The Mocs Mission Review continues this week with a look back at the athletic achievements at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga over the past year. Started in 2009, the Mocs Mission Review is an annual recap of UTC Athletics, broken down into the three key areas of the UTC Athletics Mission; Academically, Athletically and Socially.
Last week, GoMocs.com profiled the academic prowess of UTC student-athletes. This week we delve into the performances of the Mocs in their respective arenas of competition during the 2009-10 school year.
The 2008-09 season saw Chattanooga set school records with six Southern Conference Championships, 10 teams represented in the postseason and five teams advancing to the NCAA Championships. This all led to a top-100 finish in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup that measures athletic success across all programs within an athletics department.
Topping that in 2009-10 was a tall order, but the Mocs put together another strong collective effort over the past year. Chattanooga won four SoCon titles, had seven teams represented in the postseason, netted two All-American awards and had five SoCon Athletes of the Year during the recently completed academic year.
"It was another banner season for Mocs Athletics," stated Director of Athletics Rick Hart. "Our coaches and student-athletes should be applauded for their hard work throughout the year. They also had the help of a talented group of support staff, university personnel and dedicated alumni, donors and fans who should also take pride in what was accomplished over the last 12 months."
Chattanooga started the year with one of the most successful Septembers in school history. Football, volleyball and soccer all got off to their best starts in years, while the women's golf team entered the season ranked No. 12 in the nation. The men's golf squad started the year ranked No. 1 for the second season in a row.
That momentum carried well into the fall as football finished with a 6-5 mark for its first winning campaign since 2005. Senior Josh Beard was named the SoCon Defensive Player of the Year while leading the nation with a school-record 12 sacks. Russ Huesman was named the SoCon Coach of the Year after leading the Mocs to the best single-season turnaround in school history.
Senior kicker Craig Camay was a second team All-American and Beard was a third team All-American, chosen by the Associated Press. Football tied a school record with a total of eight players on the All-SoCon team.
The men's and women's cross country teams both advanced to the NCAA Regionals. Junior Emmanuel Kirwa won his second straight SoCon title and was the SoCon Runner of the Year for the second consecutive season.
The winter sports brought two SoCon titles to Chattanooga in women's basketball and wrestling. The Lady Mocs claimed their 11th consecutive SoCon regular season trophy and won the SoCon Tournament for the eighth time in the last 10 years. UTC also advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in school history.
Senior Shanara Hollinquest capped off an amazing career by winning the SoCon Player of the Year honors for the second year in a row. She also grabbed SoCon Tournament MVP honors and led the league in scoring (17.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.9 rpg).
Hollinquest's performance throughout her senior campaign also earned her the league's top award. She was named the 2010 SoCon Female Student-Athlete of the Year, an honor that encompasses all sports in the Southern Conference.
The wrestling team continued its standard of excellence under hew head coach Heath Eslinger. Chattanooga grabbed its sixth-straight SoCon regular season championships while extending its unbeaten streak in SoCon action to 30 consecutive matches. Freshman Dean Pavlou won the 149-pound SoCon title and was joined at the NCAA Championships by sophomore Jason McCroskey.
The spring sports were led by softball's SoCon regular season crown and women's golf first ever SoCon Tournament Championship. Head Coach Frank Reed guided the softball squad to its fourth consecutive trophy while posting a 39-17 record. UTC set a conference record with a 19-5 regular season mark and Reed took home Coach of the Year honors for the third year in a row.
In just its third year of competition, the Mocs women's golf team won posted an eight-shot win at the SoCon Championships. UTC was down five strokes heading into the final nine holes, but rallied for the win. Head Coach Colette Murray was the third Moc to win SoCon Coach of the Year honors in 2009-10.
Both the men's and women's golf teams advanced to the NCAA Regionals. The women placed 18th in Greenville, N.C. while the men finished 12th in San Diego, Calif. Sophomore Stephan Jaeger was named the SoCon Player of the Year, guiding the Mocs to their fourth-straight postseason event.
On the track, senior Anneli Uys earned SoCon Outdoor Track Female Athlete of the Year honors after repeating as the 800m and 1500m champion at the SoCon Outdoors. She also represented the Mocs in 1500m at the NCAA East Regionals where she finished 38th overall.
