Spring Hill College Magazine
Athletics Retains Provisional NCAA Membership Status
On Sept. 8, 2017, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) notified President Christopher P. Puto, PhD ‘64, that Spring Hill College has been granted an additional year within the provisional period during the 2017-18 academic year. Spring Hill will thus continue its status as a Provisional Member of NCAA Division II for another year as the College works to complete its membership transition.
“Gaining full Division II membership – our ultimate goal – will be the culmination of years of outstanding work by coaches, administration and campus-wide colleagues on behalf of our student-athletes,” said Puto. “Because of their diligent work, our student-athletes and the SHC community as a whole are now positioned for an exceptional intercollegiate athletic experience for decades to come.”
The Provisional Membership year is the third and final year of the NCAA candidacy process. During the 2017-18 academic year, the 16 Spring Hill College varsity athletic programs making the Division II transition will continue to play full slates of Division II conference and non-conference regular season competition, but will remain ineligible for NCAA or conference post-season competition.
“I am very happy for our student-athletes and athletic staff who have worked diligently over the last four years of our membership transition,” said Director of Athletics Jim Hall. “We are thrilled to be given the opportunity to finish what we started and continue the positive momentum our transition to the NCAA has generated.”
The College will undergo a Compliance Blueprint Review conducted by the NCAA during the fall of 2017 and will submit an annual membership report to the Division II Membership Committee prior to June 1, 2018. The Membership Committee will review the annual report along with the results of the compliance review and then vote on whether to advance Spring Hill to active membership status for the 2018-19 academic year. Active status signals the completion of Spring Hill’s membership transition process and would allow The Badgers to begin participating in conference and NCAA post-season competition.
Sims Inducted into ALABCA Hall of Fame
In December, the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association (ALABCA) inducted Baseball Head Coach Frank Sims into the ALABCA Hall of Fame at its annual banquet in Birmingham.
“It’s really both an exciting and humbling thing to have happen to you,” said Sims upon hearing of his selection. “When you get into coaching you don’t set a goal of being in a Hall of Fame. You just want to work with the players and try to win as many games as you can, so while it’s nice to be recognized it’s really more about the young men who have played the game. They are ones who have to go out and do the things on and off the field that it takes to win.
“I’m so proud of the accomplishments we’ve had at Spring Hill, and we’ve come a long way since 1985,” said Sims. “I want to thank Spring Hill College and everyone who has been a part of this program.”
Sims became the head coach of the Badgers with just three weeks remaining in the 1985 season and has since won 851 games. Over his 36 years as a collegiate head coach, he has accumulated 887 total victories. Sims holds the record for most career victories at Spring Hill and his tenure with SHC includes 24 20-win seasons, six 30-win seasons, two 40-win seasons and four conference championships. Spring Hill appeared in the NAIA Regional Tournament four times in his reign and Sims has been honored as a Conference Coach of the Year on five occasions with the latest time being the 2014 Independent Collegiate Athletic Association (ICAA) honor in NCAA Division II.
During Spring Hill’s 2015 NCAA Division II transition season, the Badgers rang up a perfect 16-0 mark in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and a 26-14 record overall. In 2017, the Badgers topped the SIAC for the third consecutive year with a 17-4 conference record.
Paesano Chosen to Head Badger Cheer, Dance
In April, Director of Athletics Jim Hall announced the hiring of Alyssa Paesano as the school’s Head Coach for Cheer and Dance.
“I am honored and thrilled to accept the position of head cheer and dance coach at Spring Hill College,” Paesano said. “I look forward to becoming a part of the Spring Hill family, getting to know the members of the spirit program and ultimately continuing to build a strong and reputable program that the student body, staff and community will all be proud of. I would like to thank all the staff who have taken the time to talk with me and have been so kind and helpful throughout this process, especially Jim Hall and President Puto.”
Paesano coached with the Marist College Red Foxes in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 2016 and has coached at the youth level with the North Salem Youth Rec Team in 2006-11 and Take One Cheerleading Academy in 2007-10.
An American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) Certified coach, Paesano holds a degree in Design and Technical Theatre with a minor in Business Fundamentals from the University of Connecticut.
3rd Annual Arthur R. Outlaw Memorial Golf Classic
On Friday, Sept. 22, the Spring Hill College Department of Athletics celebrated the 3rd annual Arthur R. Outlaw Memorial Golf Classic at the Spring Hill Golf Course with 16 teams battling for the crown while raising over $8,000 to benefit the SHC Athletic Department.
The BB&T Bank team took first place overall in the tournament with a final score of 55 (17 under par) and the Dollar General Bowl team finished second with a 13-under score of 59. In the Second Flight, Team C-Spire finished first and Team Jesuitlit was the runner-up.
Participants included Spring Hill College President Christopher P. Puto, PhD ‘64, and Director of Athletics Jim Hall as well as Badger head coaches Frank Sims, Aaron Niven, Ben Hoefs and Peggy Martin.
“We had another great turnout this year for our golf event,” said Hall. “This event provides the funding for our end of the year Varsity Awards Banquet and the graduating senior student-athlete stoles worn at graduation. I want to thank all of the participants for helping us enhance our student-athletes’ experience.”