Sage Athletic History

The Sage Colleges Athletic Department has a unique history spanning six decades. From their modest beginning with the Sage Junior College of Albany Men's Basketball team in the 1950s, Sage has gone through many transitions, the most recent in 2008 in when student-athletes from both the Troy and Albany campuses joined together to create the Sage Athletics you see today.

RSC's women's programs have competed at the Division III level since the 1980s, while the JCA basketball and women's volleyball teams competed until 2002, when the school transitioned from a two-year junior college to a four-year college and then the return of athletics to the Albany campus in 2008.  

Men's Teams

Men's Basketball

Sage’s Men’s Basketball program is the oldest program in the college’s athletics history with its beginning dating back to the 1950’s. During this time, the college was known as the Junior College of Albany as it operated as a private junior college until it later became The Sage College of Albany, a four-year institution.

In the program’s 60-year history, several coaches and players had very successful campaigns and numerous records were established by the Sabres. Long-time coach Bill Toomey (’82-’90) contributed the highest career win percentage at .634% during his tenure. Former head coach Mike Long (’90-’03) had one of the program’s most successful season in 2001-2002 as the team had a win percentage of .874% during that season, going 27-4.

After joining Sage in 2009, head coach Brian Barnes has been leading the Gators as the first head coach for the Gators as an NCAA Division III program. He helped achieve the program’s first Skyline Championship and an NCAA first-round appearance in the 2014-2015 campaign. The 23-5 campaign in 2014-2015 was highlighted by numerous accomplishments and feats as the Gators went undefeated on their home court, Kahl Gym. They also established current mark for most wins in a season (23), most Skyline Conference victories in a season (15), and the longest win streak (11 games). Barnes was tapped as the Skyline Conference, Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Coach of the Year, while also earning a selection as the NABC Atlantic Regional Coach of the year in 2015. That same year, Sage produced the first All-American in the school’s history in any sport as senior tri-captain Kai Deans, was named to the NABC All-America Third Team. Deans is just one of the many successful players that the program has produced over the last several decades, including several Skyline First Team All-Conference recipients, a Skyline Player of the Year, a Skyline Defensive Player of the Year, and five outstanding Sage Athletic Hall of Fame members.

Men's Cross Country

Sage’s Men’s Cross Country program took to the course for the first time in 2010 under the head coaching leadership of Jim Bowles. Bowles has led the young team to strong finishes at the Skyline Conference Championships in each of the program’s six seasons, taking home a third place showing in 2012.  Juan Reyes-Alvarez was the program’s first four-time Skyline All-Conference honoree as well as a three-time Skyline Conference Men’s Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year and three-time Sage Men’s Cross Country’s Gator of the Year.

After a seventh place finish in the Skyline Conference Championships in 2015, the Gators have high hopes for the upcoming campaign. 

Men's Golf

Sage’s Men’s Golf program took to the course for the first time in 2008 under the leadership of Luke Scala. Scala led the Gators for five seasons, producing three Skyline Conference Championship runner-up titles, the program’s first CoSIDA Academic All-American, four Skyline First-Team All-Conference performers, and a Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year during his tenure.

Former Sage student-athlete and Skyline Conference all-star, Ian Pingelski, a 2012 graduate, led the Gators for two seasons and led the program to a number of strong showings, while DJ Ioele became the program’s first Skyline Conference individual qualifier in 2015 with the tournament championship format change.

Men's Soccer

Sage’s Men’s Soccer program has proven to be a strong force in the Skyline Conference in its short history of six seasons under head coach Kyle Clancy. Clancy has led the Gators to the Skyline Conference Tournament every year since the program’s inception in 2010, also garnering Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) tournament bids each season since 2011. Last season, the Gators produced the most successful year in the young program’s history by winning both the regular-season and the program’s first Skyline Championship, a first-round appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament, and Clancy was honored as the Skyline Conference’s Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year. As one of the most successful teams in Sage Athletics history, the team has also produced some of the college’s most successful athletes, including a two-time Skyline Defensive Player of the Year, a Skyline Player of the Year, a Skyline Rookie of the Year, and multiple Skyline First Team All-Conference players. Keith Simons is poised to take the reins in her first campaign during the Fall of 2016.

Men's Tennis

Sage’s Men’s Tennis team launched in 2009 and was first directed by Cedric Gaddis. For two seasons, Gaddis led the young team to many program firsts, including its first team victory. In 2011, Bruce Perry took over the program and led the Gators for four seasons. Under Perry’s tenure, one of the program’s best competitors came to the scene, Gerard Beaudin, who would become the program’s all-time men’s singles winner and Sage’s Men’s Tennis Gator of the Year in 2015. Tapped as the third head coach for the team, Tom Fashouer took over in 2015 and guided the squad to the best season to date.

