Tufts Athletics
Annual Report

2020 | 21

Jumbos have many virtues. This year brought all of them out.


A letter from the director of athletics

Dear Friends of Tufts Athletics,

The words on the cover of this Annual Report are engraved on two benches across the street from the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center. These words are important because they represent many of the values that Tufts Athletics stands for.

I recently read a quote about values: “If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values; they’re hobbies.” Clearly, the 2020–2021 year was a year when our values were tested.

By the standard metrics we use to measure success in athletics, 2020-2021 was another great year for our Jumbo coaches and student-athletes. Our student-athletes recorded an overall GPA of 3.62; they supported each other in unprecedented ways; and they continued to give back to their community. And once our spring teams were approved to compete, they managed to win three NESCAC championships; they qualified for five NCAA tournaments; and they advanced to one national championship game, two Final Fours, one Elite 8, and earned a #6 national team finish.

But during a pandemic year, the standard metrics don’t really apply. We raised some trophies, and we are very proud of that. But the primary reason the 2020–2021 year was such a success is because—when tested—the Jumbos were true to their values.

  • The coaches and staff jumped in to support the university at every opportunity. They developed at-home fitness and wellness programming; they volunteered to help with COVID arrival testing, dining hall work, and contact tracing, and most significantly, they served as the case managers for all COVID-positive and quarantining students throughout the year.
  • Rather than lamenting the loss of their seasons, our fall and winter sport coaches and student-athletes dedicated themselves to helping our spring sports have the best athletic experience they could. One of the most powerful moments of the year for me was seeing multiple head coaches of fall and winter sports arrive at the Gantcher Center at 5:30 a.m. to conduct day-of-game antigen tests to help ensure the spring student-athletes got to compete.
  • The coaches, staff, and student-athletes were resilient and adapted to support each other in ways they never would have anticipated. And when the opportunity to play arrived this spring, the Jumbos were prepared to achieve excellence.

In 2020-2021, in the face of adversity, the Jumbos demonstrated perseverance, discipline, selflessness, teamwork, attitude, humility, achievement, and dedication—just like we said we would on those benches across the street.

And perhaps more than in any other year, our student-athletes experienced the power of team and a level of gratitude and joy they may never have imagined would result purely from the opportunity to be together, practice together, and compete together. In the words of one spring sport student-athlete, “Being able to compete again with my best friends and teammates was something I’d hardly let myself hope for, and I haven’t felt this kind of overwhelming joy in such a long time.”

In many respects, the Jumbos had one of their best years ever…in the most challenging year ever. We hope you’ll enjoy this 2020-2021 Tufts Athletics Annual Report and a quick look back at what your Jumbos accomplished in a year like no other.

Go Jumbos!

John Morris

John Morris
Director of Athletics


Academic Distinction

Despite the challenges of strict COVID-19 requirements, Tufts opened its campus on schedule in September 2020. Some courses took place in-person. Some were virtual. And others were a combination of both. While it was no ordinary year, the Jumbos adapted, performed better than ever academically during the pandemic, and elevated the meaning of what it takes to be a true student-athlete.

Amy Socha

NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee

The NCAA’s Woman of the Year Award was created to honor senior female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service, and leadership. Tufts nominee Amy Socha checks all of those boxes. A swimmer who achieved 11 career All-America awards and also won three NESCAC titles, Socha graduated with a 3.81 GPA with a degree in archaeology. Her community involvement included rallying the entire Athletics Department to assist local families via a Jumbo Giving Tree and coordinating local cleanup events during the team’s winter training trips to Stuart, Florida.

Amy Socha
Isaac Gorelik

Courting Excellence

At the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships in Chattanooga, one Jumbo was singled out for his academic and athletic excellence. Junior Isaac Gorelik was presented with the prestigious NCAA Elite 90 Award, given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships. Gorelik, who advanced to the Sweet 16 at the NCAA Singles Championship, has earned a 3.98 GPA as a data science and applied mathematics major.

