Wittenberg Tigers


Wittenberg Tigers blast Kenyon 45-3 to improve to 3-0

Wittenberg University junior Nick Kendall knew he had to pay homage to the players who came before him. After finishing a 75-yard touchdown run, Kendall ran over the alumni section in attendance for Champions Night where he gave high-fives to multiple former Tigers football players. Kendall finished with 113 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries as the 14th-ranked Tigers cruised to a 45-3 victory...
Fincham seeks consistency in Wittenberg’s third game

Fincham seeks consistency in Wittenberg’s third game

The skeleton of Wittenberg’s new $40 million indoor facility rises behind the stands at Edwards-Maurer Field. The football players see it take shape every time they take the field, though it won’t be ready in time for them to use it this season. Coach Joe Fincham’s focus now is on the present. That means a 2-0 start and a 7 p.m. home game Saturday against Kenyon. The Tigers, ranked...
Freshman starting on O-line at Wittenberg for first time in 16 years

Freshman starting on O-line at Wittenberg for first time in 16 years

The John Denver song “Country Roads, Take Me Home,” a famous ode to West Virginia, played over the loudspeaker at Edwards-Maurer Field as the Wittenberg Tigers warmed up for practice Wednesday. Wittenberg coach Joe Fincham, a native of Williamstown, W.Va., heard it and claimed he had nothing to do with the playlist. That seemed true moments later as Drake’s “Big Rings&rdquo...
College of Wooster to induct South High standout into its Hall of Fame

College of Wooster to induct South High standout into its Hall of Fame

James Cooper didn’t have a favorite basketball court growing up in Springfield. He knew the rims all over town. “I played hoops everywhere, anywhere, all the time,” Cooper said. “I had a rough home life, so getting away from home was always important. Basketball was my answer. Get the ball and get away for a while.” In those formative years, Cooper developed the shot...
Wittenberg routs Oberlin for 16th straight regular-season win

Wittenberg routs Oberlin for 16th straight regular-season win

The No. 14 Wittenberg Tigers trailed Oberlin 7-3 after the first quarter Saturday but quickly squashed the Yeomen’s upset hopes with touchdowns on four straight possessions in the second quarter en route to a 45-14 victory at Knowlton Stadium. The Tigers (2-0, 1-0) won their North Coast Athletic Conference opener and first road game of the season, stretching their regular-season winning streak...
Wittenberg back in action after ‘focused week of practice’

Wittenberg back in action after ‘focused week of practice’

The Wittenberg Tigers have gotten used to the routine of playing their first game and then getting a week off before their second game and the start of a stretch of nine North Coast Athletic Conference games in nine weeks. That’s the way the schedule has looked the last seven seasons. “I think we, as a staff, kind of understand what we want to do,” Wittenberg coach Joe Fincham said...
Wittenberg quarterback climbing record books in third year as starter

Wittenberg quarterback climbing record books in third year as starter

Jake Kennedy accomplished a rare feat just by stepping onto the turf at Edwards-Maurer Field for the Wittenberg Tigers on Sept. 1. The Bellefontaine High School graduate Kennedy became the first Wittenberg quarterback since Aaron Huffman, the starter from 2006-09, to start the season opener in three straight seasons. With the 14th-ranked Tigers (1-0) opening North Coast Athletic Conference play Saturday...
Comparing Ohio State-Rutgers to other series in Buckeye football history  

Comparing Ohio State-Rutgers to other series in Buckeye football history  

Saturday at Ohio Stadium, Ohio State and Rutgers are scheduled to play for the fifth time.  The Scarlet Knights are not only winless in the series, they have been outscored 219-24 with none of those Rutgers points coming in the past two meetings.  Having spent an (almost) unhealthy amount of time examining Ohio State records over the years, I was struck by how this looked on paper more like...
Ohio State-Rutgers

Ohio State-Rutgers

Ohio State's Mike Weber runs for 49 yards against Rutgers on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff
Kennedy leads Witt past Westminster in season opener

