Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘NCAA’

From Student Athletes to Coaches

RMU Colonials_web_smRobert Morris University is known for developing competitive, academically focused student athletes who excel both on the field and in the classroom. What you might not know is that many of these same individuals go on to successful coaching careers after graduation.

(NOTE: This list shows only current coaches. Of course RMU is proud of all of our students who have gone on to coach or build successful careers in sports over the years, which includes hundreds of our graduates. However, if we have omitted you in error, we apologize. Please contact Val Brkich at and we’ll be sure to add your name and title.)

Hank Fraley ’12 – offensive Line coach, San Jose State Spartans
Sam Dorsett ’03, M’09 – running backs coach, Monmouth University Hawks
Colyn Haugh ’07, M’09 – assistant coach, St. Francis University Red Flash
Jake Nulph ’05, M’07 – co-defensive coordinator, linebackers’ coach and recruiting coordinator, St. Francis University Red Flash
Alex DiMichele ’11 – graduate assistant/assistant coach, Robert Morris University Colonials

Brett Vincent ’90 – head men’s basketball coach, Chowan University Hawks

Ice Hockey
Jason Evans ’02 – head ice hockey coach, Chatham University Cougars
Brett Hopfe ’08 – head ice hockey coach, Olds Grizzlys of the AJHL (Alberta Junior Hockey League)
Chelsea Walkland ’10 – assistant women’s ice hockey coach, Oswego St. University Lakers
Samantha Ullrich ’09 – assistant women’s ice hockey coach, Lindenwood University Lady Lions
Logan Bittle ’08 – assistant women’s ice hockey coach, Robert Morris University Colonials

Jill Dorsch ’07 – assistant softball coach, Lynn University Fighting Knights
Keri Meyer ’06 – head softball coach, Monroe College Mustangs
Stephani Moore ’00 – assistant softball coach, California University of PA Vulcans
Michael “Jexx” Varner ’07 – head softball coach, Lafayette College Leopards
Lauren Dickinson-Stawartz ’02, M’05 – assistant softball coach, Robert Morris University Colonials
Jaci Timko ’12 – assistant softball coach, Robert Morris University Colonials
Kristin McDaniel ’09 – assistant softball coach, Edinboro University Fighting Scots
Cory Shay M’11 – head softball coach, CCAC-South St. Bernards
Annie Dubovec ’11 – assistant softball coach, Youngstown State Penguins

Brad Barber ’13 – head men’s lacrosse coach, Hood College Blaze
Mike Rowse ’11 – assistant men’s lacrosse coach, Queens University of Charlotte Royals
Jillian Howley ’09 – head women’s lacrosse coach, Lake Erie College Storm
Dane Smith ’11 – assistant men’s lacrosse coach, Robert Morris University Colonials
Dan Mulford ’09, M’11 – head men’s lacrosse coach, Winchester Thurston School Bears

Mike Bruno ’90, head volleyball coach, Point Park University Pioneers

Running / Track and Field / Olympic Sports / Other
Justin DiIanni  ’04 – coaches marathoners in Pittsburgh
Marques Dexter  ’07 – assistant track and field coach, Cortlandt State University Red Dragons
Kevin Argauer  ’09 – assistant strength and conditioning coach, University of Pittsburgh Panthers
Erica Schmidt  ’10 – assistant compliance officer, University of Akron Zips

On the Road with RMU Basketball – Day 1: Enemy Territory

The following post is the first from RMU correspondent Valentine J. Brkich, who is embedded with the RMU Men’s Basketball team during their current road trip to Connecticut…

The players wait, focused on the objective

This is my first dispatch from the road. For the next few days I’ll be accompanying the RMU Colonials Men’s Basketball team as they invade the state of Connecticut. This may be my first trip with the team, but I’m certainly qualified for this assignment. After all, I was the third best guard on the second team of the Sts. Peter & Paul Pacers during the 1986-87 season. I also started in my high school Spanish club’s first annual picnic basketball tournament back in 1993.

So, yeah, I know my way around the hardwood.

Our journey began yesterday morning as we boarded the tiny commuter jet in Pittsburgh. The players fanned out inside the plane, their spirits high despite the vertical challenges inside the cabin. I sat in the window seat next to a man named Dirk, who, after I questioned him, claimed to be a “consultant.” Of what, he didn’t reveal. From then on, I avoided conversation, just in case Dirk – if that was his real name – was working for the other side.

After landing in Hartford, it didn’t take long to realize we were in unfamiliar territory. Riding in the charter bus, I noticed that the roads were smooth and conspicuously devoid of potholes or orange cones. A roadside sign read, “NO BREAKDOWN LANE AHEAD.” I was still trying to figure out what a “breakdown lane” was, when another sign warned that something called a “Train Station” lay just ahead. Obviously we weren’t in Kansas, i.e., Moon Township, anymore.

