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.


Sixty Green and Gold Student-Athletes Make ODAC All-Academic Team

Honoring their excellence in the classroom, 60 Hollins University student-athletes have been named to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) 2020-21 All-Academic Team.

This is the second consecutive year that 60 Green and Gold student-athletes have earned this designation. Hollins was led by the riding and swim teams, which each placed 12 members.

Eligibility for the ODAC All-Academic Team is open to any student-athlete that competes in a conference-sponsored sport, regardless of academic class. Prospective honorees must achieve at least a 3.25 grade point average for the academic year to be considered for recognition. A total of 2,556 student-athletes from the ODAC’s 17 member institutions made the team this year.

View the complete list of Hollins’ All-Academic Team members for 2020-21.

 

 


Hollins XC/Track & Field Named All-Academic Team

The Hollins University Cross Country/Track & Field team has been recognized by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association as an NCAA Division III Women’s Track & Field All-Academic Team for 2021.

To earn All-Academic Team honors, the cumulative team GPA of all student-athletes who used a season of eligibility must be at least a 3.1 on a 4.0 through the most recent semester/quarter.

 


Hollins Athletics Announces New Assistant Swim Coach

Rachel Spaulding has been named assistant coach for the Hollins University swim team. She comes to Hollins from the University of Lynchburg, where she was an assistant coach for the Hornets’ swim program from January 2019 through July 2020.

“Rachel brings quality experience and a strong passion for teaching, coaching, and developing swimmers in and out of the water,” said Aaron Green, Hollins’ head swim coach. “She is encouraging, motivating, and will add an extra special dimension to our leadership. I am excited about the skills and creativity Rachel brings to our program and look forward to welcoming her to the Hollins University family.”

At Lynchburg, Spaulding participated in relaunching the swim program and helped recruit more than 30 swimmers to both the men’s and women’s teams. She was also a swim coach and instructor at the Lynchburg YMCA, where she worked with swimmers ages six to 18. As a two-year swimmer at Pennsylvania’s York University, Spaulding earned multiple top-five finishes in both single events and relays at the Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference Championships.

“I am so excited to work alongside Aaron and help him grow the swim program at Hollins,” Spaulding said. “I am eager to start working with the women’s team and help them reach their goals.”

Along with her duties as assistant swim coach at Hollins, Spaulding is the head cross country coach at Roanoke Catholic School.

 


Erin Doherty Named New Lacrosse Coach

Erin Doherty is the new head coach of Hollins University Lacrosse.

Doherty comes to Hollins from NCAA Division II Upper Iowa University, where she has served as head coach since 2017 and was tasked with launching the Peacocks’ lacrosse program. in her three years at the helm, she brought to the school 17 players from 10 different states. Previously, she was head coach at Bay Path University, a women’s college in Massachusetts, and an assistant coach at Western New England University (WNE). During her time at WNE, the Golden Bears were Commonwealth Coast Conference champions in 2015 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament.

“I am so excited to bring Erin to Hollins University to lead our lacrosse program into a new era, as we are committed to a successful relaunch of the program,” said Hollins Director of Athletics Myra Sims. “Given Hollins’ long tradition in the sport and the need to rebuild about a year off due to the pandemic, I am confident that Erin brings the right mix of experience in coaching and recruiting, and a strong commitment to the successful mentorship and development of young women. She has previously worked at a single-gender institution, established a brand new program, and been part of a highly successful Division III program. All of those experiences will be invaluable as she rebuilds the Hollins program. Erin has many connections in the lacrosse world from her time recruiting at three different institutions, and I am confident that she will be successful as a recruiter and as a leader for our lacrosse student-athletes.”

“I am excited and thankful to become part of the Hollins University community and family,” Doherty said. “The energy and passion of the administration, fellow coaches, and student-athletes is what has drawn me to Hollins. It is really something special to see and be asked to join. I am thrilled to be working with the current team, alumnae, and admission to bring the lacrosse program into its next phase.”

Doherty starts full-time at Hollins on June 7.


“My True Calling Is Helping People”: Hanna DeVarona ’21 Prepares for a Career in Public Health

As a veteran of 34 meets, including four Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championship competitions, and co-holder of multiple relay event records, Hanna DeVarona ’21 of the Hollins University swim team is one of the school’s most accomplished student-athletes. She has placed in the top 16 in multiple events each year at the ODAC Championships, and this March the conference recognized her with one of its highest honors, the Bonnie Kestner Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes ODAC swimmers who “have demonstrated consistently good sportsmanship, ethical behavior, and unselfishness in his/her daily participation in intercollegiate athletics.”