Kennedy leads Witt past Westminster in season opener

When Wittenberg quarterback Jake Kennedy sets up in the shotgun, he’s looking around at the defense. He’s also looking to see who his receivers are because there are so many of them. And he’s looking to see where the double-teams are. Early in Saturday’s opener at home against Westminster, Kennedy saw speedy wide receiver Thad Snodgrass on the left side with single coverage...
College Football: Wittenberg expects stout test in season opener

College Football: Wittenberg expects stout test in season opener

Entering his 23rd season, Wittenberg football coach Joe Fincham knows you can’t look at the big picture in August. The storylines entering the season are similar to what they’ve been in the past – Wittenberg opens the season ranked 14th in the d3football.com poll and were also picked to repeat as the North Coast Athletic Conference champions. “We’ve got a hard-working...

Witt the team to beat in North Coast Athletic Conference

The Wittenberg University football team has been picked to repeat as the North Coast Athletic Conference champion in the preseason coaches’ poll. The Tigers, who went 10-0 a year ago to win their 15th overall NCAC title, picked up seven of 10 possible first-place votes, earning a total of 96 points. Wabash (85 points), DePauw (81) and Denison (75) each picked up one first-place vote. Ohio Wesleyan...
College Football: Wittenberg gunning for third straight NCAC title

College Football: Wittenberg gunning for third straight NCAC title

The first day of practice for the Wittenberg University football team didn’t go quite as planned for Tigers head coach Joe Fincham. A thunderstorm hit Springfield about an hour into the first of the Tigers’ two split-squad practices on Wednesday evening, forcing the team into the nearby HPER Center. After the storm blew over, the second practice began after a more than 30-minute delay...
Wittenberg football’s 2018 recruiting class numbers 71

Wittenberg football’s 2018 recruiting class numbers 71

The 2018 Wittenberg football reruiting includes 71 players. That’s a big drop from last year when coach Joe Fincham and his staff added 89 players to the roster. That was the biggest class in Fincham’s tenure. This class, Fincham said, “had to be smaller.” At the Division III level, players come and go. Fincham expects five players on the current list to either not show up...
Wittenberg basketball recruiting class includes two 6-11 players

Wittenberg basketball recruiting class includes two 6-11 players

The Wittenberg Tigers men’s basketball team grew in a figurative sense last season, returning to national prominence with its best performance in 12 years. Now the team is growing in a literal sense. The eight-man recruiting class coach Matt Croci announced Wednesday includes two 6-foot-11 players and four other players who stand 6-6 or taller. All the new players can move well and play fast...
Wittenberg volleyball coach Labrador takes job at Navy

Wittenberg volleyball coach Labrador takes job at Navy

Longtime Wittenberg volleyball coach Paco Labrador, who turned the program into a NCAA Division III national power, announced Wednesday he has accepted the head coaching job at Navy. Evelyn Carus, an Otterbein graduate who joined the program as an assistant coach in March 2016, was named the interim head coach for the 2018 season. In 15 season with the Tigers, Labrador was 455-71. His team won the...
Longtime Wittenberg volleyball coach takes head coaching job at Navy

Longtime Wittenberg volleyball coach takes head coaching job at Navy

Longtime Wittenberg volleyball coach Paco Labrador, who turned the program into a NCAA Division III national power, announced Wednesday he has accepted the head coaching job at Navy. Evelyn Carus, an Otterbein graduate who joined the program as an assistant coach in March 2016, was named the interim head coach for the 2018 season. In 15 season with the Tigers, Labrador was 455-71. His team won the...
Former Wittenberg coach hit hard by death of his mentor, Larry Hunter

Former Wittenberg coach hit hard by death of his mentor, Larry Hunter

Bill Brown knew he wouldn’t get much time Saturday night to speak when he was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. He had a lot of people he wanted to thank for a career that saw him win 543 games, most of them in 23 seasons with the Wittenberg Tigers. However, Brown planned to use some of his time to talk about a man who meant so much to him: Larry Hunter, the former Wittenberg coach ...
Former Wittenberg coach Larry Hunter dies at 68

