The former Athletic Director Roger Burkman left some big shoes to fill (literally and figuratively), so finding his replacement was no easy task. After interviewing several candidates, the search committee had an internal candidate at the top of the list. On June 9, President McClure announced Brian Clinard, current Assistant Athletics Director for Communications, as the new Athletic Director.

“Growing up in Louisville, Spalding University and our city hold a special place in my heart,” said Clinard.” “It has been amazing to spend the last decade working under Roger Burkman to help grow our department and I look forward to working with President McClure and the entire Spalding family to lead us into our next chapter.”

Clinard has played an integral role in leading and building the athletic department at Spalding. He helped lead the rebrand and development the visual identity of the Golden Eagle 2013. He also established an internship mentor program. His passion for enhancing the student-athlete experience and community will be at the forefront in his new role. He embodies the philosophy of the NCAA Division III and what it means to be a Spalding athlete and community member.

“For the past 10 years, Brian has put in the necessary work to become Spalding’s next Athletic Director. He is one of my most-trusted and loyal staff members. I have watched him step into leadership roles that provided him a holistic view of what it takes to lead Athletics. Brian has played a huge role in the growth and development of our athletic department,” said Roger Burkman, retiring Athletic Director. “With Brian at the helm, you get someone who knows the landscape, what it takes to run this department and be a good leader. Our Athletics staff and our student-athletes know and respect Brian. I’m personally delighted that Brian has been given this opportunity and know he’s the right person for this job.”

Spalding University’s athletic program is growing. Through efforts such as the Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Field House, Roger Burkman Hall of Fame, and recently added Men’s & Women’s lacrosse, Brian Clinard is well positioned to lead our athletic department.

SPALDING ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT

The hall honors the retiring Athletic Director’s 17 years of service.

This morning, Spalding University unveiled a new Athletic Hall of Fame in the Columbia Gym. The Hall of Fame is named after Roger Burkman, the retiring athletic director who has been with Spalding for 17 years.

With Burkman as Athletic Director, Spalding programs won 24 conference championships, four United States Collegiate Athletic Association national championships, and qualified for the NCAA Division III national tournament twice. Burkman also worked with the Louisville Sports Commission to bring three NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships to the Louisville community and spent time on the SLIAC Administrative Council.

The Roger Burkman Hall of Fame brings together three decades of student athletes. The collection bridges the separation in history that occured when the Spalding mascot shifted from the Pelicans to the Golden Eagles. It will contain nets from notable games, archival photos, trophies, and plaques for new inductees.

The room is located in the former Golden Eagle North conference room in the Columbia Gym. The building is famous for being the gym where Muhammad Ali’s first learned to box and where his red bicycle was stolen. The Roger Burkman Hall of Fame adds to the history of sports in Louisville.

Burkman’s many years of service with Spalding and lifetime in the city, make his name the most proper fit for the new hall. A plaque honoring Burkman’s career and accomplishments has been hung in addition to the six inaugural Roger Burkman Hall of Fame inductees: Kristy Lampton, Kim Brohm, Tim Gray, Jake Ford, Kelly Harrod, and Abram Deng.

The building will be named the Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Fieldhouse

LOUISVILLE — The Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Family graciously donated $500,000 to Spalding University to build the university’s first on-campus field house. The structure will reside on the northeast section of Spalding’s new Athletic Complex (910 South Eighth Street), which will host the men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse and women’s softball teams during home games.

Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn’s gift is one in a series of large donations to athletics in Louisville. For the Lynn family, the city directly benefits from sports programs. It’s an opportunity they are eager to support.

“If you can help the athletic department, you help more than just the student athletes — you help the whole campus,” Mark Lynn said. “As you build your athletic department, so do you build your enrollment. It’s just part of the circle of being an all around student, having things to be proud of with your school.”

Not only will the gift create a shared space and source of pride for Spalding student-athletes, it will also further enhance the university’s presence and engagement in the city’s landscape. The Spalding Athletic Complex, located on a formerly abandoned industrial site and transformed into the first on-campus home for outdoor sports, was unveiled in October 2019. Along with the addition of the field house the complex is a cultural landmark connecting students and the local community.