Isaac Gorelik
Subin Jeong

Most Likely to Exceed

Subin Jeong of the women’s fencing team was one of just 12 graduating seniors selected by the Tufts University Alumni Association to receive its Senior Award. Nominees excel at academic achievement, participation in campus and community activities, and leadership. A team captain, Jeong is a two-time NCAA Regional qualifier for the Jumbos. A community health and Spanish culture double major, she conducted biomedical engineering research in the Kaplan Lab, volunteered weekly at Y2Y Youth Homeless Shelter in Cambridge, and worked with Newton Neighbors Helping Neighbors to support families and businesses.

Subin Jeong

NESCAC All- Academic Team Honors

In addition to winning three NESCAC championships this spring, Tufts was also at the top of the conference academically. The Jumbos earned a total of 442 NESCAC All-Academic team honors in the fall, winter, and spring seasons. The recognition requires a 3.50 grade-point average or better. For the spring, Tufts’ 192 honorees were the most out of the 11 schools in the conference.

Boris Sorkin and Catherine Lawliss

4.0 Marks Achieved 332 Times

The Jumbos adapted quite well to the university’s hybrid learning approach during the 2020–2021 academic year. Whether they attended classes in person or participated remotely, approximately 16 percent of Tufts’ student-athletes recorded perfect 4.0 grade-point averages in each semester this year. In the fall and spring combined, 4.0 marks were achieved a total of 332 times.

Sorkin and Catherine

Phi Beta Kappa. Newest Inductees to Oldest Academic Society

Induction into Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) is one of the top honors a student can receive. Jumbo student-athletes are always well represented when the PBK recipients are announced each spring. The Jumbo varsity sport student-athletes who were inducted were men’s tennis senior Boris Sorkin (biochemistry), golf senior Alex Honigford (quantitative economics), rowing seniors Grace Duisberg (Greek and Latin) and Polly Harrington (engineering psychology), and sailing junior George Sidamon-Eristoff (computer science and French).

rowing on the water
Honor Roll

Academic All-Americans

Six Jumbos were recognized among the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances in athletic competition and in the classroom. Receiving CoSIDA Academic All-America awards for 2020–2021 were soccer players Sophie Lloyd and Travis Van Brewer, tennis players Isaac Gorelik and Boris Sorkin, lacrosse’s Catherine Lawliss, and track’s Melissa Rowland. Sorkin achieved the honor for the second straight year.

From left to right: Melissa Rowland, Travis Van Brewer, and Sophie Lloyd

Melissa Rowland, Travis Van
Brewer, and Sophie Lloyd

GPAs—the Team Efforts

For the 2020–2021 year, 30 Jumbo teams combined for a remarkable 3.62 grade-point average. The best team GPA was achieved by women’s cross country/track & field with a 3.77 mark. Volleyball (3.75) and women’s soccer (3.74) were next on the list. Cross country/track & field also led on the men’s side at 3.68, followed by tennis and swimming & diving, both coming in with strong 3.65 team GPAs.

Women's track



coach with grocery bag

Coaches Help with COVID

Although the fall and winter sports seasons were canceled due to the pandemic, Athletics coaches and staff didn’t sit on the sidelines. They stepped up and actively assisted the university in managing the pandemic. They served as case managers for students who tested positive for COVID-19 or who were quarantining because they might have been exposed to the virus. In addition, they talked almost daily with the students living in the “mods” (the temporary modular housing put in place for COVID-related isolating) or off campus, offered them resources, brought them needed supplies—even if it was a bag of Doritos—and acted as a sounding board. Additionally, Athletics staff helped students at the arrival testing site and in the dining halls where new protocols were implemented.

Kiara Rose

Voices for Equity

Tufts student-athletes emerged this year as leaders in the discussion about racial justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Track & field’s Kathryn Ezeoha, swimming’s Sahar Mumtaz, and tennis’ Kiara Rose were all members of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committees during the 2020–2021 year. Mumtaz was selected by USA Swimming as a member of its DEI Council. Ezeoha and Rose are active as part of the NESCAC’s Coalition of Student-Athletes of Color. Each Jumbo is participating to encourage dialogue and solidarity around issues of race.

