Sunday, May 1, 2016

Four Named to National Football Foundation's Hampshire Society

Four Pioneers were recently named to the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Society.  Jacob Beecher, Ed Hardman, Sam Poulos, and Greg Ruzich joined an elite group of senior football players from across the country that were recognized for their outstanding academic record.  Two Pioneers earned the honor in 2015, and six in 2014.

 Jacob Beecher was able to balance a Biological Chemistry major and participation in two varsity sports, and still maintain one of the highest GPA's on the team (along with Greg Ruzich, he was a co-winner of our first annual outstanding student-athlete award).  Besides all that, Beecher was able to graduate a semester early, and has already been admitted to the Kansas City School of Medicine and Biosciences.

Ed Hardman has experienced similar success as a two-sport athlete.  Ed battled injuries his first two seasons, but earned a starting position on the defense as both a junior and senior.  Hardman also excelled on the track, owning all-time top 10 times in the 60 (#2 all-time), 200, and 4x200 indoors and the 200 outdoors.  Ed has already accepted a position with Teach for America, and will be working at a KIPP school in Chicago.

Sam Poulos finished his career as the first four-year starting quarterback since All-American Troy Dougherty graduated in 2000.  Sam is already in France, playing professionally for the Thonon Black Panthers.

Greg Ruzich has also excelled as a Biological Chemistry major.  Greg will ultimately attend medical school, but he plans to work as a medical scribe in a Chicago-area hospital before applying.

Huge congratulations to these four, and to all our graduating class of 2016!  I'll update the rest of the class as their post-graduation plans are finalized.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Men Read Horrible Tweets

I'm a little late in posting this, but I just saw an article about men reading mean and derogatory tweets that were directed at two different women who are members of the sports media.  Neither the men nor the women had read the tweets ahead of time, and apparently the men thought they would be similar to the Jimmy Kimmel "Mean Tweets."  Unfortunately, many of the tweets took it to an entirely other level of cruelty.  Please watch the video here:

Not a lot needs to be said about this, but the idea of people hiding behind the anonymity of social media to post derogatory and hateful thoughts is nothing new.  And unfortunately, neither is directing negativity to women who may step out of traditional gendered roles, or really any woman who seeks to excel in her chosen field.  Obviously women in sports are not the only group targeted in such a way, but I believe this is a very powerful video.  I'd like to take their argument even one step further though.  I like the attitude of, "if you wouldn't say it to someone's face, you shouldn't post it," but really "if you wouldn't say it to their face, you shouldn't say it to yourself" is preferable.  We don't all have to be language police all the time, but we can all do more to combat these attitudes when we see them.  For every single one of us, we can think about what we've done or not done in the past, and we can do just a little bit more.  Figure out a creative way to subtly challenge the language of your friends and peers, and figure out a way to critically challenge your own thoughts when you hear this type of voice.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Scarlet and Give Back a Huge Success

The Office of Development and Alumni Relations is still tallying who gave what and where they designated it, but the total amount given during the recent Scarlet and Give Back Day has been announced: 3,376 unique donors gave $284,553.48 and one very generous donor gave $1,100,000, for a one-day total of $1,384,553.48!!  Wow!!

In case you missed it at the time, an anonymous donor promised to give $1 million if 2,000 unique donors gave to Grinnell in a 24 hour period.  That goal was reached easily, so the donor offered a bonus $100,000 if we added an additional 500 donors.  We accomplished both goals, and we collected an amazing $1.38 million dollars!

Thanks to all who gave.  No matter where you directed your gift, trust that you are improving the experience of somebody, or many somebodies, during their time at Grinnell.  It's a great feeling!


Monday, April 18, 2016

Andy Hamilton Posts 400th Win

This past Sunday, newly appointed Director of Recreation and Athletics Andy Hamilton recorded his 400th win as the head men's tennis coach at Grinnell.

You may remember Andy is Grinnell class of 1985 and has served as a coach of football, men's and women's tennis, and men's and women's basketball.  No matter which team, they have all excelled while Hamilton was on the staff.

Congrats Coach Hamilton!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Scarlet and Give Back Day

Today is the second annual Scarlet and Give Back Day at Grinnell College.  All current and former Pioneers are encouraged to give back today, in any amount.  We can make a general gift, to the Pioneer Fund, or direct it towards any program, including athletics or football.  As a bonus, if we reach 2000 unique donors today, an anonymous donor will give an additional $1 million!  Let's get it done!

The College has seen a recent uptick in giving, thanks in part to the leadership of Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Shane Jacobson.  A tireless worker and effective communicator, Shane has re-energized DAR and has engaged our former student-athletes in a way that hadn't been done before.  I believe we'll see even more of this in the future, and it's an opportunity for us to continue to lead the way for Grinnell College.

