Tag Archives: Amherst College

Catching Up With Brandon Linton (Nichols College Men’s Basketball)

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Brandon Linton was recently named the 20th men’s basketball coach in Nichols College program history. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

Last month, Nichols College announced the hiring of Brandon Linton, who becomes the 20th men’s basketball coach in program history.

Linton arrived at the Dudley, Massachusetts campus after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Army West Point where he helped the Cadets with numerous tasks, including scouting reports to working with the wing players at practice to assisting with in-game strategy.

Before assisting the Army West Point men’s basketball program, Linton spent time as an assistant at both his alma mater, Clarkson University, and Bowdoin College.

Coaching a program like Nichols certainly intrigued Linton, who is excited “to continue building on what has already been established” with the Nichols men’s basketball program.

“The chance to take over a program that represents excellence, both on and off of the basketball court was important to me,” said Linton when asked about becoming the new men’s basketball coach at Nichols. “Also, the growth potential of the program was equally intriguing, (as well).”

Nichols concluded its 2018-19 season with an impressive 28-3 mark. The Bison advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament earlier this year, thanks to postseason victories against Amherst CollegeMiddlebury College, and Rowan University.

Additionally, Nichols also captured the 2019 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title with a 105-90 victory over Gordon College.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Coach Linton to discuss his excitement for the upcoming season.

As a former Division III, men’s basketball player did you always want to coach or become a head coach at this particular level? 

Absolutely.  I had the great fortune to play for Adam Stockwell during my first three years at Clarkson. I remember sitting in his office as a freshman and sophomore, and him telling me that I would be a college basketball coach one day.  Prior to that, I had casually thought about the idea of it, but after (those conversations) I began to own that reality. Everything I’ve done since was aimed at this goal of becoming a Division III head coach.

What do you know about the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)? Are you excited to coach in a very competitive league? 

I’m extremely excited to coach in this league.  I know that it is made up of high-level coaches that have built some of the best and most competitive programs in New England.  The talent across the board is impressive and something that I notice has improved since my departure from Division III.  This is a conference that I believe should be a multiple bid league to the NCAA tournament (every season). I look forward to the challenge of being in that mix.

How did your experience with Army West Point shape you into the coach you are today? 

I couldn’t be more grateful for my time at Army.  The development that I was able to take part in both on and off of the basketball court was truly remarkable.  It is the preeminent leadership development institution in the world. From the faculty to the cadets and all the variety of guest speakers that came through West Point, it truly was a hub for leadership development.

Basketball-wise, being able to coach at the Division I level just provides an amazing amount of time that you get to spend coaching and teaching the game to your players.  We also fielded a junior varsity team at West Point, which allowed us as (to gain experience) being a head coach as assistants to the varsity. More than anything, being around the people day in and day out was the number one takeaway that I believe will shape me into the coach I am and hope to be.

Great coaches are great leaders. And great leaders are great people first.

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Coach Brandon Linton inherits a Nichols College men’s basketball team that finished the 2018-19 season with an impressive 28-3 record. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols College Athletics)

What are some of the biggest goals/objectives you (and the men’s basketball program) hope to accomplish between now and the team’s first practice? 

The biggest thing will be developing the framework for meaningful relationships with each other. That is from new staff to players and vice versa. It will also be amongst the current players as well. Acclimating the newcomers into the fold, while also continuing to develop even stronger bonds with your returning teammates (will be a must, as well). That will be our biggest focus prior to our first practice on October 15th.

A few quick-hitters, beginning with your all-time favorite memory of playing basketball. 

Without a doubt, it has to be back in 2008 when I was a part of Clarkson’s first-ever Liberty League (LL) championship. We advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a fourth-seed in our conference’s tournament, which made it even sweeter.

Legitimately, no one believed we could get it done because there was honestly no prior reason to think so, but only the individuals in our locker room believed (we could win a conference championship) and that’s all that mattered. It’s something that has stuck with me ever since (and proves what) the power of belief can accomplish.

Who was a player you idolized growing up? 

Tracy McGrady. Unfortunately for me, my teammates and coaches, however, I played nothing like McGrady, but when I got to college, I really enjoyed watching Rajon Rondo when he first started playing for the Boston Celtics. I enjoyed watching Rondo as a student-athlete with the Celtics – he was a big part of their resurgence. I played the point for Clarkson and I really respected how he played that position. And that’s probably why my three-point percentage was what it was, too.

Finally, if you could coach any basketball player, both current or past, who would it be and why? 