Allies for Change

The entire Tufts Athletics staff joined the conversation about race. Throughout the year, the Athletics Department participated in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives aimed at educating the staff. The Jumbos partnered with Women 2.0 and Em|PACT Strategies to participate in a 21-Day Ally Challenge program, designed to create an understanding of what it means to be an ally for people from underrepresented groups. Jumbo administrators, coaches, staff, and student-athletes also took a JenFryTalks seminar, using conversation to educate and empower those within Athletics through an anti-racist lens.

Team Impact logo

Emphasis on Impact

The already strong partnership between Team IMPACT and Tufts Athletics was reinforced this year. Since 2011, Tufts teams have drafted 17 children through Team IMPACT. The relationships benefit both parties as the athletes share team bonding experiences with the children and the children provide unforgettable lessons in courage. This year Tufts Athletics and Team IMPACT announced a two-year partnership that will further strengthen their relationship. This partnership will include a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee of Jumbo athletes advocating for Team IMPACT, two student-athlete fellowship positions on campus, and exclusive access to student-athlete development opportunities.

children involved with Team Impact

Wonderful Gain.
Heartfelt Loss.

The Jumbos’ relationship with Team IMPACT came full circle this year. Zack Cummings first came to Tufts in 2017 after being drafted to the football team through Team IMPACT while battling cancer. After that great experience with the team, Zack is excited to return to Tufts as a student after being accepted into the class of 2025. He will look to join the football team as one of its managers.

Unfortunately, Tufts also lost one of its Team IMPACT teammates this year with the passing of Grace Zinck, who had been with the women’s lacrosse team since 2018.

Individual Efforts

There are Jumbos who bring everyone together in support of a cause. For the third straight year, women’s basketball’s Lily Bolen led the organization of a monthlong “Play for Pink” fundraiser benefiting breast cancer awareness in honor of her mother. Despite being held entirely online this year, a record-setting $25,000 was raised.

With no fall races to stoke her team’s competitive fires, cross country and track & field senior Sara Mitchell came up with something to run for. She organized a virtual 5K race for the team that raised money for Team Brain Train, supporting those suffering with traumatic brain injuries. Approximately $1,500 was raised in donations, and the Jumbos did their part by running the 5K safely around Danehy Park in Cambridge.

Team Efforts

  • Tufts football continued its reading program with Brooks Elementary School in Medford. Players recorded themselves reading books, and the videos were shared with parents of children learning remotely.
  • The women’s basketball team participated in the “Hoops for Health” free throw fundraiser in April. They raised more than $4,000 for Shooting Touch, a local sport-for-development nonprofit.
  • Alumnus Brett Rojas and senior Hannah Isenhart of Jumbo soccer again organized a FIFA video game contest throughout NESCAC. They raised $13,000 for Family Promise, which helps to provide prevention, shelter, and stabilization for families in need.
  • Women’s swimming & diving ran a shoe drive to collect children’s shoes for the Medford Family Network and donated more than $500 and over 80 pairs of shoes.
  • Volleyball helped assemble and deliver 375+ thank you care packages to COVID front-line workers on the Tufts campus on behalf of the Athletics Department during the holidays.

Mental Health a Priority

The disruption to the lives of students caused by COVID was one of many impacts of the pandemic. During Mental Health Week in March, Tufts’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) developed a schedule of online activities to promote and benefit mental health awareness and care. A program of events and speakers was created to break down the stigma surrounding mental health.


Athletic Achievements

With the health and safety of the Tufts community top of mind, the university canceled fall and winter athletics competition. The Jumbos were, however, allowed to train and practice under strict safety guidelines. Coaches and staff provided student-athletes with an experience that—despite no games being played—brought out their best: camaraderie, character-defining resolve, and love of play. Online meetings further promoted bonding and team culture. Several teams took the time to reflect on larger societal issues, especially the nation’s reckoning with racism. Some teams competed in virtual meets; others held intra-squad scrimmages. Though activity was suspended in November as campus COVID numbers rose, there were glimmers of hope following winter break. Practices resumed in February and on March 9, to the joy of many, Tufts announced its plan to resume intercollegiate competition under strict health protocols. Once competition started in early April, the Jumbos’ joy was expressed with a run of outstanding performances topped by three NESCAC championships, and by women’s lacrosse and men’s tennis senior Boris Sorkin playing in NCAA championship finals. When all was said and done, the Jumbos persevered through a year that started with great uncertainty and came through as champions in the end.