Education is fundamental to the Lynn family. All four of their kids graduated college.The family’s philanthropy shows their kids the importance of leaving behind a good legacy.

“Education is the one thing nobody can ever take away from you,” Mark Lynn said. “If you have an education, you’ll figure out how to survive. You’ll figure out how to thrive. You will always be better off if you can have something behind you to say, ‘Look. Here’s what I did. Here’s what I accomplished. Here’s who I am.’ ”

The Lynn family believes donating to universities in the city will create a stronger workforce and creative solutions.

As the only Division III school in Louisville, and with 18 men’s and women’s sports teams, Spalding provides many paths for student-athletes who will be the next generation of educators, care providers, communicators and leaders. The Lynns recognize the importance of developing the student athlete into a productive member of the community.

“A very important aspect of this is making the city the best that it can be,” Cindy Lynn said. “I always think to myself how much money could be donated if everybody just gave a dollar.”

The construction timeline of the Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Fieldhouse is to be determined. Once open, the field house will be available for use by all Spalding student athletes and the visiting teams who travel to play at the athletic complex.

Spalding will celebrate graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 during Commencement, June 3-5, 2021. In the leadup, Spalding is featuring graduates from a range of academic programs. Today’s featured graduate is Haley Nestor, who earned the degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2020 and who just began her second term as President of the Student Government Association. She is currently enrolled in Spalding’s Master of Science in Business Communication program. She is also a former track and field and cross country athlete.

Which years have you attended Spalding University, and which degree are you earning? 

I began my journey at Spalding in 2017 and completed my bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in psychology in 2020. I loved it so much, I came back for my master’s and will complete that at the end of 2021.

How do you feel about your accomplishment of completing your degree and graduating?

To me, I am taking away so much more than just a degree. When I graduate, yes, I will have a degree. But I will also have great friends, great connections with effective leaders, a fiancé who I met at Spalding, a father-figure who was once my coach. I am extremely blessed to be at this point in my life. The hard work is finally paying off, and I couldn’t be prouder of myself and excited to provide for a family one day.

COMMENCEMENT 2021 | Details and schedule for graduation
LEARN ABOUT THIS GRAD’S PROGRAM | BS in Business Administration

What was it like to finish your degree during the pandemic?

I have an unpopular opinion about finishing my degree during the pandemic. For me, the pandemic helped me hold myself accountable more. There are many lessons you learn during your college career, accountability being one of them. The pandemic forced many students to be held accountable and stay on top of their responsibilities. The pandemic also forced me to connect with individuals on a totally different platform and made me so resilient to what life wants to throw at me. The pandemic made things more challenging, but at the end, it made me resilient, and it made Spalding University resilient, and that is a great thing.

What is something specifically about your academic program that you liked or that stands out about Spalding’s program/system that may not be the case at another school?

Something that has always stood out to me is the fact that Tori McClure is the President. I love being a leader, I love being able to help and advocate for students, staff, and faculty. To see a woman be such an influential and effective leader has led me to where I am today. I was told in high school that women cannot be successful in the business world or be taken seriously as a leader. Seeing President McClure work and being able to have great conversations with her showed me that is not the case.

Describe something you have done or accomplished at Spalding that you are proud of:

By the time that I graduate from Spalding with my bachelor’s and master’s, I will have served in student government as a Senator, Secretary and two-time President of the Executive Board. This is something that I am proud of because a goal I live by is to leave something better than the way you found it. I love that students, staff and faculty have been able to count on me to be an advocate for them. It has been the leading factor in choosing to pursue an MSBC in Organizational Leadership, and it will continue to be the leading factor in developing myself as a leader for the rest of my life. During my time at Spalding, I was able to be a part of the Cross Country and Track and Field teams, SGA and Residence Life, while maintaining a full-time job and being a full-time student. I am proud to become a Spalding alumna. My time at Spalding is something that I will forever remember.

What has been your favorite thing about attending Spalding, and why?

