NEC SAAC Alumni Series: Golfer’s Undergraduate Opportunity Sparks Career in Collegiate Athletics

Lauren Chapman (far right next to head coach Rob Warren) was a member of four NEC championship teams.

 

Lauren Chapman’s Northeast Conference career has come full circle with a little help from the NEC Student Academic Advisory Committee (SAAC).

It began as a student-athlete in Hackensack, where she helped Fairleigh Dickinson to four consecutive NEC women’s golf team titles.

During her playing days, Chapman was an instrumental leader off the course. She served as the Vice President of FDU’s SAAC for three years before taking over as the Chair of the NEC SAAC, a position that saw her represent the conference on a national level at NCAA Division I SAAC events.

There’s little doubt that those experiences are helping Chapman in her current role. In the Summer of 2016, she was hired as the Academic Coordinator for Student-Athletes at Bryant University, a position she still holds.

“Lauren was super involved in her time as a student athlete and that was certainly one of the pros of hiring her,” said Bryant Senior Associate Athletic Director and SWA Beth Wandyes.  “She has that real sense that people who hadn’t participated in high level college athletics would have, and that helps her have instant credibility with her athletes.”

Wandyes also acknowledged how the student-athletes appreciate Chapman’s work ethic outside of her office as well, where she constantly attends athletic events and serves as an advisor on several international trips.

“I think the biggest importance of SAAC is that it gives student athletes a voice,” Chapman said.  “You have [administrators] saying what they think will be better, but at the end of the day they aren’t the ones that are experiencing it.”

During her time as a FDU student-athlete, Chapman helped orchestrate important changes. One signature accomplishment was a successful campaign that granted priority registration to student-athletes when choosing classes.

“Being able to understand the people on campus and what their true experiences are is what’s most important because from there is where you can make changes that make sense and actually matter,” she explained.

Her passion for giving student athletes a voice all started with a program the FDU Athletic Department instituted that paired incoming freshman athletes with senior SAAC members.

“I went to that as a freshman and thought it was the coolest thing ever and I was like, ‘I want to be a mentor some day, this is really cool.’ I didn’t really correlate that with SAAC but obviously ended up finding that out eventually.”

However, it wasn’t until she first attended an NEC SAAC meeting that she fully realized what the committee is all about, and what ultimately led her to down a career path in college athletics.

“No one else really raised their hand so I was like, ‘I’ll go!’ And I think that’s where I was able to see the bigger picture. It’s more than just my sport on my campus. This is happening everywhere (around the league).”

From there, Chapman remained heavily involved with the FDU SAAC throughout her time in college before eventually ascending to the NEC SAAC Chair.

“There’s so much you can learn from being a SAAC rep,” Chapman argued. “Whether you want to stay in college athletics long term or not, you have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself, and be able to network and meet people from all over the country. [NEC Commissioner] Noreen [Morris] is someone I see and can say hi and reminisce about when I was in college. And those are some of the nice connections and relationships that you can build.”

Following graduation from FDU in 2011, she earned her Master’s Degree in Sport Administration at Belmont University where also taught in the Sport Science Department and served as a compliance intern in the athletic department.

After completing her course work at Belmont in 2013, she accepted a post-graduate intern position within NCAA Governance in Indianapolis.

“The position with the NCAA is really how I ended up to where I am now because that was really seen full circle how college athletics work, and realizing that it’s more than just practicing, going to class, and playing in a tournament,” she said.

FDU head golf coach Rob Warren didn’t seem surprised that Chapman’s leadership abilities have resulted in post-graduate success.

“She was a big part of the program’s success and her gregarious personality carried over off the course as well,” Warren said.  “She was always involved around campus and always approachable. I’m proud to call her a true Knight for life.”

Being a Knight for life is a bit complicated now that she works at conference rival Bryant, but, thankfully, the Bulldogs have a women’s golf team so she can still root for her Knights at the NEC Championship.

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Written by Tanner Swan (@tannerRswan)

Rookie Bulldog Raking In The Honors

Bryant’s Ryan Ward spent the last five games adding to his league-leading totals and swung his way to a national weekly honor in the process.

Becoming the first NEC athlete to do so this season, Ward earned National Player of the Week status from Collegiate Baseball News.

He is the fourth player in Bryant’s history to receive the honor,  joining James Karinchak (2016, 2017), Matt Albanese (2015) and Kevin Brown (2013).

Ward, who owns a 19-game hit streak, batted .536 (15-for-28) last week. Eight of his knocks went for extra bases, including three homers.