Former Wittenberg coach Larry Hunter dies at 68

Almost 30 years after he coached his last game at Wittenberg University, Larry Hunter remained close to the program. Throughout this past season, even as Hunter coached his final season at Western Carolina University, he kept in touch with Wittenberg coach Matt Croci and sent him a number of emails to say he was following the team and happy for the success the Tigers were having. Hunter even helped...
Larry Hunter remembered as man ‘of tremendous character’

Larry Hunter remembered as man ‘of tremendous character’

Brian Agler spoke to Larry Hunter in March when Hunter stepped down after 13 seasons at Western Carolina University. Even after 47 years in coaching and 702 victories as a head coach, Hunter didn’t plan to stay away from college basketball for long. “He still wanted to coach,” said Agler, who was a freshman guard at Wittenberg University in 1977 when Hunter won a national championship...
Former Wittenberg coach Larry Hunter hospitalized after stroke

Former Wittenberg coach Larry Hunter hospitalized after stroke

Former Wittenberg University men’s basketball coach Larry Hunter has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke, Western Carolina University announced Monday. ESPN’s Seth Greenberg reported Hunter, 68, is on life support. “The continued thoughts, prayers and well wishes of the Catamount Nation are with Larry Hunter and his wife, Mary, during this trying time,” read a statement...
Wittenberg Tigers

Wittenberg Tigers

Wittenberg players leave the court after a loss to Oshkosh in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at Pam Evans Smith Arena in Springfield.
Tigers find their form, but falter late in second-round NCAA loss

Tigers find their form, but falter late in second-round NCAA loss

Wittenberg coach Matt Croci subbed liberally in the first half against Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the NCAA Division III tourney, but each lineup he tried looked as disjointed and panicked as the previous one. The Tigers, who trailed by as many as 17 points, faced a 34-19 halftime deficit. They shot 30 percent, committed nine turnovers and looked nothing like the team that averaged 82.3 points this season...
Wittenberg ousted in second round of NCAA Tournament

Wittenberg ousted in second round of NCAA Tournament

Wittenberg staged a furious rally to try to stay alive in the NCAA Division III tournament, but Wisconsin-Oshkosh withstood the comeback bid for a 68-60 win Saturday night at Pam Evans Smith Arena. The Tigers, returning to the tourney after a four-year absence and playing at home for the first time since 2006, trailed by 17 points in the first half and by 16 early in the second half. »RELATED...
Wittenberg routs Misericordia in first round of NCAA tournament

Wittenberg routs Misericordia in first round of NCAA tournament

With 22 hours to prepare for the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament, Wittenberg Tigers coach Matt Croci was asked if he would stay up late or get up early to prepare. “Both,” Croci said Friday night. “If I get any sleep at all.” The third-ranked Tigers (27-2) will play No. 24 Wisconsin-Oshkosh (21-7) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Pam Evans Smith Arena after routing...
Wittenberg hopes home-court edge pays off in NCAA tournament

Wittenberg hopes home-court edge pays off in NCAA tournament

One member of the Wittenberg Tigers knows his way around the NCAA Division III tournament. Junior guard Mitch Balser played in the tournament the last two years with Wooster. He even started four games for the Scots as a freshman during their run to the Elite Eight. Now Balser is playing for Wittenberg and helping his teammates prepare the NCAA tournament. “They’ve been asking me questions...
Wittenberg football: Taver Johnson is a Buckeye again — and still a proud Tiger

Wittenberg football: Taver Johnson is a Buckeye again — and still a proud Tiger

Taver Johnson picked a pretty good time to return to his home state.  Not only is he back as the cornerbacks coach at Ohio State, he is also closer to Wittenberg, where he was a star football player in the early 1990s.  That means he just might be able to watch the Tigers men’s basketball team when they begin the NCAA tournament on their home floor Friday night against Misericordia...
Sophomore Seipel a big reason for Wittenberg’s success

Sophomore Seipel a big reason for Wittenberg’s success

If everyone in Pam Evans Smith Arena on Saturday night thought Wittenberg Tigers forward Connor Seipel looked surprised when he was named MVP of the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament, they were right. “I was shocked,” Seipel said. Seipel expected senior Chad Roy, his partner in the frontcourt, to earn the honor. After all, just three years ago, Seipel was coming off the bench...
Wittenberg to host NCAA tournament games this weekend