My favorite thing about attending Spalding was meeting my fiancé. I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was during his Engage event when I was a Resident Assistant (RA) volunteering to help with the Rock, Paper, Scissors battle. After many rounds of Rock, Paper, Scissors – I won, of course – I knew his smile and competitiveness would be one that I wanted to remember forever. I never expected to find the love of my life so early in my life, but I have been so fortunate. Spalding will always have a special place in my relationship and in my life. Another great person I met at Spalding was our former cross country coach, Bradley Sowder. He will be the one who marries us when the time comes, and to meet someone who we trust to guide our marriage is so big. I am so blessed to have found these wonderful people at Spalding.

What is something personal about your journey to graduating from Spalding that people may not know but that you’d like to share and that you are proud of? 

When people see me or my accomplishments, they have always believed that I was a 4.0 student and have everything figured out. What people do not know is that Spalding offers a great resource that I took full advantage of. I was able to do a full assessment of my mental health, learning ability and more. I found out very early that I struggled with my vocabulary, retaining information, sleep, anxiety, etc. I did not start out figuring everything out, and I still do not have everything figured out. But there are people at Spalding that you find who will have a huge impact on you and keep you on track. I have had many conversations with professors on how I can better retain information, whether that was recording lectures, staying after, going to study groups, etc. I have had conversations with people who have told me to slow down and to enjoy the moment. I have always said that life is all about connections, and Spalding has brought me great connections. I can say that I have never failed a class, and I have made it to the Deans list more than once. At the beginning, I did not think college was for me, but once you find the people who want the best for you as much as you do, they really do make an impact.

With the NCAA celebrating Division III Week April 5-11, it’s a good time to learn more about the newest head coach in Spalding University Athletics – Logan Wells, who was named coach of the Golden Eagles’ men’s and women’s track and field and cross country teams on March 1. Wells is a Scottsburg, Indiana, native who comes to Spalding after spending the two years as the head cross country and assistant track field coach at Bluffton (Ohio) University. He also previously coached at Otterbein University and his alma mater, Hanover College, where he was an accomplished distance runner.  Spalding has started its spring track season and last month had the fourth- and 12-place finishers in the men’s SLIAC cross country championships.

Tell us more about how you got into coaching.

I graduated from Hanover in 2015. I went to Columbus, Ohio, and was running with the Columbus Running Company Elite Team while also working as an assistant at Otterbein. I kind of got my feet wet in the coaching realm there. I really enjoyed it. I went to grad school at Ohio University. I was planning to do PhD studies in English, which is what I have my master’s in, but my dad had an opening for an intern assistant, so I went back to Hanover and thought I would do that for a year. The opportunity to go back and coach with my dad (Brady Well, the Hanover head cross country coach) was fantastic, and I absolutely fell in love with it. About that time, the job at Bluffton opened up, and I applied for it and was lucky enough to get it. I was there from January 2019 until I came to Spalding. Once I saw the Spalding job had opened, it was a chance for me to come back closer to home and be a head track coach for the first time, as well as cross country coach. I jumped on that opportunity, and here I am.

LEARN MORE AT SPALDINGATHLETICS.COM
TRACK AND FIELD | Men | Women
CROSS COUNTRY | Men | Women
FOLLOW SU XC/TF ON TWITTER | @SpaldingXC

Were you always a distance runner?

Yeah, my dad was a really successful distance runner at his time (as an athlete) at Hanover, as well as post-collegiately. He was a very good marathoner. He got me started in the sport. I ran cross country in high school and didn’t run track until my junior year. I fell in love with that as well. I’ve always been a distance runner. The last few years, I’ve been able to work with sprinters, with jumpers, throwers, and I know enough to be dangerous in those events. That is one reason I was excited to take this position was to challenge myself to grow as a coach and coach all the events.

What else about the Spalding job was appealing to you?

The opportunity to be a head track coach as well as a head cross country coach. I’m somebody who is always trying to challenge myself and grow as a coach and an individual, and I felt like this was the logical next step in my career. My hope is to hire a coaching staff who can complement my experience in the distance events.

What would you say is your coaching philosophy?