Competing in a sport she loves convinced DeVarona that athletics would be her vocation. However, taking Associate Professor of Communication Studies Lori Joseph’s Health Communication course as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged during her junior year gave the business major a new perspective. After graduating from Hollins this spring, DeVarona will begin her Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in communication and marketing at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

“I had never considered public health before, and that class made me realize that in the past I had actually been afraid to learn about health myself. When I was able to study it, I was no longer afraid,” DeVarona explained. “I know there are people out there who are just as afraid as I was to learn about health, but I don’t want them to fear something that isn’t fearful.”

DeVarona’s aspiration of becoming a health communication specialist may be a departure from her previous, long-standing career goal, but she remains steadfastly committed to what she describes as “my true calling, which is helping people as much as I can. I enjoy it, and that’s the whole reason why I’m drawn to public health.”

For the Woodbridge, Virginia, native, “being a true student-athlete has been absolutely wonderful. When I was looking at Hollins what stood out to me was that I could find that balance. Hollins does such a great job of that. The coaches understand that you are a student before you are an athlete, and the professors are supportive and accommodating as well. I really give credit to my professors and my coaches as well as my teammates for being able to get things done throughout my four years here.”

DeVarona’s list of accomplishments is indeed impressive. In addition to majoring in business with a concentration in marketing, she is minoring in both communication studies and economics. She’s a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee; Omicron Delta Epsilon (the academic honor society in economics); and the Honor, Conduct, and Appeal Board. She’s been a lead admissions ambassador and an orientation team leader, and she’s pursuing a certificate in leadership from the Batten Leadership Institute. This year, she’s serving as the Hollins Student Government Association’s athletic chair and has been inducted into Chi Alpha Sigma, the student-athlete national honor society. For the 2019-20 academic year, she was awarded the Hollins Athletics Service Award, which honors the individual who has best shown the true character of Hollins in rendering service to the athletic department while demonstrating a high degree of leadership, initiative, and dedication.

DeVarona has also completed three internships during her undergraduate career, one each on campus with the university’s alumnae relations and athletic departments, and a virtual internship during this year’s January Short Term in global communications at The Estée Lauder Companies in New York City.

“Even though it was remote, I learned a lot,” she said. One of the highlights was attending virtually an international summit in Hong Kong, where she got a global outlook on dealing with reputation and issues management. During the month, she also participated in researching and drafting briefings for Leonard Lauder, chairman emeritus and former CEO of Estée Lauder, as he prepared for media interviews in conjunction with the release of his new book, The Company I Keep: My Life in Beauty.

“I got to meet a lot of great people, some of whom studied health communications in graduate school and offered to help me with making connections in the D.C. area if I chose to pursue that career path,” she added.

On a personal level, DeVarona says she has benefited from the camaraderie she’s enjoyed as a member of the swim team. “We’re all equals, we’re all here to swim with each other, and our goal has been to have as much fun with each other as possible.” Those bonds have become even stronger during the pandemic. “This year our team has definitely grown more into a family. That’s something that I want to take along with me in the future. Even when we went home during Winter Break, we all got together regularly on Zoom calls and even played games online. Among Us (an online multiplayer social deduction game) was the most popular.”

At GW, DeVarona is hoping to continue swimming competitively. The university has a club team, but “there’s a chance I could compete with their varsity team since I still have eligibility.”

When DeVarona was recruited to swim at Hollins, “the moment I first stepped on campus, it felt like home. When I heard about the connections you make with the professors and alumnae, that put everything in place for me. I don’t think I’d be where I am, or who I am, today if I went somewhere else. I’m just really thankful to Hollins for giving me so many opportunities and helping me pursue things I’m so passionate about.”

 


Chi Alpha Sigma Inducts Eight Hollins Student-Athletes

 

 

Chi Alpha Sigma, the national honor society recognizing collegiate student-athletes for their achievements in athletic competition as well as in the classroom, is welcoming eight new members from Hollins University Athletics.

