Hollins Soccer Student-Athletes Earn Academic All-District® Honors

Five Hollins Soccer student-athletes have been named to the 2022 NCAA Division III Academic All-District® Women’s Soccer Team by the College Sports Communicators (CSC).

Cat Bussani ’24, Sophia Ciatti ’24, Cady Gardiner-Parks ’24, Chloe Hammel ’25, and Zoe Simotas ’25 were recognized for their performances on the field and in the classroom and will advance to the CSC Academic All-America® voting ballot.

First-, second-, and third-team Academic All-America® honorees will be announced in early December.

Founded in the 1950s, the CSC’s Academic All-America® program is regarded as one of the premier awards programs in intercollegiate athletics for honoring combined academic and athletic excellence. CSC members nominate and vote for Academic All-America® teams in 16 sport contests in all NCAA and NAIA divisions including men’s soccer, women’s soccer, football, volleyball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, baseball, softball, men’s at-large, women’s at-large, men’s track & field, and women’s track & field.


Suzy Mink ’74 Wins at World Triathlon Long Distance Championships

Suzy Mink ’74 was the only woman to medal for Team USA during the 2022 World Triathlon Long Distance Championships, part of the 2022 World Triathlon Multisport Championships held August 18-21 at the Olympic Training Center in Samorin, Slovakia.

Athletes from 50 countries competed, with the largest teams coming from the United States and United Kingdom.

 

Suzy Mink '74 Flora Duffy
Mink in Samorin with Bermudian triathlete Flora Duffy, who won a gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Mink, who serves as senior philanthropic advisor at Hollins. won the long distance triathlon in the 70-74 Female Age Group, which included a 2K swim in the Danube River (1.2 miles), a 79.8K biking trek through the Slovakian countryside (49.5 miles), and a 17.9K run (11.1 miles) through four loops on the Olympic Training Center grounds. She noted that the conditions she and other triathlon competitors encountered at the championships were formidable. “The Danube was exceedingly choppy, so much so that only small boats were allowed on the water instead of kayaks, and the current was really strong. Some folks were pulled out of the water early in the swim.” The bike course “was flat and beautiful, but the headwinds on the return trip were unrelenting for 25 miles, and even the best of the best felt it. The run was also tough with the wind.”

 

The victory at the championships is the latest achievement for Mink in her remarkable career competing as a triathlete around the world. Notably in 2018, she won her age group’s gold medal in the Long Distance Triathlon at the International Triathlon Union/Fynske Bank Multisport World Championships in Denmark. She was also part of the relay team that carried the Olympic Torch 900 miles to Lake Placid, New York, for the 1980 Olympic Games.

 

 


Hollins University Names Chris Kilcoyne Director of Athletics

Hollins University has announced that Chris Kilcoyne will become the school’s director of athletics, effective July 1. He has served as interim director since December.  

Kilcoyne joined the Hollins staff in August 2021 as director of athletic communications. Previously, he spent five years at his alma mater Roanoke College, where he handled all facets and digital strategies of the athletic communications office including webcasts, social media, branding, and marketing of the school’s 21 teams. Kilcoyne worked with the Roanoke College Development Office on fundraising strategies and alumni events and served on the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee. He also assisted with oversight of day-to-day department operations and game management.

Following the 2016-17 academic year, Kilcoyne and the Roanoke College athletic communications department received the ODAC Sports Information Director of the Year award.

Prior to working at Roanoke College, Kilcoyne was associate director of communications for the Atlantic 10 Conference. He served as the main media contact for women’s basketball, field hockey, baseball, men’s soccer, and golf.

Before his time at the A-10, Kilcoyne was an assistant athletic director and sports information director at Randolph-Macon College. As assistant athletic director, he was responsible for coordinating compliance regulations within NCAA, ODAC, and institutional guidelines. In addition, he oversaw game management operations for all athletic home contests as well as scheduling for facilities and each sport. He also chaired the Randolph-Macon Athletic Hall of Fame Committee.

Kilcoyne is a 2002 graduate of Roanoke College, where he gained valuable experience working with each of the school’s 19 varsity sports as a student. He also assisted the ODAC and the City of Salem during National Championship contests. Kilcoyne graduated from Roanoke College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and a concentration in mass communication.

 


Go Green: Hollins Embarks on Athletics Program Facilities Enhancements

 

Hollins University has announced plans to enrich the breadth and scope of its athletic facilities.

By fall 2022, Hollins will begin work on an expansion of the university’s Athletic Center and complete several improvements to the Riding Center. In addition, a new track and field area will be on its way to completion and ready by the end of the fall 2022 term.

