By Annie Cameron ’09
In 1930, the athletic department at Gordon College consisted of only two teams—men and women’s basketball—and twenty-one athletes. Now more than eighty years later, Gordon athletics includes over two hundred athletes competing each academic year in sixteen Division III varsity sports. This year continues that growth with the addition of six new coaches to its staff.
“We are very enthusiastic and optimistic about the new members of the fighting Scots staff,” said Jon Tymann, interim athletic director. “We are confident that each new addition will enhance the level of athletic success that we enjoy here at Gordon.”
As the new assistant coach for men’s soccer, Keith Lumpp ’08 may be a new face for the freshmen and sophomores of the men’s team. But for the upperclassmen, he is an old friend. Lumpp played soccer for four years at Gordon and led the team as captain in 2008 before graduating.
“Coaching a group of Christian athletes at Gordon is such a rewarding experience for me,” Lumpp said. “Faith comes first, and then we worry about the opponents and the win. I am proud to be a part of it.”
Whether helping a player one on one or helping scout and recruit, Lumpp’s contributions have already helped the team, according to head coach Jake DeClute. “He is a dependable and selfless addition to our staff,” said DeClute. “Not only does he relate well with the players, but he does a lot of work behind the scenes that nobody notices.”
As the new assistant coach, Erin Hodina has brought a new dynamic to the team. Hodina—who played soccer at Wheaton College in Illinois and graduated in December of 2008—played in three national championships and won two out of those three. Hodina studied Bible and theology at Wheaton and served as an assistant coach to a Wheaton area club soccer team for three years.
“Erin brings with her not only a wealth of talent and playing experience, but a fresh perspective to our program,” says head coach Marc Whitehouse.
Having lived in Wheaton her entire life, the transition to the North Shore has been exciting for Hodina. “Being a part of the soccer team here has been far better than I could have expected,” Hodina said. “I’ve really enjoyed being able to invest in these women and interact with Coach Whitehouse.”
The new head coach for women’s volleyball, Ruth Rosentrater brings extensive experience in playing and coaching. As an assistant coach at the State University of New York at Oswego and Shalom Christian Academy in Pennsylvania, and a former outside hitter and defensive specialist, Rosentrater has enjoyed working with the Fighting Scots who finished their 2008 season with a 7-3 record in conference play and an appearance in the TCCC playoffs.
“The more I learned about Gordon, the more I felt that it was a good fit for me,” said Rosentrater. “When I came to interview, I was impressed with the mission of the college and the atmosphere in general. All of a sudden I realized this is where I was supposed to be.”
Though the season began with a few tough injuries, Rosentrater remains impressed with the attitudes of her players and their willingness to keep working. “Because of their energy and dedication, I think we still have a great chance at doing well in conference play,” she said.
Former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Tod Murphy is the new head coach for the Gordon College men’s basketball team. For the past six years, Murphy served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of California at Irvine. With the desire to be a head coach and the passion to do so at a Christian institution, Gordon seemed like a perfect fit for Murphy. Now that he is here, he says he is thrilled with what he has learned about the current team at Gordon.
“I am excited about the possibilities that exist for this group of players,” Murphy said. “We have a strong team with great leadership coming from our senior players. I think we have a chance to do something pretty special this year.”
On November 11th, Murphy and the team will play in their first game against Husson University at the Gordon College Bennett Center at 7 p.m. (To learn more about Coach Murphy, see the College's press release.)
New head coach Warren Shumate made a name for himself as a star lacrosse player when he attended Gordon from 2001-2005. As a four-year all-conference player, a two-time ECAC All-New England player, Shumate was also senior captain and male athlete of the year.
“I am excited to be coaching full time at a Christian college,” Shumate said. “I’m looking forward to rejoining this community that has always been a moving force in my life.”
Shumate spent the last few years at Wakefield School in Virginia, teaching history and government, and coaching lacrosse. Returning to Gordon as the head coach fulfills a lifetime career goal for Shumate. As the new coach, he sees nothing but talent and potential.
“The desire is there. The passion is there. We have a group of guys committed to growing and learning together in Christ,” Shumate said. “Now we just need to ask ourselves, ‘how are we going to get there?”
Joining Shumate as his new assistant coach, John Pynchon attended Northeastern University in Boston, and has been a resident of the North Shore since 1976. His lacrosse experience is extensive and includes coaching at St. John’s Prep in Danvers and Pingree School in Hamilton.
“My goal as a coach of young men is to help them realize their full potential; not just on the playing fields but as they progress into adulthood,” Pynchon said. “Athletics is a small slice of their lives but one which can carry positive reinforcement well into their futures.” The men’s lacrosse team opens its season against Springfield College on February 24, 2010.