Please join me in making a one-time gift, in any amount directed in any way you choose, to help us on our way towards 2000 gifts.  Thanks!  #GCPride

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Former Pioneer Gridder Named Director of Athletics and Recreation

Former Pioneer footballer Andy Hamilton was recently named the new Director of Athletics and Recreation at Grinnell.  A member of the class of 1985, Andy has been a fixture in our department since, coaching several sports including football, men's and women's basketball, and men's and women's tennis.  He has also served as the Sports Information Director, as an Assistant AD, and as the Interim AD.  On a personal note, Coach Hamilton was the offensive coordinator my first three seasons at Grinnell, calling plays for arguably the best offense we've had at Grinnell.  I'm very excited to have Hamilton at the helm.  I love the continuity this provides to our department, but I also love that it does not signal complacency.  I believe we'll continue to push and improve and our department will be stronger across the board in years to come.

The flip side of Hamilton moving into his new role is that Greg Wallace will be moving to Senior Faculty Status.  Wallace was the head coach while I played at Grinnell, and has been the AD during my time as the head coach.  Greg has been a tremendous friend and mentor over the years, and it will be different not having him in our office.  Special thanks to Coach Wallace for his years of service, and I look forward to his new role working with athletics and admissions.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Footballer Graham Fisher Off to a Hot Start on the Diamond

Graham Fisher '16, an imposing figure on the mound
Three time all-conference punter Graham Fisher has gotten off to a hot start on the diamond as well.  Graham is second on the Pioneers with a .320 batting average and 6 rbi's, and leads the team with 15 total bases and the only home run so far on this young season.  Graham is also 2-0 on the mound, and has yet to allow a run.  He was named the Midwest Conference Pitcher of the Week last week, and has the Pioneers rolling with a 6-2 start.  The Pioneers play Fontbonne University early this morning, and then wrap up their Spring Break trip with a double header against St. Olaf and a game against Keuka College Sunday.

Keep up the good work Fisher, and keep it rolling Pioneers!

Monday, March 14, 2016

What a Weekend!

We had a fantastic weekend hosting the Division 3 Indoor Track and Field National Championship.  Three Division 3 records were broken (Luke Winder of North Central in the men's pole vault - 18'01", Nia Joyner of Illinois Wesleyan in the women's 60m - 7.49, and Amy Regan of Stevens - women's 3000 - 9:30.80) as well as multiple facility records.  Three people won multiple events (Regan won the women's 3k and 5K, Kim Gallavan of Baldwin-Wallace won the women's shot put and weight throw, and Josh Thorson of UW-Eau Claire won the men's 3k and 5k).  UW-Eau Claire won the men's championship while Baldwin-Wallace won on the women's side.

As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, and that was definitely the case with the Championship.  It took months of work from our planning committee, special thanks to Eloise Miller '15, Ben Cooprider, and Justin Thaxton, as well as those on the NCAA committee.  We had great help from our entire department, as well as countless students, staff (Facilities Management, Dining Services, Conference Ops, etc), community member, and alumni.  Thanks to all for such a great weekend!

Friday, March 11, 2016

It's Time!!

The Calm Before the Storm
After months of preparation and anticipation, the Indoor Track and Field National Championship is finally here!  We are hosting for the second time (2012), and it's going to be a great weekend.  If you're in the area, stop by and check it some of the best athletes in Division III!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Signing Day 2016

Our next new Pioneer is another Iowa boy, Rick Johnson from Davenport Central.  Rick comes with strong family ties to Grinnell and will be a great addition to our defensive front seven.  He has played both Defensive End and Outside Linebacker, and is versatile enough to play either for us next year.

We have one more Early Decision addition to announce, but things are starting to take shape for the young but talented defense, and we look to round out our class through Regular Decision.  2016 is going to be an exciting year!

View Rick Johnson's highlights here.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Ed Hardman Makes Speech at Kipp Schools Dinner

Senior outside linebacker and track star Ed Hardman was recently invited to give an address at a dinner for the Kipp Schools in Chicago.  Hardman is a Kipp School alum, and he will be teaching at a Kipp School in Chicago beginning this fall.  Kipp Schools "are a non-profit network of college-preparatory, public charter schools serving elementary, middle, and high school students.  They [we] have a 20-year track record of preparing our students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life."

At the dinner, Hardman was invited to introduce keynote speaker, former Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.  Ed's is an inspiring story, some of which he tells in his speech, linked below.  Simply put, we need more like Ed!

Ed Hardman Speech

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Signing Day 2016

We are continuing to highlight the new Pioneers that have committed through Early Decision.  It is a great group of guys that will have an immediate impact for us.

Next up is safety Max Hill, from Chaminade College Prep in California.  Max can cover a lot of ground from his spot as a safety, but he's also a very good tackler and an aggressive run-stopper.  He's a great special teams guy as well, willing to contribute to team success in any way he can.  We're very excited to add him!  Can't wait to get you out here Max!

