Hollins Athletics Forms Partnership with Adidas

Hollins University Director of Athletics Myra Sims has announced a new collaboration between Hollins and Adidas in which the athletic shoe and clothing giant will become the official provider of uniforms, apparel, and equipment for Hollins Athletics.

The agreement was made in conjunction with Team Sports Outfitters, a full-service sporting goods store located in Bristol, Tennessee.

“We are excited to forge this partnership with Adidas and Team Sports Outfitters,” says Sims. “This generous agreement will provide our student-athletes and coaches with top-quality apparel and equipment.”

Volleyball team member Brie Faircloth ’21 was among the student-athletes who previewed the merchandise and equipment that would be coming Hollins’ way. “I am completely ecstatic about Hollins becoming an Adidas school,” she says. “Adidas is as recognized as any other athletic brand and I am proud to be representing it on the court.”

Sims believes the relationship between Hollins and Adidas will not only provide benefits to the university’s current competitors, but will also be seen as a positive step forward in the minds of future student-athletes. “Our association with the Adidas brand will certainly bring more visibility and credibility to Hollins Athletics. I feel certain that this will be a significant asset in attracting talented student-athletes to our teams.”

This fall, athletic teams at Hollins will begin sporting the Adidas brand as uniforms, travel wear, shoes, and equipment are gradually replaced. At the same time, Adidas-brand Hollins gear will be made available for purchase on the Hollins Athletics website.


Senior Student-Athlete Receives Major NCAA Scholarship

Hollins University senior and swimming standout Dani Raymond has been awarded the NCAA Women’s Enhancement Graduate Scholarship, which supports students enrolled in a sports-related program as a full-time graduate student.

Raymond, who plans to pursue a graduate degree in sports management beginning this fall at Virginia Commonwealth University, will receive a $7,500 nonrenewable scholarship for the 2018-19 academic year.

Raymond competed as a member of the Hollins swim team during each of her four years as an undergraduate and was the team’s primary distance swimmer. Highlights of her career include serving as team captain for two years and receiving the Bonnie Kestner Sportsmanship Award at the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Swim Championships. Outside the pool, she served as both a team representative and an officer with the Hollins Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and completed internships with the ODAC and the Hollins Sports Information office.

Raymond will graduate this May with a double major in English and communication studies, and participated in the university’s Batten Leadership Institute. Her academic accomplishments include earning Academic All-ODAC and VaSID Academic All-State citations. She is a Batten Scholar at Hollins and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Chi Sigma Alpha, and Lambda Pi Eta.

As a scholarship recipient, Raymond is invited to attend the 2018 NCAA Career in Sports Forum (CSF), which will take place at the NCAA National Office in Indianapolis, May 31 – June 3. The CSF brings together 200 selected student-athletes to learn about careers in sports with a primary focus on intercollegiate athletics. The educational event is designed to assist student-athletes in charting their careers in the business, giving them the opportunity to network and learn from current athletics professionals.

 


Hollins Names “Experienced, Successful, and Respected Leader” as Director of Athletics

Hollins University has appointed Myra Sims as the school’s new director of athletics. She will officially assume full-time oversight of the athletic department’s day-to-day operations in mid-May.

“I am pleased that Myra will be heading our athletic department and am excited that Hollins is able to have such an experienced, successful, and respected leader,” said Trish Hammer, the university’s vice president for academic affairs. “She’s the right person to take us into the future and guide Hollins Athletics to new heights.”

Sims comes to Hollins from Emory & Henry College, where she has been director of athletics since 2010. Sims led the strategic planning process at E&H that resulted in expanded and more competitive sports offerings, facility upgrades, and successful fundraising.

“It is a great honor to have been selected to lead the athletics program at Hollins University,” Sims said. “I was convinced during my interview that there is institutional commitment to having an athletics program where student-athletes feel empowered by competitive success on the field or court.  I am excited to begin work with President Pareena Lawrence and Vice President Hammer to help make the vision they have for athletics come to fruition.  I am especially excited to have the opportunity to work at a strong women’s college with a rich tradition of excellence in so many programs.  Hollins stands out in so many areas, and I am confident that athletics can become a stronger point of pride for the university.”

Sims is a graduate of the University of North Carolina – Asheville, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and was a member of several athletic teams. After graduation, she began her coaching career at her alma mater, serving as head volleyball coach and as an assistant women’s basketball coach. In the latter role, she was part of the UNC-Asheville team that won the NAIA National Championship in 1984.

