Saturday, February 24, 2007

Basketball Scheduling

I have received a few questions about our basketball scheduling philosophy and the A10 scheduling rules/ guidelines. There will be some decisions made at the athletic directors' meeting at the A10 tournament in March. So...the best thing is probably to wait until after that meeting and I will try to answer scheduling questions and post information from the meeting after the tournament. Thanks for your interest.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Recently I heard a comment that the Spiders don't play enough of the other men's basketball teams in the state. Criticism, when based on reality rather than perception, is often helpful. But in this case, the facts just don't support the criticism.

Here is a list of the Division 1 men's basketball programs in the state of Virginia and the number of other Division 1 in-state Universities they play this year...

1. Richmond- 7 [VT, ODU, VCU, W&M, VMI, Rad, Long]
1. VCU- 7 [Richmond, Long, HU, JMU, W&M, ODU, GMU]
3. ODU- 6 [Richmond, VT, GMU, VCU, W&M, VCU]
3. W&M- 6 [Richmond, Hampton, GMU, VCU, ODU, JMU]
3. Hampton- 6 [VCU, GMU, Norf St., UVa, W&M, Long]
3. GMU- 6 [Hampton, Radford, W&M, VCU, ODU, JMU]
7. JMU- 5 [VMI, ODU, VCU, GMU, W&M]
8. VMI- 4 [Richmond, JMU, Radford, Liberty]
8. Radford- 4 [Richmond, GMU, Liberty, VMI]
10. Liberty- 3 [Richmond, Radford, VMI]
10. UVa- 3 [VT, Hampton, Longwood]
10. VT- 3 [Richmond, UVa, ODU]
13. Norfolk St- 2 [Longwood, Hampton]

As you can school in the state played more in-state opponents than the Spiders!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Man It Was Cold

You may not recognize our women's lacrosse players in this picture, but this is the team preparing for their snorkeling adventure during their recent trip to Australia. You can read about their trip on the team's site on our webpage [].

As you may know, our nationally ranked lacrosse team opened their season this afternoon at Longwood. Celia and I made the trip to Farmville and I have two thoughts...

1. Our team is pretty good!!

2. It was COLD!!!!! The high temperature was in the 30's and the wind chill had to be in the teens...great for sitting by the fire at home, but a little chilly to be outside watching a game. was a great opener to the should get out and watch the team play. Women's lacrosse is much like basketball in its schemes and strategies. We have been in the NCAA turny the last 2 years and should be back again this year

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Baseball Season Starts Tomorrow

Spider baseball starts tomorrow at The Citadel Shootout in Charleston, SC. Head coach Ron Atkins, retiring after this season – his 23rd – was inducted into our Hall of Fame this winter. He’s the school’s all-time winningest coach. Associate Head Coach Mark McQueen will take over as head coach next season. Mark returns as pitching coach this year, a role he had with Coach Atkins from 1989-2000.

The Spiders play The Citadel Bulldogs Friday at 4 p.m. with junior righthander Alex Hale on the mound. He’s a converted catcher who’s become the number one starter.

If the season opener isn’t enough to get your attention, then Saturday’s game against South Carolina will be. The Gamecocks are 3-0 and ranked number one in the nation. Ray Tanner, the South Carolina head coach, is a good friend from my NC State days. AFTER Saturday, I hope he wins a bunch of games this year and we get to play him again in the College World Series. The tournament concludes Sunday when the Spiders play Liberty.

From what I’m hearing, look for talented freshman lefty pitcher Matt Zielinski to make an immediate impact. He’ll probably see the mound at some point this weekend, and might be the starter for the Spiders home opener next Wed. Feb 21 against VMI at Pitt Field.

Offensively, look for big things from junior first baseman Joe Mahoney and seniors Matt McKenna, Andrew Justice and Vince Riggi.

I know baseball fans are getting excited because spring training camps are opening for pitchers and catchers. But for our Spider baseball team, it starts for real this weekend.

Friday, February 2, 2007


I hope you have had a chance to see the 2007 football schedule that was recently posted on our main web site [].

As is usually the case, there are a couple of interesting aspects to the schedule that raise questions. I thought I would address some of the more obvious ones:

2/5 UPDATE: Spiderfan asked about the rumors that Vanderbilt was going to play Michigan instead of the Spiders on 9/1. I received a call from Vandy administrators last week assuring me that the rumors were not accurate and that the Commodores will be honoring the contract and play the Spiders, not Michigan.

1. Division 1-A [Bowl Subdivision] game- We are scheduled to play one 1-A game each year thru 2011. We like playing these games for three reasons: a. $$, we do receive a payment that is important to our athletic department revenue; b. our football student-athletes enjoy the challenge; c. it provides an important level of exposure for our fb program. You may be interested to know we have elected to compete against schools that we consider appropriate opponents, like Duke, Virginia and Vanderbilt.

2. Early Away Games- Yes, 4 of our first 5 games are on the road is not the best, but that is the way the schedule fell this year. Obviously, the Vanderbilt game is on the road. We are playing a Patriot League team during the next few years...we played Bucknell at home last year and we are returning the game this year.

3. VMI- We would like to play VMI every year. It is a great, traditional rivalry... especially due to VMI's high concentration of alumni in the Richmond area. We have a contract with VMI thru 2012, but VMI asked not to play us in '07 and '10. If it was up to me, the Richmond-VMI game would be played every year.

If you have additional questions or comments about our 2007 football schedule or other matters, be sure to click on the comments link and let me hear from you.