Nov. 11, 2011
Forget to check VUCommodores one day this past week? If so, we've got you covered. It was another busy week in Vanderbilt athletics. We welcomed a new member to the SEC, officially named a head soccer coach, invited members of the 101st Screaming Eagles to tour Vanderbilt's athletic facilities and began the fall signing period.
Below, you will find a recap of some of the top storylines in the week that was for Vanderbilt athletics.
Missouri Joins the SEC
And then there were 14. On Sunday, the Southeastern Conference officially welcomed Missouri to league, effective July 1, 2012. The Tigers (not Auburn or LSU, but Missouri) will begin competing in all sports for the 2012-13 academic year. Located in Columbia, Mo., MU was previously a member of the Big 12. Missouri is the second school to join the SEC in the last two months. On Sept. 25, Texas A&M joined the league.
On Monday, Vice Chancellor David Williams discussed the addition of Missouri to the league.
Greene Officially Named Soccer Head Coach
After serving in the interim role this past season, Derek Greene was officially named head coach of Vanderbilt's women's soccer program on Tuesday. A 16-year veteran of collegiate women's soccer, Greene's coaching career has been highlighted by success at a number of schools in the southeast.
"We were impressed by the energy and enthusiasm we've seen from Derek and we believe he and his staff will move our program forward," Vice Chancellor David Williams said. "Coach Greene was well received by the Vanderbilt soccer family while he was our interim head coach, and we are on the same page in that we both want our program to become a competitive force in the Southeastern Conference."
"I would like to thank David Williams and his management team for this tremendous opportunity," Greene said. "My family and I are grateful for the confidence they have shown in me and my staff, and I feel blessed to have the chance to lead this program in the nation's premier athletic conference. Vanderbilt is an elite academic institution and we are going to work diligently to make sure we reflect that same standard on the soccer field."
Just weeks after parachuting in the game ball before Vanderbilt's matchup with Army on Oct. 22, the six members of the 101st Airborne Division Parachute Demonstration Team were invited back to campus for a behind-the-scenes tour of Vanderbilt's athletic facilities on Wednesday.
The Screaming Eagles, as they are referred to, toured Vanderbilt's McGugin Center, Hawkins Field and Memorial Gym. The tour took the team into Vanderbilt's locker rooms, weight rooms and the offices of many coaches while providing an up close look at the infrastructure of a Division I athletic program.
"This is just an incredible experience for us, just being right down the street, to starting building these relations with Vanderbilt," Sergeant Brendan Quisenberry said. "This is the first full blown tour we've gotten. We've had some minor things here and there that we've peeked at, but this is by far the best tour we've taken as a team."
Fall Signing Period Begins
The fall signing period got underway on Wednesday and runs through Nov. 16. So far announcing its signings has been men's golf, lacrosse and women's basketball.
Head Coach Tom Shaw announced four signees to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Signing were Zach Jaworski of Alpharetta, Ga., Carson Jacobs of Hendersonville, Tenn., John Voetsch of New Vernon, N.J., and Spencer Ciesla of Naples, Fla.
Head Coach Cathy Swezey announced the addition of nine signees on Friday. Joining the Commodores were Kelly Chandler (Salisbury, Md.), Emma Dagres (Weston, Mass.), Ashlin Dolan (Morristown, N.J.), Alexa Kunowsky (Severna Park, Md.), Amanda Lockwood (Midfield; Alpharetta, Ga.; Milton), Mallory Schonk (Perry Hall, Md.), Mackenzie Smith (Vero Beach, Fla.), Annie Vreeland (Short Hill, N.J.) and Sarah Wilcox (Alexandria, Va.).
Head Coach Melanie Balcomb announced the signing of six high school seniors on Wednesday. Signing were Morgan Batey (Atlanta), Heather Bowe (Eau Claire, Wisc.), Kristen Gaffney (Cary, N.C.), Jasmine Jenkins (Gainesville, Ga.), Rayte'a Long (Dayton, Ohio) and Kendall Shaw (Mont Belvieu, Texas).
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at a photo shoot? If so, gain some perspective from Ashley Crosby and Brittany Kogut, who recently experienced their first photo shoot with the baseball team. Crosby provides a written review, while Kogut captured the photo shoot on video. Every team hosts a preseason photo shoot that is conducted by Vanderbilt's photography department. The images taken during the shoot appear on VUcommodores, on posters, schedule cards and in programs.
FB: Offense Tops SEC in Big Play Production
Take a guess which Southeastern Conference offense has produced the most plays of 40 yards or more? Anyone? Anyone? How about your Vanderbilt Commodores? That's right. The Commodores have 25 plays of at least 30 yards, two more than Arkansas and three ahead of Alabama. Vanderbilt also tops the conference with 13 plays of 40 yards or more. It is a vast improvement from the offensive production Commodores fans have witnessed the previous two seasons.
Notes from the Football SID's Desk
Don Orr: Vandy QB to NFL Official
In the latest Commodore History Corner, Bill Traughber catches up with former Commodore quarterback Don Orr, who went on to become an NFL official. Long before he starred at Vanderbilt, Orr faced a challenge that could have affected his life forever. While his schoolmates and friends were playing ball, Orr was diagnosed with polio at the age of 14.
"Some doctors said I would never walk or run again," Orr said. "I was one of the lucky ones. There were people with polio in iron lungs, casts and everything. I stayed in the hospital for three months and after therapy had to learn to run all over again. I ran with a limp, but it eventually left me."
Vanderbilt's New Bookstore Opens
Looking for a place to purchase Vanderbilt merchandise when you arrive on campus for gameday? Vanderbilt's new bookstore, Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt, is a must see for Commodore fans. Located in the space formerly operated by Borders at 2525 West End Ave., the bookstore officially opened Friday.
To mark the opening of the bookstore, Vanderbilt head coaches Melanie Balcomb, Tim Corbin and James Franklin dropped by Friday morning to meet customers and tour the store.
XC: Findley up to the Challenge
In the November issue of Commodore Nation Eli Horowitz profiles cross country runner Kristen Findley, who spent part of last summer climbing the Matterhorn. Born in Boise, Idaho, Findley moved to Saudi Arabia at age 10 and has been to 30 countries.
"It was the move to Saudi Arabia where I underwent a sort of paradigm shift," Kristen said. "I realized there's so much more out there, traveling to so many places and seeing different ways of life."
Preseason Hoops Honors
The SEC announced the Coaches' Preseason All-SEC Teams, and the Commodores were well represented in men's and women's basketball. On the men's side, Festus Ezeli, John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor were selected to the Coaches' Preseason All-SEC First Team. Vanderbilt was the only team with three players on the first team. For the women, Stephanie Holzer was named to the first team, while Tiffany Clarke was selected to the second team.