Taconic.  And it’s not the fact that you are playing golf at Taconic that’s important, the fact is that when you go bogey, bogey, bogey, bogey, you don’t quit and answer the questions of how do you get it back, how do you work through it, and how do you motivate yourself to do better next time.  Golf is one of the most unbelievable sports here that people don’t get.  You are out there by yourself for five hours or even six hours.  How do you deal with adversity?  Say you put one in the middle of the trees and lose your ball, how do you get it back?  There’s no walking off, there’s no teammate to talk to.  These are invaluable lessons that you are getting in golf that are part of the scholarship that other people in your classes or on your hall aren’t getting.  There are some things that you are getting that the hockey girls aren’t getting, and there are some things that you aren’t getting that the hockey girls are getting.  But it is still something unique to you and something that athletes will hopefully take with them that will last a lifetime.

 

J: And this is kind of going in a completely separate direction, but what is the relationship between the coaching staff and the athletic administration?

 

B: Erin Quinn in an unbelievable athletic director.  He is one of my best friends.  I think he does an unbelievable job.  He is a Middlebury grad, Middlebury coach, and has moved up the ranks.  He is my youngest daughter’s godfather.  So I think he has done a phenomenal job.  There have been three athletic directors since I’ve been here, and I think they have all been great.  If you go back to your Title IX stuff at the beginning, I always credit the athletic directors, because the first athletic director when I came here, Tom Lawson had three daughters, the next athletic director, Russ Reilly, had three daughters, and now Erin Quinn has one daughter and one son.  He gets it.  His wife was Tom Lawson’s daughter, so they get the Title IX stuff.  I think that the athletic administration has been phenomenal.

 

J: Has there been anyone in particular here who has served as a mentor for you?

 

B: I think I would put the old football coach, Mickey Heineken, in that boat.  He retired in 2000. Obviously Bill Beaney from a hockey standpoint.  There are people here that I respect and trust.  And if I had issues or questions about how to do certain things or deal with certain kids, there are people I would go talk to and ask their opinions.  I always say that the purpose of the NESCAC education is that you learn how to inquire.  That you ask questions and then you sit down and sift through answers and you come up with your own opinions.  I think that there are people here who you can ask questions and listen to their answers, but it’s ultimately up to you to decide what to do.  Bill Beaney would be a mentor.  It’s tough because now I am getting to be one of the older people in this building so there aren’t many older.

CONTINUE TO MORE INTERVIEWS

Interview with Kelly Bevere

Kelly Bevere Softball & Asst. Women's Basketball Coach - Dir. of Compliance Alma Mater: Middlebury '99 Years at Midd: 10

Kelly Bevere
Softball & Asst. Women’s Basketball Coach – Dir. of Compliance
Alma Mater: Middlebury ’99
Years at Midd: 10

Interview with Kelly Bevere

Interviewed by Derek Pimentel

Why did you choose Middlebury as a coach? Why Division three opposed to division one? Why have you chosen to stay at Middlebury?

I was an undergraduate at Middlebury. My Basketball coach in high school got me to look at Middlebury. At first I was not really interested because I was only going to be able to play one sport (basketball) compared to all the other schools I had applied to I was going to be able to play two sports (softball and basketball). In the end, I got the most financial aid from Middlebury. At that point, it made my decision much easier. I had to attend the school that would have offered me the most financial aid.

My senior year they added a Softball team. Someone in my class figured out that Middlebury was not Title IX compliant so they decided to add softball. I was a senior and decided to opt out from Softball considering the fact I had not played in the past three years.

 

Tell me something memorable from your earlier years at Middlebury and as a coach?I have been here since 1995 so that is pretty encompassing. As a student-athlete my favorite moment was my sophomore year when we won the ECAC championship. That year was the 2nd or 3rd year that teams were allowed to participate in the NCAA tournament so making the ECACs was still a really big deal. For many of us, the ECAC tournament was the equivalent to the NCAA’s.As a coach probably winning NESCAC’s two years ago. It was a special group and I was very pregnant for most of the season so it is something I never will forget.

