Kent State Sports in a Flash: NCAA names Kent State gymnastics coach as committee member

Wesley Freeman

The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Committee recently named Kent State’s head coach Brice Biggin as a member of its committee.

“I’m honored. It’s an important committee to be on and a great responsibility,” said Biggin. “I’m just hoping we can make some good decisions that are going to benefit gymnastics as a whole, the Mid-American Conference and Kent State University, as well.”

Biggin has been affiliated with the Kent State gymnastics program for 30 years and has been head coach for 15 years. His resume includes being selected for MAC Coach of the Year seven times, NCAA Northeast Region Coach of the year twice and NCAA Central Region Coach of the Year once. He has also led the Flashes to the MAC championship six times.

Biggin graduated from Kent State with a bachelor’s in physical education in 1983. He was a four-time letter winner and two-year captain of the Kent Men’s Gymnastics’ team.

Biggin is one of seven members on the committee. There are six individuals who represent the Divison I regions, and one representative from the Division II and III regions. The members’ duties are to create the brackets and select the field for the NCAA Women’s’ gymnastic championships.

SCHNEPF NAMED ASSISTANT COACH

Heather Schnepf was named the new womens’ field hockey assistant coach last week.

“Heather’s experience as a coach and a standout player will be a huge asset to our program,” said Kathleen Schanne, head coach for women’s field hockey. “We are thrilled to have her join our staff and look forward to the positive impact she will bring to our student athletes both on and off the field.”

As a player, Schnepf helped lead the University of Iowa to two NCAA tournament appearances and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, in back-to-back years.

“I look forward to working with Coach Schanne and Coach Amar on the Kent State staff,” said Schnepf. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of an established program with a strong winning tradition and aim to continue that success in the future.”

Schnepf earned her bachelor’s in athletic training from the University of Iowa. She then began her coaching career there as a student assistant. She helped coach the Hawkeyes to a No. 5 national record at 17-4 and win the Big Ten Tournament title.

ALL-AMERICAN SCHOLAR

After completing his junior season, John Hahn (Las Vegas, Nevada/ Hudson,Ohio) earned Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar honors from the Golf Coaches Association of American (GCAA).

Hahn is a two-time All-American, and that marks the fifth time in Kent State’s program history that a player has been named to an All-American team and named an All-American Scholar.

This season, Hahn earned six top 10 finishes and had a .797 finish percentage. With a five-under, 211 (72-70-69) Hahn finished in a tie for sixth at the NCAA Championship, which is a tie for best individual finish in KSU history. He finished par or better in eight out of his last nine rounds and did so in a total of 19 rounds this season.

To be eligible for Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar status, an individual must be a junior or senior academically, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2, participate in 70 percent of his team’s competitive rounds or compete in the NCAA Championships, compete in at least two full years at the collegiate level and have a stroke-average under 76.0 in Division I. A recipient must also be in good standing at his college or university and have high moral character. This year, 119 players in Division I earned the honor.

BOARDWINE NAMED COACH AT CAMPBELL UNIVERSITY

A former Kent State wrestler was named the head wrestling coach at Campbell University.

Kent State’s former standout Joe Boardwine was for the position at Cambpell University Thursday. Boardwine is former two-year captain with the Golden Flashes and is recognized as one of the top high school wrestling coaches in the state of Ohio.

“It’s a great pickup for Campbell,” said Head Wrestling Coach Jim Andrassy. “Joe is a very intelligent guy. What he lacks in experience at the college level, he will make up for with hard work.”

Boardwine was a two-time Academic All MAC and Academic All District IV selection. He also placed three times in the MAC tournament from 1995-97.

Boardwine has coached for eight years at Walsh Jesuit, University School and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. He has mentored 13 state champions and 15 high school All-Americans. He was named the Plain Dealer Coach of the Year in 2003.

DREHER TEES OFF

When former Kent State golfer Kirby Dreher tees off at 2:42 p.m. Thursday, she will be making history.

Dreher is the first Golden Flash to earn a spot in the United States’ national championship. Dreher wrapped up her successful four-year career in 2008-09, twice earning honorable mention All-America honors from the NGCA.

The 2010 U.S. Women’s Open is being held Thursday through Sunday at Oakmont Country Club just outside of Pittsburgh.

STRICKLIN’S CONTRACT EXTENDED

Scott Stricklin, Kent State’s head baseball coach, has signed a contract extension with the Flashes through 2014. The announcement was made Tuesday by director of Athletics Joel Nielsen.

Stricklin, 38, coached the Flashes to their second consecutive NCAA Tournament spot in last season. The Flashes have also celebrated winning seasons every year Stricklin has been coaching.

The Flashes were ranked 18th nationally to begin the year and won 43 games in 2009, the third most in Flashes history.

This Kent State alum’s other accolades include being 2006 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year and earning five MAC championships and three NCAA tournament appearances. He also boasts a 222-128 overall record throughout his six seasons with Kent State.

Wesley Freeman is the sports reporter for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]