Part Of HOF Class
Coaches Association To Honor Falconer Native
Legendary William & Mary track and field coach Dan Stimson will be inducted into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame this December.
P-J file photo
Legendary William & Mary track and field coach Dan Stimson will be inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame this December, the organization announced on Tuesday.
Stimson is part of a six-member Class of 2019 who will be inducted on Dec. 17, 2019, as part of the USTFCCCA’s annual convention in Orlando, Florida.
Joining Stimson in the 2019 Hall of Fame class are Karen Boen, Dr. Jack Daniels, Rollie Geiger, Bobby Lang and Joe Piane.
A native of Falconer, Stimson graduated with honors from Ohio University in 1971 and earned a master’s degree from Miami (Ohio). As an undergraduate, he was the All-Ohio and Central Collegiate shot put champion, as well as a two-time MAC shot put champion. He concluded his athletic career by competing in both the NCAA and AAU national championships in the shot put.
Stimson passed away in the fall of 2017, and is survived by his wife of 46 years, Rosemary, an art educator; two children, son Clare and daughter Krista; and three grandchildren, Samuel, Kara and Luciana. Their daughter, Krista Crider, graduated from William & Mary in 1996 with a B.S. in biology and earned her master’s degree at the college in 1998. She earned a Ph.D. in the field of genetics and molecular biology at Emory University, and works for the Centers for Disease Control. Crider is a former school record holder in the hammer throw.
Stimson’s coaching career began at the University of Tennessee in 1971-72 where he was the throwing coach for standout Volunteer student-athletes Bill Skinner and Danny Martin, among others. A post-grad, Skinner ranked third in the world that year in the javelin. Martin was a freshman for the Volunteers who had thrown 218 feet in the javelin in high school. In just one year with Stimson’s coaching, Martin improved his range to 231 feet. The next nine years came at Miami (Ohio), where Stimson had his first NCAA qualifier in Rich Elkins. Elkins had thrown the javelin a modest 195 feet in high school, which he improved to 249 feet by the end of his collegiate career. After most of a decade with the Redhawks, Stimson went back to Tennessee, this time as the head assistant coach. Four of his throwers earned All-American honors, including three multiple awardees.
Stimson spent 25 years as William & Mary’s first director of track & field and cross country, overseeing both the men and women from 1986-2011. During his tenure leading the Tribe, Stimson’s teams combined for 49 Colonial Athletic Association Championships, a total that ranked his program third among all league universities over that time, behind only the rest of William & Mary’s teams (53) and James Madison’s entire athletics department (64).
His athletes also achieved remarkable individual success, with 64 All-American performances and one Olympic appearance. The Tribe also totaled 90 CAA athlete awards (MVPs, Athletes of the Year and Rookies of the Year) during his directorship. In 2003-04, W&M became the first (and to date only) school in CAA history to win all four conference titles in a single school year, a feat it would repeat in 2012-13. After stepping down as director in 2011, Stimson continued to contribute to the Tribe’s success, first as an assistant coach in charge of throws for three years, then for three more years as a volunteer assistant.
Academic success was not neglected either, with William & Mary student-athletes putting together an enviable resume for any athletics team at any school. The Tribe won a total of 47 team academic awards from the national coaches’ associations, and in the first 10 years of the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year program, Stimson’s athletes won 22 of 40 sport awards and two Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards (chosen from across all sports). Three of W&M’s six total Rhodes Scholars had ties to the Tribe track team — J.R. Deshazo (’89), Andrew Zawacki (’94) and Eileen Cardillo (’99) — as well as a Marshall Scholarship won by Danielle Sepulveda (’93) and 10 Academic All-America awards. Stimson’s athletes also earned 36 elections to Phi Beta Kappa, and 17 won either the Martha Barksdale or Bruce Davidson Awards, given to the top female (Barksdale) and male (Davidson) student-athletes in each rising senior class at W&M.
Another hallmark of the national recognition that Stimson brought to W&M was as a developer of great coaches. While he was recognized himself on several occasions, including CAA Coach of the Year honors in both men’s cross country (1996) and track and field (1992), Stimson would often remove himself from consideration for awards, insisting that his event coaches be recognized instead. They were at that, winning 42 CAA Coach of the Year awards as well as three W&M Alumni Association Coach of the Year honors. Stimson was also recognized as the Alumni Association Coach of the Year in 2002-03, after leading the Tribe to three of the four CAA titles available between cross-country and track and field in that athletics year.
Stimson’s coaches included Walt Drenth (men’s cross country from 1990-96), who went on to head coaching jobs at Arizona State and Michigan State, where he was named the National Coach of the Year in 2014. Another former men’s cross country coach, Andrew Gerard (1997-2003), went on to lead programs at Stanford and George Mason, and was himself named to National Coach of the Year honors. Gerard’s replacement at William & Mary was Alex Gibby (’97), who led the Tribe harriers to a pair of top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships from 2003-10, including fifth nationally in his final season before moving on to Michigan. Gibby is currently the associate head coach at Harvard.
On the women’s side, Stimson’s coaches included Pat Van Rossum, who coached the Tribe women’s cross country team for nearly 20 years, as well as Kathy Newberry (’00) from 2005-10. Newberry was also a standout athlete for William & Mary and post-collegiately for Team USA, earning induction to the William & Mary Hall of Fame alongside her husband Gibby in 2017. Most recently, Stimson’s story came full circle with the hiring of Alex Heacock (’09) as the director of track & field and cross country in 2016.
In recognition of his coaching achievements, after his retirement after the 2014 season, Stimson was been inducted into a number of Halls of Fame, including the William & Mary Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2015, he was inducted into his hometown Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, and that winter he was also named to the Miami University Cradle of Coaches Hall of Fame. In 2011, Stimson was named an Honorary Alumnus of William & Mary, and in 2007, friends of the track program named the Tribe’s newly constructed throwing facility in his honor, as the Stimson Throwing Events Area.
Started in 1995, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame exists to recognize coaches who have brought great distinction to themselves, to their institutions, and to the sports of cross country and track and field. Each of these honorees exemplifies the qualities of dedication to the sport, leadership and passion for their profession that serve as an inspiration to coaches everywhere in every sport.