Clemson Athletics: 2008-09 Year-in-Review

Clemson Athletics: 2008-09 Year-in-Review

June 17, 2009

Program Overview • Clemson played in a bowl game, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and the NCAA baseball tournament for the first time since the 1997-98 academic year and for just the eighth time in school history. • Clemson was one of 13 schools to compete in a bowl game, NCAA Tournament baseball game, and NCAA Tournament basketball game during the 2008-09 academic year. • Clemson received team bids to NCAA tournaments in volleyball, women’s tennis, golf, baseball, rowing and men’s basketball. • Clemson was ranked in the top 25 in football, men’s basketball, women’s tennis, rowing, golf, men’s indoor track & field, baseball, and volleyball during the season. • Two Clemson student-athletes were among those inducted into the Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa this spring. Swimmer Michelle Parkhurst and rower Michelle Nance were among a group of 69 students selected to join the prestigious organization. • Fifty-one student-athletes graduated from Clemson in May, including 11 football players and 11 swimmers. • Seventeen of Clemson’s 19 athletic programs are above the national average for public institutions according to Academic Progress Rate scores. All Clemson men’s programs were above the national average for public institutions, including the baseball program, which had a 974 score that ranked the program between the 80th and 90th percentile nationally. The Clemson football program was in the 70th to 80th percentile with a program best 955 score. • Clemson’s student-athletes recorded a 2.97 cumulative GPA for the spring semester, the highest on record. • Clemson won national championships in track & field and rowing in 2009. The Tigers’ varsity 4+, consisting of Kelly Murphy, Lydia Hassell, Callen Erdeky, Allison Colberg, and Meredith Razzolini, won the national championship in their first appearance at the NCAA regatta. On the track, two-sport star Jacoby Ford was indoor national champion at 60 meters.

Baseball(Final national rank: #15) • Clemson advanced to the NCAA Super Regional round against Arizona State. It was Clemson’s eighth appearance in the super regional round since the format was adopted in 1999. • Clemson won its home regional by rallying to win three games in two days. The Tigers defeated Oklahoma State 6-5 in dramatic, come-from-behind fashion. It was only Clemson’s second advancement at a home regional or super regional through the losers’ bracket. • The Tigers produced one All-ACC player on the season in left fielder Jeff Schaus. He concluded the season with a .320 batting average, coupled with 13 home runs and 50 RBIs. • Wilson Boyd and Casey Harman were both named to the All-ACC Tournament Team. Boyd went 6-for-13 in three games, while Harman struck out a career-best 10 batters as the Tigers defeated #4 North Carolina on May 23. • Chris Epps was named MVP of the Clemson Regional after hitting 10-for-19 (.526) over the five-game span. He belted a key two-run homer in the championship game against Oklahoma State. • The team posted eight wins over top-25 teams in 2009, including five over top-five teams North Carolina, Miami (FL), and Georgia Tech. • Jack Leggett recorded his 1,100th career win as a Division I head coach after the Tigers downed Oklahoma State 15-1 in the sixth game of the Clemson Regional. • Kyle Parker hit home runs in both games of a doubleheader against fifth ranked Miami (FL) after playing quarterback for the Clemson football team in the Spring Game earlier in the day. • Nine players were taken from Clemson’s team in the 2009 Major League Draft, including third-round pick (#90 overall) Ben Paulsen. The Tigers tied for fourth among Division I schools with their nine players drafted. • Casey Harman and Brad Miller were chosen to participate in the USA Baseball National Team Trials from June 14-24 in Cary, NC.