Growing up in New York City, I was and still am a big fan of the New York Knicks. We’ve fallen on hard times for a good 15-20 years, however, as a kid, there were some awesome teams for me to follow.

I fell in love with basketball by watching John Starks play.  I would always wear his number (three) whenever I could in youth tournaments and recreational leagues.  The passion and swag that he played with was everything to me. He embodied what it meant to be a New Yorker, as well. He was hard-nosed, did whatever it took for the greater good of the team, and took the challenge of guarding the best players on the other team. He also jacked three-pointers, too, which was still a newer thing for the game during the 1990s.

John Starks is definitely someone I would love to coach.


Stay connected with our New England basketball coverage by following @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter! 

The Way Too Early New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll

NS FB Top 20 Poll

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Sure, it may not be September or October, but football is on our minds – yes, football, especially in late June when we should be watching baseball or enjoying some downtime at the beach.

But with football on our minds, we thought why not unveil a WAY TOO EARLY New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll to get you excited for the upcoming season.

This fall, we will be expanding our weekly poll to 20 teams instead of the usual 10, which will allow us to provide more coverage (and publicity) to teams in all six New England states. And we are excited to add 10 more teams to our weekly poll – hopefully, this excites you, too.

So, enjoy the unofficial start to our New England football coverage – we will have more blogs and tweets to come between now and the first weekend of the 2019 season, so get excited, everyone!


The Way Too Early New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll 

1. Trinity College 

8-1, 8-1 NESCAC

2. Western New England 

8-3, 5-1 CCC

3. MIT 

9-2, 6-1 NEWMAC

4. Husson University 

8-3, 6-0 ECFC 

5. Springfield College 

8-3, 5-2 NEWMAC

6. Salve Regina University 

7-4, 5-1 CCC

7. Framingham State 

8-3, 7-1 MASCAC

8. Amherst College 

8-1, 8-1 NESCAC

9. Coast Guard Academy  

7-3, 5-2 NEWMAC

10. Endicott College 

7-4, 5-1 CCC

11. Bridgewater State 

8-3, 6-2 MASCAC

12. Williams College 

5-4, 5-4 NESCAC

13. Tufts University

7-2, 7-2 NESCAC

14.  WPI 

6-4, 4-3 NEWMAC

15. Western Connecticut 

8-2, 6-2 MASCAC

16. Plymouth State 

6-4, 5-3 MASCAC

17. Nichols College 

5-5, 3-3 CCC

18. UMass Dartmouth 5-5, 4-4 MASCAC

 19. Westfield State  

5-5, 4-4 MASCAC

20. Dean College

5-5, 4-2 ECFC

On The Rise: Anna Maria College, Colby College, Curry College, UMass Dartmouth, and Westfield State.  

Catching Up With Katie Zimmerman (Western New England Women’s Ice Hockey)

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Katie Zimmerman was named earlier this month the first coach of the Western New England women’s ice hockey program, which is scheduled to begin competition in 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Diana McNamara)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Katie Zimmerman seems very excited to coach the first Western New England women’s ice hockey team, which is scheduled to play its first contest during the 2020-21 school year.

“Being able to start my own program at the college level is very, very special,” said Zimmerman, who arrives in Springfield after assisting the Amherst College women’s ice hockey team since the 2014-15 season.

“I have categorized it as a life experience (because) it is going to be both exciting and challenging, but also a full-circle feeling to build a program and help grow the game at the next level.”

Zimmerman was named the program’s initial coach earlier this month when the institution announced they would be adding a women’s ice hockey program.

A forward for the Hamilton College women’s ice hockey team, Zimmerman led the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in goals scored during her junior and senior seasons, while also earning a pair of all-league selections.

In addition to assisting coach Jeff Matthews at Amherst, Zimmerman has prior coaching experience with USA Hockey and SUNY Cortland.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Zimmerman to discuss her excitement for starting the women’s ice hockey program at Western New England.

On getting a startup program started: The very first thing to do is to make sure people know about the program. So, what I have done is introduce or reintroduce myself to former colleagues and coaches at both the youth and high-school level, as well as camp directors and advisors to educate them about this new program. I have let people know that this is an exciting opportunity, not just for myself, but for so many people that are going to be able to support it, including the first-ever student-athletes that will have a chance to write the first chapter of the program’s history. Besides spreading the news, it is also time to begin building relationships with prospective student-athletes, too.

I am really excited about this opportunity. I believe in this program, and I am looking for recruits who are just as excited as I am. 

