Tufts Athletics
Annual Report

2019 | 20

An extraordinary year cut short. A camaradaderie that endures.


A letter from the director of athletics

Dear Friends of Tufts Athletics,

In a typical year, my letter lauds our Jumbo student-athletes for their exceptional accomplishments in competition and in the classroom. And there is certainly a lot to be proud of again this year. But as we all know, the 2019–20 academic year was anything but typical.

Even as February turned to March, it was inconceivable to me that our basketball teams would have their NCAA Sweet 16 games canceled at the last minute; that our track and field teams would fly home from the NCAA Indoor Championship meet the day before it was to start; that the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship meet would be canceled just days before our teams were to compete for top 10 team finishes; or that all of our very promising spring sport seasons would end before most had begun.

But by mid-March, COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the winter and spring seasons, and an extraordinary year was cut short.

In these pages, we celebrate our student-athletes for their many achievements last year. But in this letter, I’d like to commend them for their perspective, resilience, and strength of character. Here are quotes from three exemplary seniors soon after their final NCAA post-season opportunities ended:

“I am trying not to dwell on the elements out of my control, but rather cherish all of the great moments from the last four years. I made some lifelong friends and memories, and I have Tufts and particularly the athletics department to thank for that.”
— Eric Savage, a senior captain who led the men’s basketball team to the Sweet 16 and the team’s first-ever NESCAC tournament championship

“Even though it wasn’t the ending we wanted, Division III women’s basketball seems so small compared to everything going on in the world today. Although my time at Tufts is almost over, I am so thankful for the opportunities this school has given me. My favorite opportunity was getting to meet such amazing people. [Being] a Jumbo baller was the best time of my life!”
— Erica DeCandido, a senior captain, All-American, and D3hoops National Player of the Year who led the women’s basketball team to the Sweet 16 and a 28–1 overall record

“Coaches, I wanted to let you know how grateful I am for the opportunity and experience you have given me through my time at Tufts. Honestly, thinking about why I’m feeling sad right now, it’s because I’m going to miss everyone so much. It would have been cool to compete and win, but in the grand scheme of things, that doesn’t even really matter. I’m going to deeply miss being part of the program, and again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all of the hard work you have put in to make this team what it is.”
— Roger Gu, a senior NCAA champion and eight-time first-team All-American who was days away from leading the men’s swimming and diving team to its fourth consecutive NCAA top 10 finish

So, when the career-culminating moments Eric, Erica, and Roger had trained for all their lives disappeared in a flash, how did they respond? There was some sadness, of course, but instead of lamenting an opportunity lost, they chose to focus on gratitude for the camaraderie and great experiences they shared with their teammates and coaches.

All of this serves as another powerful reminder of how impressive our Jumbos are and what an incredible job our coaches do developing our student-athletes and preparing them to lead wonderfully positive and productive lives after Tufts.

In the year ahead, we will continue to grapple with uncertainty in athletics and in the world, and we look forward to the day when we can all come together to cheer on our Jumbos in person again. But for today, I hope you’ll enjoy a look back at the 2019–20 year in Tufts Athletics—a year that showed us what it really means to be a Jumbo.

John Morris

John Morris
Director of Athletics


Academic Distinction

Joe Braun

Not Your Average Joe

In two of the past three years, the United Soccer Coaches association honored a Jumbo as National Scholar Player of the Year. In 2019, that Jumbo was senior Joe Braun. A United Soccer Coaches first-team All-American on the field, Joe graduated this spring with an international relations major and dual minors in finance and economics. He also carried the distinction of being a two-time United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-American, earning the honor in both his junior and senior seasons.

Joe Braun
Emily Serata

Shining … off the Diamond

Softball players ripped the cover off the ball off the field. Outfielder Emily Serata received a Tufts Alumni Association Senior Award for academic achievement, involvement in the community, and leadership. Pitcher Cassie Cancemi received the Goldwater Scholarship Award, one of the most prestigious awards in the United States for undergraduates. Team alumna Sara Willner-Giwerc earned a Tufts’ 2020 Presidential Award for Civic Life. And pitcher Kristi Van Meter was an Academic All-District selection.

