Men’s soccer is still alive in the NCAA Division III tournament after advancing to the Sweet 16 this past Sunday. The Panthers defeated Franklin & Marshall 2–0, with sophomore forward Jordan Saint-Louis ’24 scoring the game’s second goal.
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In light of the abundance of talent on the team, it may come as a surprise that no one on the women's rugby club (MCWRC) team played rugby before joining the squad. A significant portion of credit is owed to the team’s legendary coach, K.O. Onufry. One of the founding members of Boston’s Beantown Rugby Club, Onufry has worked at Middlebury for 21 years. “She’s really a central part of the team,” MCWRC president Lily Shannon ’23 said. “You can tell how much she cares about each and every one of us.” MCWRC (1–1) is now two games into its fall season. On Saturday, Sept. 25, the Panthers defeated Southern Connecticut State University, 22–0. Last Saturday, they traveled to Bowdoin College, falling 27–17. Many MCWRC members—including students from the class of 2024 and 2024.5—are playing in games for the first time ever in their Middlebury career. Last season, due to the pandemic, the team didn’t compete against other schools, and couldn’t have full-contact practices. Instead, they focused on tactical and skill work. The Panthers play in Rugby Northeast and under USA Rugby, so most of their matches are against other NESCAC schools or smaller New England universities. The team has expectations of qualifying for playoffs this year, which have tentative dates of Nov. 6 and 13. One pillar of MCWRC is its inclusivity and camaraderie—the team is very accepting of all players, no matter their prior experience. “The team culture is so good,” Elizabeth Austin ’24 said. “It’s a very open community, very non-judgemental, and [supportive] no matter your skill level.” The Panthers are back in action on Oct. 9, when they host St. Michael’s College. You can stay up to date with MCWRC by following them on Instagram.
Men’s rugby opened their 49th season in dominant fashion on Saturday, defeating Plymouth State, 22–0. After a year without competition due to Covid-19, the club showed little rust in their return to action. Rugby is returning to a somewhat normal season this fall, compared to last year when there were only captains’ practices due to Covid-related rules. And after an intense preseason, the team has high expectations for this season. “Seeing what we can do as a team against real competition is exciting,” captain Griffin Shapiro ’22 said. Men’s rugby is unique compared to other club sports in that the vast majority of its members are completely new to the sport when they join. While the transition to the sport is often difficult, it allows coaches to teach players the fundamentals of the game, so they learn how to play the right way. It also creates an open and welcoming atmosphere for any students looking to join. “Being new to rugby, the coaches and captains explained everything really well which made it easy to learn how to play,” said John Hodulik ’24. The Panthers play under National Collegiate Rugby (NCR), where they play in the New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) division. The winner of the postseason tournament for the division earns an automatic bid to the NCR Division II national tournament, where the team has had past success, including winning national championships in 2007 and 2009. “Come out. It’s a lot of fun to watch, and a good gathering,” Shapiro said. “There’s always people on the sideline that are happy to talk about it, even if they only know a little bit about the game.” Men’s rugby is back in action on Saturday, Oct. 2, in Connecticut against the University of New Haven. Caption for Feature: The men’s rugby team plays under National Collegiate Rugby (NCR), where the winner of the postseason tournament for the division earns an automatic bid to the NCR Division II national tournament.