The redshirt freshman leads NEC Baseball in batting average (.435), hits (64), doubles (17) and slugging percentage (.748).

He’s second in homers (7), runs (34), RBI (34) and on-base percentage (.469).

 

TWEET SHEET

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Robert Morris Football Legend Still Scoring Goals in Steel City

Courtesy @USL (USLsoccer.com)

 

No NCAA Division I player scored more goals than Neco Brett during the 2014 season and no player in the USL scored more than the former Robert Morris star did last week.

Having signed with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds this past winter, Brett netted a hat trick to power his team to its first win of the season. The Riverhounds topped Toronto FC II, 4-0, on April 7.

In the aftermath of his performance, Brett was voted the USL Player of the Week for Week 4 of the 2018 season.

The USL, which has Division II status on the American professional football pyramid, is a partner of Major League Soccer (MLS).

Brett spent his last two professional seasons playing in the Portland Timbers’ after being chosen by the club with the 40th overall selection in the 2016 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft.

The three-time NEC Player of the Year earned NSCAA All-America honors as a Robert Morris senior in 2015. He tallied 41 goals during his RMU tenure.

 

TWEET SHEET

 

 

 

 

FDU Senior Headlines #NECelite Bowling List

It’s the seventh time in 10 seasons that the NEC’s top individual bowling award belongs to a Fairleigh Dickinson player.

FDU senior Karsyn Lukosius captured the 2018 NEC Bowler of the Year award to go along with a selection to the All-NEC First Team.

The league unveiled its three major award winners along with two All-NEC Teams and an All-Rookie Team on Friday, March 23 at Howell Lanes in Howell, NJ.

 

Meet the #NECelite from the 2017-18 NEC bowling regular season…

 

MAJOR AWARD WINNERS

 

ALL-NEC FIRST TEAM

 

ALL-NEC SECOND TEAM

 

NEC ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

2018 Men’s Basketball #NECelite Unveiled

A 5-foot-5 guard headlines the list.

Mount St. Mary’s senior Junior Robinson was unanimously chosen by the league’s head coaches as the NEC Player of the Year. The conference’s leading scorer received the honor on the eve of Wednesday’s NEC Tournament quarterfinal games.

The league announced its major award winners and all-conference honorees on Tuesday afternoon via Twitter.

Meet the 2018 Men’s Basketball #NECelite…

 

MAJOR AWARD WINNERS

 

ALL-NEC FIRST TEAM

 

ALL-NEC SECOND TEAM

 

ALL-NEC THIRD TEAM

 

NEC ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

March Is Coming and the #NEC18 Men’s Bracket Is Set

Wagner clinched the top seed more than one week ago and the rest of the pieces fell into place as the #NECMBB regular season wound down.

Defending champion Mount St. Mary’s snatched the No. 2 seed with No. 3 Saint Francis U and No. 4 LIU Brooklyn joining the Mount as quarterfinal game hosts.

The tournament tips off on February 28 with all four quarters set for 7:00 pm ET. The semifinal round will unfold on March 3 with the #NECMBB Championship Game happening on March 6 on ESPN2.  All games will be played at the home sites of the higher seeds.

 

#NEC18 BRACKET

 

#FanPoll

 

Two #NECMBB Greats Join LIU Softball Legend in Newest Hall of Fame Class

 

Welcome to the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame, Mike Iuzzolino, Lesley Renninger and Howie Dickenman!

This year’s three-member class raises the total number of names enshrined in Somerset to 29.

Here’s something you should know about each of the three newest honorees.

 

Mike Iuzzolino (Saint Francis U)

Before going on to star in the NBA Jam video game alongside Dallas Mavericks teammate Derek Harper, Iuzzolino was responsible for arguably the most-impressive individual two-year stretch in the league’s 37 seasons of men’s basketball. SFU’s Academic All-American shot 52.3 percent from three-point range while piling up 1,346 points in two seasons after transferring from Penn State.

 

Lesley Renninger (LIU Brooklyn)

Her collegiate career ended 25 years ago, but there is still no LIU pitcher with a better career earned-run average than Renninger. The Academic All-American, who helped the Blackbirds to a conference crown as a freshman, won 55 of her 71 decisions in the circle.

 

Howie Dickenman (Central Connecticut)

Coach D, a mentor and friend to so many, bleeds CCSU blue. The former Blue Devil hoops star returned to his alma mater as the head men’s basketball coach in 1996 and proceeded to win four NEC Coach of the Year awards while thrice taking CCSU to the Big Dance.

 

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