Emily Serata
Boris Sorkin

Serving Up Extraordinary

After winning his first Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Cup fall singles national championship last year, junior Boris Sorkin did it again. The back-to-back national titles are part of his outstanding performance on the court, in class, and in the community. A biochemistry and biotechnology double major with a 3.89 GPA, Boris works with schoolchildren; is fluent in Russian, Spanish, and English; and was the ITA’s Arthur Ashe Award recipient for the Northeast region.

Boris Sorkin
Olivia Martin

24 Jumbos Recognized

Each year, Tufts applauds the accomplishments of hundreds of students who win awards and prizes sponsored by generous donors and various academic departments. For the 2019–20 academic year, 24 of the recipients are affiliated with Jumbo Athletics. Among the recipients is track and field junior Olivia Martin, who won two prizes: the Samuels Prize for Mechanical Engineering achievement and the Class of 1898 Prize. Olivia has achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA through her first six semesters.

Olivia Martin
Colleen Doolan

Class Act

Colleen Doolan, a 2019 Tufts University graduate and four-year member of the Jumbo women’s swimming and diving team, was invited to Indianapolis to attend the NCAA Woman of the Year celebration dinner in October. Colleen was selected as one of the Top 30 honorees for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year Award from an initial pool of 585 school nominees.

Colleen Doolan

NESCAC All-Academic Team Honors

As a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), Tufts is part of the most competitive league in the country athletically and academically. For the 2019–20 academic year, 303 NESCAC All-Academic Team honors were bestowed upon Jumbos who achieved grade point averages of 3.5 or better.



Twenty Tufts University current and former varsity and club sport student-athletes were inducted into the Tufts chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Among the initiates was fencing’s Subin Jeong, who received the Northeast Fencing Conference’s Sachs Award as the individual with the best record who started fencing in college.

Lillie Ahearn
Women’s Fencing

Chloe Amouyal

Mikayla Barreiro
Club Equestrian

Abigail Beech
Club Women’s Soccer

Nina Benites

Hawley Brown
Club Cheerleading

Lauren Clore
Club Women’s Soccer, Club Women’s Ultimate Frisbee

Subin Jeong
Women’s Fencing

Franny Kiles
Women’s Track & Field

Rachel Klein
Club Women’s Ultimate Frisbee

Madison Lewis
Club Tennis

Marisa Permatteo

Austin Pruitt
Men’s Swimming & Diving

Delilah Roberts
Sailing, Club Hockey

Heidi Rubenstein
Club Women’s Basketball

Olivia Steiner
Women’s Track & Field

David Stern
Club Men’s Soccer

Alexandra Webster
Club Cheerleading

Taylor Wurts
Men’s Track & Field

Wescott Yeaw
Club Men’s Ultimate Frisbee, Club Skiing

Student-Athletes Achieve 3.5 Cumulative GPA

At the end of the spring 2020 semester, Tufts’ 28 teams combined to achieve an exceptional 3.497 cumulative GPA. A total of 26 Jumbo teams earned a 3.4 or better. Leading the way is women’s track and field with an outstanding 3.69 mark. Volleyball (3.67) and women’s soccer (3.62) are close behind. The top men’s teams are tennis (3.59), golf (3.54), and soccer (3.53).

Eric Savage

Shot at Greatness

Eric Savage made one of the biggest shots in Tufts basketball history when his nearly 40-foot three-pointer with three seconds left in regulation sent the Jumbo men’s team to overtime in the NESCAC championship game against Colby College. Tufts ended up winning, 102–94. Eric achieved a 3.6 GPA and was one of just two players from the conference to make the 2019–20 Academic All-District Men’s Basketball Team.

Eric Savage



soccer players

Teaming Up Against Covid-19

Jumbos participated in events to help out during the COVID- 19 pandemic. Brett Rojas and Hannah Isenhart of the Tufts soccer teams organized Stay Home, Play Together, an EA Sports FIFA tournament. Women’s lacrosse took part in The Last Shift Virtual 5K Challenge to support cancer patients who are among those at highest risk of suffering from COVID-19. And track and field alumnus James Aronson was part of a team of volunteers who repaired more than 6,000 N-95 masks.

painting houses with children

Painting the town

The Tufts baseball team spent Thanksgiving 2019 in the Dominican Republic, where they played four competitive games against local teams and experienced the rich culture of the country. They also painted houses in the village of Gautier and interacted with the children who live there.

