A little more than a year after coming to Drew, I am happy to report a number of exciting developments in the athletic department as well as in the Simon Forum and Athletic Center. As you may know, this fall Drew welcomed its largest first-year class of more than 500 students. More than 35% of these young men and women are now involved as student-athletes, which is a noticable increase over the previous year.
We just completed a very successful fall season which saw all three of our team sports reach the Landmark Conference playoffs. For the first time this year, Landmark Conference champions are granted an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament, so it is great to see our squads showing continued improvement. Men’s soccer finished off another successful year by winning the 2009 Eastern College Athletic Conference Metro Tournament Championship. We also welcomed a new head coach this year for our Cross Country program. Robert Koppenol has helped both the men’s and women’s teams improve upon their performances from a year ago and, with a full year of recruiting behind him, we expect a great year for the squad in 2010.
Our winter seasons are now in full swing. The Equestrian, Swimming and Fencing programs have all seen successes thus far, while Men’s and Women’s basketball have both welcomed several highly touted recruits to The Forest this year. Our women’s team is off to the best start in school history, with a 7-0 record as of this writing, including a win over last year’s ECAC Champion College of Staten Island.
We recently inducted three new members into our athletic Hall of Fame in a memorable ceremony during Alumni Homecoming weekend in September. On behalf of the Drew community, my sincerest congratulations go to Monica Bradley C’99, Lauren Kenworthy Jarrell C’99, and John Milano C’90 on their well deserved honor. In addition, Drew Trustee and former student-athlete C. Rory Corrigan was presented with the Gold D Award in honor of his exemplary support of student-athletes at Drew University.
We continue to make improvements to our athletic facilities in support of Drew student-athletes competing at the highest level of Division III athletics. New scoreboards now preside over Ranger Stadium and Doc Young Field, and Drew windscreens and signage surround the playing surface at Ranger Stadium and Simon Forum and Athletic Center, helping to create a sense of pride for Drew student-athletes on their home field. Looking ahead, we expect to install new, state-of-the-art fitness equipment in the Simon Forum Fitness Center this winter to promote conditioning for student-athletes and general fitness for the entire Drew community. Alumni may also purchase annual memberships to the Simon Forum by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are preparing to launch a new website for the Athletics department this winter. Drewrangers.com will be your one-stop shop for everything Drew Athletics. We recently began offering LIVE statistics and audio coverage of our home games through the Ranger Roar portal on the website. Visit Drewrangers.com for more information, to listen to a game, or find out when the new website launches. Sign up as a fan of the Drew Rangers on Facebook, and stay tuned for the Rangers on Twitter!
We are currently making plans for a Golf Outing on June 14 that will bring together members of the Drew community for a day of golf, food and fun at Plainfield Country Club to benefit Drew’s student-athlete programs. Plainfield Country Club’s has an exquisite and challenging golf course that tests both skill and character. The club was recently named as host for 2011′s Barclays, the first event of the PGA Tour