The tennis teams were greatly improved from a year ago and have bright futures ahead of them. The Mocs swept both Freshman of the Year awards with Jenna Nuirk taking the honor for the women and Roberto Vieira winning the men's award.
These are just some of the many highlights for the Mocs throughout the 2009-10 season. Be sure to check out the full list of athletic accomplishments below.
Southern Conference Champions (4)
Women's Basketball - Regular Season & Tournament
Women's Golf - Tournament
Softball - Regular Season
Wrestling - Regular Season
NCAA Participants (7)
Men's Cross Country
Women's Cross Country
Women's Outdoor Track & Field
Craig Camay - Football - 2nd Team
Josh Beard - Football - 3rd Team
Southern Conference Athletes of the Year (5)
Shanara Hollinquest - Women's Basketball - Regular Season & Tournament MVP
Emmanuel Kirwa - Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year
Stephan Jaeger - Men's Golf - Player of the Year
Josh Beard - Football - Defensive Player of the Year
Anneli Uys - Outdoor Track Performer of the Year
Southern Conference Individual Champions (3)
Emmanuel Kirwa - Men's Cross Country Champion
Anneli Uys - Women's Outdoor Track 800M, 1500M Champion
Dean Pavlou - Wrestling - 149 Champion
Southern Conference Coach of the Year (3)
Russ Huesman - Football
Colette Murray - Women's Golf
Frank Reed - Softball
Southern Conference Freshman of the Year (3)
Roberto Vieira - Men's Tennis
Jenna Nurik - Women's Tennis
Jake Young - Wrestling
All-Southern Conference (37)
Ty Patterson - Men's Basketball - 2nd Team
Shanara Hollinquest - Women's Basketball - 1st Team
Jenaya Wade-Fray - Women's Basketball - 1st Team
Emmanuel Kirwa - Men's Cross Country
Anneli Uys - Women's Cross Country - 1st Team
Heather Stuive - Women's Cross Country - 1st Team
Josh Beard - Football - 1st Team
Craig Camay - Football - 1st Team
Blue Cooper - Football - 2nd Team
Chris Harr - Football - 2nd Team
Buster Skrine - Football - 1st Team
Jordan Tippit - Football - 1st Team
Joseph Thornton - Football - 2nd Team
Joshua Williams - Football - 2nd Team
Stephan Jaeger - Men's Golf
Derek Rende - Men's Golf
Emma de Groot - Women's Golf
Maria Juliana Loza - Women's Golf
Donna-Kay Henry - Soccer - 2nd Team
Tia Blosser - Softball - 1st Team
Tiffany Baker - Softball - 1st Team
Lyndsey Stiles - Softball - 1st Team
Kandice Irwin - Softball - 2nd Team
Roberto Vieira - Men's Tennis - 1st Team
Jenna Nurik - Women's Tennis - 1st Team
Mary Cumbee - Women's Indoor Track & Field - DMR
Haley Horsch - Women's Indoor Track & Field - DMR
Shelley Taylor - Women's Indoor Track & Field - DMR
Anneli Uys - Women's Indoor Track & Field - Mile & DMR
Chris Berry - Men's Indoor Track & Field - 5K
Anneli Uys - Women's Outdoor Track & Field - 800M & 1500M
Tara Gietema - Women's Outdoor Track & Field - 10K
Niko Brown - Wrestling - 197
Josh Condon - Wrestling - 157
Demetrius Johnson - Wrestling - 125
Josh Statum - Wrestling - 133
Brandon Wright - Wrestling - 165
All-SoCon Freshman Team (16)
Kyle McLarty - Men's Cross Country
Mark Cole - Men's Cross Country
Heather Stuive - Women's Cross Country
Chris Awuah - Football
Josh Williams - Football
Steven Fox - Men's Golf
Becca Smith - Soccer
Kasey Tydingco - Softball
Roberto Vieira - Men's Tennis
Jenna Nurik - Women's Tennis
Blake Olson - Outdoor Track & Field - 400M Hurdles
Paula Passmore - Volleyball
Niko Brown - Wrestling
Josh Condon - Wrestling
Dean Pavlou - Wrestling
Jake Young - Wrestling
Men's Basketball (John Shulman, head coach)
15-18, 6-12 SoCon North/tie 3rd
- Without returning a starter from the 2009 Southern Conference Championship squad, the Mocs earned 15 wins against a schedule that featured 10 postseason teams including six that played in the NCAA Tournament. UTC claimed its 13th Dr Pepper Classic title.