Frank Roche

A Jumbo Impact on Young Lives

Frank Roche was Tufts’ nominee for the William V. Campbell Trophy awarded by the National Football Foundation to the American college football player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance. For three years during his undergraduate career, Frank was a Big Brother through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America group to an elementary school student in Medford.

“Given my values as a person, and who my role models were, I always looked up to my parents, teachers, and coaches who had a big impact on me. Any chance you have to impact a young person’s life is a great opportunity.”

—Frank Roche

team celebrating

Impact on Ice

Tufts celebrated its long-standing relationship with Team IMPACT at a hockey game on February 7. The nonprofit organization, founded by Jumbo alumni, works to improve the quality of life of children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses by pairing them with collegiate athletic teams. Team IMPACT teammates from hockey, volleyball, baseball, women’s soccer, and women’s lacrosse attended the game.

a student trains a young girl in field hockey

Connecting with the Local Community

Among many other Jumbo acts of civic engagement this year, women’s basketball hosted a party for local foster children; the volleyball team volunteered at a food rescue organization in Arlington; the swimming and diving teams coordinated a Medford Family Network coat drive and book drive; and football held its annual Tufts Reading Program with Brooks Elementary School in Medford.

high school basketball team recieves a trophy

Shooting Stars

The Medford High School Mustangs and Somerville High School Highlanders girls’ and boys’ basketball teams went head-to-head at the fourth annual Tufts Classic at Cousens Gym. The Tufts Classic is just one way that Tufts supports young athletes and students in the Jumbos’ host communities. Fans were asked to bring nonperishable food items and hygiene products to support those in need.


Athletic Achievements

It was shaping up to be one of the best years in Jumbo Athletics history. After a fall season that included one NCAA championship, two top eight NCAA finishes, and two NESCAC championships, the Jumbos were ranked #2 nationally out of 446 schools in the Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup. And as spring break approached, many of our winter teams were still vying for top 10 finishes and national championships, and our spring sports were showing all the signs of excelling nationally as well. Unfortunately, on March 10, this year of Jumbo excellence was interrupted when COVID-19 abruptly forced the cancellation of the winter championships and spring seasons. It was disappointing for all, and it left many with a feeling of unfinished business. Nevertheless, the resilient Jumbos are grateful for what they were able to achieve in 2019–20, and the Tufts Athletics record books will forever reflect the many moments of athletics excellence the Jumbos delivered during a truly unprecedented year.

Men's Soccer

NCAA Champs. Again.

The Jumbos won their second consecutive NCAA championship and fourth in the past six seasons with a 2–0 victory over conference rival Amherst College. Tufts became just the third program in NCAA Division III history to win four or more national championships. The Brown and Blue also captured their second NESCAC championship in the past three seasons. Tufts also set new program records for wins in a season (20) and most consecutive wins (12).

men's soccer team celebrates
Media Spotlight

Men’s Soccer Garners ESPN Attention

After men’s soccer captured the NCAA championship for the second year in a row, Tufts earned accolades on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption starring Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon. They gave the team a shout-out on December 10. “Tufts, baby! Winning every year!” Wilbon said.


A Spike in Winning

The Jumbos won the NESCAC championship for the first time since 1995 after finishing the conference season with a perfect 10–0 record. Hosting the conference tournament at Cousens Gym, Tufts won a dramatic five-set final against Bowdoin College. The Jumbos then earned their ninth NCAA berth, and the team was selected to host the NCAA volleyball regional at Cousens Gym for the fourth time. Tufts finished the season with a 28–2 record and #16 national ranking.

Vollyball team
Men's Basketball

Conference Kings

After winning the first NESCAC championship in school history, Tufts’ magical season continued into the NCAA Tournament. During two weekends at Cousens Gym, the Jumbos won the NESCAC championship in double-overtime against Colby and then overcame a 19-point halftime deficit to win an NCAA first-round game over Western Connecticut. Tufts was the top team in NESCAC for the regular season and finished the year with 23 victories, tying the school record.

men's basketball team celebrates
Women’s Basketball

Title Contenders

The Jumbos were in strong contention for the NCAA championship this year. Tufts was preparing to host the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament at Cousens Gym when the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19. The team finished the year ranked second in the D3 hoops national poll with a 28–1 record. That included a perfect 10–0 NESCAC season for first place in the league. The Jumbos won their first 26 games for the longest winning streak in program history.

