Catching Up with Gavin Viano (Wheaton College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Nearly two months after being named the Wheaton College Director of Athletics and Recreation, Gavin Viano found himself, along with his staff, working remotely due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).  

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Gavin Viano was named the Wheaton College Director of Athletics and Recreation on January 6, 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Keith Nordstrom/Wheaton College Athletics)

But despite the distance, Viano and his staff have remained upbeat and positive. They have also found ways to stay connected through video conferencing, which is something the new Lyons’ boss is “grateful for” these days. 

“The ability to see each other (through Zoom or other video conferencing platforms), it really helps to feel connected and stay productive,” said Viano, who competed for the Clark University men’s swimming and diving program. 

“COVID-19 has disrupted the natural rhythm of campus life and everyday life … but the goal is to stay connected, stay motivated, and to simply be there for each other.” 

And being there, both for his coaches and student-athletes, as well as other members of the Wheaton community remains Viano’s main priority while assisting various members of his department with a slew of projects, including last week’s NCAA D-III Week coverage to generating new content for the Lyons’ website and social media channels. 


Wheaton College NCAA D-III Week Stories


We recently caught-up with Viano to learn more about how he and his staff are staying connected with the student-athletes and Wheaton community during this time to what he envisions sporting events looking like in the post-coronavirus world.


During such a confusing and uncertain time, how do you keep your staff and student-athletes engaged and still active within the campus, even if they cannot be physically present?

We meet more frequently (virtually) as a department than we did prior to COVID-19. We schedule individual meetings more frequently to compensate for the inability to pop-in and see each other on a daily basis. 

We’ve taken to social media as a place to not only interact as a community but to offer programming relative to health, strength and conditioning ideas. We have offered intramural video game tournaments, promoted virtual career services programming and even social media account takeovers. 

We have been highlighting alumni, staff, and students on our athletics’ homepage three days a week while our Wheaton Athletic Mentors (WAMs) have been producing “virtual coffee” meetings with our faculty and staff that we have shared to our fans and followers. 

Both our coaches and recreation staff are doing many things virtually with their teams and students while we are also trying to take advantage of the programming that is being offered by other departments on campus, including the Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services

A prevalent topic floating on social media these days has been the absence of sports. This scary time has shown us that sports aren’t just sports. They bring us together and offer a sense of joy and excitement. How do you feel the sports world will change in the post-pandemic world?

If I had to guess what will be different, I think smaller crowds at live events, especially at the professional level and the NCAA’s Power Five level will be the norm for a while. I would imagine that live sports will come back first as “made for TV” events – I am thinking no fans or maybe a handful from the get-go. Then we’ll see a gradual increase in attendance over the next two to three years. 

At the small college level, I think you’ll see fans a lot more spread out around the venue, than in the past. People will come together, but they won’t crowd together, at least not right away.

Will there be an even greater appreciation for sports than before?

I think there is going to be a greater appreciation for lots of things that we all took for granted. I think the experience of watching live sports will certainly be one of those things.

Finally, what advice or words of encouragement would you like to give those seniors who lost their winter and spring seasons? 

First, I would say that it is normal and necessary to take a few days or even a month or two, to go through the mental process of having a final season ended so abruptly. There will be moments of sadness, anger, confusion, and regret, along with other emotions, as well. Those emotions need to be acknowledged, because that loss of a season is real, and I empathize with these student-athletes.

My advice to anybody, including myself, at this unprecedented time, is to be thankful for what you do have and try not to focus on what you don’t have or what you can’t control. If you are healthy and if your loved ones are healthy, that’s a pretty good place to start each day.


‘Catching Up’ with Wheaton College Director of Athletics and Recreation Gavin Viano was produced by both Matt Noonan and Mia Len.

The D-III Life with Wheaton College’s Mia Len

WBBall vs Babson

Wheaton College’s Mia Len is our Noontime Sports D-III Life Student Blogger. (PHOTO COURTESY: Wheaton College Athletics)

By Mia Len 

Welcome back to the second installment of The D-III Life for Noontime Sports (and Noontime Nation, too).

In honor of the first semester officially coming to a close, I thought I would tell you about one of my favorite classes I took this fall called Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship, which was taught by Professor Imran Chowdhury, who is the Diana Davis Spencer Chair of Social Entrepreneurship here at Wheaton College

Every week, my classmates and I were tasked with reading intriguing case studies, which we would analyze through written reports while sharing thoughts and findings from what we read through lively (and engaging) conversations in the classroom. These analyses we produced were instrumental in helping us with a pair of projects, including an enormous end of the semester presentation and report that I did with two of my classmates, including one of my women’s basketball teammates, Natalie Wind.

