Previewing the Upcoming Weekend for Hopkins Athletics
Alex Vassila Leads with 18 Points and 12 Rebounds
Late Rally Leads to Blue Jay Victory
Senior Alex Vassila Leads Blue Jays into New Campaign
Blue Jays Open at Home Saturday
Senior Chantel Mattiola set a new record for career three-pointers for the Blue Jays, fueling a 66-54 win.
Head coach Nancy Funk recently completed her 27th season at the helm of the Blue Jay women's basketball program in 2012. As the winningest coach in Centennial Conference history, Funk has led Johns Hopkins to become a perennial contender for conference and national honors.
Funk is the all-time winningest women's basketball coach in school history with a 478-222 (.683) record and an overall record of 604-311 (.660) in her 36 years of collegiate coaching. She ranks among the ten winningest coaches in Division III history with over 600 career victories.
Funk was the first head coach in program history to lead the Blue Jays to a winning season, posting a 12-10 record in 1988-89, and is the only head coach in the program with a career record over .500. Hopkins has finished at .500 or above in each of the last 24 seasons.
Hopkins had its best season in eight years in 2011-12 as it went 24-5 (.827) en route to winning the conference regular season and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In 2010-11, Funk guided the Blue Jays back to the NCAA tournament after posting a 9-1 record in the conference. After a dominant run to first place during the regular conference season, Hopkins fell to rival Muhlenberg in the conference title game. The team then earned an at-large bid to the tournament. Johns Hopkins defeated Richard Stockton in the opening round but would later fall to Christopher Newport in the second round. CNU advanced to the Final Four.
In 2006, she led the Blue Jays to a 14-9 record and achieved two coaching milestones along the way. She recorded the 500th win of her career with a 60-49 victory over Ursinus on February 10th and her 375th victory at Hopkins with a win in the regular season finale against Franklin & Marshall.
She notched her 400th win at Johns Hopkins with a win over Bryn Mawr late in the 2008-09 season. That win came three games after she coached her 800th all-time game, which JHU won against Haverford.
In 2003-04, the Blue Jays finished with a 24-4 overall record, and set a school record for winning percentage (.857) while finishing just one win shy of the JHU record for wins in a season. The team also reached the NCAA Division III Tournament for the eighth time.
Under Funk, Hopkins made three consecutive trips to the MAC playoffs from 1990-92 and earned an ECAC playoff bid in 1994. From 1989-94, Hopkins posted a 77-43 (.642) record. In 1994-95, the Blue Jays won 22 games and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament before falling to eventual national champion, Capital (OH). A year later the Blue Jays reached the 20-win mark for the second straight year, won their first-ever conference championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAAs. In 1996-97, JHU won the most games in program history (25) and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the first time.
Funk followed that impressive year with a 24-win season in 1997-98 and a second straight trip to the Elite Eight. In 1997 and 1998, Funk was named the District Four Coach of the Year by the WBCA.
Despite losing two All-America selections, Julie Anderson and Angie Arnold who are still the two leading scorers in school history, the Blue Jays won 23 games in 1998-99, captured their second Centennial Conference Championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the fifth straight year. A year later, the Blue Jays won 21 games, claimed their third Centennial Conference Championship and made a sixth straight NCAA appearance. From 1995 to 2000, JHU posted six straight 20-win seasons, made six consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament, including back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in 1997 and 1998, and captured three Centennial Conference Championships (1996, 1999, 2000).
In 2000, Funk earned a Sports Ethic Fellow from the Institute for International Sports. She led Hopkins to a 17-9 record in 2000-01 and a 19-8 mark in 2001-02 before breaking back into the NCAA Tournament with a 22-6 finish in 2002-03. The Blue Jays returned to the Centennial Conference Championship game in 2006, 2009 and 2011 and have made a record 12 appearances in the title game. In 2011, Coach Funk was named "Centennial Conference Coach of the Year" for Women's Basketball.
Several of Funk's players have received honors at the conference and national levels for their outstanding performance, including Hall of Famer, Amy Dodrill, a 1995 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient and the 1995 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winner for the best guard in the country 5'6 and under, all divisions. Hall of Famer's, Julie Anderson (`98) and Angie Arnold (`98) became the first players in program history to earn All-America honors. Anderson was the first JHU women's basketball player to be named first team Kodak All-America, while Arnold's accolades mirrored Dodrill's as she received a 1998 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and won the 1998 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award. Following her teammates, Hall of Famer Leslie Ritter was named as Honorable Mention All American in 2000. In 2011, Lyndsay Burton earned Honorable Mention All-American honors.
Several other players garnered significant accomplishments outside of basketball. Sylke Knuppel, `94, also a Hall of Famer, was a 3 sport athlete in Soccer, Basketball and Track and won back to back National Championships in the Javelin. Kathy Darling, a 2003 JHU graduate and a two-sport standout in basketball and track, earned Verizon First Team Academic All-America honors in track and second team in basketball and was the NCAA Division III National Champion in the discus as a senior. Kathy Darling is credited with starting the USA Olympic Women's Handball Team, of which she is an active participant.
Prior to joining the Hopkins staff, Funk directed the women's program at Messiah College. In nine successful years at Messiah, she compiled a 126-89 (.586) overall record.
Nancy and her husband, Dave, have their home in Baltimore. Dave works as a Project Manager for East Coast Construction and is an active 30-year veteran as a college referee in several Division III men's conferences.
Nancy and Dave's family consists of their children, Courtney, Jared and Kelsey, and five grandchildren.
Courtney, a 1997 graduate of the University of Maryland and a 2001 graduate of the University of Baltimore Law School, served three years as the Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Secretary of the Treasury, then served as the chief legal counsel to Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee in Washington, D.C. She currently is back in the private sector as the lead attorney to The Financial Services Forum in D.C. She married Sam Gedulding in September 2003 and the couple has a son, Max, and a daughter, Maddy.
Jared, a 1999 graduate of the College of Charleston and working in federal law enforcement, married Allison Egler in June 2003. Jared and Allison have three sons, Adam, Graham and the youngest of all, daughter Avery.
Kelsey is a 2012 graduate of Stevenson University, with a degree in early childhood education. The Funks recently celebrated Kelsey's marriage to Michael Amrhein on May 25, 2012. She and Mike are living in Honolulu, Hawaii while Mike completes his doctoral program in psychology. Kelsey is working with pre-school children in a Montessori School.
HopkinsSports.com Q&A: Alex Vassila
Vassila Named CC Player of the Week Again
McDaniel Slides By Hopkins Late, 57-50
Vassila Honored as Player of the Week
Hopkins Coasts by Bryn Mawr, 72-37