Tag: Ivy League

Checking In On The D3 Football Coaching Carousel

Dan Swanstrom will be returning to the University of Pennsylvania after spending five seasons as the head coach at Ithaca College. (PHOTO COURTESY: University of Pennsylvania Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

The football coaching carousel never stops, especially in NCAA Division III.

As noted, both this morning and over the last few days by D3Football.com, three schools, including Ithaca College, will be looking for a new head coach to lead their respective program onto the gridiron this fall.

Dan Swanstrom, who guided the Bombers to 32 wins and 11 losses in five seasons, is returning to the University of Pennsylvania as the Quakers’ new offensive coordinator. His final day at Ithaca College is next Monday, January 31.

Penn head coach Ray Priore announced Swanstrom’s hiring on Monday and is excited to welcome back his former quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator that helped the Quakers share a pair of Ivy League crowns in 2015 and 2016.

“It’s great to have Dan rejoin the Penn Football Family after leading Ithaca to great success over the last years,” Priore said in a statement on Monday. “He returns with a tremendous work ethic, an incredible amount of football knowledge, and a passion for the game.”  

Swanstrom inherits a Penn offense that ranked last in the Ivy League in touchdowns (24) and points (191).

In his final season at Ithaca, the Bombers won eight of 10 contests, including five of six Liberty League (LL) matchups. Ithaca concluded its campaign with a heartbreaking defeat to SUNY Cortland in the 62nd meeting between the two schools last November.

According to D3Football.com, this year’s Cortaca Jug Game between Ithaca and SUNY Cortland will be played at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, November 12.

“I can’t put into words how special my time at Ithaca has been,” said Swanstrom, via D3Football.com. “I would like to thank the players, coaches, and fans for the cherished experiences and the meaningful relationships.”

Swanstrom isn’t the only one making a transition from Division III to Division I as it was announced yesterday that Chris Wilkerson, who guided the University of Chicago for the last nine seasons, has been named the new head coach at Eastern Illinois University.

Wilkerson, who is an Eastern Illinois alum, guided the Maroons to an 8-2 record last fall, including a 7-2 mark in the Midwest Conference. UChicago’s offense shattered numerous single-season records while halfback Nicholas D’Ambrose placed second in the nation with a school record of 1,714 rushing yards.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as the head football coach at UChicago for the past nine seasons,” said Wilkerson, via athletics.uchicago.edu. “I want to thank all the players and coaches for their commitment and passion for Maroon football.”

North Central will also have a new head coach — the school’s athletic director Jim Miller recently announced Brad Spencer will be taking over for Jeff Thorne, who recently accepted the offensive coordinator role with Western Michigan.

Thorne will reunite with Western Michigan coach Tim Lester as the two coached together at North Central under Jeff’s father John Thorne.

As the head coach of North Central, Jeff Thorne guided the Cardinals to the school’s first-ever championship in 2019. They fell short of winning their second title last month against the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.  

Other coaching changes/notes:

Yale University Men’s Basketball Picked To Capture The Ivy League

Yale University will enter the 2021-22 college basketball season as the favorite in the Ivy League. (Photo Courtesy: The Ivy League)

By Matt Noonan

The Yale University men’s basketball team was picked to finish first in the Ivy League, according to today’s preseason media poll that the was unveiled earlier today.

Yale garnered seven first place votes while Harvard University, which checked in second, secured four first place votes.

Also receiving first place votes were Princeton University (two), the University of Pennsylvania (two), and Brown University (two). All three teams checked-in third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.

Dartmouth College, Cornell University, and Columbia University rounded out the eight-team poll by securing the sixth, seventh, and eighth positions.

Yale ended its 2019-20 campaign with a 23-7 record, which was good enough for the top spot in the Ancient Eight – their last outing, however, was an 83-69 setback to Harvard.

The Bulldogs were scheduled to compete in the opening round of the 2020 Ivy League Tournament against the Quakers of Pennsylvania, which secured the fourth seed. The game was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coach James Jones welcomes back some key pieces from the 2019-20 Bulldogs squad, including Azar Swain, who set a single-season school record of 93 three-pointers.

Swain is a Brockton, Massachusetts native and previous competed for The Rivers School where he was named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior.

Jalen Gabbidon is also back for his final season with the Navy Blue and White after being named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native tied for fourth in the league with 40 steals and was one of only two Bulldogs to start all 30 games.

Yale will tip-off its 2021-22 season on Tuesday, November 9 at home against Vassar College before welcoming UMass to New Haven, Connecticut three days later (November 12).

Princeton Picked To Capture Ivy League Women’s Basketball Crown

A brand new season of Ivy League women’s basketball is set to tip-off in early November. (PHOTO COURTESY: IvyLeague.com)

By Matt Noonan

The Princeton University women’s basketball team was picked to win the Ivy League crown this winter – the Tigers garnered 12 first-place votes on today’s poll, which was released yesterday morning.

The University of Pennsylvania secured the second position with three first-place votes followed by Columbia University (third) and Yale University (fourth).

Harvard University, which secured one first-place vote, checked in fifth while Cornell University, Dartmouth College, and Brown University rounded out the poll, checking in the sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.