Their Seasons Were Canceled. Their Passion Wasn’t.

COVID-19 prevented all club sports and these teams from playing this past year: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s fencing, field hockey, football, men’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s squash, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, and volleyball.

football and basketball players
Women’s Lacrosse

Blazing a Path to the NCAA Championship Game

The Jumbos continued to make history in 2021. Tufts finished with a 10-1 record—including an 11-5 victory at Division I Dartmouth—and won its first-ever NESCAC title 14-3 over Wesleyan. They then marched past four strong opponents all the way to the NCAA Championship Game for the first time where they narrowly missed winning their first national title, falling to Salisbury 14-13.

the women's lacrosse team
Men’s Tennis

Sorkin Leads the Way

Tufts senior Boris Sorkin had the best season in men’s tennis history. Playing at the NCAA Singles Championships, he defeated five opponents to advance all the way to the national championship match. The Tufts team—for the first time in its history—competed in the NESCAC final and battled Williams College to the wire in a 5-4 loss. Three team members qualified for the NCAA Individual Championships overall.

Boris Sorkin

7th College World Series Appearance

NCAA Regional champions after winning four closely-contested games at the tournament, Tufts earned its seventh trip to the Division III College World Series. The Jumbos, who finished 21-7, also continued their dominance of the NESCAC by winning their 12th conference championship.

Softball team

4th NCAA Berth in 5 Seasons

The Jumbos were among the best in New England once again, earning an NCAA berth for the fourth time in the last five years. Tufts played in both the NESCAC and NCAA Regional championship games and finished with a 15-8 record.

a baseball player swings the bat

Back in the Swing of Things

One of the most improved Tufts teams in recent years, the Jumbos tied for second place in the NESCAC with a final score that was just one stroke behind the leader. It was Tufts golf’s best finish at a NESCAC final event since 2003.

Women’s Rowing

Making Waves

A young Tufts team showed its strength early with a first varsity eight win against a Hamilton squad that would finish the year ranked second nationally. The Jumbos would earn a #7 national ranking of their own after taking second place in the NESCAC East Division.

women's rowing
Co-Ed Sailing

Smooth Sailing

Following an undefeated second day at the Team Racing Nationals in Maryland, the Jumbos placed seventh at the championship event overall. Tufts was also represented at the Singlehanded Nationals, with sophomore Bryan Trammell posting the team’s top finish in 22nd place.

co-ed sailing
Men’s Lacrosse

NESCAC 3-Peat and NCAA Final 4

The Jumbos extended their dominance in the NESCAC by winning a third straight conference title and their 10th in the last 11 years. An impressive run to their seventh NCAA Final Four followed, finishing a 9-1 season that included a 15-9 win at Division I Dartmouth.

men's lacrosse
Women’s Sailing

Wind at Their Backs

Tufts raced well in two national championship events in the spring. First, three Jumbos were among the top 12 at the Singlehanded Nationals led by sophomore Annika Fedde in seventh. Then the team’s ninth-place finish at Women’s Nationals was the program’s best since 2010.

women's sailing
Men’s Rowing

On the Water. On the Rise

Another of Tufts’ fast-improving teams, the Jumbos produced strong results in the spring of 2021. They posted an 8-2 regular-season record, then won the NESCAC East Division to advance to the conference championship round where they finished third.

