A Page -- July 25, 2012

Senior safety Dan Calabrese was tabbed as D3Football.com All-North Region last season as well as the UAA Special Teams Player of the Year. (photo by Ed Malliard)

Case Reserve returns 13 starters to the gridiron

CLEVELAND, Ohio – With several key playmakers back on each side of the ball and a total of 13 starters returning, the Case Western Reserve University football team will look to win a fifth University Athletic Association Championship in six years during the fall of 2012.

The Spartans (9-1 overall, 3-0 UAA in 2011) have won four of the past five UAA Championships with three-consecutive NCAA Playoff appearances from 2007 to 2009. Over the last five seasons, the Spartans boast an overall record of 48-6. 

Of the 27 lettermen back from last year's group, Case returns five starters on offense, seven on defense and one on special teams. And, for the second-consecutive season, a bulk of the team's experience returns on the defensive side of the ball.

"Our goals have stayed pretty consistent over the years," said ninth-year Head Coach Greg Debeljak. "Our number one goal is to win the UAA, number two is to be competitive at a national level and reach the NCAA playoffs. When comparing this group to last season, we definitely have more experience returning on offense. We also have quite a few starters back on defense. But, we graduated several impact guys who were playmakers for us over the last four years. So, the question we'll have to answer is can our returnees be as impactful as the players we lost? There are quality guys back with plenty of experience on both sides of the ball, and I am confident they can get the job done." 


The Spartan offense took on a bit of a different identity last season while trying to withstand the graduation of several key players. Even though the unit didn't match the high-scoring production of years past, it did find ways to generate scores in key moments throughout the year, and it allowed for several newcomers to work their way into vital roles on the team.

"I think we'll be run-oriented again this season, but we'll also be looking to be more aggressive," said Debeljak. "Last year, we played so well on defense that it allowed us to be more conservative on the offensive side. This year, I think we need to take more risks and throw the ball down the field more. Ultimately, our top playmakers are in the running game, so our offense will start there."


Unlike last season, the Spartans will have the benefit of a returning starter at the signal-caller position. Senior Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) joined the team last fall as a highly-touted transfer and turned in a solid first campaign that netted him second-team All-UAA honors. Also the team's punter, Olson completed 154-of-257 passes (59.9%) for 1,571 yards and 11 touchdowns. Olson earned UAA Offensive Player of the Week status for three-consecutive games and ranked second in the league in both passing yards and TDs.

"Erik went through a major transition last season, playing for the first time in two years and learning a new offense," noted Debeljak. "He improved during the season, and he improved greatly during spring practice. He is unquestionably our starter and the leader of our offense. Erik's had the chance to build some quality reps with the guys around him, and his growing comfort level in our offense will allow him to be more aggressive and more successful."

The back-up job figures to be a close competition in preseason camp with sophomores Billy Beecher (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area) and Sean McCarthy(Bradenton, Fla./Bradenton Christian) as the front-runners, and junior Jacob White (Chicago, Ill./Lincoln Park) also in the mix.

Running Back

Running back is easily the most accomplished amongst the Spartan skill positions. The All-UAA duo of junior Kenny Riordan (Spring Grove, Ill./Richmond-Burton) and sophomore Manny Sicre (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Prep) lead a group that returns most of its production from 2011.

Riordan was the starter in all 10 games during his sophomore year and earned first-team All-UAA honors with 556 yards and two touchdowns. The team's leader in rushing average (4.6 ypc), Riordan was tabbed UAA Offensive Player of the Week during two-of-three conference games and turned in long rushes of 45 and 56 yards late in the year.

The reigning UAA Rookie of the Year, Sicre led the team and ranked fourth in the conference with 638 yards on the ground. Sicre scored a total of six TDs—five rushing, one receiving—and was UAA Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 172 yards with a 75-yard TD in the opener at John Carroll University. OhioCollegeFootball.com also tabbed Sicre as its Division III Rookie of the Year.