With the academic year underway at Middlebury, fall sports are back in full swing — and in typical fashion, the Panther squads carry high expectations this season. Here are previews for each of the 11 fall varsity sports teams competing this season. Women’s golf season preview by Josh Rosenstein Head coach: Bill Mandigo (33 years at Midd) Captains: Maddy Cordeiro ’23, Katie Murphy ’23 Players to watch for: Audrey Tir ’25, Kayla Li ’23, Jacqueline Slinkard ’24 Background: Women’s golf didn’t have the best of seasons last spring, finishing fourth among five teams in the 2021 NESCAC Championship. There are positives to take away from last semester, though, including the play of captain Katie Murphy ’23. Last spring, Murphy led the Panthers in finishes in every tournament. With her paving the way, how far can the Panthers go? Are there any first-year players who can step in and immediately compete for a top spot? Key matches: George Phinney Classic (Home; Sept. 18–19), Williams Invitational (Away; Oct. 2–3) The Middlebury women’s golf team kicked off their season last weekend at the Hamilton Invitational at Yahnundasis Golf Club in New Hartford, New York. The opener was the first of five tournaments of the fall season. The Panthers are also excited to travel together as a team in a more normal manner, as far as Covid-19 restrictions are concerned. The players still get tested every Monday, and remain cautious when interacting with other teams, but their travel schedule is that of a typical season. Besides the tournament at home next weekend, the NESCAC qualifiers on Oct. 9 and 10 are marked on all the players’ calendars. The top four teams qualify for the NESCAC Championships in the spring, and the winner gets the privilege of hosting the tournament. “We are so beyond grateful and just so pumped to be able to compete this season,” Murphy and Cordeiro said in an interview with The Campus. “There is still a lot of uncertainty in the world, so [we are] thankful Midd and the NESCAC did everything possible to make this happen.” Men’s golf season preview By Charles Crounse Head coach: Bill Beaney (34 years at Midd) Players to watch for: Colin McCaigue ’24, Anthony King ’23, Sean McGarrity ’23, Hogan Beazley ’23, KJ Dieker ’22 Background: Men’s golf won the NESCAC Championship last spring, giving them some momentum ahead of this season. The Panthers will certainly miss the contributions of recently graduated captain Jordan Bessalel ’21, the reigning NESCAC Player of the Year, but the team has the pieces to restock the lineup. One key player will be Hogan Beazley ’23 — the junior was an All-NESCAC First Team player last year. Key matches: Williams Fall Invitational (Away; Sept. 18–19), Sap Bucket Challenge (Away; Oct. 12) Men’s golf opened its season this past weekend with a home match against 22 other teams, with the Panthers taking fourth over the course of the two-day event. Beazley took home the individual honors with an impressive score of 140 over the two 18-hole rounds, finishing a comfortable three strokes ahead of second place. The team will turn to their returning seniors for leadership this year, with Phin Choukas ’22 and Chris Thompson ’22 among those returning to the team after taking the past year off due to Covid-19. Thompson and Choukas were among those competing for Middlebury’s first team this weekend, with both set to play key roles this season. Returning NESCAC Freshman of the Year Colin McCaigue also looks set to star, as do Hogan Beazley ’23 and Sean McGarrity ’23. The team has also added four first years to its all-star lineup as they look to blend youth with experience. Men’s cross country by Charles Crounse Head coach: Nicole Wilkerson (19 years at Midd) Captains: Quinlan McGaugh ’22, Noah Whiting ’22 Players to watch for: Drew Donahue ’25, Alec Gironda ’24, Zander Kessler ’22.5, Max Cluss ’23 Background: Men’s cross country has depth in every class this season, from first years to seniors. The question is, as usual: How do the Panthers stack up against other leaders in the NESCAC? How well could they do against Williams, a perennial national contender, for example? Middlebury always finds a way to compete, but could they vault to the top of the NESCAC this year? Key matches: Aldrich Invitational (Home; Sept. 