Men’s Basketball(Final National Rank #24) • Clemson finished the year with 23 wins, tied for the fifth highest total in school history. The .719 winning percentage ranks in a tie for fourth best in school history and the best since the 1989-90 team was 24-8 for a .750 winning percentage. • The 23 victories gave Clemson at least 20 wins for the third straight year, a first in Clemson history. Clemson has 72 wins over the last three years, third among ACC teams behind North Carolina and Duke. • Clemson finished the year ranked 24th in the final Associated Press poll. It marks the second consecutive year Clemson has been ranked in the final AP poll, the first time in history Clemson has finished in the top 25 in any poll in consecutive years. • Clemson was selected for the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year, joining Duke and North Carolina as the only ACC schools to make the tournament each of the last two years. It is just the third time in Clemson history that Clemson has gone to the NCAAs in consecutive years. • Clemson had a winning ACC record in regular season play (9-7). Coupled with last year’s 10-6 ACC record, this marks the first time since the 1965-66 and 1966-67 seasons that Clemson has had consecutive wining seasons in ACC play. • Clemson defeated five NCAA tournament teams during the regular season in Duke, Maryland, Boston College, Temple and Illinois. It is the most wins over NCAA Tournament teams in the regular season for the Clemson program since 1997-98. • Clemson defeated a third-ranked Duke team on Feb. 4 by 27 points, the largest victory margin for the Tigers against the Blue Devils since 1975. The 27-point victory margin was the largest in Clemson history against a team ranked in the top 25. • Clemson finished the regular season with a 14-0 record against non-conference teams, one of just eight Division I teams with a perfect non-conference record. The others were Pittsburgh, UCONN, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Minnesota, Illinois State and Stanford. • The Tigers posted a 4-4 ACC road record this year, the most ACC road wins in a season for the Clemson program since 1996-97. • The Tigers won seven regular season ACC games by double digits, the most regular season league wins by 10 points or more in Clemson history. • Head Coach Oliver Purnell was named the District III Coach-of-the-Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and was one of 10 finalists for the Hank Iba Award. Purnell was also the Mid-Atlantic Coach-of-the-Year by Basketball Times. • Trevor Booker led the ACC in field goal percentage and rebounding, the first ACC player to do that since Tim Duncan in 1996-97. He was named second-team All-ACC.

Women’s Basketball • The team finished the year with a 14-17 record to post the program’s highest winning percentage since the 2002-03 season. • The Lady Tigers advanced to the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament for the second straight year, marking the first time since 1998 and 1999 that the Lady Tigers had won a game in back-to-back seasons at the conference championship. • Clemson recorded an historic upset in the first round of the 2009 ACC Tournament by upsetting #5 seed Georgia Tech. • Junior Lele Hardy picked up a pair of league honors this season with ACC All-Defensive Team accolades and an All-ACC Third Team selection. She became Clemson’s first all-conference player since 2004 and was just the third different player in program history to be named to the league defensive team. • The Lady Tigers won the Husky Classic over the Thanksgiving weekend as they defeated Kent State and host-Washington in the two-game event. Lele Hardy was named MVP while Whitney Hood earned all-tournament honors. • Clemson defeated Northwestern in an overtime thriller to post a victory in the second annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge. • The Lady Tigers put together an 8-2 record through the first 10 games of 2008-09 season for their best start since 2003-04.

Football • Won four of its last five regular season games to earn a January 1 Bowl bid, in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl, Clemson’s first appearance in a January bowl game since the 2004 Chick-fil-A Bowl. • Clemson posted a ninth consecutive winning season, one of just 13 Division I schools with nine consecutive winning seasons. • Ranked in the top four in the ACC in scoring offense and scoring defense, the only ACC team to rank in the top four in both categories. • The 2008 seniors finished with 32 victories over the last four years, tied for the most wins by a Clemson senior class in the last 15 years. • First senior class in Clemson history to post winning record against Florida State and South Carolina. • Ranked 20th in final Sagarin computer poll at end of regular season. • Played a top 15 schedule as ranked by Sagarin and the NCAA. • First Clemson team to defeat Boston College in 50 years, the Tigers gained a 27-21 win in Boston on November 1. • Fourteen seniors on the Gator Bowl roster suited up for that game with their academic degrees already on their résumé. • Program established record for season ticket sales with 58,134 and ranked in the top 20 in the nation in average attendance. Also led the ACC in average home attendance. • Led the ACC in passing offense with 218 yards per game. Team ranked second in the ACC in completion percentage with 62 percent mark. Team ranked third in the ACC in pass efficiency offense. • Led the ACC in scoring defense in conference games, allowing just 16.8 points per game. • Allowed just 21 touchdowns this year, the fewest allowed in the ACC. • Led the ACC and ranked in the top five in the nation in fewest yards allowed per pass attempt. Team allowed just 5.19 yards per pass attempt for the season, best by a Clemson defense since 1964. • Ranked in the top 25 in the nation in total defense, scoring defense and pass efficiency defense. • C.J. Spiller was named first-team All-ACC on the field and in the classroom. He made the Dean’s List, the first Clemson football player to make first-team All-ACC on the field and in the classroom since 2001.