On learning from prior startup women’s ice hockey programs: I do have contact with coaches that have started their own NCAA Division I and III programs, so it is very interesting to speak with them and learn how they got their programs started. There are so many interesting aspects of building an inaugural team.

On spreading the word of the new program to the entire country: The midwest and northeast are hockey hotbeds. Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Michigan are the three top states for girl’s hockey, so those are target areas, but I am casting a wide net for potential student-athletes that want to join our program. I have seen some impressive players come out of California, Colorado, and even Texas and Florida, so I am definitely spreading the news outside the northeast and making sure to focus on bringing in individuals that will set the tone for the program’s culture. I have been really lucky to chat with so many people that have provided me with ideas as to what I should do with recruiting, to the hockey x’s and o’s stuff as well, but it has been very helpful learning more about how my colleagues and coaching friends have started their respective programs.

On publicizing the news through social media: I recently launched a WNE women’s ice hockey Instagram account and plan to follow up with Twitter and Facebook soon. Social media is a primary mode of communication for so many people these days and I am excited to get some good content out there. 

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Katie Zimmerman competed for Hamilton College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). (PHOTO COURTESY:


On falling in love with the sport of hockey: My love for hockey began in the driveway. I grew up on a street with many other young kids, and I would jump into street hockey games whenever I could. I loved ripping around the neighborhood on my roller blades that I had my seventh birthday party at an inline skating arena. I vividly remember going to the arena with my mom and seeing a roller hockey game being played, and I asked my mom if I could play. She signed me up on the spot. I was one of only two girls in the roller hockey league for three years before I transitioned to ice hockey at 10-years-old. I grew more and more serious about ice hockey as time went on, and my love for the sport only grew.

Some of my all-time best friends have been former teammates and many of my favorite moments revolve around hockey. And when I’m not coaching the sport, I’m a passionate follower of the National Hockey League (NHL) and a loyal Detroit Red Wings fan!

Some favorite memories of the game: I could write a book about my favorite memories. When I was a senior in high school I played for a team in Michigan called Victory Honda, and that year alone holds so many of my all-time favorite hockey memories. The best part of that year was that it felt like we were all best friends, both on and off the ice – I still keep in touch to this day) – which made every moment at the rink so much fun. I also had a blast playing in college, where every game-day felt like a holiday. 

Zimmerman’s all-time favorite hockey player: Pavel Datsyuk, who used to play for the Detroit Red Wings. His nickname was “The Magician” because he could do unimaginably creative things with the puck. I thought he was the most entertaining player to watch and a really strong two-way player, too. To this day, I’ve never seen another player that plays the game like he did. 


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ hockey coverage on Twitter by following @NoontimeHockey!

New England College Notebook: WNE Starts Women’s Ice Hockey, Nichols Names Linton Men’s Basketball Coach

NS NEW ENG COLL NOTEBOOK

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

Just hours before the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues squared-off in the seventh game of the 2019 Stanley Cup FinalsWestern New England announced some exciting news that they would be adding women’s ice hockey, the school’s 20th varsity sport, during the 2020-21 school year.

The exciting news of the school adding women’s ice hockey was shared by Matt LaBranche, Western New England’s Director of Athletics, Recreational Sport & Physical Education, who looking forward to seeing the team compete in 2020.

“Interest at the high school and youth levels has never been higher, and we are proud to be providing a new opportunity for those young women to pursue their passion in a highly competitive collegiate program,” said LaBranche in Wednesday’s press release about the women’s ice hockey team.

LaBranche also announced the hiring of Katie Zimmerman, who becomes the first head coach in the program’s history. Zimmerman previously served as an assistant at nearby Amherst College and has prior coaching experience with USA Hockey and SUNY Cortland.

Zimmerman also played Division III hockey for Hamilton College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

According to Wednesday’s release, Western New England will join 66 other colleges that sponsor women’s ice hockey at the Division III level.

Nichols College announced on Thursday that Brandon Linton has been named the 20th men’s basketball coach in program history.

Linton replaces Scott Faucher, who guided the Bison to 28-3 record this past winter, including an appearance in the NCAA Division III sectional finals (elite eight).

Faucher was recently named the new men’s basketball coach at Assumption College.

Linton arrives in Dudley after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Army West Point where he “was responsible for the development of scouting reports on opponents and managing the scout team,” along with additional duties, as well.

“Nichols College is a special institution that offers a world-class experience for our student-athletes both on and off of the court,” said Linton in Thursday’s release. “I cannot wait to begin the process of getting to know our current players and continuing to build on the foundation they have created.”