One of the beautiful things about the Division III model  – and I was a Division III student-athlete and why I wanted to stay in Division III coaching – is that we are coaching student-athletes, not just athletes. At the end of the day, our athletes are here to get an education, and when you come to a place like Spalding, you’re going to be a student-athlete, and “student” comes first. We want to make sure you’re succeeding in the classroom before we step foot on the course or the track. The other thing is, I believe the sports of cross country and track and field, more than a lot of other sports, teach you a lot about yourself as a person, not just as an athlete. Obviously, I want to see my athletes improve, I want to set school records, and I want send people to nationals, those type of things. But the reason I do this job is because I like to get to know my athletes on an individual level. To me, it’s not just about the time they run or the place they get. I want to know, what are their goals here at Spalding? What are their goals outside of Spalding? How can I help them achieve those? I always think that if my athletes can walk out of here a more well-rounded individual, a more worldly person who has a better understanding of themselves and how they fit into the world around them, I don’t care if they run one second faster or throw one centimeter farther, I’ll feel like I did my job. That is always what I have in the back of my mind philosophy-wise: How am I challenging my athletes in a positive way not just as athletes but as people? If we do those things, we are going to see success on the athletic side as well.

Tell about the success you had in your two years at Bluffton?

When I walked into the team, we were small (as a roster), but we had some talented individuals. It was nice to be able to coach a couple conference champions and school record-holders those first couple years. It was also a challenge to build the program up because we were a small program. We had six men and six women when I started, and 10 and 10 when I left. But we had some talented individuals. I think we set eight school records on the distance side during my time there  and had a couple conference champions. A lot of that credit goes to the athletes and buying into what we were trying to do.  At Bluffton, I was also really proud that the teams were Academic All-American when I was there. … I am looking forward to doing the same thing here: Build a roster that needs some more athletes and start to see the same success here. I’m excited to work with the athletes we have. We have some young talent. I think we have the building blocks in place that if we can get a good recruiting class the next couple years to bring this program to the forefront.

What other thoughts do you have on the outlook for track and field and cross country at Spalding?

One of the biggest things that brought me here to Spalding was the potential moving forward with this school and this program. Now is a great time to get on board at Spalding. I think the university and the track and cross country programs are really going to see some big growth over the next years. I think we have the ability to be a regionally relevant program and a nationally relevant program. The athletes who are here now and the athletes who are going to come in the next few years are going to have the opportunity of helping build that. I’m just really excited for what the future holds.

Prospective student-athletes interested in learning more about the Spalding track and field and cross country programs may contact Coach Wells at [email protected]

Spalding University is spotlighting faculty, staff and student leaders every Friday during Black History Month, including, this week, volleyball coach Cheneta Robinson.  

In addition to her efforts in leading Spalding University to victories on the volleyball court, coach Cheneta Robinson has been an up-and-coming leader in increasing diversity in her sport and profession.

Robinson, who is in her third season at Spalding, has received multiple accolades and been selected for multiple programs that exist to support and enhance diversity in volleyball.

“The sport that I coach is not predominately played by Black athletes, so it’s always nice when I see more Black coaches in that sport because I think it encourages younger athletes who are Black or of color to participate and try and possibly even see themselves as a coach one day,” Robinson said. “It’s definitely rewarding, and there’s a sense of appreciation.”

Robinson was a 2019 recipient of the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Diversity Award, which created training and networking opportunities along with a trip to the AVCA’s national convention, and she is currently participating in the Pac-12 Conference’s Diversity Mentorship program, in which she has regular meetings with the volleyball and athletics staff of the University of Oregon.

Robinson, who was an All-American player at NCAA Division II Indianapolis and came to Spalding after serving as an assistant coach at Division I Evansville, said she never had a Black volleyball coach when she was a player.

Now that she has become a coach she hopes she and colleagues can “set a foundation” for increased diversity in the future.

MORE | Spalding Volleyball info at SpaldingAthletics.com | Coach Robinson’s bio | Roster | Schedule

“In my coaching generation, I’m sure there are more Black coaches – female and male – than there were before,” Robinson said, “and I’m hoping the generations to come (experience) that (increase) as well.”