men's rowing


Bryce Adam
Men’s Lacrosse

Jaidyn Appel
Women’s Track & Field

Josh Belandres
Men’s Tennis

Matt Boccardo
Men’s Lacrosse

Anna Clarke
Women’s Lacrosse

Jack Donohue
Men’s Lacrosse

Maggie Dorr
Women’s Tennis

Lindsay Erickson
Women’s Lacrosse

Taggart Eymer
Men’s Lacrosse

Emily Games
Women’s Lacrosse


Molly Laliberty

Caroline Garrido
Women’s Tennis

Isaac Gorelik
Men’s Tennis

John Griffin
Men’s Rowing

Ryan Hankins
Men’s Rowing

Molly Laliberty
Women’s Lacrosse

Catherine Lawliss
Women’s Lacrosse

Danielle Page
Women’s Track & Field

Tilly Rigby
Women’s Tennis

Lia Rotti
Women’s Track & Field

Melissa Rowland
Women’s Track & Field

Garrett Samuelson
Men’s Lacrosse

Anna Slager
Women’s Track & Field

Boris Sorkin
Men’s Tennis

Clay Sowell

Joe Theuer
Men’s Lacrosse

Max Waldbaum
Men’s Lacrosse

Jack Walton
Men’s Lacrosse

Women’s Tennis

First NCAA Final Four

The Jumbos had their most successful year ever during the most challenging year ever. Tufts played in the NCAA Final Four for the first time after defeating Johns Hopkins and Sewanee in earlier rounds, and was also a NESCAC finalist for the first time. Three players qualified for the NCAA Individual Championships as well.

Women's Tennis
Men’s Track & Field

Making Great Strides

Coming off its canceled indoor season, the Jumbos won three outdoor meets and had 10 competitors earn All-Region recognition. Freshman Luke Botsford won 11 races during the season and then competed in the 400 meters at the NCAA Championships in North Carolina.

men's track and field
Women’s Track & Field

6th Place at NCAAs

Led by national runner-up performances from Melissa Rowland and Jaidyn Appel, as well as a double-distance All- America showing from Danielle Page, Tufts’ sixth-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships was the program’s best since 1991. Nine Jumbos overall competed at NCAAs, the most ever for the program outdoors.

women's track and field

Players of the Year and Award Winners

Luke Botsford, Men’s Track & Field, NESCAC Rookie of the Year

Mac Bredahl, Men’s Lacrosse, NEILA Division III Player of the Year, NESCAC Player of the Year, U.S. Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Player of the Year

Emma Della Volpe, Softball, NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year

Sophia DiCocco, Softball, NESCAC Rookie of the Year

Kristina Haghdan, Softball, NESCAC Pitcher of the Year

Molly Laliberty, Women’s Lacrosse, IWLCA Division III Goalkeeper of the Year, NESCAC Player of the Year, U.S. Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Goalie of the Year

Catherine Lawliss, Women’s Lacrosse, NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year

From left to right: Mac Bredahl, Danielle Page, Kristina Haghdan

Bredahl, Danielle
Page, Kristina

Jack Meehan, Golf, NESCAC Co-Rookie of the Year

Patricia Obeid, Women’s Tennis, NESCAC Co-Senior Sportswoman of the Year

Danielle Page, Women’s Track & Field, USTFCCCA New England Division III Track Athlete of the Year, NESCAC Most Outstanding Performer

Tilly Rigby, Women’s Tennis, NESCAC Rookie of the Year

Lia Rotti, Women’s Track & Field, USTFCCCA New England Division III Field Athlete of the Year, NESCAC Most Outstanding Rookie

Boris Sorkin, Men’s Tennis, ITA Senior Player of the Year, NESCAC Co-Player of the Year, NESCAC Clarence Chaffee Sportsmanship Award

Michael Volgende, Baseball, NESCAC Pitcher of the Year



Jen O’Malley Dillon
Jen O’Malley Dillon

Campaign Champion

“I am absolutely who I am today in part because of Tufts softball. The leadership experience and being part of teams are a really big part of my background. There is so much to learn from being part of a team, working together for a united goal.”

Jen O’Malley Dillon, a 1998 Tufts graduate, political strategist, campaign veteran, and former Jumbo softball player, served as campaign manager for the Biden-Harris campaign, which made her the first woman to manage a successful Democratic presidential campaign. A veteran of seven presidential campaigns, O’Malley Dillon has worked in leadership and organizing positions on campaigns at every level—from state senate and mayoral races to congressional, gubernatorial, and U.S. Senate campaigns. O’Malley Dillon also served as deputy campaign manager for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. Dillon was a member of the first two Tufts softball teams to earn NCAA Tournament berths in 1997 and 1998.

NFL coaches

NFL Coaches

Division III Tufts has three alumni who now have long-standing careers as NFL coaches. Each of them earned promotions in February as the Seattle Seahawks named Shane Waldron as offensive coordinator and Andy Dickerson as run game coordinator, and the Cleveland Browns moved Ben Bloom up to run game coordinator. Previously members of the Los Angeles Rams coaching staff during the 2020–2021 season, Waldron and Dickerson participated in the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign in support of Angelman syndrome, a disease that afflicts the son of a former Tufts teammate Todd Brown.

