January 30, 2004
Fencers to Brandeis
| January 30, 2004
The Red fencing team will be put to the test this weekend when it competes in the Brandeis Multi Meet in Waltham, Mass. The team is coming off of two one-sided victories against Yeshiva University and Vassar University last weekend. However, the Brandeis meet will be a huge step up in the level of competition.
“There is no weak opponent at this meet,” said head coach Al Peters.
Brown, Boston College, MIT, and Brandeis will all field strong teams this weekend.
“Last year we had a rough time of it,” Peters recalled. “[But] I’m more focused on the present than the past.”
Sophomore Meghan Phair had the most success at last year’s meet, going 11-1 and leading the epee squad to a 2-2 finish.
The foil squad won only one match and Cornell was completely shut out in the saber category.
Peters and the Red hope to see a different result this year. Peters observed that MIT is a formidable foe, but the strength and depth of each team changes from year to year.
Cornell is at full strength and the team is ready to compete at a higher level. Senior Erica Wilhelm, captain of the epee squad, has returned to Ithaca and will be competing this weekend.
The Red will also look to the foil squad to build on its powerful performance from last weekend.
“[The team has] worked hard,” Peters said. “They have both mental and physical preparation.”
The Red will match up against each team at the meet. Peters noted that Cornell has never swept the competition, but he expects a strong showing from his athletes this weekend.
“We’re very excited,” Peters said of the stiff competition. “It’s what we came for.”
Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
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February 2, 2004
The wrestling team reignited its season and its hopes of winning the Ivy League championship Saturday when it defeated Penn and Princeton in a multi-state doubleheader. After eking past Penn 17-15 at the Palestra, the team headed to Princeton, where the Red routed the Tigers 34-3. Though the win over Princeton was expected, the Penn victory was less assured and more coveted, as the winner of the dual has ultimately captured the Ivy title for the past 17 years. The wins improved Cornell’s record to 5-6 overall and 2-0 in league competition. “Obviously we’re thrilled because, in the last 17 years, the winner of the Cornell-Penn match has been the Ivy League champion,” said head coach Rob Koll. “We still have to knock off Columbia, Harvard, and Brown, but that was the big one.” Prior to Saturday’s kickoff in Philadelphia, a string of dual-meet losses had dropped Cornell 11 places in national polls from No. 8 to No. 19. Penn, on the other hand, recently defeated third-ranked Iowa State and top-20 teams Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. The wins propelled the Quakers past Cornell to a No. 15 national ranking and the top spot in the Ivies. Cornell, defending Ivy champions, entered the Penn match hungry to regain its title. The day opened at the 197-pound weight class with Cornell senior Matt Greenberg facing Penn’s Marcus Schontube. The pair battled for two periods and entered the third tied at one. But Greenberg scored a pair of takedowns late in the match to earn a 5-2 victory and put Cornell on the scoreboard first. But in the ensuing heavyweight bout, Penn’s Matt Feast put together a 13-6 decision over Cornell’s Matt Bogumil, and Penn tied the score at three team points apiece. The next eight matches saw more of the same fiery competition and seesawing changes in the lead. Junior Travis Lee and sophomore Dustin Manotti both earned major decisions against their opponents, giving the Red valuable points. Lee scored four takedowns and a reversal to win his 133-pound bout, 11-3, against Penn’s Matt Eveleth, and Manotti bested Lee’s takedown total by one and added near-fall points during his 149-pound match to beat Nick Matteo, 13-3. Senior Scott Roth followed suit to notch another Cornell win, beating Breet Vanderveer, 5-3, in the 157-pound class. But Penn rallied and won the next two matches. First, Cornell freshmen Dan Miracola faced Penn’s Richard Ferfuson in the 165-pound matchup. Miracola took a 3-1 lead late into the third period, but Ferguson came back with an escape and a takedown for the win. Then, in the 174-pound weight class, Cornell senior Tyler Baier was upset by Greg Hallahan by a final score of 4-2. The wins eroded Cornell’s lead and put Penn ahead of the Red, 15-14, going into the last match of the meet. “We did our best to give the meet away, and we lost a lot of matches in the last couple seconds,” Koll said. “But of course, we won a couple, too, to keep ourselves in it.” The 184-pound bout looked ostensibly to favor the Quakers. Ethan Bullock, a fifth-year senior captain, stepped onto the mat for Penn while, freshmen Jerry Rinaldi took center stage for the Red. A win would win the match; a loss would send the Red packing for an unceremonious trip back to Ithaca. After easing through the first period, the opponents entered the second period knotted in a scoreless tie. Rinaldi got on the scoreboard first, though, when he recorded an escape early in the second period. But Bullock put himself back in the match during the third period when Rinaldi got penalized one point for stalling. The freshman regained composure, however, and finished the third period with just over one minute of riding time — just enough to win the match and give Cornell bragging rights. “Going into the very last match, I think they were feeling a little bit more confident than a lot of Cornell people were,” commented Koll. “But we felt very confident in Jerry. He’s a clutch player, and he’s got a lot of poise for a freshmen. We never had any worries.” Following some brief celebration, the team got back on the road and headed for Princeton. Unlike Penn, the Tigers have struggled this season, posting only two dual wins and undertaking a weaker tournament schedule. Cornell knew that the nightcap would be the