Remarks by President John J. DeGioia
2011 Coaches and Captains Dinner
March 15, 2011
Good evening. It’s a pleasure to welcome all of you to this Captains and Coaches Dinner. Tonight we celebrate your leadership, and express our appreciation for what you mean to our community. I don’t think we say “Thank you” enough. I don’t think we can ever say “Thank you” enough. You represent the very best of Georgetown, and I am honored to be here with you tonight.
I’ll say much more about your accomplishments on and off the field – and what you mean to our community – after dinner, but to begin our evening, I’d now like to ask Fr. Chris Steck, SJ, to provide tonight’s blessing. Fr. Steck is a theology professor and member of our Jesuit community, living as a Chaplain-in-Residence in New South. As you may know, Fr. Steck is also the caretaker of our University mascot – Jack the Bulldog. Fr. Steck…
I hope you all enjoyed your dinner … and have had the opportunity to recall so many of the exciting moments in Georgetown Athletics this year. Our fall teams made history – the 2010 fall season was one of the most successful single seasons ever for Georgetown Athletics. Although there are far too many to list, I wish to mention just a few of the remarkable highlights:
- The women’s soccer team won a program-record 15 games last fall, making it all the way to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. Junior Ingrid Wells earned First Team All-America honors and was named Big East Conference Midfielder of the Year.
- The men’s soccer team won 12 games and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history (1997) – the furthest the team has advanced in the Tournament.
- Our co-ed sailing team won the Atlantic Coast Championship for the second time in November.
- Junior Emily Infeld placed second in the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship – making it the highest individual finish in program history.
This same trajectory carried over into the winter:
- At the Big East Indoor Track and Field Championships, senior and two-time All-American Chris Kinney successfully defended his title in the men’s 60-meter hurdles. From the women’s team, sophomore Amanda Kimbers, juniors London Finley and Chela Green, and senior Deidra Sanders won the women’s 4x400-meter relay.
- From the volleyball team, senior Vanessa Dorismond earned Second Team All-Big East honors.
- The women’s basketball team finished the regular season with a 21-9 overall record – and a 9-7 record in the Big East. Sophomore Sugar Rodgers received First Team All-Big East honors for the second time. The team made it to the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament … and has earned a number five seed in the NCAA Tournament – its third bid in program history and the first in consecutive seasons.
- The men’s basketball team also finished the regular season with a 21-9 overall record – and a 10-8 record in the Big East. Senior Austin Freeman received First Team All-Big East honors. The team has earned a number six seed in the NCAA Tournament – its 27th bid in program history.
- Both the women’s and men’s basketball teams play this weekend in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. We all wish them luck as they continue their outstanding seasons.
A hallmark of Georgetown Athletics is how much we expect of all of you – with your first priority always being your academic performance. For example:
- Senior Mark Wilber from the men’s soccer team and graduate student Renee Tomlin from the women’s track and field team received the Big East’s Institutional Scholar-Athlete Award.
- Both the men's and women's cross country teams earned All-Academic team status from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for the 2010 season.
- Finally, in addition to your competitive success and academic excellence, Georgetown student-athletes are leaders on the Hilltop and in the community. For example:
- 121 student-athletes are participating in the Georgetown Athletics Leadership Academy this year. The Leadership Academy empowers our student-athletes to become more effective teammates, classmates, and community leaders.
- Last May, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee organized the inaugural Saxa Awards, a year-end gathering to celebrate the many achievements of our student-athletes. SAAC will host the Awards again this spring and donate proceeds to a local charity.
- Student-athletes also dedicate many hours each year to community service – in between class, homework, practice, and games. Community service projects include Hoya Dreams, Grassroot Hoyas, Relay for Life, Christmas Giving Tree, and the So Others Might Eat (SOME) Food Drive.
All of you here tonight have demonstrated your leadership – and your service – to our community, in ways that extend far beyond your athletic achievements. You represent the very best of Georgetown University. And, it is my hope that the lessons learned and skills developed through intercollegiate athletics help prepare you to lead lives of passion and meaning… help you each to become your very best selves.
There are few individuals here at Georgetown more connected to this endeavor than our coaches, whose efforts provide the motivation, the support and the commitment to excellence that each of you has shown throughout your time at Georgetown. As educators, coaches, you play a vital role on campus. You teach our student-athletes how to compete with integrity and respect. And I know many of you mentor students on your teams throughout their time on the Hilltop … and well beyond graduation day. Thank you for the example you set for our student-athletes – and our campus community.
Finally, I wish to acknowledge again the leadership of Lee Reed, the head of our Athletics Department, and all the women and men who contribute to the success of our athletics program. All of you have not only enhanced Georgetown Athletics – you have made us a better and stronger community.
Thank you again … and good night.