Washington College Athletic Hall of Fame inducts three new honorees

By Sophie Foster

News Co-Editor

The Washington College Athletic Hall of Fame recognized its 2022 inductees in a ceremony held on Friday, Oct. 28.

Introduced by Director of Athletics Thad Moore, the event was held “to recognize the best of the best” in the College’s athletic history.

Before honoring those invited by the College to receive accolades, Moore invited Chair of the Athletic Hall of Fame George Buckless, Jr. ’69, President of the College Dr. Mike Sosulski, and Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Sarah Feyerherm to the podium to address the attendees. 

“I can’t tell you how much more difficult it has been now as opposed to fifteen or twenty years ago with regards to the number of athletes qualified,” Buckless said, explaining that the candidate pool underwent substantial growth in recent years.

According to President Sosulski, “support of [the year’s] honorees and of WC athletics is, of course, a critical and necessary part of [each program’s] ongoing success. [The College’s] athletics department is a point of great pride, not only because of the quality of the programs, but also as a galvanizing and incredibly positive force on campus.”

Started in 1981, the Athletics Hall of Fame was designed to recognize achievements of former student athletes and their contributions to their respective sports.

“This is an incredible honor and well deserved,” Dr. Feyerherm said, adding that she’d had the opportunity to “either watch or work with” each of the three individuals being honored.

Dr. Feyerherm also looked to the passage of Title IX in 1972 as a clear marking of the beginning of steady growth in the College’s women’s athletic programs. Currently, WC hosts nine varsity women’s sports and two co-ed sports. 

“WC athletics has been built on the backs of many legends,” Dr. Feyerherm said.

As an entryway into the honoring of the year’s inductees, Moore first recognized the 2008 women’s rowing team, the champions of the Mid-Atlantic Conference and the first team in WC history to compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s rowing championship.

Teammates honored were Shelly Holtman Schumer ’08, Courtney Jensen Marin ’08, Laura Ratz ’08, Jamie Bieber Leech ’09, Carol Lemon ’09, Jenna LaPointe ’09, Nicole Russo ’09, Emily Hoffler ’10, Krista Jensen ’10, Erica Mallow ’10, Caroline Perry Gamble ’10, Amy Smith ’10, Catherine Black ’11, Sarah Holland ’11, Christine Lynch ’11, and Suzanne Vaughn ’11.

The first inductee into the Hall of Fame after the honoring of the team was Rachel Glasser ’11.

According to Moore, Glasser was the winner of the Senior Athletic Award at the 2011 senior award ceremony, a seven-time All-American, and an 18-time Conference champion. She finished her athletics journey with 18 gold medals, six silver medals, and three bronze medals over four years.

A four-time team MVP and two-time team captain, Glasser holds the College’s records in the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 1,000 freestyle, 1,650 freestyle, 100 butterfly, and 200 butterfly. She still holds the Conference meet record in the 200 butterfly, and was featured in Sports Illustrated.

“I am indebted to the College for the liberal arts education that set me up for success in my professional life, and to the many coaches, administrators, support staff, athletic training staff and faculty, whose support, both visible to me and behind the scenes, made my experience at WC so great,” Glasser said.

The second inductee was Kevin Thibodeaux ’06, who played lacrosse and was mentored by Hall of Famer Rich Yokes. In his final two years at WC, Thibodeaux delivered 6.14 goals against average and a 6.77 save percentage, according to Moore. 

Named team MVP during both his junior and senior seasons, Thibodeaux was a senior All-American and received the 2006 Senior Athletic Award. Moore said that Thibodeaux was ranked in the top five in the country in save percentage and goals against average and went to NCAA three times and the Conference four times.

“This sport has given me a lot and has taught me lessons in perseverance, humility, joy, and what it means to be a part of a team,” Thibodeaux said. “The game has opened doors and given me opportunities. The biggest opportunity being to be a part of this College.”

The final inductee was Dr. Michael Davenport. Appointed sixth women’s rowing head coach in 1990, Dr. Davenport held this position for 26 years until his retirement in July 2016. 

Also serving as an adjunct professor and compliance coordinator, Dr. Davenport guided the rowers to top rankings in the Mid-Atlantic region, and led them to their first ever NCAA appearance in 2008, earning him the Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year Award. He was also named the Conference’s coach of the year in 2013.

The team earned their second, third, and fourth consecutive championships in 2014, 2015, and 2016, progressing to the NCAA championships each year. Dr. Davenport was named coach of the year in both 2015 and 2016.

According to Dr. Davenport, he initially came to WC because he believed he could really help its program.

“We’ve had a great opportunity,” Dr. Davenport said. “[We] got the chance to travel the world, to represent the United States in many places, [and] to be a member of the 1996 Olympic team…All of this was done not only with the school’s permission, but also the school’s backing.”

To watch the complete award ceremony, those interested can find a recording on the “Washington College – Campus Events” YouTube page.

Elm Archive Photo

Photo Caption: Some of Washington College’s Hall of Fame athletes spent their undergraduate years playing on Kibler Field at Kirby Stadium.

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