women's basketball
Field Hockey

NCAA Tournament Elite Eight

Once again, the Jumbos were one of the top teams in the NESCAC conference and in the nation. The 2019 season saw the team finish with a 15–5 record, play in the NESCAC championship game, and advance to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. A 2–1 overtime loss at Johns Hopkins kept Tufts from advancing to its sixth NCAA Final Four.

field hockey

5 Gridiron Records

The Jumbos opened the 2019 season by handing the three-time defending NESCAC champion Trinity Bantams a 14–8 loss. Tufts gave the Bantams their first opening-day loss since 1995. The Jumbo team went on to establish five team records, including most total offense in a season (3,573 yards) and most passing touchdowns in a season (20).

Men's Tennis

Holding Court

All except two matches of the Jumbos’ spring team schedule were canceled due to COVID-19, but Tufts enjoyed singles and doubles success during the fall portion of the season. Tufts players won six tournaments in the fall, highlighted by Boris Sorkin capturing his second straight ITA Cup singles national championship and second straight ITA New England singles title.

Women's Swimming & Diving

Making Waves

Thirteen team members were preparing to travel to the NCAA championship meet in Greensboro, North Carolina, when it was canceled due to COVID-19. The Jumbos finished in 16th place at the NCAA championships last year—the program’s best performance since 1990—and were poised for a national top 10 result this year with a larger group of competitors. Tufts was also the NESCAC runner-up and set 13 new team records.


Jumbos Best the Best

Tufts upset Trinity College—the #1 team in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll at the time—by a 4–2 score in January. The Jumbos held off the Bantams behind 37 saves by goalie Josh Sarlo. That helped Tufts double its conference victory total this season, which also included a 4–2 win against the Wesleyan squad that eventually won the NESCAC championship.


Course Credit

The golf team finished as the runner-up at the 2019 NESCAC championship qualifier hosted by the Jumbos at Sandy Burr Country Club in September. The Jumbos finished just two strokes out of first place for their best-ever showing at the tournament. Tufts earned a spot in the four-team conference championship, but the spring event was canceled due to COVID-19.

Women's Cross Country

Top 10 Again

Tufts placed eighth at the NCAA championship race, the fourth time the Jumbos finished among the top 10 nationally since 2015. Sophomore Danielle Page posted the second-best NCAA finish in team history as she completed the six-kilometer course in a 21:25.5 time for sixth place overall and was the top New England runner. The Jumbos were also the NESCAC runner-up and first for a Division III team at the All-New England meet.

women's cross country
Men's Lacrosse

Destined for Glory

The Jumbos were looking like a team that would challenge for the national championship when hopes were dashed due to COVID-19. Tufts won its four games by a combined total of 100–42, including a 25–15 win over rival Amherst. Tufts’ 25 goals per game average led Division III for the abbreviated season. The Jumbos were ranked #2 in the final USILA national poll of the year.

men's lacrosse
Women’s Lacrosse

#2 Ranking by IWLCA

After making the program’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Final Four last May, Tufts had most of the players from that team back this season and was ready to compete for a national title again. Ranked #2 nationally by the IWLCA, the Jumbos defeated rival Amherst on the road and were off to a 3-0 start before the season was canceled because of the novel coronavirus.

Men’s Track & Field

4 Tufts National Qualifiers

Before getting a chance to compete at the NCAA indoor championships, four Tufts national qualifiers had to come home from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, when the meet was canceled because of the novel coronavirus. Earlier in the season, the Jumbos placed third at the New England Division III indoor championships, scoring at least third at the regional meet for the fifth straight year.

Women’s Tennis

The Strings Section

The Jumbos’ spring season ended with just one match played. However, the team’s potential was reflected by the #11 national ranking that Tufts earned in the final ITA poll. The top individual performance from the Jumbos’ fall season was produced by freshman Tilly Rigby, who was the singles runner-up at the MIT Invitational tournament among some of the top players in the region. 

