2010-11 News and Awards
6/25 - Trine to Host 2012 Championship
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - For the first-time in school history, Trine University will host an NCAA national championship event.
The NCAA announced today that Trine will host the 2012 Women’s Golf National Championship. The championship is tentatively scheduled for May 8-11 or May 9-12.
This will mark the sixth time overall the Thunder have hosted a national championship event. As an NAIA program, the Thunder hosted the 1987, 1990 and 1992 Men’s golf National Championships. Hershey Hall was the venue for the 1996 and 1997 Women’s Basketball Division II National Championships. Trine also hosted the Division III Midwest Wrestling Regional in 2009.
6/10 - Trine Coach Reaching Out Through Free Youth Camps
The summer tennis camps in Hamilton have been as much a part of summer as swimming and fireworks. Trine tennis coach Bill Maddock has been an active part of it nearly from the start.
The tradition continued this week at Gnagy Park, with Maddock Thunder player Melanie Sobeske directing the week-long camp.
In 13 summers, Maddock and his players have become like pied pipers for the sport, attracting more than 500 students in grades 2-12 to instruction.
“Most of these kids have never seen a court or tennis pro, and for some of these kids it’s the only week of the year they play tennis,” Maddock said. “But it amazes me as an educator how much they remember.”
“It’s a great asset for the community,” Hamilton Park Board Director of Tennis and Trails Brad Stevens said. “It’s a life-long sport that we are introducing to kids. While they may never play in high school or college, it’s something they can do for the rest of their lives.”
Maddock’s excitement is apparent to everyone. Early in the morning, the camp focuses on the younger students and advances as the day goes on. Whether it’s a fun drill like king of the court, where students battle to hold serve against aggressive defenders, or just taking the time to engage students personally by calling them by name, “the kids thrive on it and somehow Bill is able to assign names to faces year after year,” Stevens said. “We think it’s wonderful that we can have a coach like Bill and his players invest in our community and our kids.”
“The kids always remember me, and I quickly remember them,” Maddock said. “It keeps me mindful of what it takes to teach young people. As a physical education professor I ask, ‘Am I teaching them to play, or (are) they teaching me how to teach?’”
6/1 - Angola Mayor proclaims Thunder Softball Day
Mayor Hickman visited the office of Trine University President Earl D. Brooks II to present the president, Athletic Director Jeff Posendek and softball coach Donnie Danklefsen a framed copy of the proclamation.
The Thunder women’s softball team claimed the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) regular season championship in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the MIAA tournament championship in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
They have advanced to the NCAA post-season tournament for four consecutive seasons, advancing to the regional final, the highest level in school history, this year. The Thunder defeated Thomas More and Transylvania at the tournament in Greencastle, Ind., before falling to Washington University.
Players Rachel Wisman and Tori Bluhm were named to the all-tournament team at the regional, and pitcher Andi Gasco was an at-large third-team selection for the 2010 Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III All-Central Region team.
Mayor Hickman congratulated Trine Athletics on another great softball season. “The Thunder softball team represents themselves, the university and the city with the utmost dignity,” he read from the framed certificate.
“We are proud of our athletes, who put everything they have into every game, while adhering to a high academic standard,” Posendek said. “The Thunder softball team demonstrates that high goals can be reached if you seize the opportunity.”
5/5 - Senior Athletic Awards presented to Bluhm, Watt
The Trine athletic department annually awards a male and female graduating senior athlete for their outstanding athleticism, scholastic achievement, leadership, citizenship and character.
Exercise science major Tori Bluhm (Monroe, Ind./Adams Central) earned the Cheryl Coons Award. She collected numerous awards as a volleyball player and was a two-year captain. In softball, she was a three-year starter and part of four-consecutive MIAA tournament qualifying teams. In 2010, she was named to the All-Midwest Regional Team. She had the reputation of being a very tough “out” with her triple threat ability to hit, slap and bunt. Off the field, she volunteered at RISE Inc., and assisted people with special needs.
The Cheryl Coons Award was established in memory of a Tri-State business major and member of the women’s softball and basketball teams from 1985-89. Coons helped lead the women’s basketball team to two consecutive championship seasons.