Athletics Strength and Conditioning

Artist’s rendering of the new strength and conditioning facility.

Highlights of the Athletic Center updates include new spaces for athletic training and strength and conditioning, and a reconfiguration of space to add three new team locker rooms.

At the Riding Center, improvements to the outdoor riding ring will include a regrading of the existing site and installation of all-weather coated dust-free footing in the ring. A new path from the horse barn to the ring will also be installed. The equestrian program will also get a new covered 72-foot six-horse walker with lunging ring.

Athletics Training

A new athletic training facility is one of the enhancements planned for Hollins’ Athletic Center (artist’s rendering).

The initiatives are a key part of Hollins’ Imagination Campaign, through which $9.8 million has been raised in support of enhancements. Physical plant upgrades for the athletics program underscore the campaign’s focus on enriching student life on campus.

Track and Field Facility

The development plan for Hollins’ new track and field facility includes a 200-meter oval track and 100-meter straight track.


Nine Hollins Student-Athletes Named NSCA All-Americans

The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) has presented nine Hollins University student-athletes with its 2022 All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year Award.

The program spotlights collegiate student-athletes whose athletic accomplishments reflect their dedication to strength training and conditioning. NSCA All-Americans are also cited for their academic and personal accomplishments as well as integrity as student-athletes.

Hollins’ Director of Sports Performance and Student Wellness Leslie Williams nominated the following NSCA All-American Award recipients:

Madisen Charles ’22 (soccer)
Austin Gore ’23 (equestrian/riding)
Tate Hurley ’24 (lacrosse)
Carlia Kearney ’23 (tennis)
Katherine Komarek ’24 (swimming)
Kaitlyn Okin ’22 (cross-country)
Tia Tucker ’24 (basketball)
Dymond Williams ’24 (track & field)
Selena Wolfe ’24 (volleyball)

“This recognition goes to student-athletes who give a great effort, provide a positive example to their teammates in training, and consistently go above and beyond in the weight room and taking care of their physical development,” Williams noted. “Our sports performance team is proud of the accomplishments made by all of our student-athletes, and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with an outstanding group of future leaders at Hollins. We appreciate the NSCA for honoring their efforts.”

“We are proud to have Hollins University Sports Performance join the NSCA in its mission to safely improve athletic performance,” added Eric McMahon, NSCA’s coaching and sport science program manager. “Supporting our student-athletes like these nine recipients guarantees a stronger future for the NSCA.”


Omicron Delta Kappa Welcomes Hollins Students

 

 

Ten Hollins University students are among the 342 new initiates from 11 universities welcomed into Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the National Leadership Honor Society, for 2022.

Students initiated into the society must be sophomores, juniors, seniors, or graduate/professional students in the top 35% of their class; demonstrate experience in at least one of the five pillars of leadership celebrated by ODK (academics, athletics, service, communications, and arts); and embrace the ODK ideals. Fewer than five percent of students on a campus are invited to join each year.

Hollins students joining ODK this year include:

Regina Davis ’22, English major, Blackstone, Virginia

Fanny Estrada Lugo ’22, Spanish major, Cassatt, South Carolina

Natalia Sarram ’22, English major, Carlsbad, California

Adarra Blount ’23, history major, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina

Jasmine Carmichael ’23, public health major, North Chesterfield, Virginia

Margaret Gildersleeve ’23, communication studies major, Woodbridge, Virginia

Egypt Matthews ’23, business major, Fayetteville, North Carolina

Claire Ross ’23, English major, Ashburn, Virginia

Aden Watts ’23, psychology major, Fort Gay, West Virginia

Leah Wilkins ’23, political science major, Beaumont, Texas

Headquartered in Lexington, Virginia, ODK has 313 circles of record at colleges and universities across the United States. The society honors and develops leaders through scholarships, workshops, career development, leadership resources, and a lifelong connection to other members. ODK also champions its leadership values of collaboration, inclusivity, integrity, scholarship, and service. Among the society’s distinguished members are Presidents Joseph R. Biden Jr., George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford, Richard M. Nixon, and Franklin D. Roosevelt; physicians Michael DeBakey and Jonas Salk; journalists Ann Compton (Hollins class of 1969), Walter Cronkite, Roger Mudd, Cokie Roberts, and George F. Will; authors Pat Conroy, James Dickey, and Tom Wolfe; and athletes/coaches Peyton Manning, Arnold Palmer, Dawn Staley, and Pat Summitt.


