It’s always great to reflect on an academic year, particularly when success and progress can be highlighted.
Success: Women’s soccer, led by 17th-year head coach Steve Karbowski, won its second MAAC Championship and made its second NCAA Tournament appearance in six years. First-year men’s golf coach Steven Jensen and his team won the program’s fourth MAAC title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. We salute those two programs for their athletic achievements, and applaud them for their academic successes as well. Both programs posted strong cumulative team GPA’s during the 2015-16 academic year and, in fact, 18 of our 22 Division I athletic programs achieved 3.0 or better GPA’s last year, and 16 hold GPA’s in excess of a 3.0 cumulatively.
Progress: The Alumni Recreation Center renovation project began the day after graduation with Phase 1A, which includes a new bank of bleachers, along with some infrastructure critical to future phases. The feature of Phase 1A is a basketball practice court on the east end of the ARC. This provides men’s and women’s basketball, our flagship programs, with exclusive space and creates two separate courts within the ARC, giving all programs more flexibility in scheduling practices.
We introduced four new Division I teams last year with the additions of both men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track. Thanks to the leadership of head coach John Kenworthy, our inaugural seasons got off to encouraging starts. The four track teams were responsible for 11 new first-year student athletes enrolling at Siena. In a time where competition for students is intense, this incremental increase in Siena’s student body is progress.
Throughout these pages you will read about the many great accomplishments of our student athletes. Their athletic accomplishments are enhanced by their academic and social successes.
We made some significant changes to our business model in 2015-16 as well. We assigned our multimedia and sponsorship rights to Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment (VWSE) and also began a relationship with the Aspire Group, the leading ticketing sales agency in the country. Combing the power of VWSE, Aspire, and a strong Siena Basketball tradition, our goal is to continue to grow the brand, increase attendance, and drive more revenue to support our student athletes.
The Saints Alive! Athletic Fund is critical to our success. Money raised through Saints Alive! supports ALL of our student athletes and is responsible for 52% of the department’s operating budget. If you are a Saints Alive! member—THANK YOU. If you want to be part of Saints Alive! we would love to have you! It’s as easy as visiting SienaSaints.com and clicking on the donate button.
Thanks for all you do for Siena’s student athletes.
John D'Argenio, Vice President and Director of Athletics