Kent State Sports in a Flash | July 21, 2010

Wesley Freeman

Kent State athletics crowned national champions

Texas A&M’s Laboratory for the Study of Intercollegiate Athletics recently crowned Kent State University national champions of the Excellence in Management Cup for 2009-2010.

“To rank number one in the nation is a true testament to the vision that Laing Kennedy had for Kent State athletics,” said Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen. “During his 16 years here, Laing instilled championship-caliber expectations that didn’t stop with success at the conference or regional level.”

The Management Cup determines what schools win the most conference championships while using the least amount of money.

“We are very fortunate to have outstanding coaches in place who recruit top-notch student-athletes,” Nielsen said. “This is an honor that our entire department and the university community as a whole can take pride in.”

The management cup system is based off of money spent and sports played to help even the playing field. Last season Kent State finished in second place.

Stricklin extends his contract

Kent State Director of Athletics Joel Nielson announced last week that Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin has signed a contract extension through the year 2014.

“We are pleased and excited to keep a coach of Scott’s character and talent on board through 2014,” Nielsen said. “Scott’s dedication and commitment to his alma mater are tremendous and the results on the field bear that out. What we’ve also come to learn over the past few weeks is that the support for Scott and Kent State baseball from alums and friends of the program is strong and unwavering.”

In six seasons, Stricklin has lead the Flashes to five MAC championships, two NCAA tournament appearances, a 222-128 record and 19 of his players have been selected in the Major League draft.

The Flashes were ranked 18th in the nation at the beginning of last season and won 43 games, the third most winning season in school history.

“I’m very excited to be staying at Kent State,” Stricklin said. “Being the head coach at my alma mater is very special to me and my entire family.”

Conners’ success continues

Men’s golf recruit Corey Conners is having great success on the amateur level. The Kent State incoming freshman won the Investors Group Ontario Amateur Championship last week. He carded a final round course-record 65 before clinching the title in a two-hole playoff victory.

“This is a huge accomplishment for me, for sure. It doesn’t get much bigger than this in amateur golf,” Conners said.

Conners delivered a bogey-free performance to finish at seven-under (73-71-72-65=281) for both the round and the tournament. This marked another strong final round performance that helped Conners win the Ontario Amateur title.

“After how I played in Japan, I knew I would be capable of winning this tournament,” said Conners, “I got off to a really good start this morning, and after I chipped in for birdie on the (par 3) 14th, I just told myself to make sure I got into the clubhouse with the lowest possible score. I just kept making birdies.”

Conners became one of the youngest players to win the Ontario Amateur title in its 88-year history.

Contact sports reporter Wesley Freeman at [email protected].