- Ty Patterson completed his UTC career as a second team All-SoCon performer. Jeff Smith, who still has a year of eligibility remaining, completed his business degree graduating in December of 2009.
- Chattanooga played its 1,000th DI game in its final 2009-10 appearance in the SoCon Tournament. The Mocs are 625-375 in those 33 seasons, a 62.5 winning percentage.
- The Mocs won nine games when tied or trailing in the second half.
- John Shulman won his 100th game on Jan. 11 with a 58-45 SoCon North win over UNCG. The Mocs held the Spartans to their lowest point total in a league game (Big South & SoCon) in their Division I era with 45 points.
Women's Basketball (Wes Moore, head coach)
24-9, 16-4 SoCon/1st • NCAA First Round
- UTC claimed its 11th consecutive Southern Conference Regular Season title.
- Lady Mocs won the 2010 Southern Conference Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in 10 years.
- Senior Shanara Hollinquest was named the 2009-10 Southern Conference Player of the Year for the second consecutive year and was tabbed the league's Female Athlete of the Year.
- Hollinquest closed out her career ranked sixth in scoring (1700 pts) and fifth in rebounding (891 rbs). She set a school record for free throws made without a miss (14-of-14) against Samford in the SoCon Championship game. She also posted a school record for career made free throws with 498.
- Chattanooga led the league in attendance, averaging more than 2,036 per home game.
Cross Country (Bill Gautier, head coach)
Men (4th SoCon/6th NCAA Regionals) • Women (3rd SoCon/16th NCAA Regionals)
- Junior Emmanuel Kirwa repeated as the Southern Conference Runner of the Year by winning the men's SoCon Championship. He was also named All-Region for his performance at the NCAA Region Championships where he placed 18th.
- The men's cross country team posted a 3.52 g.p.a., ranking No. 9 in the nation.
- Both the men's and women's teams earned USTFCCA All-Academic Team honors.
- The women's team posted a 3.61 g.p.a. in the fall semester, the highest team mark for a semester on record at UTC.
- Three all-conference performers, including Kirwa, Anneli Uys and Heather Stuive.
- Three rookies were named to the inaugural SoCon All-Freshman Team, including Stuive, Kyle McLarty and Mark Cole.
Football (Russ Huesman, head coach) • 6-5, 4-4 SoCon/T4th
- Chattanooga finished 6-5 on the year, securing the first winning season since 2005. UTC finished 4-4 in the SoCon for the first time since 1998. The Mocs' six wins equal the total of wins over the last three seasons - 1-11 in 2008; 2-9 in 2007; 3-8 in 2006.
- Senior DE Josh Beard led the nation and tied a single-season school record with 12.0 sacks on the year. He was the SoCon Defensive Player of the Year and 3rd Team AP All-American.
- The Mocs set or tied a number of school records this year, including tying for most All-SoCon honorees (8), most academic All-SoCon honorees (10), tying for most SoCon Player of the Week Honors (8), most season tickets sold (2,527), senior Josh Beard set a school record with 12 sacks and DE Josh Williams set a school freshman record with seven sacks.
- Senior kicker Craig Camay was named to the second team while senior defensive lineman Josh Beard made the third team. Camay and Beard were the 24th and 25th Mocs to earn All-American honors.
- Mocs fans spun the turnstiles at Finley Stadium at a near-record pace in 2009. UTC had the third largest crowd at Finley Stadium against Glenville State (14,002) and the fifth highest attendance against Furman (11,201). UTC finished the year No. 34 in total attendance (52,515) and No. 31 in average attendance (10,503) in the FCS. Chattanooga averaged 10,000+ for a full season for the first time since moving to Finley Stadium in 1997.
Men's Golf (Mark Guhne, head coach) - 7th SoCon • 12th NCAA Regionals
- UTC competed in its fourth straight NCAA postseason event in San Diego. The Mocs finished 12th in the NCAA Southwest Regional.