18), Purple Valley Classic (Away; Sept. 25), Connecticut College Invitational (Away; Oct. 16) Men’s cross country kicked off their season this past week with a win at the Maple Syrup Challenge. The Panthers nearly swept the top ten with just three rivals sneaking in in second, seventh and eighth respectively. Alec Gironda ’24 earned an impressive victory in his Panthers cross-country debut. The team looks primed for a strong year this season, hoping to improve on their third place in the NESCAC back in 2019. They will look to top their sixth place finish in the NCAA Regionals and 29th place at the NCAA Championship. Captains Noah Whiting ’22 and Quin McGaugh ’22 are excited about the team’s prospects this season. Whiting says the team is particularly excited about the first-year and sophomore classes, all of whom had yet to race a proper college 8k coming into the season. Alec Gironda ’24, Peter Burke ’24, Drew Donahue ’25, Oscar deFrancis ’24.5 and Will Lavey ’25 all look set to play big roles as part of the up-and-coming cast of untested runners. Other key runners will include Zander Kessler ’22.5, who placed 57th at the last edition of the NCAA Regional race, and captain Quinlan McGaugh ’22, who placed 62nd at the same race. The team remains under the leadership of coach Nicole Wilkerson, who has led the team to the NCAA Championship race in every year of her coaching tenure, which spans back to 2011. Women’s Field Hockey - Blaise Siefer Head coach: Katharine DeLorenzo (20 years at Midd) Captains: Isabel Chandler ’21.5, Danielle Brown ’21.5, Erin Nicholas ’22 Players to watch for: Katie George ’23 (F), Grace Harlan ’22.5 (GK), Meg Fearey ’21.5 (D) Background: Is there a better D-3 women’s field hockey team in the nation? The answer is probably no. Women’s field hockey has won the NCAA National Championship the past three seasons — 2017, 2018 and 2019 — and return a core group of top players. It would be silly to bet against this team in any game this season. Key matches: Bowdoin (Home; Sept. 18), Tufts (Home; Oct. 10), Williams (Away; Oct. 26) Women’s Soccer - Blaise Siefer Head coach: Peter Kim (17 years at Midd) Captains: Eliza van Voorhis ’21.5, Isabelle Hartnett ’21.5, Simone Ameer ’21.5 Players to watch for: Fanny Lodge ’24 (F), Elizabeth Peebles ’23 (M), Eliza Robinson ’21.5 (M) Background: After an early exit in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, how well can women’s soccer respond this year? They are a perennial juggernaut, last making the NCAA Championship game in 2018, when they fell in dramatic fashion to Williams. The Panthers will have firm tests against Tufts, Williams and Amherst this fall, which could go a long way in determining the ultimate course of their season. Key matches: Amherst (Home; Oct. 3), Tufts (Home; Oct. 10), Williams (Away; Oct. 26) Men’s Soccer - Blaise Siefer Head coach: Alex Elias ’08 (6 years at Midd) Captains: Liam Sloan ’22.5, Raffi Barsamian ’21.5, Michael McFarlane ’22 Players to watch for: Ryan Grady ’23 (GK), Jordan Saint-Louis ’24 (F), Ben Powers ’23 (M), Brandon Reid ’21.5 (F) Background: Men’s soccer hasn’t finished atop the NESCAC since 2008 — could this finally be the year that breaks that streak? The team would need to get past the likes of Tufts, Amherst and Connecticut College first, which won’t be an easy task. But there is a lot of promise among the first-year and sophomore classes, and the Panthers have no shortage of experience; Liam Sloan ’22.5, Raffi Barsamian ’21.5 and Michael McFarlane ’22 are all All-NESCAC caliber players when healthy. Don’t bet against men’s soccer turning a few heads this season. Key matches: Connecticut College (Away; Oct. 2), Amherst (Home; Oct. 3), Tufts (Home; Oct. 10) Men’s Tennis - Blaise Siefer Head coach: Andrew Thomson ’10 (3 years at Midd) Captains: David Vilys ’22, Stan Morris ’22, and Zach Hilty ’22 Players to watch for: Robby Ward ’23, Aidan Harris ’23 Background: It’s been two years since men’s tennis competed, as the team didn’t have enough players to field a team last spring. After all that time off — and with a relatively new head coach — it’s hard to predict how men’s tennis might fare this season. Will their senior leadership help propel them to success? Key matches: Middlebury Invitational (Home; Sept. 