Women's Squash

Perennial Top 20

Now firmly entrenched as a national top 20 team, Tufts finished with the #19 ranking in the College Squash Association national poll. It marked the team’s fourth straight season in the top 20. The Jumbos took sixth place in NESCAC and celebrated the opening of the beautiful new Tufts Squash Center with a convincing win over Connecticut College in early February.

women's squash
Women’s Track & Field

On the Right Track

Seven Jumbos were already in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, ready to begin competing at the NCAA indoor championships when the meet was canceled in response to COVID-19. The seven qualifiers were the most that the team had sent to an indoor national championship meet since 2011. The Jumbos also won three New England Division III indoor individual events.

women's track and field
Men’s Squash

Upward Mobility

The Jumbos’ sixth-place finish in the NESCAC championship was the team’s best since 2008. That included a 5–4 victory over Amherst that marked the Jumbo program’s first victory against the Mammoths in more than 20 years. Tufts finished with a #23 national ranking, the team’s highest since the 2009–10 season, and the team helped christen the new Tufts Squash Center in February with a 9–0 victory over Connecticut College.

Women’s Sailing

A Hit Single

Tufts junior Talia Toland won the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association Single-handed Championship in the fall. She finished nine points ahead of Boston College for the victory, which advanced Talia to the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Single-handed Nationals. She finished fourth nationally, a career-best in her second collegiate single-handed nationals appearance. The team’s promising spring season was canceled due to COVID-19.

Men’s Rowing

Just Scratching the Surface

Perhaps no team at Tufts has been more on the rise in recent years than the Jumbo men’s rowing contingent. However, Tufts rowers didn’t get a chance to prove their mettle because their spring season was canceled owing to the coronavirus pandemic. For the fall, the team’s top performance was at the Head of the Fish Regatta, where the Jumbos placed first in five races, including the novice eight, in which they bested 18 other teams.

Co-Ed Sailing

Wind at Their Backs

Tufts won the New England Match Racing Championship in October. The Jumbos stood third after round-robin racing on Saturday but won their way into first place out of eight teams on Sunday. The victory qualified the team to compete at the ICSA Match Racing Nationals, where they placed fifth. Unfortunately, after a few early-season regattas, the novel coronavirus forced a premature end to a promising spring.

co-ed sailing

Great Expectations

Great Expectations Tufts started the year coming off a 31-win, NESCAC-championship season in 2019, and with tons of talent returning, the Jumbos were eagerly anticipating a promising 2020 campaign. Tufts was ranked 20th in Collegiate Baseball’s preseason poll before COVID-19 ended the season before it started.

Women’s Rowing

All in Sync

During the team’s fall schedule, the first varsity eight had placed a strong sixth out of 27 teams at the Head of the Charles. Tufts also won the second varsity eight race at the Head of the Fish Regatta. In the spring, the Jumbos were excited to make a run at an NCAA championship berth before their season was canceled by COVID-19.

Men’s Swimming & Diving

A Team of Great Depth

Tufts finished second at the NESCAC championships, where the Jumbos won seven individual and relay titles and set seven new school records. Nine Jumbo men’s swimmers qualified for the NCAA championship meet in North Carolina, including standout senior Roger Gu, who was looking to defend his 50 meter national championship. Unfortunately, COVID-19 forced the cancelation of the NCAA championship meet.

Men’s Cross Country

Youth Movement

The future is bright for a Jumbo team that had one junior, four sophomores, and two first-years in its starting lineup for 2019. Tufts finished 10th out of 54 teams at the NCAA New England regional championship. The top individual performance of the season came from sophomore Sam Gatti, who placed 15th at the NESCAC championship race—just missing All-Conference accolades.

Women’s Soccer

How Sweet It Is

With a pair of victories at an NCAA Regional hosted by TCNJ, Tufts advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005. The team earned the #1 seed for the NESCAC regular season with a 7–2–1 record and hosted the conference semifinals and final at Kraft Field. With a final ranking of #18 in the nation, the Jumbos finished with the program’s most wins since 2005 at 14–4–2 overall.

women's soccer

Players of the Year and Award Winners

Mac Bredahl, Men’s Lacrosse, Inside Lacrosse Breakout Player of the Year

Erica DeCandido, Women’s Basketball, D3hoops National Player of the Year, D3hoops Northeast Player of the Year, NEWBA Player of the Year, NESCAC Player of the Year, Jostens Trophy Finalist