Max Hill Highlights

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Signing Day 2016

Jordan Hall, Quarterback and Defensive Back from Whitney Young in Chicago, IL has decided to join the Pioneers for the fall of 2016.  Jordan's primary position was at cornerback, but he has the skills, the talent, and the mentality to play any number of positions for us next fall.  He is the third player from Whitney Young that we've added over the past few years (Barrett Morrissette '16 and Cole Riley '19).  We're very excited to add Jordan, and can't wait to see him in the Scarlet and Black next fall!

Jordan Hall Highlights

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Signing Day 2016

Alex Quist (left) will bring size and leadership experience
Alex Quist from Saint Peter, MN is the first offensive lineman to commit to the Pioneers in the class of 2016.  Alex will be a valuable addition to The Drove, as he has good size and technique.  He played guard at Saint Peter High School, and will likely stay at that position for us.  We are very happy to add Alex to the 2016 Pioneers!

Alex Quist Highlights

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Jacob Beecher Named Co-Recipient of the Scholar Athlete Award

As previously noted, the Pioneers added to their lineup of postseason awards in 2015, adding the scholar-athlete award.  The award goes not just to the Pioneer with the best GPA, but rather to the Pioneer who has an outstanding GPA, challenged himself in his area of study, and also excelled on the playing field.  Two Pioneers were selected for the inaugural award, one being safety/outside linebacker Jacob Beecher.
Jacob has been a two-sport athlete at Grinnell College since day one.  Contributing to both the football and baseball teams, Jacob has stayed busy but has not let it affect his studies.  He is a bio-chemistry major who finished with an outstanding GPA, was named academic all-conference four times and was named to the Dean's List twice.  As if that weren't enough, he graduated a semester early and will begin his studies at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences this fall.

Congratulations Beech.  Best of luck!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Signing Day 2016

The first player in the class of 2016 from the state of Iowa is Zisimos Doulaveris, a defensive tackle from Columbus Catholic in Waterloo, IA.  Z will provide added size in the interior of the defensive front, eating up blockers and freeing up our inside linebackers like Ryan Slager to make even more tackles this year.  I'm excited to add Z to the lineup for 2016!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Signing Day 2016

Bradford Knowlton, a linebacker from Punahou High School in Hawaii, will also be joining the Pioneers in 2016.  Brad has the speed to make plays from sideline to sideline, as well as the physicality to stuff the inside run.  He has played with and against the best players in the state of Hawaii, and is ready to make an immediate impact.  We are very excited to have him join the Black Swarm Defense!

Bradford Knowlton Highlight

Friday, February 5, 2016

Signing Day 2016

Michael O'Shea with another powerful run through the defense
The next addition to the Grinnell Pioneers is Michael O'Shea, from St. Paul Academy.  Michael is a multi-talented player that could fill many roles on either offense or defense.  We'll likely take a look at him as an H-Back or as another running back.  Michael will bring added size and speed our offense, able to run between the tackles with power, as well as the speed to take those carries all the way to the end zone.  He is also an effective blocker.  We're very excited to add a weapon like Michael to our offense!

Michael O'Shea Highlights

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Tazon de Estrellas

Colton Feller, Kevin Hwang, and Morgan Kinsinger in 2013
ESPN recently put out a great piece on the Tazon de Estrellas, the all-star game that pits the best players from Division III against the best players in Mexico.  Over the years the Pioneers have represented team Stars and Stripes very well.  Going back to 1998, ten different Pioneers have participated in the all-star game.

1998 - Richard Wemer - WR (known as the Aztec Bowl at the time)
2001 - Jeff Pedersen - TE (known as the Aztec Bowl at the time)
2010 - Marquis Bradley - LB
2011 - Logan Granera - WR
2011 - Robert Seer - WR
2012 - Tom Brinkman - DL
2012 - Brian Taylor - DL
2013 - Colton Feller - LB
2013 - Kevin Hwang - S
2013 - Morgan Kinsinger - OL

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Signing Day 2016!

Signing Day is, and always has been, quite a bit different at the division 3 level.  Because we do not offer athletic scholarships and the corresponding letters of intent, and because there are several different deadlines throughout the year, it is difficult to hold a signing day similar to divisions 1 and 2.  However, the NCAA recently passed legislation allowing a Celebration Letter to be signed by any Division 3 student-athlete that has already submitted a deposit.

Here at Grinnell, we add to our roster through Early Decision 1, Early Decision 2, and Regular Decision.  We typically get slightly less than half our class through the Early Decision rounds, and we're sitting in a good place so far this year.  We've got two strong defensive players from the class of 2015 that deferred their admission for a year, and we've added an additional eight players through the Early Decision round.  Over the course of the next few days we'll highlight those guys, and celebrate their decisions to be Pioneers!

Up first, Trent and Trey Wiebusch from Providence Academy and Long Lake, MN.  Trent and Trey are from the class of 2015, but they deferred their decisions in order to complete year long service commitments.  Both are very good defensive players that can be used anywhere in the front seven.  They will add both size and physicality to the Black Swarm defense!  We're looking for an immediate contribution from both!