The 16 votes for the Ancient Eight women’s basketball preseason poll are produced by the league’s “media contingent.”

Princeton concluded its 2019-20 campaign with a 26-1 record under first-year coach Carla Berube, who welcomes back some key pieces from that squad, including Julia Cunningham, who averaged 8.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game.

Abby Meyers is also back after earning Ivy League Tournament Team honors in 2018 while averaging 6.3 points and 2.7 rebounds during the 2019-20 season.

Princeton will tip-off its 2021-22 season on Wednesday, November 10 when they visit Villanova University.

While Princeton will certainly be the team to watch this winter, one should certainly keep an eye on Columbia University as the Lions finished its 2019-20 season with a 17-10 record, including an 8-6 mark in Ancient Eight play. The 17 wins were the second most recorded by a Lions squad since the program began competing at the Division I level during the 1986-87 school year.

Columbia will be led by Sienna Durr and Abbey Hsu, who averaged 14.3 and 12.8 points, respectively, during the 2019-20 season.

Like the Tigers, the Lions will commence their campaign the same week, but on Tuesday, November 9 against Hampton University.

Following the conclusion of the regular season, the league’s top four teams will advance to the Ivy League Tournament, which will be held at Harvard University from March 11-13.

Ivy League Coaches, Players Express Excitement For 2021 Season

The Ivy League will announce plans for the fall sports season on Wednesday, July 8. (PHOTO COURTESY: IvyLeague.com)

By Matt Noonan

After having their season canceled due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic last summer, all eight Ivy League coaches, along with a few players shared their excitement for returning to the field this fall during this morning’s virtual media day.

“I think the 2021 Ivy League football season has the chance to be its best ever because of the collective effort of all these teams and all these amazing student-athletes,” said Cornell University coach Dave Archer.

“We finally get to showcase our football ability, (and) I’m really looking forward to that.”

While Archer’s excitement was echoed amongst his peers, so was the unknown: how good are these teams going to be this fall?  

Like many college football teams returning to campus this summer, there is a lot of unknowns about each squad considering so many rosters will feature a slew of sophomores and first years that yet to play a single down. But the uncertainty was overshadowed by enthusiasm to practice, and yes, compete again, too, later this year – most teams will begin their preseason later this week.

“We’re anxious and ready to go, and open up this Thursday,” said Dartmouth College coach Buddy Teevens.

Princeton University will enter the 2021 season as the favorite – the Tigers, who have accumulated 28 National Championships, along with 12 league titles since their initial campaign in 1869, return some key pieces from its 2019 squad that finished 8-2 overall. Princeton was unable to capture its second-straight Ivy League crown or at least share the title – Dartmouth and Yale University ended the season as co-champions.

But despite not finishing atop the Ancient Eight two years ago, Princeton coach Bob Surace told the media that his group has “worked really hard” over the last 17 to 18 months and will be ready to compete in a few weeks against Lehigh University.  

“We have a lot of guys who love football, who want to be with their teammates, and who want to see how good we can be,” said Surace.

While the Tigers should be pretty good this season, the same could be said for Dartmouth, Yale, and Harvard University — all four teams were picked to finish in the top half of last week’s preseason poll. And while Dartmouth and Yale maybe early favorites to challenge the Tigers for the top spot, one should not rule out the Crimson, who are returning a lot of seniors that coach Tim Murphy believes will help the squad be successful this year.

“It feels like Christmas is coming and we can’t wait for that day,” said Murphy, who will lead the Crimson into their first game next month against Georgetown University. “We have plenty of challenges ahead of us … we have a ton of work to do (and) we can’t wait to get started.”

The 2021 Ivy League season officially kicks off Saturday, September 18 with six games scheduled to appear on ESPN linear networks, according to the conference website.

Princeton Secures The Top Spot In The 2021 Ivy League Preseason Poll

The Ivy League unveiled its football preseason poll on Monday, August 9, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY: IvyLeague.com)

By Matt Noonan

After a year away from the gridiron due to Covid-19, the Princeton University football team will enter the 2021 season as the team to beat in the Ivy League.

Picked to finish first in the Ivy League Preseason Poll, which was released earlier today, the Tigers secured eight first-place votes, along with a league-high 113 points “by a panel of 16 media members from across the league.”

Princeton earned a share of the Ancient Eight title in 2016 before winning the league outright in 2018 with a 10-0 record.

Yale University and Dartmouth College, who shared the conference title in 2019 checked in second and third, respectively — Yale garnered six first-place votes and 104 points while Dartmouth secured one first-place nod and 88 points.

Harvard University rounded out the top four spots with 87 points in the voting while the University of Pennsylvania checked in fifth. Brown University, Columbia University, and Cornell University rounded out the eight-team poll, securing the sixth, seventh, and eighth positions, respectively.

“It’s always nice to see our program held in high regards,” said Princeton football coach Bob Surace in a statement earlier today.

“It’s great to be the preseason pick, but every league team will start practice thinking they will be (number one) when the season ends. We have to work hard every day to reach out goals. I know every one of our guys is excited to get started.”

The 2021 Ivy League season kicks off Saturday, September 18 with eight intriguing matchups — Princeton will visit Lehigh University while Yale will host Holy Cross.