Luke Rogers, Men’s Basketball, NESCAC Player of the Year

Lia Rotti, Women’s Track & Field, New England Indoor Championships Field Athlete of the Meet

Rishabh Sharda, Men’s Tennis, ITA Northeast Rookie of the Year

Boris Sorkin, Men’s Tennis, ITA Arthur Ashe Award, ITA Cup James O’Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Award

Maddie Stewart, Volleyball, AVCA Northeast Player of the Year, NESCAC Player of the Year

Maddie Stewart


Bryce Adam
Men’s Lacosse

Jaidyn Appel
Women’s Track & Field

Calvin Aroh
Men’s Soccer

Joshua Balbi
Men’s Swimming & Diving

Josh Belandres
Men’s Tennis

Brigid Bell

Brooke Bernstein
Women’s Swimming & Diving

Joe Braun
Men’s Soccer

Mac Bredahl
Men’s Lacrosse

Claire Brennan
Women’s Swimming & Diving

Costa Camerano
Men’s Swimming & Diving

Andrii Campbell
Men’s Track & Field

Abby Claus
Women’s Swimming & Diving

Matt D’Anieri
Men’s Track & Field

Erica DeCandido
Women’s Basketball

Nick Delaney
Men’s Track & Field

Cate Desler

Chloe Deveney
Women’s Swimming & Diving

Emma Donchi
Women’s Swimming & Diving

Jack Donohue
Men’s Lacrosse

Evan Ensslin
Men’s Track & Field

Taggart Eymer
Men’s Lacrosse

Sasha Fong
Women’s Swimming & Diving

Julia Gake
Women’s Track & Field

Emily Games
Women’s Lacrosse

Grace Goetcheus
Women’s Swimming & Diving

Sabrina Gornisiewicz
Women’s Cross Country

Roger Gu
Men’s Swimming & Diving

Trevar Hall
Men’s Lacrosse

Kyle Helfrich
Men’s Lacrosse

Mary Hufziger
Women’s Swimming & Diving

Katelin Isakoff
Women’s Swimming & Diving

Tar Tar Jarusinchai
Men’s Swimming & Diving

Alaina Kosko
Women’s Swimming & Diving

Peter LaBarge
Men’s Swimming & Diving

John LaLime
Men’s Swimming & Diving

Catherine Lawliss
Women’s Lacrosse

Tara Lowensohn
Women’s Track & Field

Sarah Maloney
Women’s Soccer

Matt Manfre
Men’s Swimming & Diving

Finn McTernan
Men’s Lacrosse

Elle Morse
Women’s Swimming & Diving

Hannah Neilon
Women’s Track & Field

Christina Nwankpa

Danielle Page
Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field

Biagio Paoletta
Men’s Soccer

Mason Pollack
Men’s Lacrosse

Liz Reed
Women’s Soccer

Luke Rogers
Men’s Basketball

Lia Rotti
Women’s Track & Field

Garrett Samuelson
Men’s Lacrosse

Nick Shanks
Men’s Lacrosse

Colette Smith
Women’s Lacrosse

Amy Socha
Women’s Swimming

Boris Sorkin
Men’s Tennis

Maddie Stewart

Gavin Tasker
Men’s Soccer

Nate Tingen
Men’s Swimming

Rhemi Toth
Women’s Track & Field

Matt Treiber
Men’s Lacrosse

Women's Fencing

The Finer Points

Eight members of the Tufts team traveled to Cornell University to compete in the 2020 NCAA Northeast Regionals. First-year student Kaitlyn Gill made the semifinal pool in the épée event to highlight the day for the Jumbos. Tufts finished fifth in the Northeast Fencing Conference with an 8–4 record this winter.


Postponed Potential

Like a season-long rainout, the softball schedule was canceled by the novel coronavirus right before the Tufts team was scheduled to leave on its spring trip. Tufts won the NESCAC championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Super Regionals last season when the Jumbos finished with a 32–10 record, and the team was looking forward to more success in 2020.

Team USA

Olympic Marathon Trials

Three Jumbos qualified to compete in the country’s most elite marathon on February 29. Tyler Andrews, E13, Matt Rand, A13, and Veronica Jackson Graziano, A09, ran in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials held in Atlanta with berths into the Tokyo Olympics on the line. While no Jumbos qualified for Tokyo, Veronica posted the best finish—63rd out of 390 runners in the women’s race.

