After eight years at Hampden-Sydney College, Murrie Bates is retiring from his post as tennis head coach.
His teams went 80-47 overall and 52-22 in the ODAC, finishing in the top two in the ODAC for four straight seasons, including going undefeated at 9-0 in 2010. From 2007- 2011, Coach Bates guided the Tigers on the best four-year run in the program’s history. The Tigers recorded an overall record of 54-17 and a 33-3 mark in the ODAC, winning the ODAC Championship in 2009 while advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Bates was named the ODAC Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2010 as well as State Coach of the Year in 2009.
In total, he placed a student-athlete on All- ODAC Tennis teams 53 times. William Moss ’10 won the ODAC Player of the Year award all four years, and Rich Pugh ’11 took home the top award in 2011. Moss also earned the ODAC Rookie of the Year award, was twice named the ODAC Scholar Athlete of the Year, and he won the “Doc” Jopson Award, the top honor for a male athlete in the ODAC.
“As always, God’s timing is perfect, and I thank him for leading me to Hampden-Sydney at this time in my life,” said Bates. “There are so many people to thank. First of all, Bill Thompson, who encouraged me to apply and volunteered as an assistant coach for all eight years. I couldn’t have done it without him. Also, Carter Carson ’71 helped so much these past couple of years, and Will Moss, who has been a great encourager for the team.” “My time at Hampden-Sydney has been satisfying thanks to the administration, staff, and fellow coaches who have been such a support in my personal life and with my coaching. I appreciate all your kindness. I’m at a place now where I feel new leadership for the program will be beneficial, and I’m looking forward to the next season in my life.”
Hampden-Sydney Athletic Director Richard Epperson ’79 has worked with Bates for years, gaining insight into his relationships with players.
“Murrie Bates has been instrumental in building a well-respected tennis program during his time here,” he says. “His calm and caring influence on our student-athletes has been exemplary. On behalf of our past and current players, their parents, and Murrie’s many colleagues and friends in the H-SC Athletic Department, I wish him nothing but the best.”
As a player, Moss was a strong asset to the team and worked with Bates to elevate the players both physically and mentally. That encouragement from team members and leadership from Bates helped propel the team to greater heights.
Moss says: “Coach Bates epitomizes the excellence and class that was Hampden-Sydney tennis during his coaching tenure. I know I speak for all of his players when I say that playing under Coach Bates was the highlight of my college career. He supported, nurtured, and mentored his players off the court while helping them reach their highest potential on the court. Coach Bates brings out the best in every one of his players and has made one of the most profound impacts on my life. He has left an indelible mark on Hampden-Sydney athletics. His presence on the courts will be deeply missed, and the Tiger tennis family is forever grateful to him for his service and dedication.”
Hampden-Sydney lacrosse wrapped up its season at 10-8 overall and 6-3 in ODAC play with an appearance in the ODAC Championship game. Seven Tigers earned All-ODAC honors, and midfielder Thomas Armstrong ’15 highlighted the group with a United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-America nod. Ned Bowden ’14 and Bobby Fulton ’14 were tabbed USILA Scholar All-Americans.
Armstrong became just the fifth H-SC lacrosse student-athlete to be named an All- American as both a sophomore and a junior, joining elite territory with Jamie Worthen
’98, Chamie Burroughs ’99, Chris Biddison ’03, and Chris Lucas ’03. Armstrong was announced as a First-Team All-ODAC player earlier in the month. He finished second on the team in points (46), goals (30), assists (16), and man-up goals (5), and he led all H-SC midfielders in each category. Armstrong posted at least three points in 10 games, scored two or more goals in 16 of 18 games, and contributed at least one point in 17 of 18.
To be a Scholar All-American, a student-athlete must be a senior and have maintained a 3.0 or better cumulative grade-point average. He must also be an All-American, a member of a North-South team, or an outstanding league or conference player.
Bowden, a physics majors and a long-stick midfielder, led the team in caused turnovers (22) and ground balls (53) and also added two goals and an assist. He was also a First-Team All-ODAC player and was Academic All- ODAC all four years.
Fulton scooped 19 ground balls with 11 caused turnovers as a short-stick defensive midfielder. He was also Academic All-ODAC for four years as an economics major with
a minor in military leadership. He will be entering the U.S. Army Special Forces track this summer. Additionally, Fulton is the first solo captain in the history of Hampden-Sydneylacrosse. Bowden and Fulton helped anchor a team defense that allowed an average of just 6.79 goals in ODAC competition.
The Tiger golf team had an outstanding season with individual breakouts from Brian Burt ’17 and Rick O’Connell ’14. Burt was named an All-American this season after placing fifth individually in the 2014 NCAA Division III Golf National Championship Tournament with a four-round score of +3. He shot 67-69- 80-75 for a four-round total of 291, finishing just one stroke shy of third and three strokes short of second. His first round card of 67 was the lowest individual round of the tournament. He was also an All-Region and First Team All- ODAC pick for the Tigers (golfstat.com).
O’Connell was also an All-Region selection after being chosen as one of six individuals to compete in the NCAA Championship. The senior also earned ODAC Golfer of the Year honors as well as First Team accolades.
Head Coach Mac Main was named the ODAC Coach of the Year.
The Tiger baseball team had a successful spring, tying the school record for wins in a single season while going 27-15 overall and reaching the ODAC Tournament. Individually, several records were broken, starting on March 20 with Head Coach Jeff Kinne recording more wins than any other coach in the program’s history, taking his 226th victory.
At the season’s close, the Tigers had five All-ODAC honorees with outfielder Christian Hamlett ’15 and second baseman Lee Carneal ’15 earning First Team honors. Hamlett shattered the school record for hits in consecutive games, going 35 straight games from February 10 to April 21. Outfielder Spencer Wiles ’15 broke records for hits (65) and doubles (22) in a single season, and Hunter Lewis ’14 become the program’s new hit king with 179 career hits.
Hamlett and Wiles were each named Third Team All-Region performers while first baseman Jeff Gray ’15 earned Academic All-District accolades to go with his third consecutive Second Team All-ODAC selection. Wiles and Lewis were each named Third Team All-ODAC.
Often thought of as “the other all-male college,” Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, will soon host the first of two football games against the Hampden-Sydney Tigers on September 6, 2014, at 1 p.m. It is the first time these two institutions have met on any playing field, and many hope this historic trip will jumpstart ongoing competitions between the two schools for years to come. NCAA President Mark Emmert will speak at a convocation for both teams Friday evening. Next season the Little Giants will travel to Hampden-Sydney. The game will be broadcast live at www.wabash.edu/live and a recording will be available on the Wabash College YouTube channel.