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Namedroppers: Summer 2018

When it’s all said and done, the 2017–18 athletic year will be remembered as one of the most successful in IUP history.

The Crimson Hawks claimed three NCAA Division II regional championships—in football, women’s basketball, and women’s tennis—and won Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference titles in football, men’s golf, and women’s tennis. In addition, the football, men’s and women’s basketball, and women’s volleyball teams each won divisional crowns.

Derek Noll during the men's 3,200-meter relay

Derek Noll was part of the men’s 3,200-meter relay team that took first place at the PSAC championships in May. Photo: IUP Sports Information

In individual competition, IUP student-athletes also claimed three PSAC championships: Joshua Bartley ’18, men’s golf; Nicole Smith, women’s swimming, 100- and 200-yard freestyle; and Jada Wilson, women’s track and field, 400-meter hurdles. On top of that, the men’s 3,200-meter relay team (Austin Cooper ’18, Derek Noll, Ryan Louther, and Dylan Ruefle) took first place at the PSAC championships.

IUP capped the athletic season by placing second in the Dixon Trophy standings for the third time in six years. The PSAC awards the trophy annually to its top overall athletic department, based on standings and playoff achievements.

IUP student-athletes were also stars in the classroom. A school-record 196 Crimson Hawks attained at least a 3.25 grade point average during the school year, earning each of them PSAC Scholar-Athlete designation. Those honored represent 47 percent of IUP student-athletes.

In addition, four Crimson Hawks—Austin Cooper ’18 (track and field), Luise von Agris ’18 (women’s tennis), Dante Lombardi (men’s basketball), and Natalie Cignetti ’18 (women’s volleyball)—earned the conference’s Top 10 Awards, which recognize excellence in athletic competition and academics.

On top of that, IUP led the PSAC with six Champion Scholar Awards, presented to student-athletes with the highest GPA among the teams competing in league championships. IUP’s winners were Sean Bowling (football), Colter Long (men’s swimming), Noah Mandel (indoor track and field), Allyson Dryer ’18 (women’s cross country), Jessica Jones (women’s indoor track and field), and Ana Hollen (women’s basketball).

Hall of Fame

Twelve former star athletes will join the IUP Athletic Hall of Fame on September 22, when they are inducted in the annual ceremony at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.

The inductees represent eight sports and span the 1960s through the early 2000s. They are Joe Bellissimo ’65, M’70 (football and baseball), Scott Arthur ’79 (men’s golf); John Wingfield ’85, M’88 (swimming and diving); Owen Dougherty Jr. ’88 (men’s soccer); Beth Ann McDonald-Stevens ’01 (women’s basketball); Brian Eyerman ’03, Joey Flora ’03, and Carmelo Ocasio ’03 (football); Suzanne Cornelissen ’05 (field hockey); Erin Falce ’07 (women’s soccer); Sean Strauman ’08, M’09 (cross country/track and field); and Fran Nee (former athletic administrator and coach).

Mary Lou Kraynak will be honored with the Bell Ringer Award for her longtime support as an administrative assistant in IUP Athletics.

The induction ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. The Class of 2018 also will be honored at halftime of the football game that day against Mercyhurst. Kickoff is at 4:00 p.m.

For ticket information, contact Karyl Miller at 724-357-2057 or by e-mail at karyl.miller@iup.edu.

Other Halls

His hall of fame induction in September will be the second in one year for Owen Dougherty Jr. ’88. In May, he and three other IUP alumni—Jerry Page ’60, the late Steve Mizerak ’67, and Scott Murphy ’81, M’90—were among those who entered the Indiana County Sports Hall of Fame.

Edward Fornwalt ’50 was inducted into the Derry Township School District Athletic Hall of Fame for his football career in high school and at Indiana State Teachers College, as well as his tenure as a high school gymnastics, football, basketball, and track and field coach.

For up-to-the-minute news on IUP sports, visit www.iupathletics.com. There you’ll find all the latest news Namedroppers can’t bring you because of deadline constraints.

Coaching Moves

Seneca High School in Erie hired Scott Bollheimer ’97 as head football coach. Most recently, Bollheimer was an assistant at General McLane High School in Edinboro. Anna-Kate DePaolo ’14 was recently named an assistant women’s soccer coach at Washington and Lee University, an NCAA Division III school in Lexington, Virginia. Previously, she was an assistant at Muhlenberg College. 

Kevin Funston, an assistant for the IUP men’s basketball team from 2011 to 2013, was named boys’ head basketball coach at Bonner & Prendergast Catholic High School in Drexel Hill. Scott Kaniecki M’10, a former student assistant coach for the IUP football team, was promoted by the NFL’s Cleveland Browns from scouting assistant to defensive quality control coach. Former IUP assistant Matt Rochna M’16 was named head men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach at Washington & Jefferson College. A graduate of Indiana High School, Rochna swam in college at St. Bonaventure University. 

Tyler Scudder, former IUP football assistant coach, has been hired as an assistant at Iowa State. There, he joins another former IUP assistant, D. K. McDonald, on the Cyclones’ staff. Rebecca Tillett, an assistant coach for the IUP women’s basketball team in 2012–13, was named head coach at Longwood University, an NCAA Division I school in Farmville, Virginia. Most recently, she was an assistant at the US Naval Academy. After one season as an IUP men’s basketball assistant coach (2016–17), Tray Woodall landed a job at NCAA Division I Robert Morris University as director of basketball operations. And after a year at that job, Woodall was promoted to full-time assistant coach. He played collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh.

Names to Know

Two former members of the IUP football team were offered spots in NFL tryout camps: defensive back Max Redfield (Oakland Raiders) and offensive lineman Jerron Searles (Kansas City Chiefs).

And, the Green Bay Packers recently picked up two-time IUP All-American Ethan Cooper after his release from the New York Giants. Cooper originally signed as an undrafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers in April 2017 and joined the Giants’ practice squad last fall. After IUP Magazine’s press time, the Kansas City Chiefs picked up Cooper from the Packers.

Kirk Stauffer ’84 competed in the 2018 Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Michigan, in late May. The head golf pro at Pine Acres Country Club in Bradford, Stauffer earned his way to the Senior PGA Championship through qualifying events in Rochester, New York, and Scottsdale, Arizona.