In 1987, Sims moved to the NCAA Division III ranks and created and coached the women’s volleyball program at Atlanta’s Emory University. The following year she started the women’s basketball program at Emory and led the Eagles until 2003; highlights of her coaching tenure include two trips to the NCAA Division III National Tournament’s “Sweet 16” round.  Sims subsequently was Emory’s associate director of athletics and recreation and senior woman administrator before becoming senior associate director of athletics in 2007.

Sims has served on numerous committees in the NCAA and in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), and also served for two years as president of the National Association of Division III Athletics Administrators. She completed a master’s degree in recreation administration in 1997 at Georgia State University.

“While I am sad to leave Emory & Henry because of the relationships I have with coaches, students, colleagues, and alumni, I very much look forward to engaging with the community at Hollins,” Sims stated. “Success comes only when people are working together with common purpose, and I look forward to building connections and developing a strategic path forward with the help of Hollins students, athletics staff, alumnae, and administration.  I am excited to start learning the culture and traditions of the institution, and getting to know the community.”

Hollins recognizes intercollegiate athletics as an avenue for the empowerment of women. Hollins Athletics is dedicated to the pursuit of academic achievement and athletic excellence, and is committed to the overall success of the student-athlete. Hollins is an NCAA Division III school and is a member of the ODAC, competing in nine varsity sports: basketball, cross country, equestrian, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.

  


Swim Team Earns Scholar All-America Status

For the fifth consecutive semester, the Hollins University swim team has been named a Scholar All-America team by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America.

To earn the honor, teams must have earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the Fall 2017 semester. The Hollins swim team last fall boasted a 3.56 GPA, its highest ever.

Coach Patrick Richardson’s squad also has the distinction of holding the highest overall GPA among the college and university swim teams that compete in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

 

 

 


Willi Named Interim Athletic Director

Jean Willi, who served in a variety of roles in the athletics department at Bridgewater College, has been appointed interim director of athletics at Hollins.

Willi recently retired from Bridgewater and her accomplishments include 20 years as head coach of the women’s basketball team, where she amassed an overall record of 375-191 and led the Eagles to Old Dominion Athletic Conference championships in 1999 and 2008. In addition, she served the college as senior woman administrator, associate athletic director, deputy Title IX coordinator, student-athlete advisory committee chair, and in many other capacities.

“My exposure to so many different aspects of the day-to-day operations of an NCAA athletic department has prepared me for this opportunity and I am extremely humbled and honored that Hollins would reach out to me,” Willi said.

Patricia Hammer, Hollins’ vice president for academic affairs, stated, “I am excited about Jean taking the position and I am confident she will continue to move our athletics program forward.”


Hollins Captures Old Dominion Athletic Conference Equestrian Title

For the 21st time, the Hollins University riding team has won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championship.

Hollins topped five other schools during competition at the university’s Kirby Riding Ring on April 5 to earn its first conference title since 2013.

The quartet of riders representing Hollins at this year’s ODAC championship show included Randi Byrd ’18, Madi Hurley ’17, Madeleine Lohr ’19, and Allison Sherwood ’20. In addition to Hollins taking top team honors, Lohr earned her second consecutive All-ODAC designation and head coach Claudia Roland was named ODAC Coach of the Year for 2017.

 

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS

Champion — Hollins University                       17 points
Reserve Champion — Sweet Briar College       16 points
Third Place — Lynchburg College                     12 points
Fourth Place — Randolph College                       9 points
Fourth Place — Washington & Lee Univ.            9 points
Sixth Place — Bridgewater College                     3 points

 

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Hollins Riding Welcomes New Head Coach

Hollins University has announced that Claudia Roland will become the head coach of the school’s equestrian program in January 2017.

Roland comes to Hollins from Palm Beach, Florida, and brings more than three decades of hands-on experience as a horse trainer, riding instructor, national and international judge, and program director. From 1977 to 2004, she owned and operated Fox Hollow Farms in Atlanta. She designed the barn as well as training and competition courses at the facility. Roland also oversaw all horse and rider training and lessons, and led Fox Hollow Farms in showing extensively throughout the southeastern United States.

Subsequently, Roland served as head trainer for eight years at the Wellington Show Stables and Sunlight Saddle Club in Stuart, Florida, where she designed and managed horse shows and instructed students in proper riding skills, horse care, and competition preparation. Most recently she has worked as a freelance trainer and international judge, conducting private hunter/jumper horse and rider training, and traveling to various locations to provide adjudicating services.