easier of the day’s contests, but the team did not let down its guard. In a less gripping finish, the Red routed the orange and black, 34-3. Princeton’s only victory came from Joe Looke, a senior heavyweight and team captain. “It was disappointing that we didn’t shut them out. Their heavyweight was their best kid, and he’s ranked second in the East,” Koll said. We took him to overtime and had an opportunity to win, but that was the only disappointment.” The pair of wins puts Cornell in the Ivy driver’s seat for the rest of this season, and the Red hopes to keep that control in its match against Columbia at the Friedman Wrestling Center next weekend. The matchup, which counts for Ivy standings, also serves as a fundraiser. All the proceeds from the event plus additional money from sponsors will go directly to Hospicare of Tompkins County, an organization that provides health care to terminally ill and bedridden patients. “It’ll be a great match for a great cause, and if we get 1100 or 1200 people through the door, we can donate six or eight thousand dollars,” said Koll. “We’re in a good spot, and, right now, the Ivy title is ours to lose.” Archived article by Everett Hullverson
February 2, 2004
The nine-week long football head coaching search came to a close last Friday, as Athletic Director J. Andrew Noel announced the hiring of Jim Knowles ’87 as the 25th head coach in Cornell history. “Jim Knowles has been a rising star,” Noel said. “He’s done a terrific job at every university that he’s represented and where he’s coached, and I could not be more pleased or more proud to welcome back one of our own to lead the Big Red football team.” “I think this is a fantastic hire. I spent about an hour talking to Jim yesterday, and he clearly has the complete package as coach. He’s a scholar of the game, he’s a strong leader, and he understands winning Cornell Football — he has it in his blood,” President Jeffrey S. Lehman ’77 said. “I just think he’s going to bring the drive and direction and leadership to this team that’s exactly what Cornell needs.” The new Roger J. Weiss ’61 Coach of Football, Knowles comes to the East Hill after spending the past year as the linebackers coach and the recruiting coordinator at the University of Mississippi. Prior to his time at Ole Miss, Knowles coached six seasons at Western Michigan University (1997-2002), spending the first five years as the defensive line coach before taking control of the Broncos’ linebacking corps. In his final two seasons with the team, he was the squad’s defensive coordinator. While with the Broncos, Knowles oversaw a defense that became one of the nation’s best units. In 2001, Knowles’ first season as the defensive coordinator, Western Michigan ranked 17th nationally in pass defense. The following year, the Broncos finished 28th in the country in total defense. Knowles’ return to Ithaca marks a homecoming of sorts. He was an All-Ivy defensive lineman for the Red from 1983-86 before joining the Cornell coaching staff for nine years following his graduation from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 1987. During his time roaming the sidelines at Schoellkopf Field, Knowles worked with the running backs (1989-94), linebackers (1995-96), and as the recruiting coordinator (1995-96). “I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to return to my alma mater as Cornell’s 25th head coach of football. It’s no secret among my closest friends that this opportunity represents my lifelong career ambition,” Knowles said. “Jim Knowles voiced his interest in our position from the very beginning,” Noel said. “He had a real burning desire to be in this position many months ago.” Although Knowles had shown keen interest in the job since the position became vacated last November, it appeared that Noel would head in another direction just weeks prior to hiring last Friday. Noel had narrowed his final list of candidates to three — Kevin Gilbride, Marc Trestman, and Steve Nelson — three weeks ago. Yet, negotiations with all three fell through, as Gilbride and Trestman accepted assistant coaching positions in the NFL with the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins, respectively, and Nelson decided to remain with Curry College. That opened the door for Knowles, who visited campus last Tuesday and interviewed with administrators Wednesday before accepting the offer on Friday morning. “I’m certainly happy to have our 25th head coach hired, but more importantly, I’m thrilled to have Jim Knowles as our head coach because if we hadn’t been able to hire Jim Knowles, our process may have gone however many more weeks it would have taken to find a terrific coach,” Noel said. “To me, timing was always an issue, always very important, but it was always second tier behind the right person.” “He had an awful lot of support from day one. We have over 1,300 alums in our Cornell Football Association. He had teammates that he played with for four years, he then coached players for nine years, so you can imagine the number of people that knew Jimmy first hand,” Noel added. Knowles takes over a team that finished 1-9 last season, including 0-7 during the Ivy League portion of its schedule. The coach, however, looks to bring immediate success to Cornell. “We discussed some ideas about where the program will head. And in my mind, as I told the players yesterday, this is not a rebuilding year, this is not a transition year. We have seniors here who have worked hard and who have committed to this program, and they are going to get the absolute best from me and the coaching staff and we are going to expect to win every game that we play,” Knowles said. “The most encouraging thing I’ve heard is that he’s not building for the future because there are a lot of kids here who have put a lot of time and effort into this program that want to be successful before we leave this place,” senior quarterback D.J. Busch said. “I think he’s really going to work hard to try to get back on track next year.”Archived article by Alex Ip