Golf(Final National Rank: #6) • Clemson won the U.S. Collegiate Championship in April. That field included the top 11 ranked teams in the nation. Tigers came back from 13 strokes back to win, it was the greatest final round comeback in Clemson golf history. • Kyle Stanley won the Ben Hogan Award, given annually to the top collegiate golfer. He joined D.J. Trahan as Clemson winners of the prestigious honor. • Stanley recorded a national runner-up finish for the second time in three years at the NCAA Championship. He shot a final round 66 and finished the tournament with a four-under par score of 209. • Stanley was named a Ping first-team All-American for the second time in his three-year career at the conclusion of the season. The junior, who turned professional at year’s end, concluded his career ranked second in Clemson history with a 71.63 stroke average. • Clemson advanced to the program’s 28th consecutive NCAA Tournament, 26 in a row under Head Coach Larry Penley. The Tigers fell short of qualifying for the national tournament, finishing ninth in the Northeast Regional. • The Tigers were listed sixth in the final Sagarin rankings. Clemson was also ranked as high as #4 in the Golf World coaches poll during the season. • Three Tigers were named first-team All-ACC: Kyle Stanley, Ben Martin and David May. • May was co-medalist at the ACC Tournament, the first Tiger to do that since 2001. • May and Martin were both named ACC Player-of-the-Month during the spring season. • Martin and Stanley both qualified as amateurs for the 2009 U.S. Open. Stanley qualified for his second straight U.S. Open, the only Clemson golfer to play in the major twice as an amateur. Martin qualified after winning a sectional at Woodmont Golf Club in Rockville, MD. • Four former or current Clemson golfers played in the U.S. Open, tied for the most by any school in the country.

Rowing(Final National Rank: #12) • Clemson made its first-ever team appearance at the NCAA Championships and responded with a 12th-place finish. The varsity 4+ won the school’s first-ever national championship. • Three student-athletes were named Pocock All-Americans by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) at the end of the season. Hilary Cumbest and Brittany Cummings were cited as second-team choices. • The Tigers won the school’s first-ever ACC rowing championship, defeating nine-time defending champion Virginia by one point in Oak Ridge, TN. • Clemson finished second in the South Region at the Aramark Central/South Sprints in May. Four rowers were named CRCA All-Region, with Hilary Cumbest and Stefanie Kozuszek as second-team members. • Head Coach Richard Ruggieri was named the ACC Coach-of-the-Year and South Region Coach-of-the-Year. • The varsity 8+ was named the ACC Crew-of-the-Year. Five members of the varsity 8+ were named to the All-ACC team, including Hilary Cumbest, Carla Englund (coxswain). • The varsity 8+ was named the ACC Crew-of-the-Week on two occasions. • Senior rower Megan Bendik was awarded a Weaver-James Corrigan postgraduate scholarship by the Atlantic Coast Conference. • The varsity 8+ was nationally ranked the entire season in the USRowing/CRCA poll and ranked as high as #9 on the season.