Linton is no stranger to Division III basketball as he played for Clarkson University in the Liberty League (LL) and spent time as an assistant under coach Tim Gilbride at Bowdoin College.

Finally, congratulations to former Babson College men’s ice hockey assistant coach Chris Zimmerman, who recently celebrated a Stanley Cup championship on Wednesday evening with the St. Louis Blues.

Zimmerman, who President and CEO of Business Operations for the Blues, played hockey at the University of Vermont in the Hockey East before pursuing his MBA at Babson.


Stay connected with our Noontime Sports coverage on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

D3 Lacrosse: 2019 All-Noontime New England D3 Men’s Lacrosse Team

ALL NOONTIME MLAX MAY 2019

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax 

With another season of New England Division III men’s lacrosse in the books – the 2019 season concluded this past weekend with Cabrini University defeating Amherst College in the championship game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – it is time to unveil our All-Noontime Sports team, including our player, rookie, and coach of the year.


All-Noontime End of Season Awards 

Coach of the Year: Jon Thompson | Amherst College: Thompson’s Mammoths made history this spring by advancing to the program’s first-ever NCAA Division III championship game. Despite falling to Cabrini, Thompson’s crew matched the 2015 Amherst squad with 18 wins, while scoring some impressive victories over a trio of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCASC) squads in the NCAA Tournament, including Williams College, which beat Amherst twice this season. Amherst concluded its 2019 campaign with an 18-4 record, 386 goals scored, and 244 assists.

Player of the Year: Evan Wolf | Amherst College: Wolf enjoyed his best season with the Mammoths, tallying career-highs in goals (75), assists (43) and points (118) while leading Amherst to its first-ever NCAA Division III Championship appearance. Additionally, Wolf and the Class of 2019 helped Amherst match its win total from 2015 with 18 victories this spring. Wolf departs Amherst with a slew of postseason honors while becoming the first-ever Division III student-athlete to earn a spot on the  Tewaaraton Watch List.

Rookie of the Year: Jake Haase | Williams College: The 2019 NESCAC Men’s Lacrosse Rookie of the Year enjoyed a very successful first season with Williams College, tallying 99 points on 67 assists and 32 goals to lead the Ephs to their best season in program history. Haase posted a season-high 10 points in a late March win over Colorado College while netting a season-high four goals in Williams’ 16-9 win over MIT. Haase’s 99 points were the most recorded by any member of the Ephs this spring.


All-Noontime First Team

Colin Minicus 

Amherst College 

Darien, Conn. 

Evan Wolf  Amherst College  Wynnewood, Pa.
Matt Chlastawa Bates College  Westfield, Mass. 
Riley McNulty  Coast Guard Academy Annapolis, Md.
Scott Morgan Trinity College East Grand Rapids, Mich.

Danny Murphy 

Tufts University 

Hauppauge, N.Y. 

Max Waldbaum 

Tufts University

Denver, Colo

Otto Bohan

Wesleyan University

Westlake, Ohio

Brendan Hoffman 

 Williams College

Darien, Conn.

Jake Haase 

Williams College 

Wayland, Mass. 

 


All-Noontime Second Team

Rod Castro

Amherst College

Bryn Mawr, Pa.

 Matt Solberg

Amherst College 

East Grand Rapids, Mich.

Rocco Fantoni

Bates College 

Hauppage, N.Y. 

C.J. Layton 

Colby College

Wakefield, Mass. 

PJ Kelleher 

Conn. College

Walpole, Mass. 

Matt Treiber

Tufts University 

Medfield, Mass. 

Ben Connelly  Tufts University 

Kenilworth, Ill.

Jared Ward

Western New England

Littleton, Mass.

Cory Lund

Williams College

El Segundo, Calif. 

Kevin Stump

Williams College

Allentown, PA 

 


All-Noontime Third Team 

Juan Gonzalez 

Amherst College 

Sarasota, Fla.

Samuel Mishkind

Babson College 

Chappaqua, N.Y.

Nathan Maselek

Clark University

Marblehead, Mass. 

Derek Yannone 

Endicott College 

Lynnfield, Mass.

Joe Nutting 

Keene State College

Amherst, N.H.

Ryan Madden 

Lasell College

Hingham, Mass. 

James Santoro 

MIT

Tewksbury, N.J.

Connor Smith

New England College

Oakland, Maine

Jack Vail 

Springfield College

Franklin, Mass.

Joe Hawley

Springfield College

Poulsbo, Wash.

 

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