 

 

Have there been moments of disappointment in your coaching career?  Has your coaching approach and/or methods changed over time?

 

Yes and Yes. Disappointments – certainly when athletes don’t live up to their potential or when they let things get in the way of them being as successful as possible. As a coach you always try to challenge and encourage at the same time and sometimes it can be tricky in terms of getting everyone to act as one solid group. When you aren’t able to reach everyone on the team, it can be disappointing because its something we all strive for. Developing and enriching the lives of the young women I coach is my main goal. Helping them learn how to become the best possible teammate, student, athlete and leader is what I hope to accomplish at the end of each year.

 

I definitely think that becoming a mother altered my coaching approach and methods changed as well. I became more patient and further developed the ability to see the alternative side to many things. Being a mom has also helped me to understand that it is important for our female athletes to see and understand what its like to enter the real world and be a mom and be able to manage all that goes with that.

 

The biggest thing that has changed over time is the type of student-athlete we have been getting here at Middlebury College. When I was a student athlete there were not nearly as many prep-school kids here. This does not necessarily mean it’s a negative thing but rather just an observation. But it does say something as to where our student-athletes are coming from. When I was here we had many more blue-collar athletes. But again I do not think it is a negative or positive thing but rather an observation.

 

How have things changed since you have been playing/coaching here at Middlebury?

For example I know that NESCAC only use to have a season and no post-season.

I look at it from a bottom to top approach. When I was young everybody played multiple sports. Nowadays kids are directed to play for example; Lacrosse from age 6 and up. When they arrive at a place like Middlebury, our non-playing season restrictions are odd for most kids because they are used to playing their one sport for 12 months a year. I think the evolution of that has had emphasis on post-season play.

 

In the past there were many athletes that played multiple sports.

Absolutely. When I was a student-athlete, my friend Doug Mandigo (current assistant football coach) played Football, Hockey, and Baseball. Doug would go from Hockey practice to Baseball – that’s at least a five-hour commitment for a day of practices. That just does not happen anymore. Even if there are multiple sport athletes, they are often in non-overlapping sports and the athletes will take a week off between sports. The exception is now a two-sport athlete, whereas before, I felt like it was much more common.

 

Do you believe it would be accepted from coaches today?

I think there it is different for different sports. Personally for softball, I like to get Basketball players or Hockey players. It tends to be a natural cross over. But by this stage in life most athletes will simply pick one sport.

How have rivalries changed in the course of your Middlebury career?

Overall, I think it’s about the same. I think different teams have different rivals. Everybody always thinks that Williams is our rival but Williams does not consider us their rival. I would say for us (Softball) its Tufts. We have had two years in a row that we have gone up against each other in the post-season. Middlebury does not have the natural Williams – Amherst rivalry.

Over the course of your Middlebury career what changes have you seen with the relationship between academics and athletics?

First of all, I think everybody here is incredibly smart. Students here have been nurtured during their academic careers to be in a very successful spot here and I do not think that was always the case.  I think the focus is definitely more on academics. For instance, when I was a student-athlete everybody played games or was watching movies on the bus on our way to games. Now student-athletes are reading a book or on their computers studying. I think it is the norm and is expected because of how intense the academic atmosphere is on campus. If you don’t do work on the bus, you are going to fall behind. In 4 years, I honestly don’t remember opening a book on the bus.

 

What is the role of sports in the Middlebury education? How has it changed?

I think the school takes great pride in their athletics. I know this because I know other schools where that is not necessarily the case. The student body can either make or break an athletic department and at Middlebury, we have a strong student body that supports Middlebury Athletics. We have friends of teammates that attend games – it’s helpful. Men’s basketball is a great example of how our student body comes out to support our athletes. Or for instance, this past year for field hockey—Coach Ritter basically cancelled practice so the football team could come out and cheer on our field hockey team. That does not happen at other places.