Club Sports

The Club Scene

Club sports are a thriving part of Tufts Athletics. In 2019–20, three new teams—badminton, women’s basketball, and cricket—brought the number of club teams to 28. And club sports participants have grown to 1,100. Key highlights:

Women's Skiing

The Tufts women’s ski club earned a spot in the top 10 at the 2020 U.S. Collegiate Skiing and Snowboarding Association National Championships in Lake Placid, New York. Senior Sami Rubin placed 14th out of 96 skiers to achieve All-American honors for the second straight year.

Men's Soccer

The men’s soccer A and B club teams both qualified for regionals in Pennsylvania. The B squad advanced to the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association Soccer Championships in Texas and brought an undefeated record with them. The squad finished the year playing against clubs from Division I schools Michigan State and Florida.

club sports


Eight outstanding student-athletes and two unforgettable teams were selected as the third class of the Tufts University Athletics Hall of Fame. Our third annual Brown & Blue award winner was also recognized for his significant contributions to the success of Tufts Athletics. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony, originally scheduled for April 2020 but canceled due to COVID-19, will be rescheduled to honor these remarkable alumni.

Julia W. Browne, A11

Paul E. Dresens, E89, EG93, A22P

James J. Fitzgerald, E30
Baseball, Basketball, Football

David P. “D.J.” Hessler Jr., E11

Sakhi B. Khan, A85

Seymour M. “Bud” Niles, A50
Baseball, Basketball

Helen Jane Sears, J43
Basketball, Field Hockey, Golf, Tennis

Maren E. Seidler, J73
Track & Field, Swimming

1979 Football Team

2012 Field Hockey Team

Jeff Cicia, A54, A88P
Brown & Blue Award



John Casey
John Casey

Casey Inducted into ABCA Hall of Fame

John Casey, one of the most respected and successful college baseball coaches in the nation during 37 years as head coach at Tufts, was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame. Casey served as president of the ABCA in 2016 after serving as a vice president for four years, and he is a member of the ABCA Board of Directors. He has guided the Jumbos to six NESCAC titles and 750 victories.

Bob Sheldon
Bob Sheldon

Coach of the Year

In his 32nd season as men’s basketball coach, Bob Sheldon was selected NABC Northeast and NESCAC Coach of the Year. Under his direction, the Jumbos were the top team in NESCAC for the regular season, won the conference championship tournament, and had advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 before it was canceled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jumbo Farewell. Jumbo Welcome.

In his last year at Tufts, Josh Shapiro and his assistants earned D3soccer.com and United Soccer Coaches National Coaching Staff of the Year honors for 2019. Shapiro also received NESCAC Coach of the Year recognition. In January, he left Tufts to become the head coach at Harvard University. Tufts is excited to welcome Kyle Dezotell, who has 16 years of successful experience as a head coach, as the next leader of the Tufts men’s soccer program.

Jill Pace
Jill Pace

Historic First Season

In her first season as the women’s basketball head coach, Jill Pace won NESCAC Coach of the Year honors as well as D3hoops. com, WBCA, and NEWBA regional Coach of the Year awards. She directed the team to wins in its first 26 games—a new Tufts record—and to a 28–1 final mark that included an NCAA Sweet 16 berth.

Martha Whiting
Martha Whitling

Return to Prominence

Last fall, head coach Martha Whiting led Tufts women’s soccer to its most wins in a season in 15 years. The team’s 14–4–2 record earned the Jumbos a spot in the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005. Whiting earned her fifth NESCAC Coach of the Year award and was joined by her assistants in receiving the United Soccer Coaches Regional Staff of the Year honor for New England.

Cora Thompson
Cora Thompson

Adding to Her Trophy Shelf

Volleyball head coach Cora Thompson received NESCAC Coach of the Year for the seventh time and also became a three-time AVCA Regional Coach of the Year. The Jumbos won the NESCAC championship after finishing the conference season with a perfect 10–0 mark. Tufts was selected to host the NCAA Volleyball Regional at Cousens Gym and finished with a 28–2 record.

