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.”



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.


Byrd Advances to IHSA Nationals

Elizabeth “Randi” Byrd ’18 is heading to the 2016 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championships after an outstanding performance at the Zone 4 Regional Championships on Saturday, April 9.

Byrd won the Intermediate Equitation on the Flat title at the zonal competition, hosted by the University of Mary Washington at Hazelwild Farm in Fredericksburg. She was one of two Hollins riders who participated in the event: Jessica Michael ’17 captured fifth place in her division, Walk Trot Canter.

The IHSA Nationals take place May 5 – 8 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

Photo: Joined by Hollins Riding Head Coach Sandy Gerald, Randi Byrd ’18 displays her Zone 4 championship ribbon.

Hollins Riders Earn Regional Berths

A pair of Hollins riders are moving on to regional competition as the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) “postseason” gets under way.

Randi Byrd ’18 and Jessica Michael ’17 have earned spots in the Zone 4 Championship Show after strong showings during the IHSA event at Randolph College on March 19. Byrd finished atop the final standings in Intermediate Flat, while Michael was Reserve Champion in Walk, Trot, Canter. Hollins just missed sending a third rider to the Zonal Championships when Sara Baygents ’16 captured fifth in Novice Fences at the event.

Byrd and Michael will look to qualify for IHSA Nationals when they compete at the University of Mary Washington on April 9.

Gerald Named to Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame

L.M. “Sandy” Gerald, head coach of the Hollins University riding team, has been inducted into the Roanoke Valley Horse Show (RVHS) Hall of Fame.

Gerald served as hunter/jumper manager for the RVHS from 2009 – 2014.

According to Lorrie McCloskey, a director of the Roanoke Valley Horseman’s Association (which sponsors the RVHS), Gerald “went way above and beyond in his dedication to making the show a success each year he served as manager. He shared his many talents and trademark positive attitude, and definitely went outside the parameters of the usual duties of a horse show manager.”

McCloskey noted that even though Gerald is no longer the horse show’s hunter/jumper manager, he continues to work with the RVHS as the organization seeks to hold an event in 2016.

“His commitment to the past and future success of the Roanoke Valley Horse Show is unparalleled. He is one of the most universally loved members of the horse show team, and a most deserving member of the Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame.”

Gerald is a seven-time Old Dominion Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association Hall of Fame in 2006.

Hollins Lacrosse Among IWLCA Division III Academic Honor Squads

The Hollins University lacrosse team is one of 129 colleges and universities from across the nation, and one of six Old Dominion Athletic Conference member schools, that have been cited as Division III Academic Honor Squads for the 2015 season.

Schools with a team GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible for Academic Squad recognition. Division I, II, III, and NAIA schools that earn this designation are announced annually by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA).

Hollins Lacrosse’s 2016 schedule kicks off  February 27 with a match at the University of the District of Columbia.

Hollins Welcomes New Basketball Coach

Following an extensive, nationwide search, Hollins University Athletic Director Bill Mannino has named Jenny Logan as the school’s new head basketball coach.

“I am thrilled to become a member of the Hollins community and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the growth of our student-athletes,” Logan said. “I am looking forward to continuing to develop the basketball program into a strong contender in the very competitive Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).”

Most recently, Logan was the assistant basketball coach at Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh, New York. She is no stranger to the ODAC: For four years, the Shenandoah Valley native played for the Bridgewater College basketball team. During a stellar senior season, she was team captain and starting point guard, and received All-ODAC honors after averaging nine points, five rebounds, and over three assists per game. After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in health and exercise science at Bridgewater, she went on to complete her Master’s degree in educational leadership at another ODAC member school, Lynchburg College, where she served as assistant basketball coach.

For the past six years, Logan has coached and mentored young basketball players from all over the country as an instructor for Point Guard College Basketball, a nationally recognized basketball camp.

“It is my firm belief that Jenny will be a perfect fit for Hollins,” said Mannino. “I am so impressed with her competitiveness, work ethic, and winning attitude. She will bring to Hollins Basketball the same tenacity and leadership that she showed as an all-conference player.”

“With her experience as a player and a coach, I have the utmost confidence in Jenny leading our program forward,” added Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Hammer. “This is an exciting time for Hollins Athletics.”

Logan officially begins her coaching duties on August 17.



New Athletic Director Is a Familiar Face

Hollins University Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Hammer has announced that Bill Mannino is the school’s new athletic director.

During the 2014-15 academic year, Mannino served as acting athletic director and chair of the physical education department at Hollins. He has been a member of the Hollins athletic department since becoming head golf coach in 2007. In addition to leading the golf program, he has been a physical education instructor, faculty representative to the Student Athlete Advisory Council, and chair of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference women’s golf coaches.

“Bill is the the leader that this very talented team needs and we are very excited about the vision he brings to athletics,” Hammer said. “His work last year was extraordinary as we made progress in many areas. We are grateful that after careful consideration, he has now accepted the AD position on a permanent basis. With his knowledge and expertise, and working in close collaboration with our coaches and staff, I have every confidence that Bill will guide Hollins Athletics to continued success.”

Mannino began overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Hollins athletic department in July 2014. During his term as acting athletic director, the department made three new hires, numerous facility improvements, and an overall upgrade of games management for home events.

“I look forward to leading such an outstanding staff and working in conjunction with senior administration to help our athletic programs move forward,” Mannino said. “I feel that if we can continue the momentum that we established last year, we have a great opportunity to improve the student-athlete experience and produce teams that our fans can really get behind in terms of support and give our alumnae pride in their alma mater.”

Mannino graduated from Temple University in 1997 after a distinguished collegiate golfing career and went on to compete as a professional. He returned to his alma mater to serve as head golf coach from 2001 – 2004. Since becoming golf coach at Hollins, he has led a pair of golfers to the NCAA national tournament and seen three golfers earn All American Scholar status.