Men’s Soccer • Three Clemson players were named to the 2008 All-Atlantic Coast Conference men’s soccer team as announced by the league office. Clemson’s David Newton, a junior defender, and Joseph Bendik, a junior goalkeeper, were both named to the All-ACC second team. Teammate and defender Francklin Blaise was named to the All-ACC freshman team. • Clemson’s Michael Brooks was named ACC Player-of-the-Week as announced by the league’s office October 7. Brooks was also named National Player-of-the-Week by College Soccer News and Soccer America for his performance against Maryland. • Clemson goalkeeper Joe Bendik and defender David Newton were both named to the third-team NSCAA/Adidas All-South team. • Clemson defeated fourth-ranked Maryland 5-3 on October 3. Clemson’s Michael Brooks had four goals in this match and assisted on the other Tiger goal. • The Tigers defeated seventh-ranked North Carolina 3-2 in overtime on October 25. The Tigers’ Nathan Thornton scored two goals in this win. • Maryland and North Carolina played for the National Championship. Clemson and Wake Forest were the only teams in the nation to defeat the two national finalists. It marked the first time in Clemson history the Tigers defeated the national champion and national runner up in the same year. • Clemson placed six players on the 2008 All-ACC Academic Men’s Soccer Team as announced by Commissioner John D. Swofford. The six Tigers honored were as follows: David Newton, and Keegan Priest.

Women’s Soccer • The Tigers recorded a cumulative team GPA of 3.30 for the fall semester of 2008 and 18 players were named to the Honor Roll, four of which made the Dean’s List and six of which were on the President’s List for the semester. • The team had a 3.48 GPA in the spring, the fourth-best for any Clemson program on record. Nineteen of the 23 student-athletes had at least a 3.0. • Three Tigers, Julie Bolt, Lindsey Jackson and Molly Johnson, were named to the 2008 All-ACC Academic Team. • Senior co-captains Bolt and Johnson were named to the ESPN The Magazine All-District III First Team. • Johnson was one of 10 finalists for the 2008 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. • Bolt was named the ACC Player of the Week for the week of September 2, 2008 after netting four goals in the Tigers’ 8-0 win over UNC Asheville. Bolt tied the school record for goals in a game and points in a game (8) with the performance. • Bolt finished the season ranked fifth in the ACC in goals per game (0.60), in a tie for sixth in points per game (1.27) and in a tie for tenth in goals scored (9). • Four freshmen played significant roles on the 2008 squad. Tara Cort (forward) and K.K. Duffy (defender) started all 17 games, while Sarah Jacobs (forward) and Ashlynne Bass (defender) started 15 and 12 games, respectively, on the season.

Swimming & Diving • Both men’s (3.10) and women’s (3.34) team earned the Academic Team Award for the Fall 2008 semester. • The teams combined to place 41 members on the honor roll in the fall semester. • Rachel Regone became only the 11th student-athlete in Clemson history to be awarded the NCAA postgraduate scholarship. • Six student-athletes were awarded Academic All-America honors by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. • The teams combined to set 16 school records in various events. • The women’s 200 yard freestyle relay group of Michelle Parkhurst were named honorable mention All-America with their 14th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. • Michelle Parkhurst won her fourth career individual ACC title by taking the 200 yard freestyle at the Championship meet. She still holds the ACC record in the event from a 2008 performance. • Clemson had three student-athletes named to the All-ACC team for their performance in the conference meet. They were Michelle Parkhurst (200 free, 200 back), Rachel Regone (50 free), and Tom Recko (200 back).