Jula Harrington
Jula Harrington

Breaking Barriers

Tufts sophomore Jula Harrington, a student assistant coach for the Jumbo football team, was one of just 40 women in the country selected to attend the National Football League’s 2020 Women’s Careers in Football Forum. The event educates participants in football operations and connects them to top executives in professional and college football programs.



Goal Reached. Facility Built. Legacy Reborn.

Thanks to the generosity of 19 donors, including alumni, parents, and friends, the Jumbos now have a sparkling new squash home to call their own. The $6 million Tufts Squash Center opened in February when the Jumbos’ men’s and women’s teams swept Connecticut College in the first matches played in the new facility. The win is just a sign of things to come as we begin to reclaim the once prominent place Tufts Squash held nationally. Equally important, community access to the new center furthers our commitment to Medford and Somerville and opens up opportunities to develop squash programs for youth in both cities.

squash court

Jumbo Appreciation

“We are deeply grateful to everyone who so generously stepped up to give our squash program this beautiful new on-campus home. It will be a true game changer in terms of attracting the best and brightest student-athletes and hosting high-level competition at Tufts. From a broader perspective, this facility is also just another example of how philanthropy is helping us meet critical priorities for Tufts Athletics and give everyone in the Tufts community first-class options to pursue fitness, health, and wellness.” —John Morris, Director of Athletics

Benefits of Our New Squash Center

squash court

Advancing Jumbo Success.


Pie chart depicting percentage of all donors. Pie chart depicting percentage of total funds raised Infographic depicting annual fund gifts. Bar graph depicting donations over time. Bar graph depicting number of donors over time. Bar graph depicting annual and capital gifts over time.

Jumbo Vision Taking Shape

screenshot of athletics fundraising website Thanks to support from alumni, parents, and friends, the Athletics Facilities Master Plan—part of the university’s $1.5 billion Brighter World fundraising campaign— has already realized significant improvements that help set the collegiate standard and have a positive impact on our student-athletes and broader community. Completed projects include Daniel Ounjian Field (field hockey, fall 2016) and the Tufts Squash Center (February 2020). Our Athletics Campaign Committee continues to raise funds for a new Aquatics Center, while our Baseball Stadium Project Committee has its sights set on a new baseball stadium with lights and synthetic turf. Fundraising is also in process for improvements to the Ellis Oval Complex and for construction of an ice rink. For highlights on our key projects, visit our new website at go.tufts. edu/supportathletics.

Brighter World: The Campaign for Tufts

Our Future Is in Good Hands

Tufts Athletics is strengthened by endowed funds and bequest intentions created through the generosity of our supporters. These funds, with a combined market and overall value of more than $3.57 million, provide essential ongoing and future support for our varsity and club sports programs.*

Bill Gehling Women’s Soccer Endowment

Ice Hockey Endowment

John C. Richmond, M.D., Athletic Trainer Endowment

Jumbo Baseball Endowed Fund

Jumbo Student-Athletes Endowed Fund

Kay and Bill Duryea Endowed Men’s Lacrosse Fund

Men’s Crew Team Coach

Mike Daly Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Endowed Fund

Paige Family Endowed Fund

Richard A. Reines, M.D., A71, M76 Endowed Fund for Men’s Swimming

Tufts Ultimate Frisbee Teams Support Fund

Honoring a Legacy

The 2019 season heralded the 40th anniversary of women’s soccer at Tufts University. Former head coach and director of athletics Bill Gehling founded the program in 1979, building and leading it for two decades. To recognize this rich legacy, Tufts women’s soccer alumnae, parents, and friends of the program banded together to establish the Bill Gehling Women’s Soccer Endowment. It will provide additional resources to existing university funding to meet annual programmatic expenses in perpetuity. This is the first endowed operating fund specifically for any women’s athletics program at Tufts. It was formally unveiled during the 40th anniversary celebration at Homecoming in front of more than 100 alumnae, parents, and friends and the current women’s soccer Jumbos.

Friends of Tufts Women’s Soccer Volunteer Leaders:

Page Crutcher, J83

Judy Hinchey, J84, M90, GBS06

Cecelia Wilcox Magargee, J87

Mel Maloney, J83

Lisa Raffin, E85

Annie Ross, A07

Heather Sibbison, J83, A13P, A16P

Martha Whiting, J93, AG95