Spring Summer 2024 Issue

Conference Championships and Highlights

Football celebrated their first season in the Landmark Conference by winning the league championship after defeating Lycoming 49–10, earning their second straight NCAA Playoff appearance. Field hockey picked up their second Landmark title in school history after a thrilling shootout to defeat Scranton in front of a capacity crowd at Susquehanna’s Sassafras Field. For the third straight year, the men’s and women’s indoor track & field programs swept the Landmark titles, clinching their latest in February inside Robert I. Estill Field House.

Also making Landmark history this year were the men’s and women’s basketball programs. The men advanced to their third Landmark Championship game in the last four seasons after impressive tournament wins over Goucher at home and Drew on the road. The women achieved their highest season wins total since 1994–95 with 18 wins, while winning their first home playoff game since 1999 with a 75–52 Landmark quarterfinals win over Drew.

Marcinek Adds to Slam Dunk Coaching Career

Image of coach Frank Marcinek talking to team in huddle. Frank Marcinek

Frank Marcinek completed his 35th season as Susquehanna men’s basketball head coach with a 17–11 record and the River Hawks reaching the Landmark Conference championship game for the third time in the last four years. Along the way, he reached his 500th career win on Dec. 6 when the River Hawks defeated Catholic 60–58, while making a visit to The Palestra at Penn University, aka “The Cathedral of College Basketball,” where they took down Drew 83–78.

Coach Selected for Olympic Honor

Field hockey head coach Allison Fordyce was one of two coaches selected nationwide by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association to travel to Europe for the XXXIII Olympic Summer Games. She will participate in clinics in the Netherlands with the top coaches in the world before attending Olympic field hockey matches in Paris, France, and engaging in tactical discussions with master coaches.

Waist high image of Allison Fordyce. American flag hanging in background. Allison Fordyce“The Olympics are the pinnacle of sport,” she says. “I will be surrounded by the highest level of athletes and coaches, yet we are all connected for our love and passion for field hockey. So many of the Olympic players are from Pennsylvania, so I think that seeing our state represented will also be very inspiring.”

Fordyce was selected for the Olympic honor through a competitive application process — one she almost didn’t enter, she said, on the assumption she wouldn’t win. Fordyce said her doubts and ultimate success should be a lesson for up-and-coming athletes.

“Young athletes today often think they must be a D1 athlete to receive a scholarship or play for the best club to be perceived as successful. I had the same thoughts as I debated applying for the scholarship,” Fordyce recalls. “I want to inspire my players to go for it — whatever that is for them.”

In 2023, Fordyce and her staff were named the Landmark Conference Coaching Staff of the Year after the River Hawks won the Landmark Conference championship and a NCAA Tournament berth. She and assistant coaches Kirby Szalkowski, Alyssa Broadt and Ashtin Midkiff guided Susquehanna to a 15–5 overall record and 8–1 in conference play to earn the top seed in the Landmark Field Hockey Tournament. In the championship match, the River Hawks defeated Scranton 2–1 in a penalty shootout to secure the program’s second Landmark title and automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.

Hall of Fame Gains 5

Susquehanna University Athletics Hall of Fame was established to formally recognize outstanding contributions to the heritage and tradition of the university’s intercollegiate athletics program. 

“It’s a pleasure to welcome our five distinguished individuals to the hall this year,” says Director of Athletics Sharief Hashim. “I am also excited that our inductees are recent graduates. I think that’s something our current student-athletes can relate to and have that instant connection with those that dealt with similar adversity and learn to rise above it.”

A total of 270 individuals have been inducted to date, with the newest members highlighted below.

Emily Carson ’13 Wagner, Volleyball: Carson’s senior season in 2012 saw her named as an AVCA All-Region First Team selection and an AVCA All-American Honorable Mention. She was named All-Landmark all four seasons, including a First Team selection her junior and senior seasons. Her career numbers made her third all-time in school history with 1,786 points and 1,484 kills, fourth with 336 totals and 266 block assists, ninth with 1,158 digs, and tenth with 70 solo blocks. Those numbers also have her in the Landmark career record books at third in block assists, fourth in kills, fifth in total blocks, sixth with 496 matches played, and tenth with a .265 attack percentage.

