Sports updates July 2010

Duncan named head baseball coach

Steve Duncan, former assistant coach at Johns Hopkins University, has been named head WUSTL baseball coach. Duncan is the 12th baseball coach in program history. He replaces Ric Lessmann, who retired May 25 after serving as head coach for 17 seasons.

Duncan coached at Johns Hopkins University the past three seasons. The Blue Jays posted an overall record of 114-31 during Duncan’s stint, including three Centennial Conference championships, two regional titles and two trips to the NCAA Division III College World Series. In his three seasons at Johns Hopkins, Duncan worked with the pitchers, outfielders, first basemen and catchers, as well as serving as the junior varsity head coach.

“I am thrilled to join the Washington University family and work along side the other great coaches in the department. I am truly grateful for John Schael having confidence in me to lead the baseball program,” said Duncan. “Coach Lessmann did a great job continuing the Washington University baseball tradition, and I look forward to taking it to the next level.

Ryback named head crew coach

Director of athletics John Schael named Rudy Ryback as head coach of the men’s and women’s club crew teams. Ryback spent the past four seasons as an assistant under Cameron Carter, who resigned after leading the Bears the past 15 seasons.

In his previous capacity, Ryback was responsible for teaching, training and racing novice crews as well as assisting in the instruction of the varsity crews. During his tenure with the program, the Bears won the point’s trophy in the University Rowing Association Championships three out of the last four years.

A native of St. Louis, Ryback’s rowing experience includes four years as a collegiate oarsman at the University of Colorado at Boulder (2001-05) and three years as a junior rower and sculler with the St. Louis Rowing Club (1998-2000) in addition to having attended several U.S. Rowing camps at the Riverside Boat Club. Ryback received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and psychology from Colorado in 2005, and is pursuing a master’s degree in sports management at Missouri Baptist University.

The WUSTL club crew team was founded in 1985 as a group to provide Washington University students the opportunity to row or learn to row at a competitive collegiate level. The goals of the crew team are to increase the presence of the sport on campus, increase the skill level of all participants, represent WUSTL at the highest level in competition and create a fun and social environment.

Watts named All-star

May graduate John Watts, NCAA Division III men’s tennis singles champion, has been named to the 2010 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Collegiate All-Star Team.

Watts is the first national champion in WUSTL men’s tennis history. He also earned 2010 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division III national senior player of the year honors.

Watts concludes his career as the most decorated student-athlete in WUSTL men’s tennis history, posting a career record of 238-43. He owns a school-record mark of 133-21 in singles and 105-22 in doubles.

WUSTL finishes third in Director’s Cup standings

Washington University finished third in the 2009-10 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Division III standings, as announced June 23 by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

The third-place finish is the second-highest in school history and the Bears’ eighth-straight top-10 appearance: 2008-09 (fourth), 2007-08 (second), 2006-07 (fifth), 2005-06 (seventh), 2004-05 (third), 2003-04 (ninth), 2002-03 (fifth).

WUSTL, which was third after the fall and winter standings, accumulated 858.50 points, the second-highest total in school history. The Bears registered a school-record 899 points after their second-place finish in 2007-08.

Williams College won its 14th-straight title with 1,292.25 points. Amherst College (905.75 points), WUSTL (858.50 points), Middlebury College (751 points) and Illinois Wesleyan University (704.25 points) rounded out the top five.

In 2009-10, WUSTL won two national championships and had 15 teams compete in NCAA tournament action. The Bears captured a Division III-record 10th national championship in volleyball last fall, while the women’s basketball team won its Division III-record fifth national championship in March. WUSTL also won six University Athletic Association titles.

The Bears had eight overall top-10 finishes in 2009-10: volleyball (first), women’s basketball (first), women’s soccer (second), men’s tennis (fourth), men’s cross country (seventh), women’s tennis (ninth), men’s swimming and diving (10th) and women’s cross country (10th).

The Bears also placed 17th in men’s basketball and softball, 19th in women’s golf, 23rd in women’s swimming and diving, 43rd in men’s indoor track and field, 67th in women’s outdoor track and field and 74th in men’s outdoor track and field.

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