Dan Stimson, a Falconer native and longtime William and Mary director of track and field and cross country, will be one of the 10 former Tribe legends inducted into the William and Mary Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2014 on Saturday, April 12.
The Class of 2014 will consist of Ashleigh Akens Rabe '94 (Women's Basketball), David Corley, Jr. '03 (Football), Ann Ekberg Saunders '03 (Field Hockey), Debbie Hill (Head Volleyball Coach), Tracey Leinbach '81 (Women's Golf), Carrie Moore '99 (Women's Soccer), Billy Owens '95 (Men's Soccer), Lisa Rayner '96 (Track and Field), Trevor Spracklin '01 (Men's Tennis) and Stimson.
The event is scheduled to take place April 12, 2014 at the Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center.
Falconer native Dan Stimson will be inducted into the William and Mary Athletics Hall of Fame on April 12.
Photo courtesy of William & Mary
Dan Stimson during his coaching days at Miami (Ohio).
Stimson has been a fixture with the Tribe track and field and cross-country teams since he joined the program in 1986-87 as the first director of both the men's and women's programs. He spent 25 years as the director, stepping down prior to the 2011-12 season to focus on coaching the throwing athletes. During his tenure as director, W&M won 49 of 94 possible CAA titles (52 percent), including sweeps of all four championships in 2003-04. Tribe athletes earned 64 All-American awards and one spot on the U.S. Olympic Team during that 25-year span.
In the throws, eight of the 12 events (between men and women) have had the school records reset by Stimson athletes, many multiple times. Perhaps his greatest successes have come in the hammer, weight throw, and javelin, events that are not sponsored by a majority of high school federations (meaning athletes must start learning them in college). Since the CAA began sponsoring track and field in 1990, W&M athletes have won 31 conference titles in the hammer and the javelin, including 16 of 24 all-time golds in the men's javelin. In fact, the Tribe's dominance of this event is so complete that a W&M male has won the javelin event in 12 of the 14 CAA Championships contested since 2000.
Among the notable athletes under Stimson's tutelage was Brandon Heroux '12, who won the javelin all four years and placed eighth at the 2012 NCAA Championships to earn first-team All-America honors. In 2013, the Tribe throwers won five of eight conference titles, and both Brian Waterfield (shot put champion, scored in all four throws) and Natalie Baird (hammer champion, scored in three events) were named Most Outstanding Field Athlete of the Meet.
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Tyler Steel '00 and Andy Smith '06 each won their events four times as well (the hammer and the javelin, respectively), and in 2013 freshman Bob Smutsky was just a few inches off of All-America honors before going on to win the USAT&F Junior National Championship in the javelin. In 1992, Mike Howell won all three "weight" throwing events during the CAAs (shot put, hammer, and discus) to this day, he is still the only man to ever accomplish the feat.
Stimson's record is also impressive in mentoring coaches. The last three men's coaches all went on to big-time coaching or director jobs after leaving W&M Walt Drenth to Arizona State and then Michigan State, Andrew Gerard to Stanford (winning an NCAA title) and then to George Mason, and Alex Gibby to Michigan. Including Stimson's own two Coach of the Year awards, a Tribe coach has won 48 CAA honors all-time.
Stimson's coaching career began at the University of Tennessee in 1971-72 where he was the throwing coach for Bill Skinner and Danny Martin (among others). A post-grad, Skinner ranked third in the world that year in the javelin with a throw of 291 feet. 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 1981. Geoff Lawrence didn't have a chance to throw either the discus or the hammer in high school in Indiana, but graduated from Miami with personal-best of 175 feet in the discus. 181 feet in the hammer; and 57-7 in the shot put. David Zipko was also a throwing triple-threat, throwing 54 feet in the shot put, 164 feet in the discus, and 185 feet in the hammer.
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. Pat Reid was a 58-8 shot-putter in high school who improved to 63-10 in college, even with the four-pound size increase in the shot. Reid was a two-time Penn Relay's champion and twice an All-American in the shot put, placing as high as sixth. Jeff Field improved in the javelin from 210 feet to 256 feet while at Tennessee, and J.R. Quinn went from 190 feet to 195-8 in the discus. Both also earned two All-American honors in their events. Scott Lundy was already a 61-foot shot-putter in high school, but improved to 61-6 in college to earn All-American honors.
Stimson graduated with honors from Ohio University in 1971 and holds 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 and his wife Rosemary, also a Falconer native, have two children, son Clare, and daughter Krista.