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Summer 2002


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Currier builds on state’s baseball tradition
2002 squad takes second in conference

Every baseball player steps to the plate with hopes of making it back home. And, among other achievements, that’s what Bill Currier ’84 has accomplished in an athletic career that includes three years of professional baseball with the Philadelphia Phillies organization and a long, successful run coaching at his alma mater.

Head of the Vermont program since 1988, Currier is the winningest coach in the 114 years that the game has been played at the university. Typically, his teams are focused over-achievers in a program that is thin on athletic scholarships. Look no further than the 2002 season when the team fell just short of a championship, finishing second in the America East regular season standings. Currier earned conference Coach of the Year honors this season to go with his 1992 New England Coach of the Year.

Whether it’s turning a double-play as an individual or winning a double-header as a team, Currier says that mental skills are fundamental to excellence in baseball and are a central focus of his coaching.

“Baseball is a game with so much negativism potentially,” Currier says. “Even the best batter is going to fail a lot more times than he succeeds.” Key to thriving against those odds, he continues, is keeping an even balance of intensity and relaxation. Retired Yankee Paul O’Neill may have done well handling each strikeout like a death in the family, but more typical is the player who takes whiff or RBI with neither scowl nor smile.

Currier has drawn on a rich Vermont baseball tradition as he builds the UVM program. Black-and-white evidence of the state’s passion for the game hangs in the coach’s office — a large historic photo print of Centennial Field on July 6, 1938 as the Philadelphia Athletics take on the Burlington Cardinals. The grandstand is filled and makeshift bleachers ring the entire field. Currier credits local teams, such as Burlington’s erstwhile Cardinals, for creating a love for baseball in many Vermont communities that has been handed down across generations.

As examples, he offers up Winooski and recalls when his line-up was anchored by four graduates of the town’s tiny high school. Or, more recently, the Rikert brothers, Wade and Kyle, who learned the game in the unlikely baseball hotbed of South Royalton.

Essex Junction, Currier’s hometown, is no different. That’s where Bill and his wife, Vicki, live today with their three sons, Brad, Bryan, and Bryce. As the proud father describes his sons’ youth hockey or the rink he’s built in the backyard that converts to a batting tunnel in summer, it’s plain that the Currier household is one more Vermont home where a love of the summer game — or maybe anything that can be played with ball or puck —is sure to be handed down.

Catamount Scoreboard 2001-2002

27-22, 2nd America East. Center fielder Jeff Barry became the first Catamount named America East Player of the Year. America East Coach of the Year: Bill Currier. All-Conference: Jeff Barry, Jason Carey, Brian Robinson, Bobby Tewksbary.

Men’s Basketball
21-8, America East Regular Season Champions. All-American, America East Player of the Year: T.J. Sorrentine. America East Rookie of the Year: Taylor Coppenrath. America East Coach of the Year: Tom Brennan. All-Conference: Taylor Coppenrath, Trevor Gaines, T.J. Sorrentine.

Women’s Basketball
23-9. America East Regular Season Champions. Reached elite eight of the WNIT post-season tournament. America East Coach of the Year: Keith Cieplicki. All-Conference: Morgan Hall, Katie MacNamara, Libby Smith, Aaron Yantzi.

Men’s Cross Country
5th at America East Championship. Received U.S. Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Award.

Women’s Cross-Country
5th at America East Championship. Sophomore Michele Palmer qualified for the NCAA Championship race, where she finished 139th.

Field Hockey
7-12. All-Conference: Sara Mercanti. Bryna Bailey, Alexis Ressler, and Emily Keller earned National All-Academic recognition.

Men’s Gymnastics
10th at ECAC Championship, 7th at USAG National Championship. Elie Sollins became the second UVM gymnast to perform at the NCAA Championship meet, finishing 38th in the still rings. All-American: Matt Bond.

Women’s Gymnastics
7th at ECAC Championship, 2nd at USAG National Championship.

3rd at America East Championship. Conference tournament marks the highest finish ever by a UVM golf squad.

Men’s Lacrosse
5-9. All-Conference: Phil McKnight. NEILA East/West All-Star: Dave Hudacsko.

Women’s Lacrosse
7-8. All-Conference: Vanessa Cox, Mackenzie Dean, Courtney LaMere, Molly Sheehan.

Men’s Hockey
3-26-2. Patrick Sharp led the team in scoring with 13 goals and 13 assists. Thomas Hajek and Jeff Miles were selected to the ECAC All-Academic Team.

Women’s Hockey
1-28-1. A victory over RPI in December marked the young varsity program’s first Division I win. Jenny Agnew, Rebecca Godsill, and Ashlee Murdough were named to the ECAC All-Academic Team.

5th at NCAA, 1st at EISA Championships. Eastern Championship marks the 27th straight for UVM. All-Americans: Ethan Foster, Hunter Kaltsas, Scott Kennison, Alex Krebs, Torgier Lien, John Minahan, Shaina Mulkern.

Men’s Soccer
4-9-3, 10th America East. Senior Jamie Farrell finishes UVM career tied for third on the Catamounts’ goal-scorers list.

Women’s Soccer
5-11-1, 11th America East. Senior Kelly Herrero closed out her career ranked fourth among UVM’s all-time scorers and third among goal-scorers. All-Conference: Megan Galbreath, Kelly Herrero, Nikki Hessney.

6-38, 7th America East. All-Conference. All-New England: Megan Long.

Men’s Swimming
6th at America East Championship. Team earned the Swimming Coaches Association of America All-Academic Award.

Women’s Swimming
7th at America East Championship. Freshman diver Emily Hall qualified for the NCAA Regionals.

Men’s Tennis
5th at America East Championship. All-Conference: David Levin.

Women’s Tennis
4th at America East Championship. Nine players named to America East Academic Honor Roll.

Men’s Indoor Track
8th at America East Championship. Individual Conference Champ: Jeff Guilmette, shot put.

Women’s Indoor Track
6th at America East Championship. Individual Conference Champ: Kristal Kostiew, shot put, 20-lb. weight throw.

Men’s Outdoor Track
7th at America East Championship. Individual Conference Champs: George Dean, 1500 meters; Jeff Guilmette, shot put. Senior Guilmette’s victory marked an unprecedented eighth conference shot put title.

Women’s Outdoor Track
6th at America East Championship. Kristal Kostiew won three events – shot put, javelin, and hammer, and Most Outstanding Field Performer at the conference meet.

2-25. Eight players named to America East Academic Honor Roll.

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