"Manny (Sicre) gives us something that we haven't had probably since Brandon McDowell (2001-03), a guy that just makes people miss, and Kenny (Riordan) is 210 pounds and our fastest guy," said Debeljak. "It's a great combination to have."

With the graduation of one fullback from last season in Christian Anderson and the loss of junior Steven Magister (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) due to injury, the lead blocking position figures to be a competition between sophomore Manny Surunis (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) and several highly-touted freshmen. Sophomore Ricky Hanzlik (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) is also back at the tailback spot after a solid rookie campaign at the junior varsity level.

Offensive Line

Much like last season, the front line will have to withstand key losses as a trio of starters graduated in Tony Opperman (guard), Michael Allen (center) and Brandon Rollé (left tackle). However, the group does return the entire right side of the line with senior Cullen Dolan (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice ) at tackle and junior Jake Abbott (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) at guard. The team will count on returning letterwinners in senior Andrew Berkebile(Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) and juniors Shay Baker (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) and Garrett Hartig (Fort Branch, Ind./Gibson Southern) to fill in the remaining spots.

Dolan has been a constant on the line over the past two seasons, starting 19-of-20 games at right tackle. As a junior, Dolan was tabbed second-team All-UAA. Abbott was a full-time starter last season after being named the team's freshman MVP the previous fall. The third-year Spartan was also a second-team All-UAA selection in 2011.

Berkebile, projected to start at center, made three starts last season and has seen time at both center and guard in his career. Hartig started twice last season and will likely assume the role at tackle, while Baker started three games at guard in 2011 after moving from linebacker a season ago.

Senior Michael Koopman (Brunswick, Ohio / Padua Franciscan) and sophomore Jon Allen (McMurray, Pa./ Peters Township), younger brother of the aforementioned Michael Allen, also return with the opportunity to see significant playing time.

"There have been some years where we came in and felt like we only had five or six guys on the O-line that could play at this level," said Debeljak. "Now, we feel like we have nine or 10, but we don't know how good they can be. We need to keep them healthy, let them compete, and see what happens. It is a great luxury to have both Cullen (Dolan) and Jake (Abbott) back on the right side, and we will rely on them heavily as the others get acclimated to their roles."  

Receiver/Tight End

The Spartans' pass-catching unit lost a pair of starters to graduation in receiver Bryan Metlesitz and tight end Bryce Coleman, but Debeljak sees a young group that possesses great size, speed and big-play capability.  

Leading the receiving corps is sophomore Sean Lapcevic (Presto, Pa./Chartiers Valley), who started all 10 games as a freshman. In his rookie campaign, Lapcevic was the team's No. 2 wide out, hauling in 36 receptions for 429 yards and a touchdown. He ranked third in the UAA in catches and fourth in yardage.

Also back is senior Brian Rice (New Castle, Pa./New Castle), who caught eight passes for 142 yards before suffering a season-ending injury last October. Rice posted a key reception with a 33-yard TD in a win at Allegheny College (Pa.) in early October.

Debeljak sees additional players in the mix like senior Zachary Scott (Imperial, Pa./West Allegheny) and junior Peter Vicente (Mars, Pa./Seneca Valley), who both lost last season due to injuries, as well as sophomores Tony Lybarger (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown), Matthew Avril (Jensen Beach, Fla./Jensen Beach) and Colin MacLeod (Tacoma, Wash./Charles Wright Academy). The head coach also expects a talented group of freshmen to contribute to the position.

The tight end job position figures to be led by sophomore George Darany (Northville, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) and junior Drew Volbers (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park).


In 2011, the Spartan defense turned in one of the best seasons in program history, ranking seventh in the nation in rush defense (75.7 ypg), 12th in scoring defense (12.9 ppg) and fourth in red zone efficiency (52%). The unit also produced the UAA Defensive Player of the Year, two D3Football.comAll-North Region selections and seven of the 13 first-team All-UAA honorees. Although several key players from the group have been lost to graduation, Debeljak is still counting on his defense to set the tone for the rest of the squad.

