July 8, 2012
[ONE // looking back on baseball and track]
We open the weekly review by officially bringing three sport seasons to a close. The Big Ten closed the books on the baseball and men’s and women’s track and field seasons this past week, posting a solid summary of everything that happened over the 2012 campaign this past spring. For more information on the sport seasons, follow these respective links: Baseball, Men’s Outdoor Track and Field, Women’s Outdoor Track and Field.
[TWO // going for gold]
Three former Big Ten softball standouts helped Team USA to a gold medal at the 2012 World Cup of Softball on Monday as Iowa assistant coach and former Hawkeye Stacy-May Johnson and recent Michigan alums Jordan Taylor and Amanda Chidester each appeared in the medal-clinching game. Team USA posted a perfect 6-0 record and outscored their opponents 41-3 in the tournament.
[THREE // set for london]
Three former Big Ten standouts will be serving it up for gold at the London Olympics! The trio of Penn State’s Christa Harmotto and Megan Hodge and Nebraska’s Jordan Larson will vie for gold as a member of Team USA later this month after earning spots on the team this past week. In addition, PSU’s Alisha Glass and Nicole Fawcett are two of eight alternates. Harmotto and Hodge are two of seven players making their Olympic debuts. The pair most recently helped the U.S. Women's National Team to a 14-0 record in the FIVB World Grand Prix to win for the third straight year. Hodge was named the MVP and Best Scorer of the tournament. The United States National Volleyball Team, which is ranked No. 1 in the world by the International Volleyball Federation, includes five Olympic Games veterans and seven players making their Olympic Games debuts, including Larson.
[FOUR // track my trip]
Recent Indiana University graduate and former Big Ten Champion Margaux Farrell will keep a journal for the Big Ten Network as she takes part in her first-ever Olympics as a member of the French Olympic Team. Farrell qualified for the 2012 London Olympics at the French Olympic Trials in March and will take part in the women's 4x200-meter relay. You can follow Farrell's Big Ten Network updates here.
[FIVE // leaders on the links]
Fifteen Big Ten women’s golfers, who each secured a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or higher, were named Friday as All-American Scholars by the National Golf Coaches Association. Congratulations to Illinois’ Nora Lucas, Indiana’s Kaitlin Coons, Rosie Davies and Elizabeth Tong, Iowa’s Gigi DiGrazia, Michigan State’s Caroline Powers and Paveenuch Stritragul, Minnesota’s Carmen Laguna and Jackie Shepherd, Nebraska’s Steffi Neisen and Madeleine Sheils, Northwestern’s Alex Lederhausen, Ohio State’s Kendall Prince, and Wisconsin’s Lindsay Danielson and Kimberly Dinh.
[SIX // numbers that make them flip]
Four Big Ten women’s gymnastics squads finished ranked in the nation’s top 20 for attendance in a report released by GymInfo this past week. Penn State led the conference contingent in 10th place with an average of 2,249.75 patrons per meet this past year. Minnesota ranked 16th at 1,683.50, followed by No. 18 Michigan at 1,633.83 and No. 19 Nebraska at 1,561.40.
[SEVEN // grass (and track) is greene]
This past Tuesday, Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke announced the hiring of Rolando Greene as head coach of the men's and women's cross country and track and field programs. Greene comes to the Boilermakers from perennial track and field powerhouse Arkansas, where he worked with the women's program for the past 16 seasons. Most recently, he served as associate head coach in charge of sprints, hurdles, horizontal jumps and multi events. Greene was named the USTFCCCA South Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2012.
[EIGHT // successful spartans heading back home]
Summer is often a time where conference schools vote on and release their respective Hall of Fame classes for the upcoming year. Michigan State did just that this past week by announcing that six members will be inducted into its Athletics Hall of Fame on Thursday, Sept. 20, as part of the "Celebrate 2012" weekend. The Class of 2012 includes: Carl Banks (football), Emily Bastel (women's golf), Clinton Jones (football/track), Shawn Respert (basketball), Diane Spoelstra (women's basketball/softball/volleyball) and George Szypula (men's gymnastics coach). These six Spartans had remarkable careers in East Lansing and complete career bios can be found by clicking here.
[NINE // nine gophers to be made golden]
Minnesota was also in the Hall of Fame spirit this past week, announcing nine Gophers will forever be golden in the University’s M Club Hall of Fame. The 2012 M Club Hall of Fame class includes Lindsey Berg (volleyball), Tyrone Carter (football), Bryan "Butsy" Erickson (men's hockey), Chad Kraft (wrestling), Shani Marks Johnson (track & field), Dan Morgan (baseball), J Robinson (wrestling head coach), John Williams (football) and Jennifer Walek (soccer). The official induction of the 2012 class will take place during a ceremony to be held in the DQ Club Room at the TCF Bank Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 20th.
[TEN // it’s not just cloth and stitching]
Several Big Ten schools have flashed brand new uniforms in recent years, and many times there are stories behind the new designs. There could be something taken from the past that is implemented in the new design to give it a retro-feel, like the numbers on the Michigan football helmet. There could be the need for a standard font across all sports, like the branding initiative Michigan State just took part in. Now it’s Northwestern’s turn, and this video gives fans an inside look at the work being done at Under Armour as they build a distinct identity for NU's uniforms in 2012-13 and beyond. It’s hard to imagine the architectural lines in Northwestern’s historic academic buildings playing a role in athletic uniforms, but the attention to detail by Under Armour is quite impressive.
[ELEVEN // ready to run]
Just a reminder that the Big Ten Conference and Big Ten Network encourage all Big Ten fans to converge on Chicago for the inaugural BTN Big 10K event on Saturday, July 28, 2012. Dress up in your favorite school colors and compete for your school in the 10K race or 5K run/walk. After the race, kick off the college football season in style with thousands of Big Ten fans at the ultimate post-race tailgate & fan fest. Registration is now open, so be sure you get ready to run by clicking here.
[TWELVE // no finer wine]
Finally this week, the Big Ten learned the sad news out of Iowa City that George Wine, who was the University of Iowa sports information director for more than 20 years, died Thursday of a heart attack at age 81. Only the second SID in Hawkeye history, Wine replaced Eric Wilson in 1968 and held the job until 1993. He then began a phased retirement as SID emeritus and continued in that role until 1996. Wine was with the Hawkeyes during a period of tremendous growth and success for the athletic department. He was inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America's Hall of Fame in 1985, and was CoSIDA's president in 1991-92.