18–19), Panther Classic (Home; Oct. 2–3), Wesleyan Invitational (Away; Oct. 16–17) Women’s Tennis - Blaise Siefer Head coach: Rob Barr (interim head coach) Captains: Brinlea La Barge ’23, Amanda Frank ’23, Caitlin Neal ’23, Nora Dahl ’22, Ruhi Kamdar ’22.5 Players to watch for: Gena Huang ’24, Amy Delman ’24 Background: Many sophomores and juniors on women’s tennis took the spring semester off — how strong will they return? Also, with former head coach Rachel Kahan taking the head women’s tennis coaching job at Yale several months ago, the team enters an adjustment period as they search for a permanent head coach. Key matches: Williams Invitational (Away; Sept. 24–26), Middlebury Invitational (Home; Oct. 8–10) Women’s Volleyball - Sam Lipin Head Coach: Sarah Raunecker (26 years at Midd) Captains: Corley Doyle ’22, Maggie Wise ’22, Jane Nelson ’22 Players to Watch: Laney Sullivan ’23 (OH), Gabbie O’Toole ’25 (S), Kelly Ferrero ’23.5 (L) Background: After jumping out to a 5–0 start to the season having only lost one set in total, the volleyball team is primed for a big season. The squad went 15–10 two seasons prior, and those sophomores and first-years (five players total) have worked tirelessly to rebuild their team. Senior Jane Nelson ’22 claimed she has never been a part of a team as closely knit as this one. The Panthers will look to stay undefeated when they play their first NESCAC opponents of the year this coming weekend. Key Matches: Amherst (Home; Sept. 24), Wesleyan (Away; Oct. 8), Tufts (Away; Oct. 16) Women’s Cross Country - Sam Lipin Head Coach: Nicole Wilkerson (19 years at Midd) Captains: Emily Bulczynski ’22, Cassie Kearney ’22, Grace Kirkpatrick ’22 Players to Watch: Sophie Nardelli ’23, Eliza Broughton ’22, Katelyn Pease ’22 Background: Cassie Kearney ’22 has dominated the field during her time at Middlebury, once again doing so when she broke a course record in the 5k at Vermont Tech this past weekend. She leads an experienced team poised to build upon their fourth place NESCAC finish in 2019. Middlebury hosts their only cross country event of the season this coming Saturday at their annual Aldrich Invitational. Key Matches: Aldrich Invitational (Home; Sept. 18), Connecticut College Invitational (Away; Oct. 16) Men’s Football - Sam Lipin Head Coach: Bob Ritter (26 years at Midd) Captains: Gordon Pollock ’22, Will Jernigan ’21.5, Jack Pistorius ’21.5 Players to watch: Zander Bailey ’21.5 (LB), Jimmy Connell ’21.5 (TE) Background: In their last full season in 2019, Middlebury football dominated the field, going 9–0 and winning the NESCAC Championship. However, their games were not won by huge margins, with five games ending in a one-score lead. As players return from their semesters off due to Covid-19 and a large freshmen class steps onto the field, will Middlebury once again prevail as champs? Key Matches: Williams (Away; Sept. 18), Hamilton (Away; Nov. 6), Tufts (Home; Nov. 13)
Women’s golf wrapped up its season last weekend at home against Hamilton. While this year was nowhere near normal, the team was happy to have a chance to compete in five matches this spring. Coach Bill Mandigo expressed this gratefulness in an interview with The Campus. “The fact that we were able to play, go to different courses, and see different teams was a success regardless of how well we played,” Mandigo said. Women’s golf placed fourth out of four in their first match, and then finished fourth out of five in their next three matches. Team scores were not kept in their final match. While also having to navigate the rule changes due to Covid-19, the Panthers dealt with a smaller roster, as two players did not return to campus this semester and one got injured. Yet, the opportunity to play overshadowed any of these struggles. Katie Murphy ’23, who led the way for Middlebury in every match, commented on her experience this season. “Having a season and being able to play golf everyday completely changed the trajectory of my semester,” Murphy said. “Feeling like it was a competitive season was awesome.” The Panthers return almost their entire roster next season, with captain Erika Nakagawa ’21 being the only graduating senior. While Williams won the NESCAC championship this year, Middlebury hopes to compete for the title in the fall.