Men's Outdoor Track and Field

Sage’s Men’s Outdoor Track and Field program is the youngest of Sage’s fifteen sports, getting its start in the spring of 2014. Under head coach Jim Bowles, the team has accrued several top-place finishes in its two seasons. Eric Denny, the team’s first two-time medalist, garnered first place finishes in both the high jump and long jump events in 2015 in addition to several second and third place finishes throughout the season. During the 2016 campaign, Sage’s men’s team broke five school-records, including the 800 meter and 1,500 meter runs set by Zack Funk and a pair of marks set by Ben Hulett in the shot put and the discus.

Men's Volleyball

Sage’s Men’s Volleyball program has achieved great success since its inception in 2010. With three straight Skyline Conference Tournament semifinal appearances in its first three seasons, the Gators started the young program strong under head coaches Andy Smith (2010-2011) and Jason Wood (2012). In 2013, Sandy Augstein-Collins led the Gators to their best campaign in the program’s history as they finished at the Skyline Conference runner-up and captured the ECAC Division III North Championship after record 30-17 campaign. That same year, Augstein-Collins was named Skyline Conference Men’s Volleyball Coach of the Year and several players garnered Skyline Conference All-Star Team acclaim, while the program also produced the Skyline Rookie of the Year. Jimmy Pompeo served as the head coach for two seasons from 2014-2015, before former assistant Robert Verhayden was tapped as head coach commencing with the 2016 season and guided the program to a strong finish as the Gators advanced to the Skyline Conference semifinals and Verhayden was recognized by his peers as the 2016 Skyline Conference Coach of the Year.

Women's Teams

Women's Basketball

Sage’s Women’s Basketball program has been a part of the college’s athletics since 1972 and was first led by Coach Sheila Coyle who combined for a 19-8 mark in her two season. In its early years, the players for the Russell Sage College program produced their best season with a .800 win percentage in 1973-1974. In addition, the early record books note the 1975-1976 team produced one of the highest scoring average with a 72.7 points per game average, while 1976-1977 season opened with a 5-0 start.

The Gators joined the Skyline Conference in 2007-2008 and Jackie Luszcek Craft assumed the role as the head coach in 2005. During her tenure as Sage, she helped to build the program and led the 2013-2014 team to the best finish in the team’s history. The 2013-14 Gators went 17-10 and captured the program’s first Skyline Conference Tournament championship that also resulted in the team’s first NCAA Division III tournament appearance in 2014 and produced the team’s first Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year in Frankie Pearson, while Megan Bowman was named the Most Outstanding Player at the 2014 Skyline Conference Championship.

Allison Coleman was named the 12th coach in the team’s history and led the Gators to a return to the Skyline Conference Tournament and a spot in the 2015 ECAC Division III Metro Semifinals. By year’s end, the team had broken the program’s record for longest win streak with 12 wins and established a new standard for most wins with their 18 victories in 2014-2015 and once again produced the Skyline Rookie of the Year as Genevieve Schoff was honored. She capped her rookie season with a selection as the Skyline Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Gators to the program’s first Skyline Conference regular-season championship with a school-record 21-6 mark with a near perfect league record of 15-1. Along the way, Sage also a school record 16-game win streak in 2015-2016. Sage also produced the Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year for the third straight season as Emily Parslow was honored.

With such success over the last four decades of this program, several notable athletes have been inducted into Sage’s Athletic Hall of Fame, while women’s basketball players have earned distinctions as Skyline Conference All-Stars and Sage’s Female Athlete of the Year.  

Women's Cross Country

Sage’s Women’s Cross Country program competed for the first time in 2012 under the leadership of Jim Bowles. Bowles has led this young program to a trio of third place finishes at the Skyline Conference Championships, two of which were achieved in 2014 and 2015. Such success has come from the talent of several notable student-athletes in the last four years, including Amanda Millington, 2014 and 2015 Gator of the Year honoree. Sage also produced the 2014 Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year, while Alaina Krueger earned acclaim as a 2013 Skyline Second-Team All-Conference member.

Women's Lacrosse

Sage’s Women’s Lacrosse has its roots back in 1976, reigning for twelve seasons under head coach Patricia Paine before a program hiatus until 2009. Pete Stapleton served as the coach for four seasons, and brought the program to new high-water marks that included longest win streak and most wins in a season. 

Since the program’s revival, the Gators have produced a number of successful campaigns and a number of record-setting performers. Helping the Gators in their recent campaign in 2015 was Monica Koralus, the team’s Gator of the Year and program record-holder in career assists.  Jenna Jacot is the program’s first two-time Skyline Second-Team performer after earning acclaim in 2014 and 2015, while the team’s goalie, Jackie St. Pierre, was honored with a selection to the 2015 Skyline Second Team after also penning her name to the program’s record for most wins in goal. Named head coach in the summer of 2015, Lauren Marois lead the Gators in 2016 to a program-best five wins!

Koralus and St. Pierre broke almost every Sage women’s lacrosse records during the 2016 campaign as Koralus is the all-time leading point performer with 146 on a record 110 goals and 36 assists with a Sage best 117 draw controls. St. Pierre has a program-best 10 career wins in goal with 423 saves which she will bring with her into the 2017 season.

