2010-11 Ole Miss Athletics Annual Report
DEPARTMENT OF INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS
Pete Boone, Director
The mission of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is to produce successful student-athletes and competitive athletic teams by recruiting qualified student-athletes, coaches, and staff from diverse backgrounds and by providing equal opportunities regardless of ethnicity or gender. The department prepares student-athletes to be productive members of society by assisting in their development of academic, social, and leadership skills within an environment which fosters integrity and sportsmanship along with emotional, physical, and mental well being.
Operating within the principles of sound fiscal management, the department sponsors athletic teams to promote enthusiasm, financial support, cohesiveness, and loyalty within the University community. Demonstrating leadership in all decisions which impact the University, the Southeastern Conference, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the department conducts itself in an ethical and honest manner.
The Department is under the guidance of Pete Boone, who became Athletics Director on June 1, 2002. It is Boone's second stint as Athletics Director at Ole Miss, having previously served in the position from 1995 to 1998, and currently works with a consolidated budget of more than $50 million.
Over the past 13 years, Ole Miss has experienced continued growth, from adding sports to in excess of $140 million in athletics improvements. Construction has begun for a $3 million renovation of the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center, site of many men’s and women’s NCAA Regionals and host of the 2012 Women’s SEC Tournament. Athletics is also in the final stages of launching a capital campaign that includes plans for a new arena, a north end zone expansion of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and other projects.
Under Boone’s watch, the athletics department remains committed to young men and women student-athletes and their parents, promising to provide a positive environment of support to help them achieve their maximum potential in their academic and athletic pursuits. The FedEx Student-Athlete Academic Support Center’s front-line technology and classroom environment provide Ole Miss student-athletes one of the best learning environments in the country. Due to the strength of the academic support group, Ole Miss student-athletes have been given every opportunity to maintain academic progress and have graduated at a higher rate than the general student population.
The 2010-11 Ole Miss athletics season enjoyed countless postseason appearances and award-winning performances, making it a remarkable year for the Rebels. A total of eight Ole Miss squads advanced to postseason play, with seven teams earning NCAA Championship bids. Those were men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field and volleyball.
Some of the most memorable moments from 2010-11 included Coach Joe Getzin’s volleyball Rebels making their third NCAA Tournament berth in the last five years and five track athletes capturing SEC titles, including Barnabas Kirui winning the Cross Country Championship for the third time in his career.
It was a year that bolstered Ole Miss' All-American tradition, with 16 Rebels earning the distinction across all sports. Regina Thomas became the volleyball program’s first All-American, while Marcel Thiemann garnered All-America honors for the second year in a row and led the men’s tennis team to its 18th consecutive NCAA Tournament.
Twenty-eight Rebels were named to all-conference squads in 2010-11. Jonathan Randolph received All-SEC honors for the second year in a row and headed a golf squad that made a fifth straight postseason run. Kirui was named SEC Cross Country Athlete of the Year for a third time, and the softball team received the SEC Sportsmanship Award.
Seven Rebels were selected in professional drafts in five different sports. Jerrell Powe was a sixth-round choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL Draft, while six Diamond Rebels were picked in the MLB Draft.
Not only were Ole Miss student-athletes successful on the competition fields, but they also excelled in the classroom in 2010-11. An impressive 135 Ole Miss student-athletes were recognized on SEC Academic Honor Rolls, and 26 also received national academic honors. Among them was standout track hurdler Lee Ellis Moore, who became a three-time Academic All-American and was named SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year. More than 50 Ole Miss student-athletes earned their degree during the 2010-11 academic year.
Ole Miss also posted strong scores in the annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) reports. Both the women's golf and softball teams had perfect APR scores and were recognized publically as two of the top academic programs in the nation.
The 2011 baseball team posted a 30-win season for the 14th consecutive season after finishing the year with a 30-25 mark. Among the high points of the season came with a series win over top-ranked South Carolina, as the Rebels became the only team to win a weekend series over the two-time national champions in the 2011 campaign.
Sophomore second baseman Alex Yarbrough earned All-SEC second team honors for the Rebels as he hit .350 on the season to lead the Ole Miss offense. Yarbrough was one of four Rebels to hit over the .300 mark as Tanner Mathis, Matt Smith and Matt Snyder all turned in solid seasons.