"The big question is how badly are we going to miss the likes of Dale English, Jake Adams and Rich Doolin?," said Debeljak. "We have four seniors on the line, three senior linebackers and three seniors in the secondary. So, the experience level is there. We just have to wait to see the level of production we get out of our playmakers. And with the guys we having coming back, I'm confident this can be a great defense once again."

Defensive Line

The defensive line has been the unit's driving force over the past two seasons, and even with the loss of two starters, Debeljak expects the line to once again pace the squad's 4-2-5 attack. Leading the group are a pair of All-UAA seniors in end Adam Watson (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and nose guard Michael Harris (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights).

Watson, a two-year starter, finished second on the squad last fall with 6.5 sacks and totaled 56 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. In his three seasons with the program, the two-time All-UAA selection has 129 tackles, 23.5 TFL and 15.5 sacks.

Harris, a three-year starter, has been a force on the interior of the line and posted 41 tackles with 1.5 sacks last season. In 30 games played during the last three years, Harris has 101 tackles, 14.5 TFL, five sacks and three forced fumbles.

"Adam (Watson) and Mike (Harris) have been key guys for us over the past few years, and we're expecting them to move to the next level as leaders of the line. Our other returnees have shown good things when they've gotten on the field, and we have the depth to be very good up front."

The line lost two of the best in its history with 2011 UAA Defensive Player of the Year Dale English now a member of the Spartan coaching staff and two-time Capital One Academic All-American® Rich Doolin gone to graduation.

But, Debeljak expects those spots to be filled by combinations of senior letterwinners Collin Desens (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./Arlington) and Michael Sirosky (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) along with junior Brandon Bryant (Rockville, Md./Rockville) and sophomores Mike Streicher (Montgomery, Ohio/Sycamore), Mike Valleriano (Webster, N.Y./Webster Thomas), Derek Porto (Hoffman Estates, Ill./St. Edward Central Catholic) andJack Behrend (Springfield, Va./St. John's College).

Desens missed time due to injury last season but did play in five games and had a half-sack and a forced fumble in the season-opening victory at John Carroll. Sirosky also missed time with an injury but had eight tackles and a half-sack for the year.


The linebacking corps returns all but one (Jacob Adams) from last year's rotation and will be complemented by the return of an injured starter from last season. On the inside, the Spartans feature senior starter Wade Self (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich) along with a two-year letterwinner in seniorKevin Nossem (Munster, Ind./Munster).

Self started nine games last season, missing one due to injury, and ranked third on the team with 66 tackles. For the season, Self racked up 4.5 tackles for loss, a sack and two forced fumbles on his way to earning All-UAA Honorable Mention accolades. The senior backer also earned UAA Defensive Player of the Week honors in late October after totaling 10 tackles and forcing a key fumble in an overtime win at The College of Wooster.

Nossem played in all 10 games with a start and ranked third on the team with 64 tackles as well as fourth with three interceptions. Nossem was named UAA Defensive Player of the Week as well following a win at Denison University in which he recorded 14 tackles, four sacks, a forced fumble and an interception.

With Self and Nossem projected as the starters at inside backer, junior Scott Campbell (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) figures to be the team's main back-up.

On the outside in the hero position is first-team All-UAA senior Ryan Ferguson (Wheaton, Ill./St. Francis). Ferguson switched positions to fill in for an injured Michael Fioramonti (Loxahatchee, Fla./Seminole Ridge) last year and led the UAA with 95 tackles. Ferguson twice posted 13 tackles in a game in 2011 and was tabbed UAA Defensive Player of the Week with nine tackles and both a fumble and interception return for a touchdown in the season-opener at John Carroll.

A red-shirt senior, Fioramonti was injured in training camp late last summer but is expected back this fall with a 63-tackle, second-team All-UAA season of 2010 on his resume.

