25 years of coed sports
Wheaton celebrates the anniversary of coeducation with ceremonies during men’s sports events.
The Athletics Department is celebrating the 25th anniversary of coeducation at the college, and the subsequent quarter century of men’s athletics by commemorating significant accomplishments over the years. The celebrations are part of a yearlong, campus-wide commemoration of the anniversary of coeducation at Wheaton.
The men’s basketball team will mark the anniversary during their opening home game against Maine Maritime on November 15 and the men’s tennis team plans to do so on April 12, 2014, when they face Colby-Sawyer.
On October 26, in addition to commemorating 25 years of men’s soccer, the 2003 men’s soccer team that reached the NCAA Final Four was honored in a halftime ceremony. A number of alumni from the team were on hand as Athletic Director John Sutyak ’00 shared some remarks with the assembled crowd. Perhaps inspired by the retrospective look back, the current team went on to beat the Coast Guard Academy by a score of 5–0.
Reflecting on the 25th anniversary, Sutyak pointed out that the success of men’s athletics was built on the foundation of an already strong women’s program.
“When Wheaton went coed 25 years ago, we already had a strong women's athletics program to build on, highlighted by NCAA teams and All-Americans in cross country, field hockey and lacrosse, including a final four appearance in women's lacrosse. It has been great to see the Lyons continue to build success on the women's side, as well a provide an opportunity for the men to achieve at a similar level during the past 25 years.”
In the relatively short history of coeducation at Wheaton, men’s athletics has been remarkably successful. In addition to the 2003 men’s soccer Final Four appearance, the men’s track and field teams (indoor and outdoor) have had 20 total individual national champions, and the baseball team has reached the national championship game twice (2006, 2012).
The celebrations organized by the Athletics Department are part of a robust schedule of school-wide events planned throughout the year to celebrate the 25th year of the start of coeducation. Highlights include reunions for the athletic teams founded in 1988, a reunion of the Gentlemen Callers March 28–29, and a broader recognition of coeducation in the spring.