Robinson, who also is an assistant coach for the high-level 18-and-under club team for KIVA (Kentucky Indiana Volleyball Academy), said that 2019 AVCA Diversity Award provided the opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with other award recipients and learn from coaching colleagues from across the country. She was one of 14 nationally to receive the award. In December 2020, she was part of a Diversity Development Team of coaches who presented at the AVCA Virtual Convention.

“You’re in this huge area (at the national convention) with people who have been doing this for years and years, and you just want to take it all in,” said Robinson, who also received a 2014 AVCA Minority Scholarship while she was a grad assistant at Virginia Commonwealth. “It’s even better when you can do it with a group of people who are in the same boat as you wanting to take it all in, too, plus knowing that you still have that network when it’s over.”

BLACK HISTORY MONTH | Feb. 5 Faculty Focus Friday Q&A – Dr. Teah Moore, Director Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Last fall, the Pac-12 Diversity Mentorship program was launched, providing Robinson with another opportunity for high-level professional development.  She was among six coaches selected as mentees to be paired with a coaching staff from the powerhouse Pac-12 for months of meetings about volleyball strategy, leadership, recruiting, athletic compliance and other topics. Robinson was assigned to coach Matt Ulmer’s Oregon staff, and she can call and bounce ideas off Ulmer and the Ducks anytime.

“I’m so excited about this,” Robinson said. “Every time I talk about it, I just get the biggest smile on my face. It’s just been amazing to have that opportunity. It’s just an opportunity to be exposed to this abundance of knowledge.”

Three years ago, Spalding gave Robinson the opportunity to take the next step in her career and enter the head-coaching ranks.

“It gave me the opportunity to explore what I wanted to do in coaching, which is to really build a program, and that’s what I’m doing,” she said.

Robinson has been a service-minded leader in Spalding’s athletic department. She is a coaching advisor for the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, which has participated in service projects around campus and the community, including a recent clothing drive that collected hundreds of articles of clothes that will be donated.

New season finally under way

Robinson is eager to finally have the Golden Eagles back on the court competing.

Spalding (0-1) will play host Eureka and Iowa Wesleyan Friday night in the second and third matches of a season that was postponed six months and cut in half due to the pandemic. Spalding will play a 14-match conference-only schedule before wrapping up the season in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament March 27-April 2.

“I think the players have been handling it well and have been very flexible, which is a great trait to have,” she said. “I think what they have taken away from it is just a gratitude to be able to do this. Some conferences canceled volleyball all together, so we are fortunate to be able to play.”

Spalding went 11-19 (9-9 SLIAC) last season, making a 10-victory improvement over the previous year, and the Golden Eagles, who were voted No. 4 in the preseason poll, will be looking to make additional strides this spring.

Spalding will rely on veterans Cassy Jones, Mya Summers, Sarah Richards and Samantha Robison, and the coach said any number of newcomers, including Kendall Mattison, Gianna Fondren, Maggie Purichia and Hannah Holland, could make an impact.

“Everybody is instrumental and important, and I hope we’re able to put it all together,” Robinson said.

It’s a been a long journey, but the season has finally arrived for the Spalding University women’s basketball team and first-year coach Kylee Gorby.

With the start of its season pushed back more than two months and its schedule shortened to 11 games due to the coronavirus pandemic, Spalding’s long wait to take the court will end at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Campbellsville University-Harrodsburg at Columbia Gym.

“Our team is definitely ecstatic to be able to play,” Gorby said. “I think that when you have something taken away from you unexpectedly and for an extended period of time, you grow a greater appreciation for it. There’s always an excitement for gameday every year, but I think it’s even amplified this year with the current circumstances.”

Tuesday’s game brings some normalcy to a season that has been uncommon at every turn for the 26-year-old head coach.

A former Asbury University standout player and Georgetown College assistant coach, Gorby was hired in April to replace retired Spalding career wins leader Charlie Just. Because Spalding’s campus was closed from mid-March until August, Gorby was unable to visit her office or the gym or meet her players in person until the end of the summer.