Wittenberg to host NCAA tournament games this weekend

Twelve years ago, the Wittenberg Tigers began their run to the NCAA championship game in Springfield, playing at home in the first four rounds. They’ll get a chance to do it again in 2018. The NCAA announced the Division III tournament bracket Monday, and No. 6 Wittenberg found out it will host games on the first weekend and on the second weekend if it advances to the Sweet 16. The Tigers hope...
Wittenberg wins first NCAC tournament title since 2006

Wittenberg wins first NCAC tournament title since 2006

The Wittenberg Tigers ran off the court with an 82-70 victory against Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday forgetting one thing — they still had to cut down the nets. The sixth-ranked Tigers (26-2) could be forgiven. This was their first North Coast Athletic Conference tournament championship since 2006. They hadn’t won the title at Pam Evans Smith Arena since 2002. They turned back the clock with...
Wittenberg hopes home crowd helps it in NCAC tournament

Wittenberg hopes home crowd helps it in NCAC tournament

Matt Croci shaved the beard he wore for more than three months when the Wittenberg Tigers finally lost a game after 22 straight victories. The coach and his team now have a modest two-game winning streak going — though it’s too early to tell if a beard will come with it — and would like to extend it as long as possible. That will be easier to do this weekend because Wittenberg gets...
Wittenberg to play Denison in NCAC semifinals

Wittenberg to play Denison in NCAC semifinals

The Wittenberg Tigers will host the North Coast Athletic Conference semifinals and championship game for the first time since 2012 on Friday. Sixth-ranked Wittenberg (24-2), the top seed in the conference tournament, beat Oberlin 70-54 on Tuesday at Pam Evans Smith Arena and will play No. 5 seed Denison (15-11) in the semifinals at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Denison won 73-60 at No. 4 seed Hiram (15-11) in...
Wittenberg basketball alums relish victory over Wooster

Wittenberg basketball alums relish victory over Wooster

Wittenberg Tigers coach Matt Croci’s wife Patrice shared a video to Instagram of the team celebrating in the locker room after a 78-77 overtime victory Saturday against Wooster. The second-year coach Croci was in the middle of the chaos as the team jumped up and down. Someone threw water on him. His shirt was soaked. In the background were a few familiar faces — at least for those who...
Wittenberg wins NCAC title with stunning OT win over Wooster

Wittenberg wins NCAC title with stunning OT win over Wooster

Wittenberg sophomore Jacob Bertemes wasn’t going to let the Tigers lose. Bertemes made two game tying shots, and then sunk the free threw that led fifth-ranked Wittenberg to a 78-77 victory over the No. 16 Wooster at Pam Evans Smith Arena Saturday night. »RELATED: Three freshmen making big contributions for Tigers The victory secured an outright North Coast Athletic Conference title for...
Top seed on line when Wittenberg plays Wooster on Saturday

Top seed on line when Wittenberg plays Wooster on Saturday

The fifth-ranked Wittenberg Tigers have lost two straight games after winning 22 games in a row and now face a must-win situation against Wooster if they want to earn the No. 1 seed in the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament. Wittenberg (22-2, 15-2) plays No. 16 Wooster (20-4, 14-3) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Pam Evans Smith Arena. Wooster has won nine straight games since losing 86-75 at home...
Wittenberg’s Croci: First loss ‘wakes you up a little bit’

Wittenberg’s Croci: First loss ‘wakes you up a little bit’

The 22-game winning streak ended Saturday for the Wittenberg Tigers. Coach Matt Croci didn’t care so much about that. Breaking the school record for consecutive victories wasn’t a goal, even if it got everyone talking about his team. Croci hates losing. The same goes for his players, though they were more disappointed in their performance than the result, a 94-71 loss at Hiram. &ldquo...
Wittenberg alum joining Ohio State football staff again

Wittenberg alum joining Ohio State football staff again

Wittenberg graduate Taver Johnson has returned to Ohio State.  The school announced Johnson’s hiring Tuesday morning.  After graduating from the Cincinnati Academy of Physical Education (CAPE), Johnson became one of the best to suit up for Wittenberg.  A member of the Tigers’ Hall of Honor, Johnson was the team’s MVP in 1992 and ’93, when he was also named the...
2018 World Cup: Who are local coaches, fans rooting for?

