Drake’s championship team poses with the MVC trophy.
Men’s tennis to compete in NCAA tournament Friday
The Drake men’s tennis team (24-0) will travel to Champaign,
Ill., to compete in the NCAA Tournament, against No. 18 Louisiana State (14-8).
Drake will tangle with the Tigers in the first-ever meeting between the schools
at 3 p.m. Friday, May 9.
The 46th-ranked Bulldogs will be making their third straight NCAA
Tournament appearance and fifth overall in school history. If the Bulldogs
defeat Louisiana State, they will go on to play at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 10.
Bulldogs Make Clean Sweep Of
MVC Men’s Tennis Awards
During the finest season in Drake
men’s tennis history, the Bulldogs recently won major awards — Player of the
Year, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year — after clinching the MVC
Senior Dalibor Pavic (Adelaide,
Australia), who was selected as a first team All-MVC at No. 1 singles, was
tabbed as the MVC Player of the Year. A three-time league Player of the Week
selection, Pavic ran the table in conference action, posting a perfect 6-0 mark
en route to a 17-1 ledger in the dual campaign.
“Dado is very deserving of
winning the Player of the Year award,” Drake head coach Chase Hodges said.
“He’s held down the No. 1 position for us the majority of the season and
done an incredible job.”
Freshman Mauricio Ballivian (Santa
Cruz, Bolivia) was honored as the league’s Freshman of the Year. Joining the
Bulldogs in January, Ballivian has posted a 17-4 record, including a 6-0 mark
in the MVC.
“Mauricio Winning Freshman of
the Year is big for the program as it is the third year in a row where we have
won the award,” Hodges said. “I think it shows that we’re bringing in
quality student-athletes that are keeping the Drake men’s tennis tradition
Hodges was honored by his peers
with his second straight Coach of the Year award. In his third year at Drake,
he has led the Bulldogs to a 22-0 record. They have won the last 42 regular
season matches, the longest streak in the nation en route to claiming their
second consecutive and fifth regular season MVC crown in school history. The
Bulldogs have never lost a home match in his tenure as Drake has won 47
straight home contests.
Garnering first team recognition
in singles was Pavic, junior Maor Zirkin (Kibutz Hazor, Israel), Ballivian and
junior Ivan Mendoza (Wellington, New Zealand) at the Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 6 singles
slots, respectively. All four of Bulldogs finished with undefeated league
In doubles, Drake collected first
team accolades at the Nos. 1 and 3 positions. At the top position, the duo of
Zirkin and Pavic, were a perfect 6-0 in league action and 24-4 overall.
Combining to register a 4-0 MVC record and 9-3 on the campaign was the tandem
of sophomore Bokang Setshogo (Gaborone, Botswana) and junior Ricardo Lau (Tegucigalpa, Honduras).
Phelps named new men’s basketball coach
Mark Phelps, who has served as associate head coach at
Arizona State the past two seasons, has been named the 25th men’s head
basketball coach at Drake University, Athletic Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb
announced on April 21.
“I am absolutely thrilled that Mark Phelps will assume
leadership of the Drake University men’s basketball program,” said
Hatfield Clubb. “His extensive experience as an assistant in the Pac-10
and the ACC, coupled with his commitment to the holistic development of young
men, make him the ideal candidate to continue the established success of the
“Mark is touted as one of the top assistant coaches in
college basketball. His character and his demonstrated passion for the game are
just two of the many outstanding qualities that attracted us to him. Coach Mark
Phelps is a perfect fit for Drake University.”
“I am delighted that Coach Phelps and his fiancee,
Alissa, are joining the Drake family,” said Drake President David Maxwell.
“Drake’s basketball program is firmly grounded in excellence, integrity,
achievement and character, and Mark is just the right person to lead this group
of remarkable young men. We’ve had a magical season, and we’re excited to see
what lies before us with Mark at the helm.”
Phelps will inherit a Drake team that has retained two
starters from a squad which posted a school-record 28-5 mark en route to
winning both the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and post-season
tournament titles while advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time
Sandy Hatfield Clubb, Alissa Clancey, Mark Phelps and David Maxwell pose for photos as the news conference ends.
“I consider it an honor and privilege to be named the head coach at Drake University,” Phelps said. “President Maxwell has fostered a true family environment where the ‘Drake experience’ is a special one for students, faculty, staff and the entire Drake community.
“I have tremendous respect and great appreciation for Sandy Hatfield Clubb and look forward to working together with her and the entire athletic department to continue the pursuit of excellence for Drake basketball. I could not be more excited about this opportunity.”
He replaces Keno Davis who resigned to become head coach at Providence College last Tuesday.
The Virginia Beach, Va., native had served on the coaching staff at North Carolina State under head coach Herb Sendek from 1996-2006 before joining Sendek at Arizona State in 2006.