- For the second straight season, Chattanooga was ranked No. 1 in the country in the fall. UTC ended up No. 42 on Golfstat and No. 44 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
- Two Chattanooga golfers were named to the All-SoCon squad in Derek Rende and Stephan Jaeger with Jaeger earning SoCon Player of the Year accolades. The duo was also named to the PING All-Region team, while Rende was named a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-American Scholar. Steven Fox was named to the SoCon's All-Freshman team.
- Jaeger ended the season ranked nationally at No. 75 on Golfstat and No. 74 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
- The Mocs won the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate topping an 18-team field that included two top 20 programs - Clemson and Virginia. Fox tied for medalist honors at the Furman Intercollegiate with 2009 U.S. Amateur finalist Ben Martin (Clemson).
Women's Golf (Colette Murray, head coach) - 1st SoCon • 18th NCAA Regionals
- The Mocs won their first Southern Conference Championship in just the third year of the program. Down five strokes with nine holes to play, UTC played the back nine at two-under par to win by eight shots over College of Charleston and UNC Greensboro by 16.
- Chattanooga ended the year ranked No. 39 on Golfstat and No. 44 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
- Emma de Groot and Maria Juliana Loza earned All-SoCon honors.
- The Mocs made their third NCAA postseason appearance in as many seasons at the NCAA East Regional in Greenville, N.C. Chattanooga finished 18th shooting 910 over 54 holes.
- de Groot had a strong season ending up ranked No. 38 nationally on Golfstat and No. 51 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
Softball (Frank Reed, head coach) • 39-17, 19-5 SoCon/1st
- The Lady Mocs captured the program's fourth-straight and 12th overall Southern Conference regular season title after winning a conference record 19 contests.
- Chattanooga had five student-athletes named to the all-conference squads. Senior second baseman Tia Blosser and juniors outfielder Lyndsey Stiles and third baseman Tiffany Baker were selected to the first team, while junior relief pitcher Kandice Irwin was named to the second team. First baseman Kasey Tydingco was honored on the all-freshman team.
- Head coach Frank Reed was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year for the third-straight season and has been honored four times in nine seasons.
- After being selected all-conference, Tiffany Baker was also named to the All-South Region team by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association for the second-straight season at a different position as the East Ridge, Tenn., native transferred from second to third. Baker is the Chattanooga all-time home run leader with 32 as the East Ridge, Tenn., native hit 14 homers last season tying the record with Angela Brewer (2001).
- Senior pitcher Brooke Loudermilk finished her collegiate career as one of the best pitchers in Chattanooga history. She concluded her four years as a Lady Moc fanning 872 batters setting the UTC and SoCon record and is among the leaders in every pitching category in the UTC record book.
Soccer (J.D. Kyzer, head coach) • 7-8-1, 2-8-1 SoCon/11th
- The Lady Mocs posted their best start in school history with five straight wins to start the season.
- Freshman Becca Smith led the league in seven categories including scoring, goals and goals per game. She was named Southern Conference All-Freshman.
- Becca Smith was ranked seventh among all NCAA Div. I freshmen in scoring and eighth in goals scored. She was nationally ranked by the NCAA among all Division I players 17th in points per game (1.75) and 21 in goals per game (.688).
- Sophomore Donna-Kay Henry was ranked second in the Southern Conference in scoring, goals and shots and was named All-Conference Second Team.
- Donna-Kay Henry was nationally ranked by the NCAA among all Division I players 40th in points per game (1.47) and 36th in goals per game (.6).
Men's Tennis (Carlos Garcia, head coach) • 5-15, 2-8 SoCon/T10th
- The Mocs posted a 5-15 overall record for the 2009-10 season, including 2-8 in Southern Conference action. UTC finished tied for 10th in the SoCon standings.
- UTC more than doubled their win total from last year's 2-18 record. They also ended a 17-match slide in SoCon action with a win over The Citadel during the regular season. Chattanooga also posted its first SoCon road win in two years with a victory at Samford.
- Roberto Vieira was named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. He led the team with a 14-7 overall record and was 5-4 in Southern Conference action.
- Along with his Freshman of the Year recognition, Vieira was also named to the All-SoCon First Team and was placed on the SoCon All-Freshman squad. It is the first time a Moc earned Freshman of the Year honors since Jason Ontog in 2001. It is the third consecutive year a UTC men's tennis player made the All-SoCon team for singles play.