Hollins Indoor Track & Field Earns Highest Ranking Ever

The Hollins Indoor Track & Field program has received its highest ranking in school history from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

In the newest edition of the NCAA Division III Women’s Indoor Track & Field National Rating Index (TFRI), released February 1, Hollins is ranked number 15 in the USTFCCCA South Region. This is Hollins’ first appearance in the USTFCCCA TRFI this season.

The USTFCCCA is a non-profit professional organization representing cross country and track & field coaches of all levels. The organization represents thousands of coaching members encompassing NCAA track & field programs (DI, DII, and DIII) and includes members representing the NAIA and NJCAA, as well as a number of state high school coaches associations. The USTFCCCA serves as an advocate for cross country and track & field coaches, providing a leadership structure to assist the needs of a diverse membership, serving as a lobbyist for coaches’ interests, and working as a liaison between the various stakeholders in the sports of cross country and track & field.


Unoma Aguolu ’24 Named ODAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week

The Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) has honored Hollins Basketball‘s Unoma Aguolu ’24 as its Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of November 15.

Aguolu led Hollins to three victories in the past week; overall, the Green & Gold is off to a 3-1 start this season, its best opening slate of games in over a decade.

The sophomore guard from King George, Virginia, averaged 23.0 points and shot 56.3 percent from the field to go with 5.0 rebounds per game over the three contests. She began the week with 20 points, three rebounds, two steals, and two blocked shots in a 74-65 win over Virginia-Lynchburg. In the first game of the Agnes Scott Tip-Off Classic, Aguolu scored 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field in an 82-49 victory over the host Scotties. She added seven rebounds (five offensive), two assists, and two steals. She capped the tournament and the week with 23 points in a 76-71 win over Sewanee. She chipped in five rebounds with an assist, steal, and blocked shot.

Over Hollins’ first four games Aguolu is averaging 20.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. She has scored the most points (83) so far in the ODAC, powered by the most field goals (30-of-55) and free throws (19-of-40) made.

 


Chris Kilcoyne Named Director of Athletic Communications

Hollins Director of Athletics Myra Sims has announced that Chris Kilcoyne will become the university’s new director of athletic communications.

“We are so fortunate to find someone with Chris’s experience and knowledge of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC),” Sims said. “His previous accomplishments speak for themselves and he will definitely be able to hit the ground running. I am confident that he will build on the good work of our previous athletic communications professionals and will continue to bring greater recognition to our student-athletes, coaches, and teams.”

Kilcoyne was director of athletic communications at Roanoke College from 2015 to 2020. He oversaw all facets of the Maroons’ athletic communications office, including producing game stories and web updates, and distributing results of all 260-plus home and away games each year. He developed and implemented a social media strategy for the department’s social media accounts, and devised and executed a consistent branding plan for all 22 sports and the department as a whole. He managed all aspects of game-day operations for each sport, and organized and helped produce streaming broadcasts of 130-plus home events. He was named ODAC Sports Information Director of Year in 2016-17.

Prior to coming to Roanoke College, Kilcoyne was associate director of communications for the Atlantic-10 Conference, as well as the sports information director and assistant athletic director at Randolph-Macon College. He was also the ODAC’s sports information director from 2004-2006.

“I could not be more excited to join the Hollins family and I’m looking forward to telling the stories of the tremendous student-athletes HU has a long tradition of producing,” Kilcoyne said. “I want to thank Myra Sims for the opportunity to join the incredibly talented staff she has assembled, and I’m eager to work with each of them in promoting Hollins Athletics both on and off the field.”

Kilcoyne is a 2002 Roanoke College graduate and is currently pursuing an M.S. in sports management through Northeastern University.


Hollins Athletics Announces Interim Soccer Coach

Kathryn Van Orden has been named interim head coach for Hollins University Soccer.

A native of Chesapeake, Virginia, Van Orden previously coached with the Roanoke Valley’s VBR Star Soccer Club, and from 2016 to 2020 she was a four-year starter with the Roanoke College women’s soccer team. She was the Maroons’ leading scorer during her junior season with six goals and finished her playing career with 15 goals and an assist. During her four years with the team, she helped lead Roanoke College to 40 victories and a berth in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) women’s soccer tournament semifinals in 2017. This will be her first stint as a head coach on the collegiate level.

“Kat will bring a new and fresh perspective to our soccer program, given her experience in a successful ODAC program,” said Hollins Director of Athletics Myra Sims. “She brings not only a strong commitment to the sport, but also to developing young women into successful students and leaders. She is enthusiastic about the opportunity to be here at Hollins, and I know that enthusiasm will transfer to the team.”

Van Orden graduated from Roanoke College with a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science. Currently, she is a police officer with the City of Salem, Virginia.

Hollins Soccer begins its 2021 season on September 1 hosting Regent University.