Athletic director on state of Geneseo sports

The Lamron: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Geneseo athletics today?

MM: Certainly our facilities are a challenge right now, because it really hurts with recruiting. Until we can get our facilities to the point where we can compete with Cortland, where we can compete with some of the other private schools that we're up against, that's going to be a factor. So I would say that is probably our biggest challenge right now. But we're working on them.

The Lamron: Given our increasingly stringent admission standards, is there an effect on recruiting? For example, is it harder to sift through the elite talent to find athletes who are capable of handling the Geneseo workload?

MM: Absolutely. You know, it's difficult, because sometimes the student-athletes that we are after, if they've got the grades they'll go somewhere else and get an academic scholarship.

The Lamron: What were some of the bright spots for you during the winter sports this year?

MM: Certainly our Coaches vs. Cancer games, Think-Pink [breast-cancer research support] night with women's basketball…Swimming at the Flippinger Center in downtown Buffalo was two of the most exciting meets, men's and women's, that I've seen in a long time.

The Lamron: What do you anticipate for our athletics program 10 years down the line?

MM: Ten years down the line we're going to be producing the scholar-athletes that we see today. We're going to work hard, we're going to have great facilities, and hopefully we're going to be taking over where Cortland is with their Commissioner's Cup [point-system first-place standing].

The Lamron: When you first started as the athletic director at Geneseo, Paul Duffy was in his 25th season as the head coach of our hockey team, and he was our first coach ever. In the six years since he retired, we've seen three other coaches at that position. Are you concerned with the turnover at what used to be the most secure position in our athletic department?

Marilyn Moore: No, not at all. Not at all.

The Lamron: This season our hockey team finished 8-17, in Chris Schultz's second season as head coach, which is a pretty big fall from last year, when we earned a home game in the SUNYACs and went 16-10. Are you pleased with the job he's doing, and do you trust that he'll be able to return our signature sport to its dominance of past years?

MM: I have faith in Chris Schultz. You have to understand, whenever there's a turnover in coaches, recruiting does suffer. When Brian Hills left after four years of bringing our program to national prominence, he went to a Division I school, so when you look at that, it's a little bit of a feather in our cap that he moved up in the world…we had a great coach, we developed him, somebody else took him away from us. Same thing happened with Jason Lammers. Jason was an alum, Jason came to us from a Division I program, was doing very well here, all of a sudden another Division I program wants him. And when you're offering the amount of money that these colleges are offering these coaches to move on, they can't refuse that. So, neither one of those coaches left because they were unhappy at Geneseo…unfortunately, whenever there's a change in coaching, sometimes recruiting suffers and Chris has had to work through that, but it's not for lack of him trying, and recruiting players that I think will bring us back.

The Lamron: What achievements are you most proud of during your tenure as athletic director?

MM: Well, I'm extremely pleased with the number of student-athletes that we have that are on the Commissioner's List, the All-Academic Team, the Chancellor Scholar-Athlete Award winners that we have, not only the SUNYAC Chancellor Scholar-Athlete Award winners, but the overall Chancellor Scholar-Athlete awards for excellence that come out of our ranks as student-athletes. We just won a very nice sportsmanship award… there have been articles in EnCompass [magazine] about it; for the sportsmanship summits the work that our students are doing in Section V and the high schools, because we're about more than just winning and losing here. Winning championships is extremely important, we by no means take a back seat to that; we work hard to win. And every coach in this program will tell you that.

The Lamron: The new artificial turf stadium sounds like it's going to be fantastic, but Geneseo is still hampered by so many outdated facilities, such as Kuhl, and limited locker room space…

MM: We're working on it! The college has made a commitment to us, and change happens slowly. You're going to see very soon, and I don't know how many people really know about this, but we're going to break ground for a brand-new eight-lane competition track, beginning as soon as this snow goes away. Hopefully by the end of April, or no later than the day after graduation. The bids have already gone out, and this track will be in place by the time we get back here next fall.

The Lamron: Is that going to be in the same location as our track now?

MM: Yes, same spot. As far as [the other facilities], the college made the commitment to upgrade Schrader, with the new floor, into a competition gym. The renovation to Kuhl is going to take a considerable amount of money, to redo the floor, but we're going to utilize it as a field house instead.

The Lamron: Moving on to a different topic…do you think steroids, or any other kind of performance-enhancing drugs are at all present in Geneseo athletics?

MM: I would say no. We work very closely with our student-athletes. Our trainers work very closely with our student athletes. As far as our student-athletes go, I think it would be extremely noticeable, and I think the right people would pick it up if it were happening, so I'm going to go with it's very doubtful…looking at the athletes we have, and the intelligence levels we have in our student-athletes, they understand the risks. They understand they're Division III student-athletes, and that they're here to get an education first, not to play professional athletics.

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