"Linebacker is a very strong and versatile position for us," said Debeljak. "Wade (Self) and Kevin (Nossem) are the main guys inside, and they both played very well last season. If Fioramonti is able to return, that will give us a lot of flexibility in moving Ferguson around. Either way, we know we have a group that can impact the game in many ways."


The secondary features three returning starters as well as the team's most accomplished player in senior safety Dan Calabrese (Concord, Ohio/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin).

The reigning UAA Special Teams Player of the Year, Calabrese was tabbed All-UAA First Team and D3Football.com All-North Region at defensive back with 46 tackles, a team-best six interceptions and 10 passes defended, a forced fumble and three touchdown returns on two INTs and one punt. An impact player all of last season, Calabrese was a two-time UAA Defensive Player of the Week and was named to D3Football.com's National Team of the Week after tying a school record with three interceptions and returning a pair for scores in a victory versus Oberlin College in early October.

"Dan (Calabrese) is just a great football player," said Debeljak. "He was nominated for All-American consideration by other coaches in our league, and he has tremendous respect within within our region. He is a special player that can make a lot of things happen."

Joining Calabrese as returning starters are senior cornerback Cary Dieter (McKees Rocks, Pa./Montour) and junior safety Jordan Banky (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon).

A two-year starter and three-year letterwinner, Dieter earned first-team All-UAA honors as a junior with 41 tackles and five pass break-ups. The team's top cover corner a season ago, Dieter also set up the game-winning score with a forced fumble at Allegheny on October 1.

Banky took over as the starting free safety in 2011 when current senior Steven Roby (Howard, Ohio/St. Charles Prep) suffered a season-ending injury. In nine games and eight starts, Banky recorded 26 tackles, a fumble recovery and two interceptions en route to earning All-UAA Honorable Mention status.

Roby posted 13 tackles and four pass break-ups in just two games before seeing his first season as a starter cut short versus the University of Rochester (N.Y.) on September 10. Debeljak sees Roby in the mix at cornerback this fall.

Also back in the secondary are letterwinners in senior corner Brandon Flick (Butler, Pa./Knoch) and junior safety Jacob LaFleur (Hilliard, Ohio/St. Charles Prep). Flick, projected to start at corner, played in six games with a start last season, totaling 16 tackles and a forced fumble. LaFleur saw action in nine games. Junior Fady Haddad (Mayfield Heights, Ohio/Mayfield) is also back at the corner position.


For the second-consecutive season, the special teams unit graduated its starting placekicker with all-time kicking scoring leader Sam Coffey gone in 2011 and All-UAA performer Daniel Vasil gone this season. The unit does, however, return its punter in Olson, who averaged 36.8 yards per punt last fall.

Calabrese will once again pace the return game after leading the UAA with a school-record 367 punt return yards as a junior. The UAA Special Teams Player of the Year also handles holding duties.  

In the kicking game, Debeljak sees a trio of freshmen competing for the job along with senior Ben Yabrow (Marietta, Ga./George Walton Comprehensive), who was a two-time All-UAA goalkeeper for the Spartan men's soccer team.


A pair of first-time opponents and a final year of UAA/North Coast Athletic Conference match-ups headline the 2012 schedule.

The Spartans begin the season with three-of-four games on the road, including a pair of night games to open the schedule at Marietta College on September 1 and Hiram College on Sept. 8.

The early slate of away games doesn't figure to be an issue for the Spartans, as the team has posted a 24-1 record in the past 25 road contests dating back to 2007.

Marietta is one of two first-time opponents as the Spartans welcome Frostburg State University (Md.) to Case Field for the 2012 home-opener on Sept. 15. Another road night game at Ohio Wesleyan University on Sept. 22 and a Homecoming clash with Wittenberg University on Sept. 29 close out the first month of the season.

The 25th and final installment of the "Baird Brothers Trophy Game" versus Wooster opens the second month of the season on October 6. Following a bye week, Case then closes out the road portion of the schedule at Oberlin on October 20 and the University of Chicago (Ill.) in the UAA opener on October 27.