The only sort of question mark for me is what has happened with men’s hockey in the last 10 years or so.  For example, when I was a student, everybody would cram in Nelson arena to watch hockey games. The atmosphere today is completely different – the crowd is filled with towns-people rather than students. I think hockey is and was a very big part of Middlebury and it is something I would like to see change for all sports as well.

 

How do you believe athletics enriches a student’s experience at Middlebury? You may answer this through your own experience of being part of a team?

I grew up on a team my whole life. Being a part of a team is an experience you do not get from playing Tennis – or any other individual sport. It is not the same as playing on a team where you get the camaraderie, the support system; you have people holding you accountable when you do not feel like holding yourself accountable. You get leadership and guidance from upperclassmen. All those ups and downs that you get throughout a season are fought together as a team. Those are huge life lessons.

 

What is the relationship between your team with the community? What about when you were here as a student?

For Basketball we take part in the “Sisters in Sport” program with the seventh grade students from the local middle schooI’s basketball team. I truly believe that it is one of the best things that the Basketball team does. It provides an opportunity for the local kids to have older (but not old) female role models.  When they are granted this opportunity, it allows them to gain a certain initiative to stick with their academics and not just fall behind.

With softball we are peer mentors at the local high school. Also in the last seven years we have had three parents die from cancer so we are actively involved with Relay for Life.

 

What is the relationship between the coaching staff and the athletic administration and has that changed over time?

Erin Quinn is the only athletic director I have known. He has been here since I have been here – so there have not been many changes.

In terms of mentors, Missy Foote and David Saward have been here for a long time and are usually those I seek out.

 

Tell us something about your secondary athletic assignment and how it has affected your Middlebury career?

Basketball is my secondary assignment. After graduating from Middlebury I stayed another year as a grad assistant coach, then went to law school in Boston. After completing law school, the Assistant Basketball position opened. My husband (also a Midd grad) always wanted to move back to the area so we seized the opportunity and moved back to Middlebury. At the time, the Softball position was not available. A few years later, the Softball position opened and I applied for it and was fortunate enough to be hired. There is definitely a time in the year where I find myself involved in both sports due to their overlap. It is stressful but there’s no other place I’d rather be. I am also the Director of Compliance so that takes up a good portion of time as well.

 

What are your thoughts about the NESCAC conference?

For instance we start November 1st while other teams have already played in 5 plus game by that time. Is it the same thing for Softball?

The philosophy of our league is based on academics. I believe in this philosophy. I think we set ourselves apart and I do not think that starting two weeks after everyone else is that much of a problem. When you see NESCAC teams in the Final four, Elite 8, Sweet 16 of many different sports, there doesn’t seem to be much of a disadvantage for starting later than everyone else. It may put teams at a disadvantage at the beginning of a season, but in the long run I do not believe it affects teams.

CONTINUE TO MORE INTERVIEWS

Interview with Bob Ritter

Football & Asst. Lacrosse Coach Alma Mater: Middlebury '82 Years at Midd: 18

Football & Asst. Lacrosse Coach
Alma Mater: Middlebury ’82
Years at Midd: 18

Why Middlebury?  Why Division III?  Why have you chosen to stay here?After leaving Middlebury to coach at Tufts for a few years, I realized that Middlebury is a magical place and I like being here the best. I loved it here when I was a student and I wanted to stay here. As for division III, I believe that is the way college sports should be played. Kids play it for the love of the sport(s) and nothing else. 

What are some memorable moments in your experience of athletics at Middlebury?

There are so many memorable moments. Beating Williams and Amherst is always a great game. The NESCAC championship team in 2007 is very memorable.

 

What are your some of your most successful seasons? Who are the most exceptional athletes and people associated with the program that you can recall? 

