Director of Athletics Debby De Angelis.
Though the summer months usually bring a lull in activity in the Athletics Department, we've had quite a busy summer since our teams finished competition for the year in early May. We've honored our student-athletes at our annual banquet, had a baseball player drafted in the Major League Baseball Draft, had several water polo players earn national academic honors and hired two new head coaches. If you've missed any of that, read on to find out more about what's keeping Pioneer Athletics busy this summer.
In early June, we honored the achievements of our student-athletes at the annual Student-Athlete Awards Banquet, held in the New Student Union. The event capped the 2009-10 school year in which we completed our first season in Division II and the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). Among the honorees were Pioneer Male and Female Athlete of the Year Stephen Gatehouse and Claire Pierce, and Pioneer Spirit Award winner Lauren Massa.
Less than a week later, senior outfielder and pitcher Devin Grigg became the eighth player in program history to be picked in the MLB Draft, garnering the third-highest pick ever as the 525th overall pick, selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 17th round. The Alameda native started all but two games for East Bay this season, seeing most of his action in centerfield, while also serving as the Pioneers' top closer. Grigg hit .289 on the year, finishing the season with 43 runs and 33 runs batted in, good for second and third on the squad, respectively. On the mound, he made 14 appearances, posting a 2.89 ERA while going 5-1 and collecting a team-high five saves.
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After an exhaustive national search, I was pleased to announce Suzy Barcomb, a 200-game winner at the University of Puget Sound, as our new head women's basketball coach. A former player at Washington, Suzy joins the Pioneer staff as the all-time winningest women's basketball coach at Puget Sound and the reigning Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division III West Region Coach of the Year. With Suzy's track record of success both on and off the court during her time at Puget Sound and her experience in transitioning from NAIA to Division III, we expect her to do great things at Cal State East Bay as we complete our move to Division II and the CCAA.
Just a week later, we completed our head coaching staff changes with the hiring of Ben Loorz as our new head women's swimming coach. Ben joins the Pioneer coaching staff from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he has served as an assistant coach for the past three years, and will take over for longtime CSUEB Head Coach Anthony Garcia, who announced his retirement in May. An experienced coach across all levels of swimming, Ben has found success at the collegiate level, as UNLV swimmers collected 11 women's and 43 men's individual and relay conference titles, five Mountain West Conference Swimmer of the Year awards and one All-America certificate.
The honors have continued to roll in for the women's water polo team, which recorded the program's best-ever finish at Western Water Polo Association Tournament this season, as six players earned All-Academic honors and the team was recognized for its overall academic performance by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC). Freshmen Claire Pierce, Alex Gudenau and Chelsie Bryan, juniors Danielle Comforti and Liz Warren and senior Jenna Casady garner All-Academic selections while the team's combined 3.10 grade point average brought in the team honors. Pierce was among the top student-athletes in the country, leading the nation in scoring and posting a 4.0 grade point average.
With all of these exciting events going on, the summer is quickly slipping away. Before we know it, volleyball, soccer and cross country season will be upon us. We can't wait to see you out there, supporting our student-athletes as we continue our journey in Division II. Enjoy your summer, and go Pioneers!