Coach Toole studying film

As we moved deeper and deeper into enemy territory, Colonials Head Coach Andy Toole remained composed and focused. During the bus ride from the airport, he studiously watched film of the team’s next opponent, the Pioneers of Sacred Heart. At one point, however, his focus was broken by music emitting from headphones further back in the bus. The culprit: “Ice Ice Baby”.

Discipline was swift and stern. “NO VANILLA ICE!” declared Coach Toole, setting the tone for the rest of the mission.

Before long we arrived at our destination–Sacred Heart’s William H. Pitt Center. (No relation the namesake of our beloved Pittsburgh, but a welcome omen nonetheless.) As the team prepped for practice, Coach Toole, always the recruiter, watched as a young man named Daniel showed his stuff on the court. After Daniel swished his only shot, Coach Toole swapped cell numbers with him and told the boy to give him a ring in 12 years.

Coach Toole evaluates future talent

Following an energetic practice, we checked in at the hotel and then gathered for some much-needed nurishment at a local Chili’s. It being Lent, I had the salmon.

All in all, it was a productive first day. But I know today will bring new challenges. I can only hope we’re up for it. (By we, I mean the team. I’ll just be joting notes in my little notebook like always.)

To be continued…

On the Road with RMU Basketball

First they sent me in search of the Civil War. Then they sent me on a pedal-powered adventure to D.C.

Now, on what may be my greatest adventure yet, they’re sending me to….Connecticut.

That’s right, Connecticut—Land of Insurance Companies, birthplace of  Gary Burgoff, and home of the first collapsible toothpaste tube (1892).

Beginning this Thursday, I’ll be embedded with the Robert Morris University Men’s Basketball Team – Pittsburgh’s perennial powerhouse of the parquet (sorry) – as they travel to the Constitution State to battle Sacred Heart (Feb. 23, 7 p.m.) and Quinnipiac (Feb. 25, 11 a.m.).

Follow me on Twitter (@rmu) and on the RMU Blog (, as I learn what it’s like to be a NCAA Division I basketball player…or at least what it’s like to ride on a bus with one.

–Valentine J. Brkich

An Open Letter to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

President Dell’Omo will be sending the following letter to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. If you agree with what he says in the letter, please voice your opinion — respectfully, please — by emailing David Shribman (, Susan Smith ( and/or Jerry Micco (


David Shribman
Executive Editor
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
34 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA  15222

Dear David:

Some time ago RMU Athletics Director Craig Coleman spoke to you about the sparse coverage of Robert Morris University sports teams in the Post-Gazette. Unfortunately, the situation has not improved, which is why I am writing today.

RMU has 23 NCAA Division I sports, more than Pitt, West Virginia, and Duquesne, which receives disproportionately greater coverage for its athletic program than Robert Morris. Our men’s and women’s basketball team have each been to the NCAA tournament two times in the past five years, and our men’s team has made seven NCAA tournament appearances since 1982, a conference record. In contrast, Duquesne has not been to the tournament since 1977.

Our football team has won six conference championships, though the program only dates to 1994. Both men’s and women’s hockey teams have defeated several top 20 opponents over the last several years, and our women’s team, which currently has the nation’s sixth highest winning percentage, has produced an Olympian. I know you are aware we have the only Division I hockey program in the Pittsburgh region, where hockey is becoming increasingly popular.  As a result of the national reputation our hockey program has developed, we were selected to host, in partnership with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four at the CONSOL Energy Center.

But you’d barely know any of this from reading the sports pages of the Post-Gazette. Frequently the beat writers assigned to cover RMU – four in the past three years – have been called away from RMU events to cover high school football instead. The Post-Gazette never hires local stringers to cover our road games, even though it appears to be a common practice when Duquesne goes on the road. Recently, the Post-Gazette failed to file its own story about our game against LaSalle in Philadelphia, even though a beat reporter was at our post-game press conference – covering Pitt at the same tournament.

The purpose of my letter is not to request less coverage for our fellow institutions, especially Duquesne, but to have RMU receive comparable coverage worthy of its status as a Division I university.  This would include having a Robert Morris link at the top of the Sports page on the Post-Gazette’s website, along with all the other local Division I universities; and not being one of many that fall within “More Colleges.”

A majority of RMU’s 5,000 students, and their families, are from the Pittsburgh region. We have approximately 30,000 alumni living in the region, and many more fans among the general public. I assure you there is a thirst among your readers for greater coverage of RMU.

I look forward to meeting with you and the appropriate members of your staff in person to discuss this issue further. Thank you,

Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D.

President, Robert Morris University

cc: Jerry Micco
Susan Smith