FALL RAM REPORT NOW ONLINE

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Folks, the Fall 2013 edition of The Ram Report is now available online. Check out profiles on Men’s Soccer goalie Andrew Wells, Women’s Soccer Coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel, former first round draft pick Justin Orenduff and Field Hockey’s Nicole Barry, who had an interesting summer internship, plus a bunch of other good stuff. Click the cover below to read it all.

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THE YEAR IN VCU ATHLETICS, FROM A TO Z

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Wrong A-B-C...whatever, close enough.

Wrong A-B-C…whatever, close enough.

June marks the conclusion of the college athletics calendar, and July’s arrival effectively signals the beginning of the 2013-14 season, at least for those of us in the biz, anyway. It all makes this week a good time to reflect back on the year that was in VCU Athletics.

A – is for Atlantic 10 Conference, in which, according to our slogan, the Rams were ‘all-in’. We were also all-in for another season of “Arrested Development” and Pop Tart ice cream sandwiches, so we’re having a good year. VCU competed in the A-10 for the first time in 2012-13, a move that has elevated the program’s national profile. The Rams’ first A-10 title came via the women’s tennis squad, followed by a men’s tennis crown days later. Meanwhile, several other sports (men’s basketball, women’s soccer, men’s soccer) reached the league’s championship final.

B – is for the Ball family, one of the driving forces behind the VCU Golf program. They’re like the Kennedy’s of VCU Golf, but with a better short game. Matt Ball may have just completed his 14th season with the Rams, but this one was surely different than the others. That’s because 40 percent of his starting lineup was occupied by sons Adam and Matt Jr. Son Adam, a freshman, led the Rams in scoring average (73.53) this year, while Matt Jr., a junior, placed seventh at the A-10 Championship and was named to the league’s All-Academic Team.

C – is for Courtney Conrad, the alliteratively named star of the women’s soccer team. Conrad led the Rams with 11 goals, including five game-winners, and received All-Mid-Atlantic by the NSCAA.

D – is for Daniels, Troy. If you are a fan of basketball players who score three points at a time (and the signed, obscure Mark Price picture in my dining room proves I am), then you would’ve enjoyed Daniels’ 2012-13 season. In 36 games, Daniels bombed a school-record 124 three-pointers, including games of 11, nine and eight.

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BORIS KODJOE LOVES HIM SOME VCU

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Check out Boris Kodjoe taking some time to congratulate VCU Tennis Coach Paul Kostin on his 1,000th win. And how about that VCU shirt! As you may know by now, Kodjoe played tennis at VCU for Kostin in the 90s. Even as his acting and modeling career has taken off, he’s always been good to VCU. Dude is a class act.

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We do need to have a quick conversation with Boris about his videography skills. Don’t get me wrong, the lighting was good, the VCU polo was great and the tennis court backdrop is a nice touch, but there is the cardinal sin of VVS to address. You know VVS:

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Congrats if you made it this far. For your effort, here’s your Boris Kodjoe/VCU eye candy.

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WINS ONLY PART OF KOSTIN’S SUCCESS

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Paul Kostin is 1,000-316 in his 32 coaching career.

Paul Kostin is 1,000-316 in his 32 coaching career.

RICHMOND, Va. – Outside Paul Kostin’s office is a large display case that is home to more than two decades of VCU Tennis trophies – the ones that would fit, anyway. A couple of years ago, with no more room left in the display case or in Kostin’s office, new trophies started piling up on a table behind the receptionists’ desk.

It doesn’t appear as if this trophy-space issue will rectify itself anytime soon.

On Sunday, Kostin brought home another souvenir from Cincinnati, where the Rams won their first Atlantic 10 Conference Men’s Tennis Championship 4-3 over George Washington. The victory was the 1,000th of Kostin’s 32-year coaching career, a milestone reached previously by just three other Division I coaches.

“I feel lucky and very fortunate because I had so many good athletes, good tennis players, play for me, both men and women,” Kostin said. “Also, I’ve been having some good assistant coaches helping me. In this business and in any business, you don’t do things alone.”

While he hasn’t done it alone, Kostin, 1,000-316 overall at VCU and Arkansas-Little Rock, certainly has done it his way.

A native of Stockholm, Sweden, the 59-year-old Kostin is tough without being taxing. He cares deeply about his players, but he’s careful not to coddle them. He’s not afraid to say what’s on his mind, but he’s also usually the first person in line to provide a former player with a glowing reference.

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RAMS WIN A-10, KOSTIN BOOKS 1,000TH

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With a thrilling 4-3 win Sunday over George Washington, the VCU Men’s Tennis team captured its first A-10 Championship.  In the process, longtime Rams’ Head Coach Paul Kostin picked up his 1,000th career victory. He’s now led the Rams to conference championships in the Metro, CAA and A-10. Both the VCU Men’s and Women’s teams are headed to the NCAA Tournament.

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