She got to know them over FaceTime calls and watched film of last season to learn about their basketball talent. She also got busy recruiting to fill out what was a nine-player roster.

Gorby took joy in the campus reopening in August, her first chance in four months to meet her players in person and watch them participate in open gyms and workouts. It’s been a lot of workouts and practices since, with games having been pushed back until the new calendar year.

RELATED: Spalding University Women’s Basketball on SpaldingAthletics.com
ROSTER | SCHEDULE | COACH GORBY BIO

The Golden Eagles have been practicing since October, so the group – now 14 players strong after adding two transfers – is familiar with each other and has had lots of time to learn Gorby’s system and improve as individuals.

“It’s kind of crazy because I feel like I’ve had this job for a (pretty lengthy) minute, but I haven’t actually as an assistant or a head coach coached a basketball game in a full year,” she said. “I’m just really grateful. I had no idea if we would have a season this year, so I’m just grateful amid the circumstances. Then, beyond that, I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to be a head coach. That is not something that everyone can say they’ve been able to do.”

Gorby continued: “I’m fortunate to have walked into a program and a group of players who have made this transition really easy. Considering the circumstances and the adversity we’ve faced – along with the rest of the country – they have been nothing but impressive with their maturity level and ability to bring it every day and be resilient. I’m just excited to watch them do their thing and take joy in their success.”

Gorby said she has inherited several promising players off a team that was the 2020 SLIAC runner-up.

Junior center and All-SLIAC first-team pick Hunter Wright, who averaged 14.1 points and 8.5 rebounds last season, is one of the top returning players in the conference. The 6-foot Wright,  who also made the SLIAC All-Defense team last year, “fundamentally changes the game when she’s on the court” with her shot-blocking and ability to stretch the floor on offense, Gorby said.

Additionally, Gorby said, she has given Wright the green light to take off and attack with the ball in transition after her defensive rebounds.

“Her versatility is limitless,” the coach said.

Other key juniors include guard Kailey Reed, who started 14 games last season; point guard Breanna Anthony, who started 11 of the 13 games she played in 2019-20 and is at full strength after injuries as an underclassman; and forward Amber Higdon.

Indiana University-Southeast transfer and Sacred Heart Academy alumna Natalie Fichter, who averaged 10.2 points last season for the Grenadiers, will be a key newcomer, and seniors Hannah Renfro and Kendyl Powell will provide leadership, Gorby said.

Spalding will have to overcome the absence of second-team All-SLIAC guard Maleah Hirn, who is recovering from a foot injury suffered last season.

Gorby said Just left the program in great shape and that she is eager to build on the winning tradition he established. Her goal is for Spalding to be the best NCAA Division III program in Kentucky, and she said the university’s presence in Louisville provides plenty of recruiting opportunities for the Golden Eagles to thrive.

They’ll get started against CU-Harrodsburg (1-6), which is a member of Division II of the National Christian College Athletic Association and the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.

CU-Harrodsburg will be Spalding’s only nonconference opponent.

The Golden Eagles will take another break before visiting Eureka on Feb. 20 to begin six weeks and 10 games of St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. All eight SLIAC schools competing in women’s basketball this year will qualify for the conference tournament. Due to the many challenges of the season, all NCAA Division III athletes will be able to retain this year of eligibility.

Their wait to get going will be over in a matter of hours as the 2020-21 season – now well past 2020 and well into ’21 – finally begins.

“I’m excited to be out there and competing and watching our girls have fun,” Gorby said. “Reflecting back on my playing days, I would have hated to endure this current situation as an athlete. I’m excited as a coach to see them go out and be enthusiastic and compete and work and have fun with it.”

 

Spalding University will join fellow members of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in postponing the seasons for men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball from fall 2020 to spring 2021. The SLIAC Presidents’ Council voted to approve the move as a safety measure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Men’s and women’s cross country and men’s and women’s golf will be allowed to have limited competitions during the fall of 2020 while following the directives of local, state and national health organizations, the SLIAC announced.