Tennis(Final Women’s National Rank: #11) • The Tiger women’s tennis team was chosen for the NCAA Tournament for the eighth straight year and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. They defeated North Carolina to reach the third round with a 4-0 win at Clemson. • Clemson closed out the season with a #11 ranking in the final Campbell/ITA poll and posted a final record of 19-8. • The women’s program produced four ITA All-Americans for the first time in school history. Two players, Ani Mjiacika and Josipa Bek, were All-American in both singles and doubles. • The doubles team of Ina Hadziselimovic advanced to the NCAA Final Eight, becoming just the fourth team from Clemson to reach the quarterfinal round. That duo finished #24 in the final ITA doubles poll. • Bek also earned All-America honors in singles by advancing to the round of 16. She finished the season #13 in the final ITA singles poll. • Ani Mijacika also earned All-America honors in both singles and doubles. She teamed with Keri Wong to earn the honor as a doubles player. The duo was seeded in the national tournament and finished the season #11 in the final ITA doubles poll. • Mijacika became the most decorated women’s tennis player in Clemson history. She now owns five All-America honors, two more than any other women’s tennis player from Clemson. • Mijacika was named the ACC Player-of-the-Year and spent six weeks at #1 in the Campbell/ITA Tennis singles poll. She was ranked among the top five in every poll during the season, and finished the year in the #4 spot. • Bek also earned all-conference honors in the spring after capturing the Wilson/ITA Southeast Regional Championship title during the fall. She became the third player to win the crown under Head Coach Nancy Harris. • The Tigers won a pair of matches over the ITA Kickoff Weekend to advance to the round of 16 for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. This season marked the first year the national indoors moved to a format similar to the national championship. • Men’s tennis player Carlos Alvarez was named All-ACC as selected by a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches. • The men’s team increased its victory total and ACC win total over the previous year and had three wins over top-75 teams.

Track & Field(Final Men’s Indoor Rank: #23) • Jacoby Ford won the 60m dash at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a time of 6.52 seconds. It was the 14th national championship in track & field for the Clemson men’s team. • Clemson had five outdoor All-Americans on the men’s team, including the 4x100m relay group of C.J. Spiller, Trenton Guy, and Jacoby Ford. The team broke the school record (38.77) and placed third at the NCAA meet. Ford earned his second straight All-America honor in the 100m. • Ford also won the ACC championship in the 60m dash for the second time in his career. His performance helped Clemson to a #23 final national ranking. • Ford captured the 100m dash at the NCAA East Regional in May, and also anchored the 4x100m relay team to victory. He was joined on the relay by C.J. Spiller, and Trenton Guy. It was Clemson’s third win in the last four years at regionals in the 100m dash, but its first-ever win in the 400m relay. • Ford won the 100m dash at the ACC Championships, his first-ever outdoor crown, and was runner-up in the 200m as well. • Over the course of the indoor and outdoor seasons, Ford won 18 consecutive 60m and 100m races (including prelims and semifinals) until he suffered a hamstring injury in the NCAA final of the 100m dash. • Liane Weber earned her first All-America honor after a sixth-place finish in the pentathlon. She was also ACC champion in the event, the second title of her career in the pentathlon. • Ford and Weber were cited as Southeast Region Indoor Athletes-of-the-Year, according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’Association. • Tim Hall, Clemson’s sprints coach, was named Southeast Region Assistant-of-the-Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. • April Sinkler was named ACC Most Valuable Field Event Athlete for the women after winning both the high jump and long jump at the league indoor meet. • Clemson’s women improved to a third-place team finish at the 2009 ACC indoor meet, a five-spot improvement from the previous season.

Volleyball • The Tigers reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history and played host to first and second rounds for the second straight year. • Clemson defeated Tennessee in the opening round by a 3-2 margin before falling to 12th-seeded Utah in the second round. • Finished the season with a 23-10 overall record, 14-6 in the ACC. • Senior Danielle Hepburn capped an impressive career by earning 2009 ACC Player-of-the-Year honors and a Third-Team AVCA All-America selection. She was just the second Clemson player in history to be named to an All-America team and as the conference’s top player. • Hepburn now owns Clemson career records for block assists, total blocks, hitting percentage and blocks per set. • Junior setter Lia Proctor was an all-conference second-team selection. • Murphy was named the National Player-of-the-Week in September after recording a triple double in assists, digs and blocks.