Now in his fifth year as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA), Koby Altman ’04 Zoomed with Campus reporter Josh Rosenstein '24 to discuss basketball, the pandemic, societal issues and Middlebury. Altman has worked every job in basketball — from towel washer to assistant coach. A three-year starter on the Middlebury men’s basketball team, Altman then earned his master’s degree in sports management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. Q: What was your experience navigating the Covid-19 pandemic while also managing an NBA organization? A: There are a lot of parallels between what we’ve had to do in the NBA and what President Patton had to do at Middlebury. It takes a lot of preparation, a lot of planning, and you need collective buy-in from your players and staff. Just like at Middlebury, you guys needed a collective buy-in and compliance to make that work. You need people to change their behaviors and buy into the bigger picture — which, on our side, is playing an NBA season during a global pandemic. So there have been a lot of challenges, but I do think that we have come together as a league and as an organization to meet those challenges and put together a really good product for the fans. I think it takes tremendous leadership from the top with our commissioner Adam Silver. And what President Patton did the first semester with zero positive cases [for most of the semester] from the student body is equally as incredible, if not more so. Q: What has the NBA done so far with vaccinating its players and staff members? A: I want to say at least two-thirds of NBA teams have had vaccination events already. We’ve had a vaccination event. There are people who have their concerns and don’t want to get it. I think that’s a challenge. Whether they cite health concerns, how fast it was rolled out or religious concerns, there are a lot of different reasons why people would not want to get the vaccine — and you have to be sensitive to that. I also think the challenge for college campuses is: Do you mandate it? And next semester, is that something that will be in place for Middlebury? That’s a big question to ask, but I think at the end of the day, we all want a really safe environment for students and athletes. Q: Racism plagues our country right now. NBA players and organizations consistently use their platform to demonstrate and call for change, but many times college students and younger generations feel as though their voices aren’t heard. What are your thoughts on this racial reckoning currently happening in our country, and what advice would you give to students hoping to lead the charge towards change? A: I don’t think [NBA players] get enough credit for their bravery. We look to them to help the movement, or even lead the movement in a lot of ways. That’s a lot of pressure. You have to be tremendously brave to put yourself out there because it’s a risk. It’s a risk when you dive into different movements like that, especially a movement that’s so emotional and hard for us all. They were able to accomplish tremendous feats, whether that was opening up every single NBA arena for voting, speaking about police reform [or] talking about education. For the Middlebury side, there is a lot to do and a lot that has already been done. I’ve been really pleased to see a few things happen. I’m away [from campus], but I’m still on the board of trustees, and I’m very involved and try to stay abreast with what’s going on, especially on the athletics side. I was really pleased to get a call from Erin Quinn, the athletics director, about the initiatives he wants to put in place. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee’s five-year plan to address those issues is a really tremendous first step. I think the hard part is how you continue to make that sustainable, even after you leave campus. It’s up to everybody at Middlebury who really cares to ask how can we help and what can we do — that’s the first step. We all have to step outside of our comfort zone. And you could say that it’s not affecting us here on this beautiful campus and the friendly confines of the Middlebury community, but it is. We all have to step outside our comfort zone and take a risk, and what does that look like for Middlebury students? Is that social media posts? Is that learning more about the issues that plague these black and brown communities? Is it protesting? Is it donations? What is it that you're doing to take that step, and not just saying “you know what, that’s not really affecting me”? Q: Can you talk about your journey from