2007 NESCAC championship and this past season were both two very successful seasons.

 

Have there been moments of disappointment in your coaching career?  How have your coaching methods and approach changed over time? 

Anytime you lose a close game, it’s always a bit of a disappointment. Also, with no playoffs, any game can potentially be a NESCAC championship game, so whenever one of those games is lost, that is a disappointment as well.

 

How have things changed since you began playing/coaching at Middlebury?  (Title IX, 1992 – NCAA tournament play, etc.)

When they got rid of the Norwich game, that was a big change as that was our biggest rival. Student athletes also get more specialized in one sport as opposed to playing two or three sports.

 

How has rivalry changed over the course of your Middlebury career?  Have changes in NESCAC membership affected those rivalries? 

Each rivalry at Middlebury essentially depends on which sport you’re talking about. Our big rival used to be Norwich, because they were the only other in state team that we really played. Now, I would say our rival is either Amherst or Williams, just because those teams always match up well with us and make it a close game. Usually has high NESCAC title ramifications.

 

Over the course of your career at Middlebury, what kinds of changes have you seen in the relationship between sports and academics (or other aspects of campus life)?

Not too much. Student athletes have always been keen on academics, especially at Middlebury. Student athletes specializing in just one sport is a little bit different that the way it used to be, otherwise the relationship between sports and academics are strong. Obviously, there will always been academic issues among certain team members, but for the most part Middlebury student athletes are focused on academics during my experiences.

 

What is the role of sports in the Middlebury education and how has it changed? 

Playing a sport at Middlebury contributes to the well rounded college experienced. (see next question).

 

How does athletics enrich students’ experience at Middlebury?

Athletes learn life lessons that are tough to learn in a classroom. Sports teaches adversity and a different kind of work ethic that can only be learned through being a part of a sports team. It gives the students a social purpose; it gives them a group to belong to which sometimes can help ease the transition into college. Also, being a small school, a large percentage of the student body are athletes which makes for good student camaraderie throughout the campus and athletes naturally can relate through sports.

 

How has recruiting changed over the course of your Middlebury career?  How has the reputation of the school or advancements in technology allowed the College to recruit more diverse student athletes? 

Recruiting could have possibly been the biggest change in my time here. We used to only recruit heavily in New England, but now with YouTube and email, recruiting a kid from LA is as easy as recruiting a kid from Boston. We can watch the highlight films of 1000s of prospects and contact them all instantly as opposed to the pre-internet era where coaches would have to go scout many games in person.

 

What is the connection between the team and the community?  How important is community service?  How has that changed over time?

The role of community service among teams at Middlebury has drastically increased. “Giving back” is something that I have seen most sports teams doing at some point during the academic year. Community service is very important in building character and creating a good reputation throughout the local community.

 

What is the relationship between the coaching staff and the athletic administration?  How has that changed over time?  Did you have a mentor or other collegial support when you came to Middlebury?

It is a very good relationship. The current AD worked his way up from coach, so he knows first hand what each coach goes through in and out of season. The relationship between the athletic administration and the coaches has always been good as long as I can remember but may be stronger now. My mentor as a football coach is Mickey Heiniken.

 

Tell us something about your secondary athletic assignment and how it has affected your Middlebury career.

I love to coach lacrosse but sometimes the work builds up and its hard to focus on one thing. Secondary assignments can be beneficial as it can be a change of focuswhich can be good after working long hours focusing on one assignment.

 

What would you like to share that we haven’t asked you about?

Another very influential person during my time here is Peter Kohn. I am sure he will be mentioned by several other students. He really was a huge mentor to me.

CONTINUE TO MORE INTERVIEWS

Interview with Bill Beaney

Men's Hockey & Golf Coach Years at Midd: 26

Men’s Hockey & Golf Coach
Years at Midd: 26

Interview with Bill Beaney

Interviewed by Dean Brierley

Why Middlebury?  Why Division III?  Why have you chosen to stay here?