Our end of the semester project allowed both myself and project-mates an opportunity to converse with an enterprise beyond campus which is one of the many things I love about our business department here at Wheaton. Being able to have real-life conversations beyond the classroom was something I truly enjoyed.

Additionally, I loved being able to work on an assignment as a team – our project, like our women’s basketball team, took commitment and dedication to create the best analysis we could for our end of semester project, and I am so thankful my partners’ hard work and help.

We presented our findings for our project during the final week of school while enjoying other presentations from our classmates, too, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I really liked this type of project and class – I always came away learning something new, while having fun reading and analyzing the various case studies we were assigned on a weekly basis.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the academic part of my life – I can’t wait to write again soon and tell you more about the spring semester. 


Mia Len is a sophomore at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, as well as a member of the women’s basketball program. Len, who is a business major, is also our first student-blogger for ‘The D-III Life,’ which provides readers with a glimpse of what it takes to be a student-athlete in NCAA Division III. 

The D-III Life with Wheaton College’s Mia Len

WBBall vs Babson

Wheaton College’s Mia Len is our student-athlete blogger for the D3 Life. (PHOTO COURTESY: Wheaton College Athletics)

By Mia Len 

Let me tell you about being an NCAA D-III student-athlete at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. 

The D-III life has been the most rewarding experience in my opinion. Sure, there are  ups and downs – more good days than bad, of course – but at the end of the day, I firmly believe my experience as a member of the Wheaton women’s basketball program will help me both in and outside the classroom, as well as beyond the Norton campus when I graduate in two years. 

I am excited to tell you about my experience this winter as a student-athlete blogger for Noontime Nation. And I hope each post I produce for the site will provide a glimpse (and some insight, too) into what my life (and experience) is like at Wheaton as both a student and an athlete.

Prior to our Thanksgiving break, I begin my day with two classes: economics and social entrepreneurship. Both classes, coincidentally, are with my teammates. I am a business major, so both of these classes are right up my alley. And one of my teammates and I are working on a project together that consists of interviewing a social enterprise. We have spent a lot of time on it and are excited to present it to our class during this particular week. 

After class, I head to my favorite spot on campus to eat lunch with my teammates in the student-center at the Diana Davis Spencer ’60 Café. This particular cafe features a variety of food choices and coffee (of course) and is where I spend a lot of time doing work, but also some socializing with friends. And on this particular day, the cafe is offering a flatbread and soup deal – it was delicious! 

The cafe is also the spot where I usually work on the graphics that I post on social media – I am both the social media coordinator for our women’s basketball team, but also the athletic department, too. I like to ask my teammates for their opinions on the graphics I produce before they are finalized and ready to be shared. 

On this specific day, though, we happen to have a game at the University of New Hampshire, so once I wrap up my work (and food) I head to our team’s pre-game meal where I can also do some work and get ready for our team’s sixth game of the 2019-20 season.  

Following our pre-game meal, my teammates and I head to the bus for a long ride to New Hampshire. But for some reason, traffic cooperated – crazy, right? – so we arrive two hours earlier than expected, which provides our team with some extra time for warmups. And before we know it, it’s game time.

New Hampshire wins this particular meeting, but the experience of competing against a D-I squad was awesome – I am sure it will help us moving forward, as well as when we begin conference play next month against Mount Holyoke College.

On our way back, I watched a movie with one of my teammates and before we knew it, we were back on campus ready to go to bed – it has been a long day. 

And thus concludes my first installment of the D3 Life for Noontime Nation – I hope you enjoyed learning more about my experience at Wheaton and I certainly cannot wait to tell you more in a future post, so stay tuned for our next installment. 

I love being a D-III student-athlete, especially at Wheaton. And while my days can be long and tiring with classes, practices, and extracurricular activities, I know deep down this experience – and the memories I am making with my teammates and classmates, too – are worth it.


Mia Len is a sophomore at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, as well as a member of the women’s basketball program. Len, who is a business major, is also our first student-blogger for ‘The D3 Life,’ which provides readers with a glimpse of what it takes to be a student-athlete in NCAA Division III. 

D3 Hoops: Wednesday Night Conference Tournament Scoreboard

CONF TOURN SCOREBOARD

By NoontimeSports.com 

Four New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament games took place this evening and below are this evening’s outcomes.