Middlebury to the Cleveland Cavaliers? What advice would you give Middlebury students who branch out on their own journeys and inevitably run into obstacles? A: I still pinch myself every day. It’s an unbelievable job, and I’m very fortunate. I get to watch basketball every day. If you’re going to work every day and having a blast, that’s the goal. I think Middlebury students are really well-versed to get to the highest level of whatever industry they want to get into. We think of ourselves as a small school, and that we can accomplish great things, but can we get to the top? I think we can because the thing that Middlebury teaches us is to become incredible thinkers. It also teaches us to navigate a bunch of different scenarios, to think on our feet and to make arguments that we back-up with data. We’re very analytical, but we can also write. That’s going to serve everyone really well, no matter where they go. I remember writing a thousand papers at Middlebury, and I hated it. But now at my job, I have to make an argument every day. I have to back that argument up with sound data points, make a conclusion, and sell that. In terms of my journey, every year I try to create a great basketball experience for myself. Whatever level that was, I grabbed a hold of that, and I wanted to be great in that role. I think that’s helped wherever I’ve gone. Each step along the way, whether it’s at USA Basketball, where I had to wash towels and bring ice around, to what I have to do now, I was great in my role. At one point, I was the best towel washer in the country. Hands down, best in the country. And that helped me get more responsibility at the next step and the next. Q: I’m sure being an NBA general manager comes with its fair share of stress and pressure. What are some of the moments where you feel the most pressure, and how do you deal with it? A: Mental health has become a really big issue, and the misconception is that there is something wrong with you. I also think that the high stakes I might have to go through is no different than you having to prepare for a big exam. I think reaching out to talk to someone is a really healthy thing. I also know you have to find your own routine. For me, every day I need some level of decompression, something mindless. Whether it’s 20 or 30 minutes, I don’t ever get an hour, where I’m literally decompressing and not thinking about basketball. I’m either by myself, or I put on a shitty show, or something that takes my mind off of basketball completely. You can’t be all consumed with that exam for 24 hours a day. That’s not healthy. Whatever it is, going for a run or going to that special place to be by yourself, that brings you to some level of equilibrium, so you’re ready to go back and attack the problem. And it’s not hard to find a beautiful spot at Middlebury. We need to love ourselves and give ourselves that time to regenerate to go back and attack the problem, or else we’re going to burn ourselves out. Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?A: I’m really happy we did this. We have great alumni. I really am pleased that you reached out, and I also think that as a community, the students should reach out to talk to these alumnus in different areas more. We’re excited to give back to the campus and the community from afar, because we can’t come up as much as we’d like. This has to continue on, and I think you’re starting a trend which is great, in reaching out to alums, and getting their thoughts on society, and bringing them back into the fold.
With a score of 339, women’s golf finished last place out of four teams at the Hamilton Invitation on April 19, ending 25 strokes behind first-place Williams. Kicking off their first tournament of the season, the Panthers adjusted to several Covid-related changes. One alteration was the inclusion of Covid-19 tests before the match, which prevented the team from conducting their typical warm-up on the driving range. Likewise, golfers played in groups of five, slowing down the pace of the match. “After playing for five hours, most people start to cap out on their energy level, and I think we felt that this weekend,” said Lizzie Kenter ’23, who shot a 91. Kenter also expressed her confidence that the team is capable of much more as the season continues. One bright spot for the team was Katie Murphy ’23, who landed in third place with a score of 77. Kayla Li ’23 also had an impressive performance, shooting a 79 and tying for sixth place. The Panthers are back in action on Sunday, April 18 at the Williams Spring Invitational in Williamstown, MA.