I grew up in Lake Placid, I would always be over here.  My brother played at Norwich, I saw many hockey games.  A lot of Middlebury alums from Lake Placid.  It has a great tradition, knew Duke Nelson very well and Wendy Forbes.  The decision was to stay on as full time assistant at UNH.  I thought the balance between athletics and academics and proximity to my hometown were the main reasons why.  There were many times where I seriously thought about leaving.  But the relationships that have been developed made me stay.  You don’t have to be D1 just like you don’t have to be a college coach.

Tell us something about your early years at Middlebury, either as a student or as a coach.As any new coach coming in, you think you’re going to have an immediate impact.  My first year we had a record of 7-16.  Next year we were 7-16 again.  We were able to attract the student athletes where hockey was an important part of their life. What I remember most is the support from the townspeople and the staff, from the training room to the town.What are some memorable moments in your experience of athletics at Middlebury?

In my third year, the look on the faces on the guys on the team when it was announced we had made the playoffs.  The thrill is something that will stay with me.  The memories of a player by the name of Tim Fox, who spent three years on the JV and finally his season year made varsity and played on a national championship team in 1997.  To me, it is just a great example of perseverance and commitment.  The memory of working with Tom Lawson and Dave Ginevan towards building this rink.

What are your some of your most successful seasons? Who are the most exceptional athletes and people associated with the program that you can recall? 

The 88-89 season, making the playoffs.  We had to overcome a lot with a young team that had no history of success.  They would a way to make the playoff; that was success.  Success was 94-95 when we won our first national championship after not qualifying for the ECAC playoffs the year before. 1999, after graduating six All-Americans, finding a way to win our fifth national championship in a row.  I bring these up with different degrees of success, with the common denominator being the leadership on the team, dynamic captains or co-captains that really made the difference.  Who’s the say who’s better.  IT all started with Kent Hughes in 1992.  That started with a string of years where a number of our players were players of the year.

Have there been moments of disappointment in your coaching career?  How have your coaching methods and approach changed over time? 

I think the disappointments are when players have made poor life decisions, not so much the disappointments of losing a game but when people have failed to learn some valuable lessons of life and as a result, need the adversity that comes with bad decisions to help set them in a positive direction.  It’s about life long lessons and using this as a opportunity to help instill values that are going to carry them through the rest of their life.  If you have been at a place as long as I have you need to evolve with the students that are on your team.  I am a big believer in getting to know each player and figuring out what style is going to be most effective.  Whether a guy needs to be pushed or embraced or a combination of both.  I think players now are in better physical condition, much more aware of training methods, nutrition and sleep.  I think today a lot of the athletes you get are hockey-school type players but haven’t been put in pressure situations and learned how to make good decisions within the context of the game.  (sand lot game)

How have things changed since you began playing/coaching at Middlebury?  (Title IX, 1992 – NCAA tournament play, etc.)

When I first came here, one of the big reasons was because I could coach women’s soccer along with hockey. I think the jobs are becoming more specialized, not as many coaches with more than one sport.  There’s not as much time spent together as a staff.  The big thing would be that there is a lot more for students to do.  There are a lot more distractions put in play during your practice time, etc.  People being so connected, there’s not as much time spent with face time.  Great facilities have made it easier to recruit.  Academics standards have made it more difficult.  A student sits up and takes notice when you say you are from Middlebury College.

How has rivalry changed over the course of your Middlebury career?  Have changes in NESCAC membership affected those rivalries?

Our biggest rivals used to be non-NESCAC teams: Norwich, Plattsburg, Babson.  The NESCAC would be Bowdoin and Williams.  Our scheduling changed so we play each NESCAC school twice.  We have our own NESCAC playoff.  The first year we were allowed for the NCAA, whether or not our record was to be good enough for the NCAA but you could not play in both tournaments (ECAC or NCAA).  For the first five years, we picked NCAA we rolled the dice and had about a three-week break because we could not play ECAC.

