The 2016–17 fall and winter athletic seasons proved highly successful for the MIT Engineers as teams, coaches, and students alike earned numerous awards and honors.
In the fall, MIT captured New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship titles in volleyball, women’s and men’s cross country, and women’s tennis--the eighth title in program history. Teams were also successful in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III tournaments, with volleyball, women’s soccer, and women’s tennis advancing to championships, and cross country taking home a regional title. The men’s and women’s cross-country teams placed in the top 10 nationally, taking NEWMAC and NCAA regional titles in the process. In addition, the field hockey team advanced to the NEWMAC championship game. Three head coaches achieved NEWMAC honors this year: Carol Matsuzaki as Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year, Paul Dill as Volleyball Coach of the Year, and Halston Taylor as both NEWMAC and U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Regional Coach of the Year.
During the winter, men’s basketball advanced to the NCAA tournament, while women’s basketball tied the program record for wins. In swimming and diving, the men’s team won its ninth straight NEWMAC championship and placed eighth at nationals; the women’s team won a seventh consecutive NEWMAC title and placed fifth nationally. Three MIT divers advanced to the NCAA Division III championship. The squash team picked up a program-record nineteen victories as well, besting its record of eighteen set last year. Women’s indoor track ranked first in the nation for three weeks during the season, ultimately finishing fifth at the NCAA championship and winning the New England Division III championship; men’s track and field sent three competitors to the NCAA championship and placed third at the New England Division III championship. Women’s basketball coach Sonia Raman and Diving Coach Brad Snodgrass won NEWMAC Coach of the Year for their respective sports.
Finally, 75 MIT student athletes earned All-American honors during the fall and winter seasons, including six named College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-Americans. Eight MIT spring teams are currently ranked nationally, and MIT hopes to defend the NEWMAC Men’s and Women’s President’s Cups, awarded to the programs with the best total conference records during the academic year. The Engineers won the men’s President’s Cup during the 2012–13, 2013–14, and 2015–16 seasons, and the women’s in the 2012–13 and 2015–16 seasons. In addition to success in NEWMAC, MIT also aims to best last year’s record sixth-place finish in the DIII Learfield Sports Director’s Cup, which measures the overall success of collegiate athletic programs. MIT has placed in the top ten for four consecutive seasons.
Written by Ken Johnson, Jr.