Men’s Basketball: No. 4 WPI 95, No. 5 Wheaton 76: Aaron Todd netted 15 of his 21 points in the second half as the Engineers defeated the Lyons in Worcester to secure a spot in this weekend’s semifinals. WPI’s Jake Wisniewski concluded the game with 17 points – he netted 14 points in the first half – while Wheaton’s Ryan Fogarty matched Todd with a team-high 21 points.

Women’s Basketball: No. 2 WPI 72, No. 7 Coast Guard Academy 42: Meg Donovan came off the bench and netted a team-high 14 points, while Maura Buckley and Stasha Greenalch combine for 21 points – both student-athletes each netted double-figures – as the Engineers defeated the Bears of Coast Guard in Worcester. Coast Guard’s Micaela Martinelli netted a game-high 19 points, including five trifectas.

Women’s Basketball: No. 3 Babson 85, No. 6 Emerson 57: Katherine Tamulionis was one of three Babson players to net double figures – she concluded the game with 19 points – as the Beavers defeated the Lions in Babson Park. Quinn Madden paced Emerson with a team-high 12 points.

Women’s Basketball: No. 5 MIT 66, No. 4 Springfield 55: Dolly Yuan netted a season-best 26 points to lead the Engineers past the Pride in Springfield. MIT secured the lead for good by racing out to a 20-11 advantage after one quarter before securing a 36-27 lead at the break. Springfield’s Alex Goslin concluded the game with a team-high 15 points.

Weekend Watch: Games To Watch In New England D3 Hoops (Jan. 5-7th)

NS WEEKEND WATCH

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It’s FRIDAY – wahoo! – but it is also quite cold outside, so make sure to head to one of these gyms this weekend to enjoy some quality New England Division III basketball!

As usual, make sure to stay connected with us on social media throughout the weekend for scores, news and more – and make sure to follow us on Twitter (@NoontimeSports and @MattNoonan11, too).


Weekend Watch: Games to Watch Jan. 5th-7th

(MBB) No. 11 Williams at No. 14 Wesleyan (Friday, Jan. 5th | 7 p.m.): Can Wesleyan make it two-straight against their Little Three rival? Keep an eye on Williams’ James Heskett, who could be the difference in this one. PICK: Wesleyan 

(MBB) Amherst at Trinity (Friday, Jan. 5th | 7 p.m.): The Mammoths will look to bounce back from an early week setback to Eastern Connecticut. Trinity enters the contest riding a five-game winning streak, which includes a recent victory over Keene State. PICK: Trinity 

(WBB) Conn. College at Middlebury (Friday, Jan. 5th | 7 p.m.): The Panthers have enjoyed a successful start to their 2017-18 campaign. Can they begin New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play with a win over the Camels? PICK: Middlebury 

(MBB) Wheaton at Springfield (Saturday, Jan. 6th | 1 p.m.): The Lyons began New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play with a six-point (79-73) win over Clark. Can they keep it rolling against a talented Springfield squad? Wheaton enters the contest riding a six-game winning streak. PICK: Wheaton 

(MBB) Albertus Magnus at Suffolk (Saturday, Jan. 6th | 1 p.m.): A five-game winning streak has these Rams thinking optimistically about the second half of their season. PICK: Suffolk 

(WBB) Brandeis at New York University (Saturday, Jan. 6th | 1 p.m.): Can these 8-2 Judges find a way past the Violets? Brandeis enters the conference clash riding a five-game winning streak. PICK: Brandeis 

(WBB) Castleton at Lyndon State (Saturday, Jan. 6th | 1 p.m.): A win for the Spartans would help them in their quest of eventually locking-up the top seed in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Tournament. PICK: Castleton 

(WBB) No. 4 Tufts at No. 11 Bowdoin (Saturday, Jan. 6th | 3 p.m.): An early NESCAC semifinal preview – maybe a finals preview? Tufts’ Melissa Baptista could be the difference in this contests. PICK: Tufts 

(MBB) Bowdoin at Tufts (Saturday, Jan. 6th | 3 p.m.): Can a Polar Bear outlast an Elephant or vice versa? Who knows, but this will be a good one to follow or attend.  PICK: Tufts 

(MBB) Salem State at Worcester State (Saturday, Jan. 6th | 3 p.m.): Can the Vikings win the re-match of last year’s Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament Championship? PICK: Salem State 

(MBB) Endicott at Wentworth (Saturday, Jan. 6th | 3 p.m.): An important Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) clash that will could eventually determine tournament seeding next month. PICK: Endicott  

(MBB) Hamilton at Trinity (Sunday, Jan. 7th | 2 p.m.): Who is going to slow down these  Continentals? Hamilton looks like the team to beat in the NESCAC this year. PICK: Hamilton