Over the course of your career at Middlebury, what kinds of changes have you seen in the relationship between sports and academics (or other aspects of campus life)?

I think the relationship has remained the same.  It is a constant.  When you recruit student-athletes, they all know that academics is the priority.  Whenever there is a conflict between the two, you do the academic piece.  Most of the professors are very understanding so we can do both.  I think the difference I’ve seen is not as much student spectator involvement as there used to be, I think because there are so many options for the students, with clubs and IMs.

How does athletics enrich students’ experience at Middlebury?

I think you learn lessons in sports that are hard to duplicate anywhere else.  I think from teamwork to learning to become self-sufficient.  Having an opportunity to learn how to make good decisions.  Learn how to challenge yourself in a pressure situation and develop composure.  As we tell our guys: It’s all about building relationships.  It’s not the championship banner but the relationships we’ve established striving towards your ultimate goal.

How has recruiting changed over the course of your Middlebury career?  How has the reputation of the school or advancements in technology allowed the College to recruit more diverse student athletes? 

It has changed this way, where you used to pick up the phone and call the coaches to see who they had. Then you would watch them play at a Xmas tournament.  Relied on recommendation from other coaches.  Coaching a couple of sports, you don’t have the free time to go see kids play.  Sports become a huge moneymaker for a lot of teams, summer hockey showcases, junior teams.  The average freshman in college hockey is closer to 21 years old.  It puts that many more players in the pool every year.  When you’re recruiting you try to see if the 18 or 19 year old can compete against the 22, 23, 24 year old.  You have all kinds of family advisors sending you information about players.  More electronically, like videos.  Coaches are traveling further, more often then they ever did before.  It has become a much busier part of the coaches responsibility.

What is the connection between the team and the community?  How important is community service?  How has that changed over time?

I don’t think it has changed.  IT has always been extremely important for our group to be involved in the community.  The constant has been the townspeople support for the hockey team.  I think part of that is that the students get out and are involved in community service.  The college in general has really stepped up the pace in that aspect.

What is the relationship between the coaching staff and the athletic administration?  How has that changed over time?  Did you have a mentor or other collegial support when you came to Middlebury? 

I do not think it’s changed.  I think there’s great respect in both directions.  There has always been great support from the AD and the athletics department.  I think, sadly, everyone has gotten busier, so there is less time to sit and talk and enjoy each other.

Tell us something about your secondary athletic assignment and how it has affected your Middlebury career.

I very much look forward to coaching golf every year.  It’s not a team sport; you’re dealing with individuals.  The pace of the sport allows for more conversation, as a result I like the contrast in the two sports.  Who doesn’t like being outside.

What would you like to share that we haven’t asked you about?

One of the other things that I’ve done that I’ve enjoyed but I haven’t’ done this year, is teaching J-term class.  It’s something that I’ve very much enjoyed over the years. Used it to meet a lot of interesting people and students from different areas that you don’t get the meet because of the pace we are all going at.

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Interview with Bob Smith

Bob Smith Baseball Head Coach - Director of Intramural Years at Middlebury: 34

Bob Smith
Baseball Head Coach – Director of Intramural
Years at Middlebury:

Interview with Bob Smith

Interviewed by Robbie Donahoe

Why Middlebury? Why Division III? Why stay here?

Bob played football in college at Delaware and after college he coached for 7 years at a few different places. Then in 1979 Mickey Heinecken was coaching at Middlebury and had previously coached at Delaware. Bob also wanted to stay in the Northeast.   He had a chance to coach division 1 with another coach but ultimately chose here. Job security was also a factor separating division I and III.

 

 

Early career at Middlebury?

Bob coached track and football.  He then switched from track to Baseball because Wendy Forbes retired from hockey and baseball.  Bob asked Tom Lawson to coach baseball because he had more interest in baseball. He then coached football and baseball untill ‘94 when he gave up football and coached baseball and intramural.

