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THE ATHLETICS PROGRAM KICKS OFF A NEW ERA

The completion of the Carl Smith Center project this year was just the most visible of a series of initiatives to ensure the high quality of the University's athletics programs. This broad-based strategy accounts for the University once again being highly ranked in the Division I Sears Directors' Cup standings, which are based on the combined performance of men's and women's sports.

The men's swimming and diving team, the men's lacrosse team, and the women's rowing team all took ACC titles this year. Four Cavalier coaches earned ACC Coach of the Year honors, including Mark Bernardino (men's swimming), Debbie Ryan (women's basketball), Kevin Sauer (women's rowing), and Dom Starsia (men's lacrosse). Women's rowing finished third at NCAAs, while men's soccer and women's lacrosse reached the national quarterfinals, and men's lacrosse and women's basketball advanced to the NCAA semifinals. The football team, led by consensus All-America tailback Thomas Jones, participated in the 1999 Micronpc.com Bowl, and the men's basketball team competed in the National Invitation Tournament.

Carl Smith center photo


Success breeds success, as the strong reputation of the Virginia athletics program has enabled the University to attract outstanding athletes across the program. After being named the ACC Rookie of the Year in 1998, tennis star Brian Vahaly went on to establish himself this year as the greatest tennis player in U.Va.'s history. Vahaly completed the season with thirty-five wins and only five losses, setting a school record for singles victories in a season, and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Championship.

Another exceptional athlete, swimmer Ed Moses, established a pair of short-course world records in winning NCAA titles in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke in March, becoming U.Va.'s first two-time NCAA champion. He was named Swimmer of the Championship for his performance, the first time an ACC swimmer has received the award. Moses went on to become a silver and gold medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Members of the University community thrill to the achievements of these talented women and men, but if the University is to remain competitive in athletics, as in other programs, it must continually reevaluate its priorities and set goals. As part of the University's long-term planning for the year 2020, President Casteen established a Strategic Planning Task Force for Athletics to establish clear goals for the next two decades, build a budget to accomplish these goals, identify funding sources, and recommend an appropriate management structure.

Moses and Holland photo

Former University of Virginia swimmer Ed Moses, with athletics director Terry Holland.


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