Women's Tennis (Jeff Clark, head coach) • 9-13, 3-7 SoCon/8th
- Chattanooga finished the season with a 9-13 overall record. The Lady Mocs were eighth in the SoCon with a 3-7 league mark. It was the most conference wins in a season for UTC since going 6-4 in 2004.
- Jenna Nurik was named Freshman of the Year by the Southern Conference. Nurik played the No. 1 singles spot for the Lady Mocs throughout the season, posting a 21-9 overall record.
- In addition to being named Freshman of the Year, Nurik also earned first team All-SoCon honors and was a member of the SoCon All-Freshman squad. Nurik is the first Lady Moc to earn SoCon Freshman of the Year since Cynthia Oulevay took home the honors in 2001. Nurik is also the first UTC women's tennis player to earn first-team All-SoCon recognition since Anastasia Zhukova in 2007.
- The Lady Mocs were in some tight matches this spring, including five 4-3 losses. Chattanooga dropped matches to Austin Peay, Jacksonville State, UT-Martin, UAB and Georgia Southern by just one point.
Indoor/Outdoor Track and Field (Bill Gautier, head coach)
Men (4th-In/6th-Out SoCon) • Women (6th-In, 5th-Out SoCon)
- Senior Anneli Uys was named the Southern Conference Outdoor Track Female Athlete of the Year. She won the 800m and 1500m at the Southern Conference Outdoor Championships for the second straight year. She also qualified for the 1500m at the NCAA East Region Outdoor Championships where she finished 38th overall.
- Junior Tara Geitema earned All-SoCon honors in the 10K outdoors.
- Freshman Blake Olson made the SoCon All-Freshman team in the outdoors 400M hurdles.
- The women's indoor DMR team of Uys, freshmen Heather Stuive and Haley Horsh and senior Shelley Taylor earned All-SoCon honors.
Volleyball (Lisa Rhodes, head coach) • 12-17, 4-8 SoCon/4th-North
- Junior middle blocker Courtney Barnes led the offensive attack in 2009 for the Lady Mocs with 281 kills and .335 attacking percentage, which is second on the all-time chart. Barnes currently is third in career attack percentage at .298.
- Sophomore middle blocker Ellie Kuhn broke the season block assist record on the final home contest of the season with three block assists on back-to-back-to-back rallies to record her 101st of the season and pass Heather Gibson (1991). Kuhn had a total of 117 blocks on the season placing her eighth all-time.
- Freshman libero Paula Passmore was named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team after leading the conference with 5.41 digs per set, which was 13th nationally, and finished 10th on the season digs register with 546. Chattanooga as a team paced the SoCon digging up 1727 attacks, a 16.77 dig per set average.
- Senior Setter Bailee Chastain passed the 1,000 assist mark and enters her senior season with 1,226 assists, which is 10th all-time for a Lady Moc.
Wrestling (Heath Eslinger, head coach)
11-7, 5-0 SoCon/1st • 55th NCAAs
- Former Moc and Southern Conference Wrestler of the Year Heath Eslinger was hired on to replace Chris Bono on July 11, 2009.
- The Mocs finished the season with an 11-7 overall record, including a perfect 5-0 mark in the SoCon.
- Freshman Dean Pavlou captured the 149-pound title at the SoCon Tournament. He joined sophomore Jason McCroskey (184) as the Mocs sent two representatives to the NCAA Championships. McCroskey posted two wins at the NCAAs to lead UTC to a 55th place finish overall.
- UTC put four wrestlers on the NWCA annual Division I All-Academic Team, tying for the most in the nation.
- The Mocs rode a 30-match Southern Conference winning streak to capture their sixth regular season title in a row. UTC's last loss to a conference opponent was a 27-13 set-back at The Citadel on Feb. 14, 2004. The last time UTC dropped a home match in league action was a 26-12 loss to VMI on Feb. 22, 2003.
- The Mocs dominated the All-Southern Conference squad with five of the 10 honorees. Sophomore Demetrius Johnson was a repeat performer at 125. He was joined by senior Josh Statum (133), sophomore Brandon Wright (165) and freshmen Niko Brown (197) and Josh Condon (157). No other league squad had more than two representatives on the All-SoCon team.