Finance major and quarterback Eric Watt (Kentland, Ind./South Newton) earned the Robert Greim Award. He graduated in January with a 3.61 grade point average. During his four-year career, he was named an All-American and received Division III football’s most coveted award, the Gagliardi Trophy, which is the Division III equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. He also won the MIAA’s most valuable player twice and was a seven-time conference player of the week. Watt volunteered in local reading programs and assisted in projects at Pokagon State Park.
Robert Greim, from whom the award takes its name, was a Tri-State College student and member of the basketball and baseball teams who became a decorated World War II veteran and successful engineer. Greim exhibited an enthusiasm that made him a success in athletics and in life.
3/24 - Miller to lead Men's Basketball
Trine University is welcoming a new men's head basketball coach who has more than 11 years of collegiate basketball experience, including serving as a graduate assistant coach to Bob Knight, the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history.
Brooks J. Miller of Levelland, Texas, accepted an offer from Trine University Thursday morning. He worked as an assistant under several head coaches who garnered five national titles. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Hillsdale College and a master’s degree in exercise sport science from Texas Tech University.
“He brings a young, enthusiastic and energetic approach and attitude to our institution, which we are very excited about,” said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., president of Trine. “Coach Knight and I had an opportunity to talk about Brooks over a year ago and he said that he was an excellent student of the game and was a rising star that will make a great head coach one day.”
Miller's basketball career started when he was a player at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio and at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich. He was team captain, Academic All-Conference, team defensive player of the year and a two-time NCAA Division II National Tournament participant.
After college, Miller worked as the head assistant men's basketball coach at Hillsdale College. He coached and recruited five All-Conference players and worked as head of scouting and recruiting.
“Coach Miller’s career experiences, knowledge of the game and education suit him for the job as the university’s head basketball coach,” said Jeff Posendek, Trine’s athletic director. “He will be an asset to Trine, but even more so, to our student-athletes. His vision is not to just coach them on the floor, but throughout their college careers, in the classroom and in the community,”
In 2007, his career took him to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, where he served as an assistant coach to Bob Knight and was involved with on-campus recruiting and player development. In 2009, he became the head assistant men’s basketball coach and a faculty professor in physical education at South Plains College in Levelland. He also worked as the director of the Texan Basketball Camp and served as the national recruiting coordinator.
“My experience as a collegiate coach combined with my many years of recruiting athletes has helped me develop a strong understanding of what it takes to motivate these young men to accomplish their goals at the highest level,” Miller said.
Miller intends to use his proven recruiting skills to enhance Trine’s basketball program and bring top-notch student-athletes to play at Trine. He wants to continue to build on Trine’s athletic successes in past years and be able to hang an NCAA Division III national title banner on the walls of Hershey Hall.
“I have a genuine passion for being a positive influence in the lives of the young men that I coach,” Miller said. “I am a tireless worker who can help guide their futures and mold them into successful graduates and ambassadors of Trine University.”
12/15 - Trine′s Eric Watt named 2010 Gagliardi Trophy Winner
SALEM, Va. - Trine quarterback Eric Watt was named the winner of the 2010 Gagliardi Trophy on Thursday night. He was announced in front of a live audience and chosen over defensive end Matt Hoffman of Rowan and quarterbacks Kyle Ray of Franklin and Ben McLaughlin of Louisiana College.
The Gagliardi Trophy, which is Division III football′s most prestigious individual award, recognizes a student–athlete′s excellence in football, academics and community service.
Watt led Trine to three Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles and three NCAA Division III playoff berths. With Watt as a full–time starter, Thunder went 29–1 in three years.
10/25 - Selking, Beer, Bluhm Named POW
ROYAL OAK, Mich. - Trine secured three MIAA Players of the Week following games played last week in the conference. Meredith Beer (Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) was named Defensive Player of the Week in women’s soccer, Tori Bluhm (Monroe, Ind./Adams Central) was named volleyball player of the week and Aaron Selking (Decatur, Ind./Adams Central) was named Defensive Player of the Week in football.
Selking, a senior, made 14 tackles, including 11 solo stops, to lead the Thunder defense in their 31-10 victory over Hope. He also broke up two passes. Selking is being honored as Player of the Week for the second time this season and in his career.
