With a checked swing and called third strike late yesterday afternoon in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the 2012-13 edition of the Towson University athletic season came to a close.
And although Tiger fans were understandably disappointed with the baseball team’s heartbreaking loss Sunday, which knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament, by any measure the achievements of Towson’s student-athletes over the past 10 months have been unprecedented and record-breaking.
“Like so many others here at Towson, I was disappointed when I heard the news from Chapel Hill yesterday afternoon,” said President Maravene Loeschke.
“But that feeling of disappointment was quickly replaced by another emotion: pride. I am incredibly proud of our baseball team and all of our athletic accomplishments, including our national and conference championships, that were achieved this past year.”
Last January, the Tiger baseball squad was picked to finish eighth in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) conference. By the end of May, they had won four consecutive games in the CAA tournament to win the championship and earn a spot in the NCAA tournament—the program’s first since 1991.
In doing so, baseball became the seventh Towson team to earn a CAA or national championship crown. The display of hardware at the “Golden Paw” Athletic Awards Dinner last month included CAA championship trophies for football, volleyball, women’s swimming and diving, women’s lacrosse and men’s lacrosse, along with a national championship trophy for cheerleading. By winning their respective CAA tournaments, women’s and men’s lacrosse also earned spots in the NCAA tourney.
Additionally, four Tiger coaches were named CAA ‘Coach of the Year.’ Five student-athletes were named CAA ‘Player of the Year,’ nine were selected as All-Americans and more than 59 were named to all-conference status. And, the men’s basketball team recorded the biggest NCAA single-season turnaround in the history of college basketball.
Besides outstanding performances on the field, on the court and in the pool, academic achievement significantly improved in 2012-13, with more than 131 players achieving a 3.5 GPA or higher. Student-athletes also engaged in more than 10,000 hours of service in the Baltimore community.
“As I often tell our students, success in life is not based on talent alone,” Loeschke added.
“Success also depends on determination, passion, perseverance, commitment to a cause greater than yourself, and the ability to see obstacles as opportunities. This year, our student-athletes consistently displayed those attributes and the results speak for themselves. Moving forward, I am excited about the future of Towson athletics. The best is yet to come!”