Quick hits: New soccer coach, watch party, All-Academic sailor

GV soccer adds new assistant coach to staff

After winning three of the past four national championships, the Grand Valley State women’s soccer team has earned the right to cement itself as one of the best overall teams in Division II.

The team took another step in the right direction, adding former Davenport University coach James Gilpin to the coaching staff Tuesday, Aug. 22.

During his four years at Davenport, Gilpin’s former team had an overall record of 53-19-6 while playing in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). During the 2013 season, the Panthers advanced as far as the NAIA National Tournament Elite 8.

A native from Newcastle, England, Gilpin was a member of Celtic FC, a football club in the Scottish Premier League, from 2005 until 2007. After that, Gilpin also played goalkeeper for the Davenport men’s soccer team in 2009.

GV Athletics announces ‘watch party’ for first football game

Sadly for Grand Valley State football fans, the team will be opening its first game of the season on the road against Indianapolis Thursday, Aug. 31.

Luckily for passionate Laker fans, GVSU Athletics will host a “GVSU Football Watch Party” for students who want to see the No. 2 ranked football team in Division II in action.

The gates will open at 6 p.m., just one hour before the 7 p.m. kickoff. Admission is free to the public, and the first 1,000 GVSU students to show up will receive a free promotional “616” T-shirt.

The game will be projected on the largest video board in NCAA Division II athletics and the third largest in the state of Michigan. Attendees will have the opportunity to sit on the home turf or in the stands.

No outside food or drink is allowed on the field, but the concession stands will be open for students to purchase refreshments. If you plan to watch the game on the field, be sure to bring a blanket or towel.

GV club sailor earns spot on Collegiate Sailing All-Academic Team

The Grand Valley State club sailing team’s vice-commodore Nicholas Smart was awarded for his excellence in the classroom and on the water with a selection to the 2016-17 Collegiate Sailing All-Academic Team. 

The award recognizes collegiate sailors around the country who have achieved excellence in national and international competition, in addition to excelling at the highest academic level.  

Smart, a senior majoring in criminal justice, initially came to GVSU to play baseball but found out that his true passion resided on the water. Smart ended up joining the team during the fall of 2014.

The club sailing team sails a certain boat called a 420, a vessel that requires a two-person crew. His skipper (the person who steers the boat), Elliot Lee, gives high praise to his crewman. 

“It’s great to have a guy like him around,” Lee said. “He’s a natural athlete and improves every time he hits the water.”