THE YEAR OF RETIREMENT
A flurry of retirements have been announced in the past month, with three long-term members of the department announcing that they plan to step down from their roles at the end of this academic year. Head Coach of Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Men’s Track and Field Peter Slovenski announced on March 23 that he will step down after coaching for 102 consecutive seasons. He has been at Bowdoin since 1987 and coached 122 All-Americans during that tenure. Lynn Ruddy, the current assistant coach for track and field and swimming and diving and former coach for women’s volleyball and softball, announced on March 25 that she will also be stepping down. She is the longest tenured member of the Bowdoin Athletics Department and is the associate director of athletics. Finally, Head Coach of Men’s Basketball Tim Gilbride made his announcement to step down on March 30. Gilbride is the most successful men’s basketball coach in school history and has coached for 35 seasons. He has a record 494 wins.
BOWFIN SHAPES WOMEN’S RUGBY
Bowdoin was recently featured as one of 15 colleges that shaped women’s rugby by the U.S. Women’s Rugby Foundation (USWRF). The USWRF placed Bowdoin as the eighth most impactful college, along with rugby powerhouses such as Harvard, Stanford and UCLA. The USWRF highlighted current Head Coach of women’s rugby MaryBeth Matthews as the driving force behind Bowdoin’s ability to impact and shape the sport. Matthews facilitated the transition of women’s rugby from a club to the first varsity team in the country in 2002 and has been at the center of forming women’s rugby conferences at the regional and national levels.
The Bowdoin Athletics Department announced on April 1 that Head Coach of Women’s Track and Field and Assistant Coach for Men’s Track and Field Lara-Jane (LJ) Que will be promoted to head coach of both men’s and women’s track and field beginning in Fall 2021. She will replace current head coach of men’s track and field Peter Slovenski, who is retiring at the end of the academic year. Que has been at Bowdoin since 2017 and prior to that served as an assistant coach at Smith College. Que has made a significant impact on Bowdoin athletics through her work behind the scenes on improving diversity, equity and inclusion in athletics since her hire in 2017. Que plans on restructuring the track and field program by merging the men’s and women’s teams to create one, larger track and field team, similar to the sailing and swim and dive teams.