Spalding’s soccer and volleyball teams will be allowed to hold nontraditional seasons this fall while consistently following health and safety protocols. Nontraditional athletic activities may include individual and team skill instruction, practice, leadership development, strength training and scrimmages.

RELATED | FAQs regarding Fall 2020 sports at Spalding
MORE | SpaldingAthletics.com

“The safety of our student-athletes will always be our top priority,” Spalding President Tori Murden McClure said. “Moving soccer and volleyball season to the spring is a responsible step by the SLIAC to protect students while still giving them the chance months from now to participate in the competitions that they love and that are at the heart of the college experience for so many in Division III.”

Spalding Athletic Director Roger Burkman said, “The SLIAC’s decision to move soccer and volleyball to the spring is a positive solution that keeps our student-athletes safe, preserves their ability to have a season and gives our country more time to get this pandemic under control. Our soccer and volleyball players can use this fall as an opportunity to focus on academics while using the nontraditional fall season to stay safely engaged with their teams and developing as individual athletes.”

Specific details on rescheduled seasons, contests and championships will be discussed by the conference and announced at a later date. Winter sports schedules currently remain unchanged but will be evaluated as the conference approaches their respective start dates.

If not for the coronavirus pandemic that canceled spring sports around the country, the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament would be taking place this weekend, and there’s a good chance that Spalding University, which in mid-March was nationally ranked and on a long winning streak, would have been part of the four-team tournament.

The sudden shutdown of the Golden Eagles’ 2020 season nearly two month ago – which occurred just as they were arriving in Florida for a spring-break slate of games – was a jarring and difficult blow for a team with high hopes of earning an NCAA Division III Tournament bid, coach Matt Downs said. But Downs said he was proud of the leadership and maturity of his players in realizing that canceling the season was a necessary step for the safety of themselves and their families.

The dizzying sequence of news that led to the halting of all U.S. sports took place while the Spalding baseball team was traveling south to the Russmatt Central Florida Invitational. The Golden Eagles were on the second day of a 17-hour bus trip when word got out that Division I conference basketball tournaments were being canceled, followed by the cancellation of NCAA March Madness and all other winter and spring college championships. The NBA also suspended its season after a player tested positive for COVID-19.

“We had ESPN on the satellite TVs on the bus, and we were traveling across state lines as basically the whole sports world shut down before our eyes,” Downs said.

LEARN MORE | Visit SpaldingAthletics.com
FOLLOW | Spalding baseball team @SpaldingUBSB on Twitter

Spalding’s first game in Florida was called off when its opponent canceled its season. Soon after, Downs said Spalding’s seniors – pitcher Logan Koch, catcher Isaac Lineberry, outfielder Garrett Wilson, shortstop Eric Meyer – and juniors also elected to not play any other games that weekend once it became clear that there would be no postseason to play for and that participation in any additional regular-season games could pose a health risk.

“I thought that was really responsible of them,” Downs said. “I’m recently married and was thinking about home and family and big-picture stuff, but for them, as 20-, 21-, 22-year-olds to make a decision like that that was responsible even though it may have meant they never get to step on the field again, I really, truly commend them for that decision.”

The day before the team was set to make the long trip back to Louisville, NCAA Division III tweeted that spring student-athletes would be granted an additional year of eligibility if they’d like to use it.

Downs said the four seniors saw the D-III announcement before he did. When he visited their room that day to check in, he expected the seniors to be bummed out. Instead they were all upbeat.

“That put a new spring in their step and a new breath of fresh air in them,” Downs said. “The seniors and juniors saw it as an opportunity that this doesn’t have to be done. … They were fired up, and there was a renewed sense of joy.”

It provided consolation for a disappointing end to a promising season. Spalding entered the spring break trip to Orlando with momentum – an 11-3 record and an eight-game winning streak. The Golden Eagles had just kicked off conference competition by sweeping Principia in three games by a combined score of 38-7.

The Orlando games would have allowed them a chance to rack up a few resume-building nonconference wins. Then, Spalding would have returned to SLIAC play with a chance to make noise against Fontbonne and Webster.

“We had a lot of great things going for us,” Downs said.