Ole Miss saw six players get drafted in the 2011 MLB Draft, led by seventh-round pick David Goforth and including eighth-round pick Austin Wright, 12th-round pick Miles Hamblin, 20th-round picks Matt Crouse and Matt Tracy and 44th-round pick Snyder.
Led by seniors Chris Warren and Zach Graham, the 2010-11 Rebels earned the program’s fourth postseason appearance and fourth 20-win campaign in the last five seasons. Andy Kennedy’s squad posted a 20-14 overall record and played California in the first round of the NIT. Kennedy is the first coach to lead Ole Miss to four 20-win seasons and the second to direct the team to four postseason berths.
Among the Rebels’ 20 victories in 2010-11 was a thrilling 71-69 upset of No. 10 Kentucky, the first win over a top-10 team since 2002. In that game, Warren drained a deep 3-pointer in the final three seconds to grab a big win and national headlines.
Warren earned first team All-SEC honors from the AP and coaches, becoming the first Rebel to do so since 2004. He ranked second in the SEC with 19.1 points per game and led all NCAA players with a school and SEC record 92.8 free throw percentage. Warren became the fourth player in league history with 2,000 points and 400 assists, joining LSU’s Pete Maravich, Tennessee’s Allan Houston and Georgia’s Litterial Green. Senior teammate Zach Graham averaged 14.2 points per game and also finished his career as a 1,000-point scorer (1,274). Sophomore Reginald Buckner was tabbed to the SEC All-Defensive team after breaking his own school record with 95 blocked shots.
With a young squad that featured nine underclassmen including five true freshmen, head coach Renee Ladner led Ole Miss to impressive wins away against No. 23 Arkansas, Gonzaga, Illinois, Florida and Vanderbilt in 2010-11. The team finished the year 10-19 overall and 3-13 in SEC play.
During the year, senior Kayla Melson and freshman Valencia McFarland each earned postseason honors from the SEC. Melson was named to the All-SEC Second Team while McFarland was chosen to the SEC All-Freshman Team. Freshman Pa’Sonna Hope was named SEC Freshman of the Week in December. Melson was also a finalist for the Cellular South Gillom Trophy, presented annually to the top female basketball player in the state of Mississippi. In addition, Melson and McFarland ended the year ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in several categories including scoring, minutes played and assists.
Ole Miss saw its streak of consecutive bowl appearances end as the Rebels finished with a 4-8 record in 2010. The team picked up a road win at Tulane and was victorious at home against Fresno State, Kentucky and Louisiana Lafayette. Three of the setbacks were by eight points or less.
Offensively, the Rebels continued their dominant rushing attack under Coach Houston Nutt, ranking third in the league with a 207.6-yard average. All-SEC running back Brandon Bolden tied the school record for touchdowns scored (17) and rushing TDs (14) while running behind a young offensive line that also led the conference in fewest sacks allowed. In addition, quarterback Jeremiah Masoli established a school record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 544 while passing for 2,039 yards and 14 TDs.
On special teams, All-American punter Tyler Campbell became the school’s 20th NCAA Statistical Champion with a 46.37-yard punting average. Freshmen Jeff Scott also ranked No. 20 in the nation and third in the SEC in kick return average at 27.7 yards per return. Long snapper Wesley Phillips had an error-free season on the field and earned countless academic honors off it, including the Taylor Medal, which is the highest academic honor a student can receive at the University of Mississippi.
Following the season, Nutt upgraded strengthened his staff in an impressive way, adding David Lee from the Miami Dolphins as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, Gunter Brewer from Oklahoma State as wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator and Keith Burns from K-State as secondary coach. Ole Miss' newfound momentum carried over into recruiting and resulted in the most impressive signing class in the history of the state. Mississippi's top five prospects and eight of the top 12 signed with the Red and Blue. The class featured a total of 10 prep All-Americans, including a school-record four U.S. Army All-Americans.
The men’s golf team earned its fifth straight bid to the NCAA Championships under head coach Ernest Ross, participating in the NCAA East Regional in Blacksburg, Va.
Mississippi native Jonathan Randolph closed out an outstanding career earning PING All-Southeast Region honors for the third year in a row and All-SEC second team honors. Randolph led the team with a 71.77 stroke average. A winner three times in his career, Randolph etched his named in the Ole Miss record books posting four more top-five and six additional top-10s in 2011 to place him third all-time in both categories.