2018 World Cup: Who are local coaches, fans rooting for?

The World Cup begins Thursday in Russia without the United States for the first time since 1986. While TV viewership in the USA for the tournament soared from 3,273,000 in 2010 to to 4,557,000 in 2014, those numbers could plummet this year because of the absence of the Americans. Soccer may be more popular than ever in this country — witness the rise of FC Cincinnati — but the non-soccer...
Wittenberg improves to 15-0 with win at Wooster

Wittenberg improves to 15-0 with win at Wooster

The No. 10 Wittenberg Tigers beat their biggest rival, Wooster, on the road at Timken Gymnasium for the first time since 2011, pulling away in the final minutes for an 86-75 victory Saturday. Jake Bertemes led the Tigers with 22 points. Jordan Pumroy scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Chad Roy had 18 points. Landon Martin scored 13 points off the bench. Wittenberg had lost three straight games...
Wittenberg earns home game in first round of playoffs

Wittenberg earns home game in first round of playoffs

Wittenberg Tigers coach Joe Fincham's thinking on Selection Sunday never changes. "Expect the unexpected," he said. Seventeen years after the Tigers were sent to Abilene, Texas, in the first round — still the biggest playoff surprise for the Tigers after all these years — they were handed an unknown opponent in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Division III playoffs. The bracket...
Wittenberg’s Joe Fincham after big win: ‘The guys stuck together’

Wittenberg’s Joe Fincham after big win: ‘The guys stuck together’

Coach Joe Fincham had a typical Sunday planned for the Wittenberg Tigers: weightlifting, film sessions, meetings, etc. It’s the same routine every week. There was nothing typical about Saturday for Fincham and the Tigers, however — other than the fact that they won. No. 13 Wittenberg beat Wabash 21-14 to improve to 8-0 and maintain its grip on first place in the North Coast Athletic Conference...
Wittenberg football: Top 7 players in Tigers history

Wittenberg football: Top 7 players in Tigers history

Wittenberg has fielded a football team for 123 seasons. The four-overtime playoff thriller at Thomas More last season was the program’s 754th victory. Only Mount Union, the perennial national powerhouse, has more. Close to 90 freshmen football players showed up on Wittenberg’s campus Tuesday. An army of 160 Tigers will hold their first practice of the 2017 season Wednesday. They reported...
NCAC coaches vote Wittenberg favorite in preseason poll

NCAC coaches vote Wittenberg favorite in preseason poll

North Coast Athletic Conference football coaches voted Wittenberg the preseason favorite Thursday. The Tigers received six of 10 first-place votes. They finished 10-2 in 2016 and won the league championship with an 8-1 mark. Wittenberg has won the NCAC title outright or shared it in six of the last eight seasons. Wabash, which tied for second with Denison and DePauw last season at 7-2, received three...
Kelly Mahlum will continue to coach Wittenberg women’s basketball

Kelly Mahlum will continue to coach Wittenberg women’s basketball

Wittenberg University removed the interim tag from Kelly Mahlum’s title, and she will continue to coach the women’s basketball team in the 2017-18 season. She is the eighth head coach in school history. Wittenberg made the announcement Friday. Mahlum took over the program when Sarah Jurewicz went on maternity leave last season. The Tigers went 10-16 under Mahlum. Jurewicz will remain with...
Wittenberg Tigers upset No. 9 Denison

Wittenberg Tigers upset No. 9 Denison

The Wittenberg Tigers recorded the most impressive victory of the Matt Croci era so far, upsetting No. 9 Denison 71-70 in Granville on Saturday. Shawnee grad Jaelin Williams, a Wittenberg senior, blocked a shot by Denison’s Bret Woolard at the buzzer. Williams led the Tigers with 23 points on 8-of-23 shooting. He had a team-high eight rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Wittenberg trailed...
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