Letter to the Editor: Athletic Director Tim Selgo reflects on fall sports’ success

Courtesy Photo / gvsu.edu
Tim Selgo

Courtesy Photo / gvsu.edu Tim Selgo

Tim Selgo

The fall sports season has now concluded and once again, the Grand Valley State University fall sports teams began the 2010-11 season with tremendous success.

It all started with the women’s tennis team winning GVSU’s first GLIAC title since 1980. Congratulations to Coach John Black and in particular, seniors Darylann Trout, Chelsea Johnston, and Jackie Shipman for leading this team to a conference championship.

After winning back to back conference championships, our men’s golf team had a fine fall season and finished third at the conference championship.

Our football team won its sixth-straight GLIAC championship and qualified for the NCAA playoffs for a record 10th-straight season. Under first year head coach Matt Mitchell, the Lakers won 11 games, the most for any first year head coach in the history of the school and soon will begin preparations for the 2011 season, which begins at home in Lubbers Stadium on Sept. 1 versus Western Oregon University.

Concluding the fall sports season was possibly the greatest weekend in the history of GVSU Athletics. On Dec. 2-4, the Lakers had four teams qualify for the NCAA Division II fall sports festival, a mini, Olympic-type event that brings most of the fall sports national championships to one site, in this case Louisville, Ky.

You might say that the Lakers turned it into “Louie the Laker”-ville with the success of our teams. Our volleyball team won the NCAA Regionals for the eighth time in the last eleven years. Although they lost in the quarterfinal round, once again coach Deanne Scanlon’s team established itself as one of the elite in Division II volleyball.

Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010 will go down as an historic day in GVSU history. It started with our men’s cross country team finishing third in the national championship race, our highest finish ever in the program’s history. Then our women’s cross country team captured its program’s first-ever National Championship. Our ladies have been knocking on the door for the last several years and this time went crashing through in a dominating performance on a cold, snowy day. Congratulations to head coach Jerry Baltes and assistant Joe Lynn for leading both teams to new heights.

To finish off the day, the Lakers women’s soccer team defeated University of California-San Diego 4-0 to win back-to-back National Championships. Under head coach Dave DiIanni and behind a great group of senior leaders, the Lakers were unscored upon throughout the NCAA tournament. Although it appeared they made it look easy, believe me when I say it is hard, really hard, to win a National Championship in Division II. Just like our seven other national championship teams, each of these teams had to fight through adversity throughout their seasons to win our school’s eighth and ninth national championships.

As the Director of Athletics, I am very proud of each of these teams’ student-athletes and coaches and you should be proud of the way they represented you as well. I am also very proud of the numerous people who contribute to our success each and every day. The administrative and support staff in the athletic department is second to none in working behind the scenes to give our teams every opportunity for success. In addition, there are numerous people throughout our campus who maintain the fields, prepare our facilities, and support our teams in many other ways to assist in our efforts in helping them achieve their full potential.

Now, we turn our attention to the winter sports season, which is well under way. Whether it be the men’s and women’s basketball teams, our swimming and diving teams, or our indoor track and field teams, come on out and support your fellow students. You can find all of the information and schedules at www.gvsulakers.com.

I am certain you will enjoy it as it will provide a great break from the stresses of your schoolwork. On behalf of all of us in Laker Athletics, have a great holiday season and thank you to the entire campus community for your support of the Lakers!