November features a pair of home conference games with Washington University (Mo.) in town on the 3rd and Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) at Case Field for the 26th Annual "Academic Bowl" on the 10th.

"Much like last year, this schedule will be one of the toughest we've had in my time here," said Debeljak. "We add two new opponents (Marietta and Frostburg St.) to the mix that come from two of the top conferences in the nation, and we add Wittenberg, who is a perennial power in the NCAC and in the region. The UAA is as competitive as it's ever been, so we know that we'll need to be at our best each and every week."

The 2012 campaign is the final season of the UAA/NCAC schedule, and the Spartans will conclude annual matchups with the likes of Wooster, Oberlin, Hiram and others. In 2014, the team will join the Presidents' Athletic Conference as an affiliate member, beginning a full PAC schedule along with the three-game UAA slate.

Oberlin Women's Lacrosse Welcomes Three All-Academic Selections 

Oberlin, Ohio – On Tuesday afternoon, Oberlin College Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach Jacqueline McDevitt announced her incoming first-year class that features three US Lacrosse All-Academic selections.

Elm Grove, Wisconsin, native Grace Barlow will be joined by Portland, Oregon, product Suzanna Doak and Venetia, Pennsylvania resident Emily Kipling.

“I can’t wait for each of these players to get here on campus and immediately become a part of our team while taking in all the wonderful things Oberlin has to offer,” McDevitt said.
Women's Lacrosse 

Barlow comes to Oberlin having earned Honorable-Mention All-America status from US Lacrosse last spring. A three-time all-conference and all-state selection at Brookfield East High School, Barlow helped Brookfield win the state championship last spring. As a senior she scored 43 goals, dished out 21 assists and scooped up 52 ground balls.

Barlow on Choosing Oberlin: “Oberlin had everything I was looking for: size, academics, athletics and amazing people.”

Doak, who has the longest journey to Oberlin of the three newcomers, is a two-time Academic All-American and was twice named as an all-conference selection. A four-year letterman at St. Mary’s Academy, Doak was also a member of the Oregon Elite summer team in 2011. A four-time scholar-athlete and National Honors Society member, Doak helped St. Mary’s win 12 games this past season.

Doak on Choosing Oberlin: “Because of the culture it has surrounding music and art as well as its reputation for great academics. Also, the social activism and awareness on campus as well as the ability to play lacrosse.”

Like Doak and Barlow, Kipling comes to Oberlin as a midfielder, but also has the ability to shine on the defensive end as well. A three-year letter winner at Peters Township High School and member of the Pittsburgh Select Lacrosse Club, Kipling helped the Indians win the WPIAL Championship en route to finishing with a 16-4 record last year. Highly involved off of the field, Kipling was a member of the National Honors Society, the marching band, the French Club and the Environmental Club while at PTHS.

Kipling on Choosing Oberlin: "I felt really attracted to the musical atmosphere at Oberlin. Being immersed in such a diverse community was something I knew I wanted to experience in college."


Detroit, Mich. – The Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced today a four-year contract extension with both Ford Field as host and Marathon as the title sponsor for the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game through the 2015 college football season.

This special announcement was made by MAC Commissioner, Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher and Detroit Lions President, Tom Lewand this morning at Ford Field. The announcement also celebrates the official kickoff to the 2012 college football season and began the MAC Football Media Day with each program’s head coach and two student-athletes also in attendance. 

“Our relationship with Ford Field, the Detroit Lions and Marathon provides this conference, its fans and our member institutions -- coaches and most importantly our student-athletes -- the opportunity to showcase their talents in a superb facility to a national television audience,” said MAC Commissioner, Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher. “This extension secures the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game will continue its proud legacy of great college football excitement from Ford Field in Detroit.”