Beer, a freshman, cleared away numerous scoring chances on the back line in Trine’s losses against Albion and Kalamazoo. She is being honored as Player of the Week for the first time in her career.
Trine opposite side hitter Tori Bluhm, a senior from Monroe, Ind. (Adams Central HS), led the Thunder to a three-game sweep of Adrian with 17 kills for a .395 hitting percentage, and added 14 digs, four assists and two service aces. She led Trine in a loss to Alma with 15 digs. Bluhm is being honored as Player of the Week for the first time in her career.
9/13 - Two Thunder Players Honored
ROYAL OAK, Mich. - The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association has named two Trine athletes its player of the week in their respective sports.
The MIAA named Trine forward Andre Hilson its Offensive Player of the Week in men’s soccer and Thunder punt returner Aaron Selking its Special Teams Player of the Week for games played through September 11.
Hilson, a sophomore from Bremen, Ind. (Bremen HS), scored four goals and assisted on a fifth in leading the Thunder to a pair of non league victories for the week. He had a goal and assist in an 8-0 rout of City College of New York, then struck for three goals in less than 17 minutes as Trine defeated Manchester, Ind., 4-1. Hilson, who is being honored as Player of the Week for the first time in his career, has five goals in leading Trine to an early 3-0 record.
For the week Hilson had five goals and an assist, leading an impressive offensive week for the Thunder where they’ve outscored opponents 17-2.
Selking, a senior from Decatur, Ind. (Adams Central HS), had three punt returns for 85 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown return, and one kickoff return for 20 yards in Trine’s 76-6 victory over Bluffton, Ohio. He also made five tackles on defense. Selking is being honored as Player of the Week for the first time in his career.
The Thunder football team is 2-0 currently ranked 17th in the D3football.com poll with record-setting wins over Manchester and Bluffton.
9/6 - Watt Named MIAA POW
ROYAL OAK, Mich. - The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association has named Trine quarterback Eric Watt, Hope defensive back Kyle Warren and Alma punter Austin Montgomery its Players of the Week in football for games played through September 4.
Watt, a senior from (Kentland, Ind./South Newton), accounted for 300 yards of total offense Thursday as the defending MIAA champion Thunder opened their season with a 55-7 victory over Manchester, Ind. He completed 14 of 18 passes for 255 yards, two touchdowns and a passer efficiency rating of 233.4, and added 45 yards rushing on four carries.
Watt, who was last year’s offensive Most Valuable Player in the MIAA, is being honored as Player of the Week for the fifth time in his career.
7/24 -Trine teams, individuals recognized by MIAA
HOLLAND, Mich. - Two Trine teams and a number of Trine student-athletes were recognized by the MIAA in its annual Academic Honor Roll and Team GPA awards.
The Thunder women’s cross country team was tops in the conference with a 3.691 grade point average. The women’s track team had a combined GPA of 3.525 and was seventh overall in the conference.
A number of Trine athletes were named to the Academic Honor Roll, including Stephanie Hobbs (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll - soccer, track, women's lacrosse), Sarah Howe (Monroe, Mich./Monroe - women's basketball), Darin King (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold - cross country, track) and Alishia Raak (South Haven, Mich./South Haven - softball), who were honor roll selections four-consecutive years.
The Honor Roll recognizes student-athletes who achieved a minimum 3.5 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) for the entire 2009-10 academic year. A student needed to have won a varsity letter in a sport to be eligible.
The award is presented to conference teams that achieve a 3.300 or better grade point average for an entire academic year. This award is administered by the Faculty Athletic Representatives of the MIAA member colleges.
6/15 Community Invited to Historic Event
Trine University has proclaimed its season opening football game “Community Night” as part of the ceremonies unveiling brand-new Fred Zollner Stadium.
The Thunder will face intrastate rival Manchester September 2, at 7:30 p.m.
The game also features special reduced ticket prices for all. All students and senior citizens (62 and older) receive free admission with adult tickets reduced to $3.00.
The game will feature a number of pre-game, half-time and post-game events that promise to make this an historic night in the history of Trine University. The event also marks the first collegiate night game ever held on Trine’s campus.