Junior Joe David, who finished second on the team with a 72.31 stroke average, earned a top-10 finish at the NCAA East Regional, making it the third year in a row for a Rebel to post a top-10 showing at NCAA Regionals.
Off the course, Chad Bounds and Tom Brown were named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, while Kyle Kmiecik made the SEC Freshman Honor Roll.
Under fourth-year head coach Michele Drinkard, the women’s golf team received their third consecutive NCAA bid and seventh overall, earning a trip to the NCAA East Regional in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The Rebels posted four top-five finishes in 2011 including a runner-up showing at the Cougar Classic. Junior Natalie Gleadall won her first collegiate title and the second in three years for the Rebels, when she captured the Cougar Classic. She also finished runner-up at the Mercedes Benz Championship on her way to three top-five and four top-10 finishes. Gleadall led the team with a 73.87 stroke average.
Off the course, Ashley Lance, Haley Millsap, Kathryn Fowler and Christina Miller were named to the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-American Scholar Team. Jillian Brodd and Haley Sanders joined Fowler, Lance and Millsap on the SEC Academic Honor Roll, while Miller made the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll.
The Ole Miss rifle team won an NCAA Qualifier in 2011 and set a school record with a team match score of 4654 under head coach Valerie Boothe, who also earned Great America Rifle Conference Coach of the Year honors. Kim Coffey, who led the team with a 585 average in the air rifle, was named the team's Most Improved Shooter.
Freshmen Abbey Stanec earned Rookie of the Year honors and Melissa Quartarone was named the Scholar-Athlete. Fellow freshman Rena Goodwin took home the team's Most Dedicated Award and earned the Iron Gun Award for her work in strength and conditioning.
Ole Miss once again hosted the Great American Rifle Conference Championships, and freshman MaryAnn Banks won the High Prone Shooter at the conference meet. In the classroom, Coffey, Emma Holman, Meredith Holman, Keely Stankey and Colleen Tillson were all named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, while Banks, Godwin, Quartarone and Stanec were named to the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll.
During his first season with the Rebels, head coach Matt Mott led his program to a 7-9-4 overall record and a 3-5-3 mark in SEC play.
During the season, Mott's team knocked off No. 25 Auburn on the road, 2-1, and recorded a scoreless double overtime tie against No. 18 Georgia. Freshman keeper Sarah Story set program records for saves in a game with 17 against Georgia and saves in a season with 109.
Alix Hildal and Mandy McCalla was named to the All-SEC Second Team and SEC All-Freshman Team, respectively, while Dylan Jordan (CoSIDA ESPN Academic All-District First Team) and Taylor Cunningham (SEC Community Service Team) earned recognition for their accomplishments off the field. In addition, three players also garnered weekly player of the week honors from the SEC (Jordan, Story and Hildal).
The Ole Miss softball team closed the 2011 season with a 14-39 record in head coach Missy Dickerson’s final season. Freshman RT Catillo led Ole Miss at the plate with a .315 batting average and 10 doubles en route to SEC All-Freshmen Team honors, while fellow freshman Londen Ladner paced the Rebels with five home runs and 21 RBI. In the circle, senior Lindsey Perry posted an 11-4 mark with a 3.42 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 125.0 innings pitched.
The squad won the SEC Sportsmanship Award for assisting the University of Alabama with its tornado relief efforts. In the classroom, Brittany Broome, Laina Collier, Corrine Doornberg, Amanda Hutcheson, Kelly Nolan, Cali Overbeck, and Perry were all named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, while Lander earned SEC Freshman Academic honors.
Following the season, Windy Thees, who started the Memphis softball program and built the Tigers into an NCAA Tournament team, was named the fourth head coach of Ole Miss Softball. After starting the Tiger program from scratch in 2005, Thees led her squad to the school’s best season in 2011 with a 36-14 record and the program’s first berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Men’s tennis made their 18th consecutive NCAA appearance in 2011 under the guidance of Hall of Fame head coach Billy Chadwick.
They accomplished this largely without the services of 2009 SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player, Kalle Norberg, who missed most of the season with a foot injury, after missing the entire 2010 season with a back injury.