Sonia Raman
NBA coach Sonia Raman

NBA Coach

In September 2020, Sonia Raman joined a group of trailblazing women coaching men’s professional sports teams when she was hired by the Memphis Grizzlies as an assistant coach. A 1996 Tufts graduate, she walked on to the Jumbo team and developed her love for the game. She spent two years as an assistant at Tufts before turning to a career in law. However, her passion for basketball never waned and she returned to coaching with jobs at Smith and MIT before the NBA came calling. Raman is the 14th woman—and the league’s first Indian American woman—to be named as an NBA coach.

Tyler Paige, Gaurika Singh, Roger
Gu, Mitchell

Olympic Outcomes

Two Jumbos represented at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Alumnus Tyler Paige sailed in the Men’s Two Person Dinghy—470 for American Samoa, and incoming student Gaurika Singh carried Nepal’s flag at the opening ceremonies and swam in the women’s 100-meter freestyle. Former Jumbo NCAA champions Roger Gu in swimming and Mitchell Black in track also competed at the Olympic Trials in their respective sports this year.

Top row (left to right): Tyler Paige, Gaurika Singh
Bottom row (left to right): Roger Gu, Mitchell Black



Kate Bayard

National Coach of the Year

Led by head coach Kate Bayard, the women’s tennis team had their best—and most challenging—year on record. As a result, Bayard was honored as the ITA’s Division III National Coach of the Year. Under Coach Bayard’s guidance, the Jumbos advanced to the program’s first-ever NCAA Final Four and NESCAC championship match and had three players receive All-America honors. The team also achieved a 3.65 team GPA, earned seven Academic All-NESCAC awards, won a conference sportswoman of the year award, and remained actively engaged in community service activities.

Coach Kate Bayard
Bob Sheldon

Coach Sheldon Retires. His Legacy Remains.

We said goodbye to a Tufts legend this year. Bob Sheldon, head coach of the men’s basketball team since 1988, retired following 33 years leading the Jumbos. Coach Sheldon went out on top, as his 2019-2020 team won the NESCAC championship and then advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 before COVID-19 ended the season. Coach Sheldon retires as the Jumbo program’s all-time leader in coaching victories with 483. Tufts made six NCAA Tournament appearances under his charge, including four berths into the Sweet 16.

Coach Bob Sheldon

Coaching Awards

An impressive five Tufts teams were recognized for their coaches’ achievements during the spring 2021 season, representing nearly half of the Tufts teams that played competitively in the spring:

  • Kate Bayard: ITA Division III National Coach of the Year, ITA Northeast Region, and NESCAC Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year
  • Casey D’Annolfo: NEILA New England Men’s Lacrosse Coach of the Year
  • Lauren Ebstein, head coach, and Marly Becker, assistant coach: NFCA Softball Regional Staff of the Year
  • Kristen Morwick: USTFCCCA Track & Field New England Coach of the Year
  • Courtney Shute: IWLCA Pilgrim Region and NESCAC Women’s Lacrosse Coach of the Year

Casey D'Annolfo (top), Courtney Shute, Softball Coaching Staff (bottom)

softball coaching staff

Roll Out the Brown and Blue Carpet

Welcome our next men’s basketball head coach: Brandon Linton. He has a wide range of coaching experience including head coach at Nichols College, where he led the 2019-2020 team to 21 wins, a Commonwealth Coast Conference championship, and an NCAA berth. He spent 2014-2019 as an assistant on the men’s basketball team at Army West Point and brings familiarity with NESCAC through two seasons (2012-2014) at Bowdoin College.

Future Leader Graduate Fellowship

Tufts Athletics created a new Future Leader Graduate Fellowship beginning in fall 2021. Students from populations underrepresented in the field of intercollegiate athletics will pursue a two-year master’s degree in the Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences while gaining industry experience across all aspects of athletics administration. Marcel Diggs, a 2020 graduate of St. Olaf College, was selected for the 2021-2022 fellowship and joined the Jumbos in August.