As disappointing as it was, Downs is excited by the chance in 2021 to return some of the Golden Eagles’ talented seniors as grad students while also bringing in a strong recruiting class. The coach praised Spalding’s seniors for their leadership, practice habits and willingness to help younger teammates. It’ll be a long wait, but now there’s a chance to continue the momentum into next season.

“I think our story can be a little more hopeful and joyful,” Downs said. “… I think for a night we were kind of heartbroken, but then the NCAA stepped up and did the right thing, and the guys can see hope and opportunity.”

March 13, 2020

Dear Spalding Community,

Thank you for your understanding as we work together to navigate a fluid, unprecedented period for our country brought on by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

There remains no known positive case of COVID-19 on our campus, but we are doing part to help prevent the spread of the virus. We are preparing for the measures outlined in a campus-wide message that was distributed Wednesday evening: Spalding will move all face-to-face classes online, effective Monday, March 16, until April 5, and all on-campus residential students must leave the residence halls by noon Sunday, March 15.

Here is additional information and guidance on a range of topics:

TECHNOLOGY FORM

[UPDATED: As of Summer 2020, Spalding is no longer using the technology form it introduced in March of that year and is described in this section of this message. The link to it has been removed from this page, and students with technology needs and questions should contact [email protected]]

With the move to online classes coming, students will need regular access to a computer or tablet with a recent version of Windows or iOS, as well as Internet access.

Students who do not have a computer, tablet or other device, or who lack off-campus access to the Internet should fill out this short form to inform the university of their needs, so that arrangements can be made. Students who do have a computer and regular Internet access do not need to fill out this technology form. The software and programs needed to complete coursework will be provided.

The library will remain open at its regular hours so that students lacking technology or Internet access can use on-campus computers to complete their classes.

  • UPDATE: Spectrum is offering free broadband to k-12 and college students beginning March 16 for up to 60 days. To enroll in the service you can call 1-844-488-8395. The company says it will waive installation fees for student households.
  • AT&T is waiving overage fees for 60 days on wireless data plans and lifting caps for home broadband. https://about.att.com/pages/COVID-19.html
  • Spalding students can download Microsoft Office for free at https://portal.office.com using a Spalding login.

RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS
Students who live on campus must leave the residence halls by noon Sunday, March 15, and take with them only what they need to be away for three weeks. Those students may not return to the halls until at least April 4.

Students who have filled out the form from Residence Life requesting to stay in the residence halls during the hiatus should receive an answer March 13.

At this time, Spalding does not intend to issue refunds on housing or dining plans. We will review this in the weeks ahead.

Please contact Dean of Students Rick Hudson at [email protected] or 502 873-4488 with any questions or concerns.

CAMPUS DINING
Effective Monday, March 16 until April 5, the POD dining counter will remain open, but the College Street Café will be closed.

For the next week, the POD will operate on regular session break hours starting tomorrow, March 14:

Saturday-Sunday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Effective Monday, March 23, the POD will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hours will be:

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m.- 7 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

COUNSELING CENTER OPEN
The Spalding Counseling Center will stay open and continue serving students. Instead of coming to campus, students are asked to contact Counseling and Psychological Services Director Dr. Allison From-Tapp at [email protected] or (502) 873-4458 to discuss the best way to have your needs met. We understand that the global uncertainty regarding the coronavirus may be a source of anxiety, and the Counseling Center is available as a resource.

ATHLETICS AND EVENT CANCELLATIONS
The coronavirus outbreak has prompted Spalding to suspend all of its athletics activities, as well as cancel or postpone a long list of campus and university-sponsored events in the coming weeks. A list of affected events has been posted on Spalding’s Healthy Together – COVID-19 page, and on Spalding’s Facebook page. The list will be updated as needed. Email [email protected] if there is an event missing that should be added to the list.

Spalding’s Commencement ceremony is still on schedule for June 6, 2020 at Canaan Christian Church.

CLOSURE OF FITNESS CENTER AND DEREK SMITH GYM
Until at least April 5, the campus fitness center in the lower level of Columbia Gym and the basketball/volleyball court on the first floor will be closed for all students and employees.