Over the years, few fall semesters have been as successful as the most recent one for IUP athletics.
The school’s seven teams that compete in the fall ended up doing so well that IUP held the lead entering the winter season in the Dixon Trophy standings. Every spring, the 16-school Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference awards the Dixon Trophy to the top program based on regular-season and playoff finishes. After the fall semester, IUP had a score of 11.79, which was .53 points ahead of second-place Shippensburg and .60 ahead of third-place California.
Steph Beaudette, a junior, led all IUP runners, finishing 60th at the NCAA Championships in Joplin, Missouri, in November. [Slippery Rock University Sports Information]
IUP’s Dixon Trophy score came on the strength of two championships, in football and men’s golf. It also received high scores from field hockey and women’s and men’s cross country.
Here’s a closer look at the fall semester:
- In football, IUP went 10-1 in the regular season, won the PSAC West title, pummeled Shippensburg in the conference championship game, won two games in the NCAA Division II playoffs, and came within a touchdown of winning the regional title. Along the way, head coach Curt Cignetti, members of his staff, and more than a dozen players earned accolades for the team’s breakout season.
- Longtime golf coach Fred Joseph fielded another standout team, as the Crimson Hawks claimed their sixth consecutive PSAC title with a first-place finish in October at the annual conference tournament. Zack Kempa won the individual title to pace IUP, which outdistanced second-place California by 18 strokes. Jack Owen and Sean Sweithelm tied for third place, and Kenny Sames tied for fourth. The Crimson Hawks played in six tournaments in the fall season and finished first in four of them.
- The cross country teams showed continued improvement with their efforts in the fall. The IUP women placed third at the conference and regional meets and advanced to the NCAA championships, where they finished 18th. Seven runners competed at nationals, highlighted by a 60th-place finish by Steph Beaudette. The men’s cross country team took sixth in the PSAC and eighth in the region, narrowly missing a berth in the national meet.
- Under head coach Gary Agard, the field hockey team earned its second berth in the NCAA Division II tournament in the past three seasons. The Crimson Hawks finished with an overall record of 14-6, placed fourth in the conference tournament, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAAs. After the season, four players were named All-PSAC: Nicole Bruce, Brielle Mackey, Anouk Sickman, and Erin Shirk. Bruce and Sickman also were chosen for the Longstreth/NFHCA Division II All-America team.
The golf team claimed its sixth consecutive conference title with a win at the annual tournament in October. Zack Kempa, a junior, took home the individual title. [Millersville University Sports Information]
- For the ninth consecutive season, the women’s soccer team advanced to the PSAC tournament and placed seventh, finishing the year with an overall mark of 9-6-4. It was head coach Adel Heder’s 11th winning season in his 12 years on campus. Three players were named to the all-conference team, Tonya Fabian, Brittney Kuhns, and Kelsey Fisher, and Fabian also was chosen for the Daktronics Division II All-Atlantic Region team.
- In the opening half of its split season, the women’s tennis team put together another solid effort. At the end of the fall portion of the schedule, Abby McCormick and Alanna McFail won the “B” and “C” draws, respectively, at the St. Bonaventure Fall Classic, in Allegany, New York. The Crimson Hawks, who went 15-6 in singles play and 6-3 in doubles, were the only non-Division I school competing in the event.
- Despite not advancing to the conference playoffs, the women’s volleyball team still finished with a winning record, at 20-15. After the season, senior Morgan Cerveny was picked by the league’s coaches for the All-PSAC West second team.
The Dixon Trophy final rankings will be announced at the end of the school year when the spring season concludes. Should they hang on to the top spot, the Crimson Hawks would win the Dixon Trophy for the first time since it was established in 1994.
After a successful tenure as the athletic director at Georgia Tech, Dan Radakovich ’80 made the move to fellow Atlantic Coast Conference school Clemson, where he was put in charge of the Tigers’ athletic department on December 1. He is the 13th athletic director in Clemson history. Vic Cegles M’73, a former assistant baseball and basketball coach at IUP, is in his seventh year as the athletic director at Long Beach (California) State. Since Cegles took over in 2006, LBSU has won the Commissioner’s Cup—an award given to the top athletic program in the Big West Conference—three times, in 2009, 2011, and 2012.