ATOM President

Matt Whalen, Tufts’ director of sports medicine, was voted in for a three-year term as president of the Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts (ATOM) organization this year. The new leader of the nonprofit organization—committed to advancing, improving, and promoting the profession of athletic training—was hired at Tufts in June 2019 after nine years at Harvard University (2010-19).

Joining the Club

In June, Lance Greene was hired as assistant director of recreation & club sports to lead the continued growth of the program. Greene joins the Jumbos from Endicott College, where he has served as the club sports coordinator since 2017.



The Athletics Board of Advisors is one of 10 boards at Tufts University: one for each of the schools, plus an International Board of Advisors. The advisors focus attention on and address the needs and aspirations of the Department of Athletics. Working in concert with Director of Athletics John Morris, the advisors serve as ambassadors for the department; advise, counsel, and further its mission; and assist in securing resources essential to supporting our student-athletes, coaches, and staff.

We are indebted to the service of our 27 current advisors, who give so generously of their time, expertise, and support:

Theodore R. Tye, Chair, A79, A06P, A13P, Trustee
Years of Service: 10 with 5 as chair

Gregory H. Altman, PhD, A97, EG02
Years of Service: 7

John J. Bello, A68, A13P Trustee Emeritus
Years of Service: 18

Cynthia L. Borger, J87, A19P
Years of Service: 4

Julie M. Brady, Esq., J89
Years of Service: 8

David J. Cunningham, A98
Years of Service: 13

Greg C. Davis, A86, A19P
Years of Service: 4

Catherine Beldotti Donlan, J90
Years of Service: 1

Thomas J. Folliard, A14P, A16P, A24P
Years of Service: 4

Michael R. Frisoli, A93, A25P
Years of Service: 6

Jeffrey B. Gewirtz, A91
Years of Service: 5

Lisa R. Gorman, J81
Years of Service: 1

Michael A. Haynes, A96
Years of Service: 8

John C. Howe, A80, A10P
Years of Service: 15

Robert A. Keller, A83
Years of Service: 5

Daniel A. Kraft, A87, A25P
Trustee Emeritus
Years of Service: 24

Lisa A. Lax, J86
Years of Service: 19

Jonathan W. Mugar, A98, AG99
Years of Service: 17

Kara A. Murphy, J97
Years of Service: 5

John J. Regan, A90
Years of Service: 16

David B. Rone, A84, A25P
Trustee Emeritus
Years of Service: 1

Janice Savin-Williams, J79
Trustee Emerita
Years of Service: 2

Anthony B. Shropshire, A04
Years of Service: 1

V. Heather Sibbison, J83, A13P, A16P
Years of Service: 11

Robert W. Tishman, A86
Years of Service: 23

Jennifer M. Tramontana, E99
Years of Service: 8

Nancy Stern Winters, J86
Years of Service: 19



Pie chart depicting percentage of all donors. Pie chart depicting percentage of total funds raised Giving Tuesday results Bar graph depicting donations over time. Percentage of people that made gifts by type Bar graph depicting annual and capital gifts over time.

A Shared Vision.
A Commitment to Achieving It.

rendering of baseball field Despite the pandemic, our donors haven’t wavered. Thanks to their generosity, and our ability to adapt fundraising efforts in unprecedented circumstances, we’re closer to our fundraising goal of $5 million-plus. Led by the Baseball Stadium Committee, $3.2 million was raised this year, bringing our overall total to $4.4 million raised to date from over 200 donors. Numerous group Zoom calls across class years and former parents provided the opportunity to share progress, stadium renderings, and cultivate new interest in and support for the project. Our specific project webpage on the Brighter World campaign site was updated to showcase fundraising progress highlighting total donors and dollars raised. We even went a step further this year by creating a new interactive donor wall. Now it’s easier than ever to track our progress as we turn our overall Athletics mission into a reality.

The Shape of Dreams to Come

Athletics builds character. Thanks to our donors, we can build facilities too. This year, donors responded with significant financial support to move us closer to achieving our vision for a new baseball stadium, and enhancements to Ellis Oval and Vouté Tennis Courts.