“Claudia is an accomplished horsewoman and trainer, and has a wealth of knowledge in horsemanship, equitation, and hunters,” said Director of Riding Nancy Peterson. “She has guided some of the top riders to qualify at the highest levels of competition, including the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Medal Finals and the ASPCA Maclay Regionals. She has also coached the winners of the South Carolina Hunter/Jumper Association Governor’s Trophy, the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Junior Hunters and Children’s Hunters Championship, and the prestigious Bryan Trophy.”

Peterson noted that Roland is one of the premier horse show judges in America. “She has been an ‘R’ Level Judge with the USEF since 1994, and has judged major events such as the International Hunter Derby Championships, the United States Hunter Jumper Association Pre-Green Incentive Championships, and the WEF series in Wellington, Florida, just to name a few.

“What an honor to have such a valued and knowledgeable horsewoman join the award-winning coaching staff at the Hollins Riding Center.”

“Hollins is thrilled to welcome Claudia to our coaching staff,” added Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Hammer. “With her vast experience and expertise, we are certain Hollins’ equestrian program will continue to be one of the nation’s strongest.”

Hollins riders have captured 19 individual Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) national championships, four Fitch Trophy/Cacchione Cup Individual National High Point Rider championships, and numerous Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Rider of the Year awards. As a team, Hollins has won two national championships, qualified for IHSA Nationals 12 times, and won the ODAC championship 20 times.

 

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Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame Inducts Hollins Alumna

Julia Voorhees Emmons ’63, former executive director of the 10,000-member Atlanta Track Club and former director of the Peachtree Road Race, the world’s largest 10K, is among the five newest members of the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame.

Emmons; former Atlanta Falcons linebacker and five-time Pro Bowler Keith Brooking; Atlanta Hawks radio broadcaster Steve Holman; high school, college, and professional basketball coach Bob Reinhart; and cable network sports reporter Craig Sager will be officially inducted at a ceremony at Atlanta’s Buckhead Theater on February 17, 2017.

The Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame’s mission is to honor Atlanta sports heroes, remember great moments in Atlanta sports history, and preserve the past from which future generations can learn and take pride.

In her 22 years as head of the Atlanta Track Club, Emmons was very active on the national running scene. She served as chair of women’s long distance running for USA Track & Field from 1990-1996. She directed the men’s and women’s marathons and race walks for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and was on the U.S. women’s track and field team for the 2004 Athens Olympics as assistant coach for endurance events. In 2005, Emmons served as an assistant manager for the U.S. track and field team at the World Championships in Helsinki.

Emmons is one of the Distinguished Graduates that Hollins is showcasing during the university’s 175th anniversary celebration in 2016-17.


Hollins Soccer Shares a Holiday Treat with RAMS Students

In what has become an annual tradition, the Hollins University soccer team recently led an afternoon of learning and fun with students at the Roanoke Academy for Math and Science (RAMS).

Head Coach Robin Ramirez and team members taught the fundamentals of soccer and played the game with the youngsters. After sharing a snack, players read to the students as part of their “Fun Friday.”

A statement on the RAMS webpage noted, “The willingness of [the] Hollins University soccer team, head coach, and RAMS staff to make this a reality is rewarding and inspiring for all those involved. We at Roanoke Academy for Math and Science truly appreciate the women’s team [taking] time to spend with our children. To connect with them in a variety of settings is a testament to [their] ability to become a source of inspiration and serve as role models.”

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Hollins Alumna Among the Most Influential Women in Tampa Bay Sports

Tampa Bay Downs President and Treasurer Stella Thayer ’62 has been named one of the most influential women in Tampa Bay sports by the Tampa Bay Times.

Thayer, who began riding horses when she was five years old, has been involved with Tampa Bay Downs for more than 50 years. In 1986 she outbid New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to purchase the horse racing facility. “Soon after,” the Times reports, “Thayer named controller Lorraine M. King as Tampa Bay Downs’ general manager. It marked the first time in turf history a thoroughbred track had separate female ownership and management.”

The Times adds, “Thayer has been a pioneer for bay area women in the business world, too. She was the first woman to preside over the Tampa Chamber of Commerce and has served on a number of boards.”

Read more about Thayer’s remarkable career here.