Marcel Thiemann earned All-America honors for the second year in a row, reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Championship again and ending the year ranked No. 29. He also teamed with his brother, Chris Thiemann, to finish No. 11 in the nation in doubles. Marcel also earned All-SEC first team honors for the second year in a row, while Tucker Vorster made the second team.
Off the court, the Rebels earned the prestigious ITA All-Academic Team Award, awarded to teams with a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher. The team also received the Chancellor’s Cup for the eighth straight year, as the men’s varsity team with the highest GPA. Marcel, Chris and Adrian Forberg Skogeng were named ITA Scholar-Athletes and were joined on the SEC Academic Honor Roll by Norberg. Alex Durham made the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll.
The women’s tennis team made its 14th overall and third straight NCAA appearance in 2011.
A year after earning the program’s second SEC West Championship and reaching the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, head coach Mark Beyer’s team battled injuries to key players throughout the season.
The Rebels were led by All-American Kristi Boxx, who ended the year ranked No. 31 nationally in singles. Boxx, a native of Grenada, Miss., became the second player in the history of the program to earn All-SEC first team honors three straight years. She was joined on the All-SEC team by Connor Vogel.
Off the court, the Rebels earned the prestigious ITA All-Academic Team Award for a record 15th consecutive year, and received the Chancellor’s Cup for the second year in a row and the third time in four years. Gabby Rangel, Laura van de Stroet and Connor Vogel were named ITA Scholar-Athletes, and Boxx, Rangel, van de Stroet, Vogel and Abby Guthrie made the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
TRACK AND FIELD/CROSS COUNTRY
It was one of the finest seasons in program history for Ole Miss Track and Field in 2010-11, highlighted by top-25 team finishes, All-American performances and league championships. The 2011 outdoor season saw the Rebel men place 19th in the nation, led by a quartet of All-Americans in Ricky Robertson (high jump), Lee Ellis Moore (400m hurdles), Mike Granger (100m) and Carson Blanks (400m hurdles). Robertson, a sophomore, finished runner-up in the high jump at the NCAA Championships, nabbing his fourth straight All-American nod. Between the men and women, Ole Miss sent a school-record 16 athletes to the NCAA Championships. Robertson and Moore captured SEC titles in their primary events.
In the 2011 indoor season, the Ole Miss men finished 11th in the nation, while the women ranked 23rd. The men’s finish was their best since 2001. Five Rebels earned All-America honors – Robertson (high jump), Granger (60m), Sofie Persson (800m), Juliana Smith (weight throw) and Caleb Lee (long jump). Robertson and Granger both finished runner-up in their events. Robertson claimed the SEC high jump crown, while Fabia McDonald earned SEC All-Freshman honors in the pentathlon and was tabbed SEC Women’s Freshman Field Athlete of the Year.
Barnabas Kirui capped his remarkable Ole Miss career by winning the SEC Cross Country Championship for the third time in his career. He was named SEC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year for the third time, as well. The Rebel men had their best finish (fifth) at the SECs since 1996. Martin Kirui was named second team All-SEC, and Kipchirchir Kiptoo received SEC All-Freshman honors.
Ole Miss shined equally as bright in the classroom and community. Three Rebels were named Academic All-Americans – Moore, Persson, Barnabas Kirui. Moore was tabbed the 2011 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while he and Kirui both received prestigious NCAA postgraduate scholarships. Kirui was named the 2011 SEC Brad Davis Community Service Leader of the Year, while Moore and Juliana Smith were members of the 2011 SEC Track & Field Community Service Team.
The 2010 volleyball team returned to the NCAA Tournament, marking the third time in the last five years that the program had advanced to the postseason and third time ever in the history of the program. The Rebels posted a 19-11 record on the year and finished second in the SEC Western Division with a 13-7 mark in league play.
Junior middle blocker Regina Thomas became the school’s first All-American in volleyball when she was named to the third team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association at the Final Four in December. The All-America honor is the first for a Division I volleyball player in the state of Mississippi. Others had been named an Honorable Mention selection, but none had been named to one of the three All-America teams.
Thomas also garnered first team All-SEC honors, leading the SEC in hitting with a .451 hitting percentage in conference play and a .421 hitting percentage on the season. She was named an All-Region selection and senior middle blocker Miranda Kitts was an All-Region honorable mention selection.