From the AD
Dear Lafayette Leopards Family:
Things have changed significantly in one calendar year in the landscape of college athletics and higher education. Since March, we have been navigating a roller coaster ride of ups and downs and twists and turns, beginning with the cancellation of spring sports. In July, with COVID-19 rates rising throughout the country, the Patriot League became one of many conferences to suspend fall sports.
We find ourselves, however, not at a standstill, but in the on-deck circle or the scorer’s table ready to check into the game. COVID-19 will eventually be behind us. And Lafayette will still be standing. And Athletics will still be here—ready to take that next step. We’re still Climbing the Hill.
In 2019-20, the second year of our five-year plan , we pushed forward, continuing to strengthen our staff development program through the Coaches and Coffee series while providing relevant and varied leadership content for student-athletes with panelists and speakers. Nutrition enhancement and wellness education was a focus for our student-athletes. The implementation of the PardZone provided new opportunities for alumni engagement. Finally, we began the process to initiate an athletics campaign which is a major step forward to providing the funds to support a championship culture.
Competitively, our teams improved six places in the Patriot League Presidents Cup standings. In the fall, football finished League play in second place while field hockey and men’s soccer each participated in their respective championship games. It was the best fall sports season on College Hill in more than 25 years! Our winter sports continued the progress with women’s basketball, posting its most conference wins since the 1991-92 season.
The football season yielded the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year while women’s soccer (Offensive Player of the Year) and field hockey (Defensive and Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year) added to the individual highlights.
Our coaches continue to recruit and teach, and our teams continue to get better! When I described the vision and plan for Lafayette Athletics, this is the progress I had in mind.
We have not been deterred. We are spending this time afforded by COVID-19 positioning Lafayette Athletics for the future. Our coaches are focused on recruiting, game plans and professional development and our student-athletes are locked in for academic success while maintaining their athletic readiness.
Administratively, we will continue to strengthen our culture and community, and hopefully, we can lay the foundation for financial stability through your support. I am glad to be sharing this annual update and I encourage you to be a part of the transformation happening on College Hill. Our staff and I look forward to having you on board as we all work together in support of our student-athletes!
Role of Athletics at Lafayette College
- Integrates with the educational experience by providing student-athletes the opportunity to succeed at the highest level in academics and NCAA Division I intercollegiate competition.
- Cultivates committed collaborators and leaders of consequence who distinguish themselves during their college experience and flourish in the world following graduation.
- Develops a more engaging campus experience for the entire community, inspiring a shared allegiance and a lifelong commitment to the College.
- Connects the College’s generations and extended community by building spirit, enthusiasm, and pride in athletic successes.
- Brings positive national and international visibility to the College by highlighting the academic and athletic values of the institution and the Patriot League.
— Athletics Review Steering Committee Adoption June 16, 2017
Definition of Athletic Success at Lafayette College
Lafayette College, through teamwork across all campus constituents, departments, and support services, is committed to achieving excellence in its NCAA Division I athletics program. Success is measured by the ability to create and maintain a winning culture that affords its teams with the opportunity to regularly compete for championships. Success also is achieved through excellence in academic performance, leadership development, and community engagement.
— Steering Committee Adoption June 16, 2017