This year’s Marathon MAC Football Championship Game will be Friday, Nov. 30 at 7:00 pm ET on ESPN2. The Marathon MAC Football Championship Game is the second-longest running college football conference championship game in the nation. In addition, with Ford Field as the host, this also makes the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game from Ford Field the second-longest consecutive venue outside of the SEC’s title game from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

“Having hosted numerous NCAA sporting events over the past decade, Ford Field is proud to have been home to the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game since 2004,” said Tom Lewand, President of Ford Field and the Detroit Lions. “We’re thrilled to continue this tremendous partnership with the MAC, its teams and their fans.”

Marathon began as title sponsor of the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game in 2003 when No. 14 ranked Miami, led by Ben Roethlisberger, defeated No. 20 ranked Bowling Green, 49-27. This season’s 2012 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game will be the tenth year for Marathon as title sponsor and this four-year contract extension will ensure the continuation of this relationship with the MAC through the 2015 college football season.

The MAC began staging a conference football championship game in 1997 and originally the game was played on campus sites through 2003. The game moved to Detroit in 2004 and this year’s 2012 Marathon MAC Football Championship will mark the ninth season for the game at Ford Field.

Since moving to Detroit, eight of the 12 MAC full members have appeared at least once in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game in Detroit, led by Central Michigan, Northern Illinois and Ohio with three appearances each.

Tickets go on sale at 10:00 am Tuesday, July 24 for the 2012 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at 1.800.745.3000 or at ticketmaster.com.
MAC Programs Participation in Marathon MAC Football Championship Game in Detroit’s Ford Field:
Akron (2005); Ball State (2008); Buffalo (2008); Central Michigan (2006, 2007, 2009); Miami (2004, 2007, 2010); Northern Illinois (2005, 2010, 2011); Ohio (2006, 2009, 2011); and Toledo (2004).
MAC Championship Game Results:
1997: Marshall 34, Toledo 13 (Huntington, W.V.)
1998: Marshall 23, Toledo 17 (Huntington, W.V.)
1999: Marshall 34, Western Michigan 30 (Huntington, W.V.)
2000: Marshall 19, Western Michigan 14 (Huntington, W.V.)
2001: Toledo 41, Marshall 36 (Toledo, Ohio)
2002: Marshall 49, Toledo 45 (Huntington, W.V.)
2003: Miami 49, Bowling Green 27 (Bowling Green, Ohio)
2004: Toledo 35, Miami 27 (Detroit, Mich.)
2005: Akron 31, Northern Illinois 30 (Detroit, Mich.)
2006: Central Michigan 31, Ohio 10 (Detroit, Mich.)
2007: Central Michigan 35, Miami 10 (Detroit, Mich.)
2008: Buffalo 42, Ball State 24 (Detroit, Mich.)
2009: Central Michigan 20, Ohio 10 (Detroit, Mich.)
2010: Miami 26, Northern Illinois 21 (Detroit, Mich.)
2011: Northern Illinois 23, Ohio 20 (Detroit, Mich.)


Founded in 1946, the Mid-American Conference is an NCAA Division I, 12-member conference that sponsors 23 championships and is one of 11 members of the Football Bowl Subdivison (FBS). With total enrollment of nearly 300,000 students, the league represents institutions of higher learning in six (6) states - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio. In addition a 13th school – University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. -- is an affiliate member for football only.

Current MAC schools that hold full membership and the year they joined are -- East Division: University of Akron (1992), Bowling Green State University (1952), University at Buffalo (1998), Kent State University (1951), Miami University (1947), Ohio University (1946). West Division: Ball State University (1973), Central Michigan University (1971), Eastern Michigan University (1971), Northern Illinois University (1975-86, rejoined in 1997), University of Toledo (1950), Western Michigan University (1947). The University of Massachusetts (2012) competes in the East Division in football only. The conference office is based in Cleveland, Ohio.


Ford Field, the home of the Detroit Lions, is comprised of more than 1.82 million square feet with four levels of suites, a level of club seating, and a ground level designated for restaurants, concessions and retail. The $500 million complex boasts a seven-story atrium within the warehouse.