 

 

New inductees for the 2020-21 academic year include:

Kaeley Aroesty ’22 – Riding
Hannah Arthur ’22 – Volleyball and Riding
Madeline Evangelista ’21 – Swimming
Sarah Grace Himes ’22 – Riding
Summer Jaime ’22 – Swimming
Hannah Jones ’22 – Riding
Abigail Richards ’22 – Soccer
Kayla Surles ’22 – Basketball

The eight new members join the 18 Hollins student-athletes who were inducted for the 2019-20 academic year:

Juliette Baek ’20 – Tennis
Megan Bull ’21 – Swimming
Shravani Chitineni ’21 – Soccer
Grace Davis ’21 – Cross Country and Swimming
Hanna DeVarona ’21 – Swimming
Elizabeth Eubank ’21 – Tennis
Carsen Helms ’22 – Basketball and Lacrosse
Logan Landfried ’21 – Riding and Lacrosse
Emily Miehlke ’21 – Swimming
Hannah Piatak ’21 – Volleyball
Claire Reid ’20 – Riding
Cecilia Riddle ’20 – Basketball and Track & Field
Alex Sanchez ’20 – Swimming and Riding
Caylin Smith ’21 – Soccer
Molly Sullivan ’21 – Swimming
Madi Szurley ’21 – Lacrosse
Keyazia Taylor ’21 – Basketball
Yasmine Tyler ’21 – Basketball

Chi Alpha Sigma honors college student-athletes who participate in a sport at the varsity intercollegiate level, achieve junior academic standing or higher after their fifth full time semester, and earn a 3.4 or higher cumulative grade point average.

 

 


Hollins Athletics Welcomes Aaron Green as Head Swim Coach

Aaron Green has been named the new head coach for Hollins University Swimming. He will join Hollins Athletics on a part-time basis beginning June 1 and assume full-time duties on August 1.

Green comes to Hollins from the University of Lynchburg, where he’s been a graduate assistant swim coach since August 2019. In his time with the Hornets, he played a significant role in starting their swim program from scratch, helping recruit more than 30 student-athletes. In just two years, the Lynchburg men’s and women’s teams grew to more than 50 swimmers. In 2021, the women’s team captured the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championship and the men’s team earned runner-up honors. In addition, the Lynchburg swim staff was named ODAC Coaching Staff of the Year for 2021.

“I am so excited that Aaron will be leading our swim program into the future,” said Hollins Director of Athletics Myra Sims. “His successful experience as an assistant coach at Lynchburg, and his own outstanding collegiate swimming career, have given him realistic insight into building and sustaining a strong program. He has a strong commitment to the sport and to coaching, and I am confident that he will be a positive role model and mentor to our swimmers. Aaron will bring a lot of enthusiasm and dedication, and I look forward to working with him.”

Green was a standout swimmer at NCAA Division III Widener University in Pennsylvania. He competed at the NCAA DIII Swim Championships as a junior and senior, and was named a four-time Honorable Mention All-American after finishing ninth in the 50 free and 11th in the 100 free at the 2018 championships, and 10th in both the 50 and 100 free at the 2019 championships. Green was named Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Rookie of the Year in 2016 and the MAC Male Swimmer of the Year three times from 2017 – 2019. He captained the Lions swim squad and was also recognized as the 2019 Widener University Male Athlete of the Year.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to embark on the next step of my journey at Hollins University,” Green said. “I am both humbled and eager to work under the leadership of President Mary Dana Hinton and Director of Athletics Myra Sims. I am dedicated and determined to help lead our swim team to success both in and out of the pool, and look forward to bringing new and fresh ideas to the program.”

Green succeeds former head swim coach Ned Skinner, who became head coach and director of swimming for the Virginia Gators.

 


Support Hollins Athletics By Joining In The Hollins Hustle Virtual 5K

Whether you’re an expert marathoner, casual runner, walker, hiker, or just want to be outside, you can take part in the Hollins Hustle Virtual 5k, April 5 – 12.

The cost is $25, and all proceeds benefit the Hollins University Athletic Department. Each participant will receive a Hollins Hustle race bib and a certificate of completion.

The registration deadline has been extended to midnight on April 2. Enter a gift amount of at least $25 and select “One-Time Gift.” Then, select “Friends of Athletics 5k Registration” and complete the giving form. Please include your current email address.

Here’s how the Hollins Hustle Virtual 5k works: Any time between April 5 and 12, in any location around the world, the 5k can be run, jogged, or walked on the road, trail, or treadmill, at the gym or on the track. Be sure to document your distance and time on an app such as Strava, Charity Miles, Map My Run, or others. Then, take a screen shot of your results and email it to Sports Information Director Justin McIlwee at mcilweej@hollins.edu.

Be sure to use the hashtag #HollinsHustle during the event to let us know you’re hustling for Hollins Athletics!

Medals will be awarded to the top two individuals in each of the following categories:

  • Age group winners: Under 20, 20-39, 40-59, 60 & over
  • Most picturesque image taken during the Hustle
  • Best selfie taken during the Hustle
  • Best Hollins spirit picture taken during the Hustle

The Hollins Hustle Virtual 5k is an event for anyone and everyone.