Toni Davis ’04, Swimming: An accomplished butterfly and freestyle letterwinner swimmer despite being born with a below-the-elbow amputee injury, Davis came within three seconds of qualifying for the 2000 Paralympic Games her freshman year. She qualified four years later to become the first African-American female to make the US Paralympic Swim Team, going on to set four butterfly records for national Paralympic competition in the 50 fly, 100 fly, 200 fly, and 400 IM. At the Greece games she finished fourth in the 100-meter butterfly and seventh in the 50-meter freestyle. She was ranked in the top 10 swimmers in the world in the butterfly S8.

Kade MacGregor ’16, Men’s Lacrosse: MacGregor took part in many unprecedented strides for Susquehanna men’s lacrosse from 2013 to 2016, including the program’s first Landmark Conference championship and NCAA National Tournament appearance in 2014, while becoming the first two-time All-American in team history. An accomplished defender, MacGregor was chosen to play in the Senior North-South National All-Star Game, was named Susquehanna’s Blair Heaton Male Athlete of the Year in 2016 and was named to the Landmark Conference’s All-Decade Team. His 68 career starts puts him second all-time at Susquehanna and 70 games played places third all-time. His academic accolades matched similar resonance, earning USILA Scholar All-American.

Antonio Nash ’03, Football: Nash was an accomplished defensive back and return man, racking up All-American honors his rookie season in 1999 that saw Susquehanna capture the MAC Commonwealth championship. He earned First Team All-MAC Commonwealth on defense in 1999 and 2000, then All-MAC in 2001 and 2002. He ranks fourth all-time in Susquehanna lore with 622 career punt return yards and 1,050 kick return yards, while holding the second-highest single season punt return average with 13.2 yards and fifth-highest with 453 kick return yards.

Steven Weidlich ’17, Men’s Basketball: Weidlich racked up many indelible awards over the course of his Susquehanna basketball career, culminating in All-American selections his senior season from D3hoops and NABC. The 6’1” guard was a national finalist for the 2017 Josten’s Trophy Player of the Year and was a member of the 2017 Allstate NABC Good Works team, an honor bestowed to just five players across Division II, Division III and NAIA for athletic and academic success with an emphasis on philanthropic and community service. Additional accolades include the Middle Atlantic Region and Landmark Conference’s Player of the Year and competing in the Reese’s NABC D3 All-Star Game. A three-time All-Landmark selection, Weidlich finished as the only player in SU history to amass over 1,800 points, 500 rebounds, and 350 assists, ranking second all-time with 1,814 points and 300 3-pointers made. He is fourth all-time with 395 assists and 91 blocks, as well as sixth with 127 steals. A four-year starter and two-time team captain, Weidlich was a member of the winningest class in program history that totaled 83 wins and two NCAA Tournament berths in 2016 and 2017, reaching the Sweet 16 his senior season.

Briggs Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

L to R: President Jonathan Green and Steve Briggs L to R: President Jonathan Green and Steve BriggsLongtime Susquehanna head football coach Steve Briggs received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Coaching by the National Football Foundation Central Pennsylvania Chapter. Susquehanna’s all-time winningest coach with 127 career wins, Briggs coached SU football for 27 years, including 25 as head coach, and spent the last eight years in the Advancement Office. He retired in December and was named coach emeritus by the university.

Susquehanna Ring of Honor

The Susquehanna University Athletic Department and the Ring of Honor committee inducted six new members and team of distinction to the 2023 Football Ring of Honor class.

  • John “Jack” Anthony ’58, Tight End
  • Hank Deperro ’70, Defensive Lineman
  • Don McClain ’71, Offensive Guard
  • Matt Kelchner ’82, Cornerback and Punter
  • Mike Ricci ’84, Tight End
  • Cory Mabry ’91, Cornerback
  • 1970 TEAM (7–3 Record), The legendary 1970 team was led by head coach and athletic director Jim Hazlett that captured the MAC North Championship and went on to beat Georgetown in the Atlantic City Bowl. Several members of that squad are in the Athletics Hall of Fame.

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