Ford Field, one of the nation’s most exciting and dynamic sports and entertainment venues, is located in the heart of Detroit’s burgeoning sports and entertainment district, which includes Comerica Park (home of the Detroit Tigers) and the historic Fox Theatre.

Ford Field has successfully hosted the 2006 Super Bowl XL, 2007 WrestleMania 23, the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four Basketball Championship, and the 2010 NCAA Men’s Hockey Frozen Four Championship.


CLEVELAND, OH -- Russell Kramer has been named assistant executive director of the North Coast Athletic Conference, it was announced today by NCAC Executive DirectorKeri Alexander Luchowski. 

“I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Russell to the North Coast Athletic Conference,” said Alexander Luchowski. “His accomplishments at the SCAC, along with his experiences as a Division III student-athlete make him a perfect fit to serve our members. He is passionate about college athletics as part of the academic experience and will bring a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to our operation, and we look forward to him joining our staff.”

Kramer, a 2008 graduate of Oglethorpe University, comes to the NCAC after serving as the Director of New Media/Communications for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) since 2009. 

He will be actively involved in all aspects of operation and administration of the NCAC, including, but not limited to, daily interactions with coaches and athletic administrators, championship administration, the conference award program and NCAA and NCAC compliance.

Kramer began his service with the SCAC as a sports information assistant in the 2008-09 academic year. Among his numerous accomplishments at the SCAC, Kramer is credited for the redevelopment and management of the conference's website and the coordination of media platforms at all conference championship events. Kramer also assisted in the day-to-day operations of the conference office, including directing coaches meetings and managing numerous conference championship events.

While enrolled at Oglethorpe, Kramer served as a student assistant in the sports information department where he edited and produced game day programs for men's and women's basketball and baseball. He also supervised numerous game day activities and assisted at various other athletic department events.

"Russell has been a huge part of the operational success of the SCAC over the past four years," said SCAC commissioner Dwayne Hanberry. "I can't thank him enough for his hard work on behalf of the SCAC membership and for the manner in which he has represented the conference on both the local and national stage.

In addition to his time with the SCAC and Oglethorpe University, Kramer also served as a media relations assistant for the Southeastern Conference (SEC), assisting with the management of the SEC football media day and the SEC football championship game.

Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference consists of 10 academically selective colleges and universities - Allegheny College, Denison University, DePauw University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster along with affiliate member Earlham College (field hockey). The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.

Goffena, Stein Earn All-Academic Team Honors

Miami duo honored by USTFCCCA for athletic, academic accomplishments



NEW ORLEANS – Two members of the Miami University men’s track and field team were recognized for their work in the classroom and in the athletic arena Tuesday, as rising junior Rob Stein and senior Jordan Goffena were both named to the 2012 USTFCCCA Men’s Division I All-Academic Track and Field Team.


Goffena and Stein are two of just 11 male Mid-American Conference athletes recognized by the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association on its 431-man All-Academic Team. Kent State placed four athletes on the squad while Akron had three and Central Michigan had two recipients, as well. Stein was named to the 2011 USTFCCCA All-Academic Team following his freshman year as well.


Goffena (Sidney, Ohio) exhausted his eligibility this past season after transferring from Cal Poly SLO before the 2010-11 season. He is a life science education and zoology double major who boasts a 3.63 grade-point average. Goffena, a Second-Team All-MAC performer this past year, was the runner-up in the decathlon at the MAC Championships and qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in the 110m hurdles, where he placed 36th in 14.14, which ranks him second in school history.


Stein (Villa Park, Ill.) is a marketing major with 3.52 GPA. He qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in the discus for the second straight year, earning the 46th seed, but fouled on all three of his attempts. He placed ninth in the hammer throw and 10th in both the shot put and discus at the MAC Championships.


To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, a student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade-point average of 3.25 or better and either finished the indoor season ranked in the top 96 nationally in an individual event or participated in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships (including preliminary rounds).


The women’s All-Academic Team individual honorees will be announced Wednesday. Those institutions given All-Academic Team status will be named on Thursday.