Memorable things from early career?

The drinking age was 18 back then. Coaches would hang out with students more. There were different interactions with athletes.  There are more social problems now regarding hazing and alcohol abuse.  Coaches’ roles have changed in this sense because they have to be more coaches and mentors while staying distant almost rather than being friends.  Coaches have to be aware of social problems and issues that are magnified with the media.

Most successful teams?

1981 Bob Ritter’s senior year had a great football team. Jimmy Loveyes was a great quarterback.  They were nationally ranked in several categories.  Ted Virtue and Beau Coash were great wide recievers.

The baseball team in ’06 won NESCAC.  They went 4 games deep in nationals.  Bob didn’t have to coach too much because the team was so offensively talented. He said they did it themselves and he sort of watched them succeed.  Ryan Armstrong was a great hitter on this team ( .450 average).

Why were they so successful? (1981 football team)

The ‘81 football team had unity and chemistry. They did things the right way and worked hard in practice. They knew they had something special and they took advantage of it. They were good and they made each other better. Even though they had talent, no one was so good that they could carry the team which is why the team unity was so good.

Rivalries?

Obviously, Williams and Amherst.  That’s been the way it is for a long time.  In football, Norwich was a rivalry because of the obvious social differences.  Norwich is military academy. Bob said the atmosphere was great at those games because Norwich would be firing the cannon all game and the Norwich side would be packed with cadets. Middlebury seemed slightly more privileged and wanted to prove something to Norwich, which made the rivalry interesting.

What is the role of sports in the Middlebury education?

Sports offers a unique experience that teaches positive values not learned in the classroom. Being part of a team and overcoming adversity.  Being in a controlled competitive atmosphere.  Being a good sportsman.  These are things that cannot be taught in a classroom. Bob takes pride in seeing his players grow through various experiences.  This is quite a rewarding experience for coaches.  Friendships made on teams and even cross team friendships add to the Middlebury education. Sports also help athletes develop respect for one another in being good opponents.

On the NESCAC?

NESCAC is an identifying piece for athletes. After college it’s something people identify with and may develop relationships with athletes from other schools.  Especially in the working world, the NESCAC network is large.

How has recruiting changed over career?

Most sports simply played with the students who got into the school originally.  Athletes simply wanted to come at first because our sports were so good.  Also coaches weren’t allowed to leave campus to recruit in the early days.  They just made phone calls originally.  Early decision 1 and 2 has changed the recruiting game because recruiting starts earlier in high school.  Intensity has been ramped up over the years in terms of academic level of student athletes.  This has changed the dynamic of multi sports athletes as well because coaches don’t want to take a chance on someone who might not play 4 years. More students want to come to Middlebury because it has become more popular and highly ranked college.

Relationships between teams and community?

Most teams have do offer their services for community service.  Historically football and hockey have been well supported by the community.  College has a lot to do with the community.  They helped build the bridge and also gave the town a fire truck.  There is potential for animosity from the town’s people but the college does a good job maintaining a good relationship with the community.

Other thoughts to share?

Coaches would engage with athletes a lot more in the early years and offer friendships rather than be simply coaches of their respective sports.  The connection between coaches and athletes is lost a little bit over the years.

Also, the friendships made through sports here last a long time which translates to a great network of Middlebury people who have a strong connection. People from Middlebury are all over the country and the alumni create a strong network.

People in the athletic department generally are good people and care about the sports programs.  The people who have stayed here a long time are here to give and help, which is another difference between here and most division 1 programs.

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Middlebury Skiing, January 1945

Vermont Skiing 1945 (1)

Middlebury Skiing 1945 (2)

Middlebury Women's Skiing 1945

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Campus_SkiJump_April1946_001

The Middlebury Fencing team defeats Dartmouth 14-13 in December of 1942

The Middlebury Fencing team defeats Dartmouth 14-13 in December of 1942

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