The Indiana Area School District hired Rob Stossel ’97 as its head varsity baseball coach in November. In his previous head coaching stint, Stossel took Homer-Center High School, in nearby Homer City, to the PIAA Class A championship game in 2005. Stossel is a teacher in the Homer-Center School District.
The field hockey team advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II tournament. Senior Nicole Bruce was one of four players named to the all-conference team and one of two chosen for the Longstreth/NFHCA Division II All-America team. [Anthony Shingler/IUP Sports Information]
Ron McNabb ’83 recently completed his first season as head boys’ basketball coach at Knoch High School in Saxonburg. McNabb, a sixth-grade math teacher at the middle school, replaced another IUP graduate, Josh Shoop ’96, who left the coaching job to become athletic director at nearby Pine-Richland High School. In January, Bob Rado ’78 won his 100th career game as the boys’ head coach at Homer-Center High School. With that victory, Rado has won at least 100 games at three schools in Indiana County, following stints at Marion Center and Indiana high schools. One of IUP’s most accomplished players, Ashton Smith has begun a pro career in Europe with the Raiffeisen Lions, based in Austria. He is the lone American on the roster. One of Smith’s former teammates, Julian Sanders, also is playing abroad. He is a rookie for Lagomar in the Uruguay Basketball League. Dom Lombardi ’12, son of current men’s coach Joe Lombardi, is in his first season as a graduate assistant coach at Division I powerhouse Kentucky.
Cross Country/Track and Field
In November, Jim Lear ’74 finished his 17th season at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh as the head men’s cross country coach. Soon after, he started his 13th season as an assistant coach for the Dukes’ track and field team. After three years as an assistant at West Alabama, Jorge Medina ’07 was hired recently as the head coach at Hawai’i Pacific University. Maddy Outman M’10, who holds several IUP records in track and field, was hired in August as an assistant coach at Ursuline College, in Pepper Pike, Ohio. At Ursuline, Outman has been reunited with her former IUP coach, Ralph White, who is also an assistant coach for the Arrows.
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When Baltimore beat San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII in February, Ravens assistant coach Jim Hostler ’90 became the fifth IUP graduate to win a Super Bowl ring in the past five years. (See a photo in All about Alumni.) Hostler joined an exclusive club that includes Jason Capizzi ’11, Bob Ligashesky ’85, and Brandon Hunt ’03, M’06, who won championships as a player, a special teams coordinator, and a scout, respectively, with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009, and Ben McAdoo ’00, who earned one as an assistant coach with the Green Bay Packers in 2011.
Dave Baker ’67 recently finished his second season as head coach at Central High School in Martinsburg. This is Baker’s second stint as a head coach—he led the Williamsburg High program for 31 seasons, from 1970 to 2001. Blairsville High School head coach Ab Dettorre ’76, M’85 recently completed his 25th season leading the Bobcats. He has a 147-99 career record at his alma mater. In December, Tom Gibbons ’89 completed his second season as the director of pro personnel for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.
Crystal Heder ’08, M’12 has followed in the footsteps of her father, IUP women’s head coach Adel Heder, by joining the coaching ranks. She recently completed her first season as the girls’ coach at Kittanning High School, which revived the program after it had been inactive for many years.
More from the Spring 2013 Issue of IUP Magazine
IUP expertise is tapped in shale gas boom
Bob Anderson ’67 helps people who are dying, whether it’s at the bedside or disaster site
IUP operates with accountability and efficiency—and we continually strive to improve our performance.
Coach Curt Cignetti has fast returned IUP football to a tradition of success--one he knows well
IUP has always embraced the challenge of performance-based rewards from Harrisburg
Putting a face on IUP for prospective students around the country
Professor George Johnson and his wife, Julie, leave a beautiful campus legacy