“I am grateful for the 12 years Coach Mark Phelps invested on our staff at both NC State and Arizona State and most certainly recognize the wonderful impact he made,” Sendek said. “Today I rejoice with the Drake community and congratulate Mark, as he will be the consummate CEO for the Drake men’s basketball program. He will represent the university as a perfect gentleman and at the same time lead the basketball program with a true competitive spirit.”
Phelps, 42, concluded his 20th year as basketball coach, including 13 years on the collegiate level after a highly successful high school coaching career.
Phelps was part of Sendek’s staff that led North Carolina State to a 53-39 (.576) record in the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament play in the final five seasons in Raleigh, N.C. The Wolfpack tied for the second most wins in the ACC from 2001-2002 through the 2005-2006 season.
Phelps joined the North Carolina State staff in 1996, serving as director of basketball operations before becoming assistant coach in 2000. He was promoted to recruiting coordinator, director of scouting and assistant coach with the Wolfpack in 2005.
The Old Dominion graduate joined the North Carolina State program after a highly successful tenure as a high school head coach.
Phelps is extremely familiar with successful basketball programs, having coached his way to a 148-53 (.736 winning percentage) overall record during his six years directing a pair of Virginia independent high school teams.
Phelps spent two seasons (1995-96) at Atlantic Shores Christian High School in Chesapeake, Va., where his teams compiled a 44-12 record. His 1996 squad finished 20-3 and set school marks for winning percentage (.870) and fewest losses.
Prior to his tenure at Atlantic Shores, Phelps coached four years at Rock Church Academy and posted a 104-41 record. His teams played in the Metro Conference, where he was twice named Coach of the Year as the Eagles won three straight conference championships.
Each of his last five prep teams advanced to the Virginia Independent School State Tournament. Four times he coached teams to the quarterfinals of the state tournament and twice to the state semifinals. He also served as athletics director at both high schools.
Drake basketball teams get a standing ovation from representatives in the House Chambers.
Legislators honor Drake basketball programs at state
With a giant stuffed bulldog on his arm, Rep. Wayne Ford, ED’74, D-Des Moines, introduced the Drake men’s basketball team with an enthusiastic
speech yesterday in the House Chambers at the State Capitol.
The speech was in favor of the Resolution No. 150, which
honors the Bulldog men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Ford congratulated “the talented
young men and women” and wished them continued success.
Another Drake graduate Rep. Libby Jacobs, R-West Des Moines,
proudly introduced the women’s team and emphasized her support for the
The resolution honoring both teams passed unanimously, along
with Resolution No. 152, honoring Drake Men’s Head Coach Keno Davis.
Senior point guard Adam Emmenecker thanked the
representatives for recognizing the teams.
“It is great to see how many people have come out to
support us,” Emmenecker said.
Women’s senior guard Lindsay Whorton echoed Emmenecker’s
“Thank you for recognizing us today,” she said.
“I’m not an Iowa native, but I couldn’t feel more welcome and at home in
this state and in Des Moines.”
“Adam and Lindsay were exceptional representatives of
all that is great about Drake. I was very proud for everyone involved,”
said Rep. J. Scott Raecker, R-Urbandale, executive director of the Institute
for Character Development at Drake.
In addition, the Senate passed similar resolutions
recognizing both teams and Coach Davis — Resolutions No. 144 and No. 145.
“As you can see behind me, this is not an ordinary
resolution,” said Sen. Jack Hatch, LA’72, GR’73, D- Des Moines, who introduced the
“It goes to show what happens with dedication and
teamwork,” said Hatch. “Athletics is a microcosm of
what we do in Iowa.”
Basketball season highlights
The men won both the Missouri Valley Conference regular
season championship and, for the first time, the MVC tournament crown. The Bulldogs
also advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1971, losing to
Western Kentucky in the first round on a buzzer-beater in overtime.
The women Bulldogs won their first regular season Missouri
Valley Conference title since 2001. They advanced to the MVC championship and
were defeated by the University of Illinois. The team went on to play in the
Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
to host NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship
1,100 top college athletes from across the country will converge at Drake
Stadium June 11-14 to compete in the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field
competition will mark the first time Drake has hosted the event since 1970 when
Drake senior Rick Wanamaker won the NCAA decathlon title.
University is thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the city of Des
Moines to bring this nationally prestigious event to the state of Iowa,”
said Drake Athletic Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb. “The vision of many has
been realized by naming our newly renovated Drake Stadium the home of the 2008
NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships. A lot of hard work has gone into
making this opportunity a reality. This announcement shows the country that
Drake University can compete with the best in the nation and it is a powerful
momentum builder for our community and school.”
four-day event is estimated to have an economic impact of $25 million on the
Greater Des Moines area.
is awesome news!” said Greg Edwards, president and CEO of the Greater Des
Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This community has worked hard to
land the NCAA National Track and Field Championship and we did it. We are
thankful that we have the expertise, leadership, vision and outstanding
reputation of Drake University.”
The schedule is available online and tickets can be purchased on the Drake Athletics Web site.