The Athletics Committee, led by chair Mike Vidmar ’03, met with Deputy Athletic Director Bob (Cep) Ceplikas ’78 and other members of the athletics staff over breakfast on Friday, May 16, 2014. Director of Athletics Harry Sheehy ’55a was unable to be present at the meeting due to his attendance at the first-ever appearance by the Dartmouth Softball Team in the NCAA Tournament in Tempe, AZ.
Cep kicked off the meeting with a general overview on "Dartmouth Athletics: The Quest for Competitive Excellence." He briefly described the broad scope of Dartmouth's athletic program, which is a source of pride and challenge. Brian Austin, Executive Associate Athletic Director, presented highlights of varsity sports this year with many bright spots across the board. Roger Demment, Senior Associate Athletic Director, did the same for club sports, again with many success stories. Bob then described the budget reallocation process and how it will impact athletics. Assistant Athletic Director Donnie Brooks gave an update on Dartmouth Peak Performance, with emphasis on two important areas, the BASICS and Dartmouth Bystander Initiative programs. In addition, Brian described Dartmouth's approach to "helicopter parents" and Richard Whitmore, Senior Associate Athletic Director, gave a facilities update. Bob completed the presentation with updates on admissions/recruiting/financial aid, progress on the athletic endowment (now at $11.5 million towards the $20 million goal), other fundraising efforts, and the new format for Wearers of the Green inductions on Homecoming weekend.
A panel of three very accomplished student-athletes described what brought them to Dartmouth, what they value most about their experience here, and the challenges of being a student-athlete. The students presenting were:
- Nejc Zupan ’14 (Kamnik, Slovenia): Swimming and Diving – All-American, 4X First Team All-Ivy, MVP of 2013 Ivy Championship Meet, 2013 Watson Trophy Winner (Dartmouth's Best Male Athlete)
- Annie Hart ’14 (Stillwater, MN): Cross Country Skiing – 2014 All-American
- Scott Brookes ’14 (Long Valley, NJ): Club Fencing – one of three captains/coaches of the team that won the 2014 National Championship and Coach of the Year Award
The students were both engaging and inspiring and the committee thanked them for all that they do for Dartmouth.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Mike turned the chairmanship over to Bob Mlakar ’70 and introduced Russell Wolff ’89 ’94Tu as the new vice chair.