Ellis Oval Facility Project (Phase I)

rendering of Ellis Oval The initial funding objective of $2.7 million for Phase I has been raised. The removal of the natural grass and installation of synthetic turf took place in summer 2021, with an expected completion date in early September in time for fall athletics seasons. Installation of permanent lights and a new video scoreboard will soon follow.

Tennis Facility Project

a tennis player hits the ball The courts were taken offline for the 2019-2020 academic year with the installation of modular housing units, part of the university’s COVID-19 response to quarantine test-positive students safely. While the school will return the courts to their original condition, donors have already begun to contribute toward a multitude of enhancements: new scoreboard, bleachers, team room, PlaySight video streaming system, and natural wind barriers. The refurbished and enhanced courts are due to open for play in fall 2022.

Overcoming the Challenges of COVID-19

Even with fall and winter sports called off, the generosity of our donors was called on. They stepped up to help provide annual operational support, as well as make long-term investments through the creation of endowments and contributions to capital projects. Below are just a few ways they bolstered Tufts Athletics in 2020-2021:


Our donors responded in droves again this year. We raised $580,555 in donations, our highest GivingTuesday total yet, representing over 17 percent of all donations raised, and our 3,181 gifts were nearly 36 percent of all gifts made university-wide.

Challenge Matches

Fourteen teams—9 men’s teams and five women’s teams—raised over $340,000 from alumni, parents, and friends in 10 separate challenge matches.

Athletics Campaign Committee

The committee met remotely for the fall and spring meetings; members conducted individual outreach to assigned prospects; and a campaign video focusing on key capital project priorities was developed for use in small group Zoom cultivation gatherings. The video will continue to be used when in-person prospect receptions begin again, likely in fall 2021.

Friends Groups/Alumni Engagement

While in-person gatherings were not held this year, eight teams held alumni Zoom gatherings during Tufts’ Virtual Homecoming, and numerous teams held Zoom alumni/student-athlete networking nights, career panels, and evenings where head coaches provided updates and answered questions about their programs.

New & Growing Opportunities

Athletics Director Facilities Fund Established

Initially created with a $1 million anonymous gift, the fund provides an opportunity for donors to make a gift to support capital projects and facilities upgrades generally, with their gifts used at the discretion of the Director of Athletics for immediate priority projects.

Tufts Athletics Future Leader Graduate Fellowship

Established with a gift covering the first two years of the program, the focus of this fellowship is on creating opportunities for those currently underrepresented in the field of athletics administration. In addition to master’s-level coursework, fellows will spend time in various Athletics units and interact with campus partners. Our long-term goal, which will need to be funded by donors, is to create two fellowships for graduate students to gain administrative experience and two fellowships for assistant coaching experience as well.

Planned Giving/Bequests

A planned giving bequest of $1 million to support Athletics generally in the future was received, demonstrating the power of including Tufts Athletics in a donor’s estate plan to ensure future resources to benefit all our student-athletes.

Bill Gehling Women’s Soccer Endowment

Established in fall 2019 with an initial funding objective of $100,000, an additional $49,000 was raised this year to bring the total raised to date to $111,880. This is the first endowment established to specifically benefit a women’s team at Tufts.

The Moslow Family Men’s and Women’s Rowing Endowment

Recognizing a desire to support the men’s and women’s rowing programs equitably, the donors changed the name of their endowment to reflect that the annual disbursement from it will benefit both programs equally.

Trevor Azmy Russo ’21 JumboCast Endowed Fund

This new fund was created by the parents of a graduating senior who had spent four years as a member of the JumboCast Club, which webcasts numerous home games across all our sports. It will augment the annual operating expenses of the JumboCast crew to webcast Athletics events.

Brighter World: The Campaign for Tufts

With Appreciation for Years to Come

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 $5.71 million, provide essential ongoing and future support for our varsity and club sports programs.*

Bequest for Athletics at the School of Arts & Sciences

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

Mike Daly Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Endowed Fund

Moslow Family Men’s and Women’s Rowing Endowment

Paige Family Endowed Fund

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

Trevor Azmy Russo ’21 JumboCast Endowed Fund

Tufts Ultimate Frisbee Teams Support Fund

*Aggregate market value as of May 31, 2021.