Without typical watch parties or traditional in-person attendance allowed during this year’s NCAA men's basketball tournament, fans are heavily leaning on one March Madness hallmark that the pandemic can’t cancel: bracket challenges. In a bracket challenge, fans compete against one another to see who can predict the results of the NCAA men's basketball tournament to the highest degree of accuracy. At Middlebury, this age-old tradition has enticed various clubs and groups, from the rowing team to the fourth floor of Stewart Hall. Model United Nations is one club that’s organized a bracket challenge this month. It’s an annual event for the club, so club member Avery Dyer ’21 was determined to continue the tradition. Dyer said it’s given her a chance to bond with some of the younger members on the team, which is a refreshing opportunity given the restrictions in place. Similarly, Zeke Golnik ’22 organized a bracket challenge for the rowing team, which has faced its own assortment of restrictions this academic year. “So far it’s been a lot of fun watching the games and seeing whose brackets are doing the best,” Golnik explained. “I’m really happy I started the bracket league, and I plan on doing similar things like it in the future.” The fourth floor of Stewart Hall also has an ongoing bracket challenge. Cameron Riley ’24 coordinated the challenge and is relishing the opportunity to interact with his neighbors in a novel way, despite sitting last in the standings. “A lot of people said that they didn’t know anything [about college basketball],” Riley said. “But I told them that it’d be fun and that they should do it, and they did, and it seems like everyone is having a good time.” Perhaps the biggest tournament challenge at Middlebury was created by Aidan Shepardson ’24, who invited the entire class of 2024 to his challenge. Shepardson received 30 entries, including members from all five freshman residential halls. In a year defined by limited social events, the NCAA men's basketball tournament has given Middlebury students a rare chance to tie the community together, and students are taking full advantage. Correction: A previous version of this article referred to the NCAA basketball tournament without specifying that it was the men's tournament.
After a year of adjusting to Covid-19 restrictions to make athletics happen for students at Middlebury, Erin Quinn ’86 was recognized for his efforts. On March 10, Quinn was named by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) as a 2020-21 Division III Athletic Director of the Year. He is one of only four Division III athletic directors to win this year’s award. “I was working at home when I received the email notification,” Quinn said. “It was appropriate for the past year that I was by myself in a makeshift office in my basement when I received the notification.” This past year, Quinn helped navigate the pandemic-induced challenges that faced Middlebury athletics. His clear and constant communication with the Covid-19 Task Force allowed both recreational and varsity athletes to enjoy fitness opportunities on campus. In the Peterson Family Athletic Complex, Quinn worked diligently to create cleaning, spacing and monitoring plans to allow students to use the various facilities. He also spent countless hours at Virtue Field House, which was transformed into the Covid-19 testing center throughout the year. “Any of our work around Covid was only possible because of the hard work of a lot of colleagues, both within our department and across campus,” Quinn said. “This adds up to a lot of meetings, but that is what has been necessary and has allowed us to navigate these challenging times as well as possible.” Quinn also impressed in his work towards racial diversity and inclusion in athletics. After protests in the name of racial injustice heightened this summer, Quinn doubled down in his effort to bring equality to campus, implementing a 21-day allyship challenge for staff members, the Leaning into Discomfort video series and diversity and inclusion education workshops. He also enlisted the help of Andrew Plumley ’11 — currently the director of inclusion at the American Alliance of Museums — to provide valuable insight on many conversations and decisions regarding race and athletics at Middlebury. Quinn spearheaded a five-year plan to further address these issues. “We have had an Athletics Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for the past 4–5 years, but we increased our efforts over the summer and through the academic year,” Quinn said. “We meet once per week as a full committee, and then various sub-committees meet as needed. We changed the makeup of the committee, [too], adding students.” Like other athletic directors, Quinn had to adapt to the uncertainty of the last year, and he did so by finding creative solutions, many of which he hopes to incorporate into his post-pandemic work. Most notably, Quinn has utilized Zoom to facilitate meetings with other athletics directors as well as the numerous other committees he is involved in. “As much as we all have Zoom fatigue right now, the virtual meetings have provided an opportunity for collaborations that are not always practical as in-person meetings,” Quinn added. “I can imagine integrating virtual meetings into our regular practices moving forward.” The difficulties of the last year also reinforced Quinn’s feeling that all the work he does is part of a team effort. He stressed that his receival of the NACDA award reflects the hard work of the many committees, coaches and volunteers that keep student athletics operating effectively. Quinn will be recognized for his achievement at the 2021 NACDA and Affiliates Virtual Convention July 27–28.