<P><B>Dec. 30, 2004</B><P>
To say the 2004 calendar year was a successful one for the University of Dayton athletic teams would be an understatement. Over the past 12 months, the Flyer Faithful have seen the groundbreaking of new stadiums, the addition of successful new coaches, All-American performers on the field and some of the best student-athletes in the nation in their respective sports.
<P>The first big story of 2004 was the success of the men's basketball team under then rookie Head Coach <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/gregory_brian00.html">Brian Gregory</a>. Gregory led the Flyers to a 24-9 record and an Atlantic 10 West Division Championship and its second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament after advancing to the Championship Game of the A-10 Tournament held at UD Arena. The team was led by a trio of 1,000-point scorers as Keith Waleskowski, Sean Finn and Ramod Marshall closed out stellar Flyer careers in a double overtime loss to DePaul in Buffalo, NY.
<P>As Flyer fans attended the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament and the NCAA Opening Round game at UD Arena they were able to see the beginning of two new stadiums that will be used by Dayton teams this spring.
<P>The baseball team played its first season at its new field next to I-75 and won 11 games. Now named Time Warner Cable Stadium, the $4 million complex has undergone further renovations during the summer of 2004 to include an indoor hitting/pitching facility as well as locker rooms, a press box and concession area, as well as chair back seating to become one of the top facilities in the Midwest.
<P>Ground was also broken during the summer on a new softball field which will be across the street from Time Warner Cable Stadium with the Great Miami River as its backdrop. The Flyer softball team will begin play at their new home in 2005.
<P>The UD track and field team had its most successful year in program history as Kahleelah Sneed was named the Most Outstanding Performer at both the indoor and outdoor Atlantic 10 Championships in 2004. She won the 400-meter dash at the indoor meet in February and took gold in both the 200 and 400 at the outdoor meet in May. <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-track/mtt/pohlman_kelly00.html">Kelly Pohlman</a> also won the shot while <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-track/mtt/mckinley_candace00.html">Candace McKinley</a> was tops in the heptathlon to be named the Most Outstanding Rookie Performer at the outdoor championships.
<P>Female distance runners at UD were bolstered by the hiring of <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-xc/mtt/alyanak_ann00.html">Ann Alyanak</a> as the school's first full-time distance coach in May. The former Big Ten Champion in the 10,000 meters was named the head women's cross country coach and assistant track coach.
<P>The Flyers also displayed their speed on the open waters as the rowing team had its highest nationally ranked boat in recent history. The UD lightweight eight finished the 2004 spring season ranked 15th in the USRowing Coaches Poll.
<P>Dayton athletic teams also completed one of the most successful fall seasons in school history. The UD women's soccer team was ranked as high as 20th nationally in the Soccer Buzz poll and held the longest winning streak in the country as it won its seventh straight Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship and second straight A-10 Tourney Title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
<P>The Flyer volleyball team won the A-10 Regular Season Title for the third time in school history and became the first team in five years to repeat as A-10 Tournament Champs to earn its second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.
<P>Dayton's football team was ranked first in the nation among NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major programs for most of the season and finished third in the competitive Pioneer Football League. The UD men's soccer team had 11 victories on the year and finished just one match shy of its own A-10 Regular Season Title.
<P>The end of the calendar year saw one of the top turnarounds in the nation as the Dayton women's basketball team won six games in the 2004-05 season after winning just three times during the 2003-04 campaign. Head Coach <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/jabir_jim00.html">Jim Jabir</a> piloted the team to five road wins and saw his Flyers win an 87-55 game at home against Detroit while pulling down 79 rebounds - the seventh most in NCAA history.
<P>Eight conference individual awards were won by seven different Flyers in 2004. Besides Sneed and McKinley's honors in track, women's soccer players <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-soccer/mtt/sedlacek_reba00.html">Reba Sedlacek</a> and <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-soccer/mtt/simonetti_jen00.html">Jen Simonetti</a> won A-10 Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards respectively. Their coach, <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-soccer/mtt/tucker_mike00.html">Mike Tucker</a> garnered A-10 Coach of the Year honors. <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/m-footbl/mtt/jones_doug00.html">Doug Jones</a> was named PFL Defensive Player of the Year for the Flyer football team while volleyball's <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-volley/mtt/utnage_christy00.html">Christy Utnage</a> won the A-10 Player of the Year award.
<P>UD also had a total of 30 All-Conference athletes and nine All-Americans during the past 12 months. Jones was honored by the Sports Network I-AA Mid-Major voters and AFCA I-AA coaches as an All-American. He was joined by football teammates <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/m-footbl/mtt/schwab_robby00.html">Robby Schwab</a> and <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/m-footbl/mtt/resch_jason00.html">Jason Resch</a> on the Sports Network list. Men's soccer players <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/m-soccer/mtt/rolfe_chris00.html">Chris Rolfe</a> and <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/m-soccer/mtt/troop_matt00.html">Matt Troop</a> were named to All-American and All-Rookie teams respectively. Volleyball also had a pair of All-America honors as Utnage and <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-volley/mtt/barhorst_faye00.html">Faye Barhorst</a> garnered AVCA Honorable Mention honors. Simonetti was also designated as an All-American by the NSCAA.
<P>Flyer student-athletes also excelled off the field as UD won 13 Academic All-Conference honors and had seven Academic All-Americans. Jones shined again as he was named to the NACDA first team and CoSIDA second team. Baseball player Tom Beechem was a CoSIDA first team honoree while <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/m-footbl/mtt/verhoff_steve00.html">Steve Verhoff</a> (football), <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-tennis/mtt/kirkland_erin00.html">Erin Kirkland</a> (women's tennis) and Lynn Farrey (rowing) earned second team honors. <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/m-soccer/mtt/stebbins_tye00.html">Tye Stebbins</a> (men's soccer) and <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/m-tennis/mtt/altenau_rob00.html">Rob Altenau</a> (men's tennis) were named to the CoSIDA third team.