Women's Soccer

Sage’s Women’s Soccer program has been a part of the college’s athletics offerings since 1988. Under the leadership of Barry Balkwell (2002-2011) in the program’s earlier years, the Gators reached a .523 win percentage.  Under Balkwell, the Gators appeared in six straight Skyline Conference Tournaments.

Taking over as the coach in 2014, Andrew Gamarra helped the program advance to the Skyline Conference semifinals and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournament semifinals after a record setting campaign. Named the Skyline Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year, Gamarra led the team to a 12-6-2 mark.

Gamarra back up his rookie season with a number of new high-water marks for the Gators as they shared the 2015 Skyline Conference regular-season championship crown, the first in the program’s history, while falling in the Skyline Conference Tournament semifinals in penalty kicks. Along the way, Sage established new standards for most wins in a season with 15, while also achieving a record 8 Skyline victories. The record-breaking season also included a Gator, Samantha Trimblett earning Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year honors, while the program also produced the first NSCAA All-Region Third Team performer in Nicole Maher.

Sage’s women’s soccer program has twice had the Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year as Maher earned the award as a newcomer and the program continues to earn acclaim as they now have three former players in the Sage Athletic Hall of Fame.

Softball

Sage’s Softball program has been an integral part of the college’s athletics since 1972, making it one of the oldest sports in the college’s history. The team’s very first coach, Aggie Stillman, holds a special place history with Sage and its athletics. Aggie continues to be honored for her dedication to Sage through the Aggie Stillman Perseverance Award that is given to a student-athlete each year, who best exemplifies Aggie’s pride and enthusiasm in the college.

In recent years, the softball team that Aggie fostered has achieved great success under the leadership of current coach, Jamie Brown. Since 2012, the Gators have appeared in both the Skyline Conference Tournament and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournaments, while the 2014 Gators captured the program’s first Skyline Conference regular-season, allowing the team to host the program’s first Skyline Conference Tournament. With the 2016 season, Sage broke the program’s record for longest win streak with 16 consecutive victories and is poised to capture the program’s first Skyline Conference championship and NCAA Tournament appearance.

Leading the Gators during this period were a number of talented student-athletes that also included the program’s multiple CoSIDA Academic All Americans, Rachel Smith and Kristen Beikirch, as well Skyline Conference Players of the Year Hillary Faas and the Skyline Conference NCAA Women of the Year recipients, Kelly Jones and Kelsey Newberg. Alexa Silk, who earned NFCA All-Region honors as a rookie is poised to also earn acclaim during her 2016 after earning a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team for her impressive academic and athletic accomplishment. Morgan Dunn, who broke Sage’s single-season marks for home runs, double and RBI’s, also became another of the program’s performers cited as the Skyline Conference Player of the Year after her record-breaking 2016 season.

Sage has also honored nine former student-athletes with induction into Sage’s Athletic Hall of Fame for their achievements and dedication.

Women's Tennis

Sage’s Women’s Tennis program has been a part of the college’s athletic history since 1971, making it one of the oldest sports in the college’s history. In earlier years of the program, head coach Jack Boyajian (1993-1996) led the Gators to a successful four seasons.

More recently, the Gators appeared in two straight Skyline Conference Tournaments during the 2013 and 2014 seasons in addition to previous appearances from 2007 to 2009. Under Coach Bruce Perry, the 2013 and 2014 teams earned acclaim as Perry was cited as the Skyline Conference Coach of the Year in 2013. In 2014, the program achieved another Sage first as Kirsten Ackerman became the first player to advance to the ITA East Regional Singles semifinals. Ackerman, who was also a three-time Skyline Conference First Team All-Star, also earned acclaim as the league’s Player of the Year twice during her career.

The women’s tennis program at Sage is represented by three former student-athletes that have earned acclaim as member of the Sage Athletic Hall of Fame.

Women's Outdoor Track and Field

Sage’s Women’s Outdoor Track and Field program is one of the youngest programs in the College’s athletic history after launching in 2014. Tapped to lead the program was Jim Bowles.
 
Bowles has guided the young Gators to a strong start with many program firsts since its inception. In 2015, Helen Putriment became the program’s first multiple event winners and earned the first individual berth to the ECAC Division III Championships after her record-setting mark in the high jump in just the team’s second year as a varsity program. The team was also honored by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association as a Division III Scholar Team in 2015, while Putriment was also honored as the College’s 2014-2015 Co-Female Athlete of the Year.

The 2016 season saw the Gators excel as they broke 10 different school records including all three relay records. Junior Nyasia Irby set records in the 100, 200, and 400 meter runs, while Sabrena Smith penned her name to 400 intermediate hurdles and the 3,000 meter steeple chase. Madeline Herring also established a new standard with her marks in the discus and pole vault.

Women's Volleyball

Sage’s Women’s Volleyball program has been an integral part of the College’s athletics since its inception in 1971, making it one of the oldest sports in the college’s history.

Under the tenure of coach Lisa Greiner Gallagher, who served as the team’s head coach for ten season (2001-2010), the Gators produced one of the program’s winningest records of .535%. Under Coach Gallagher, the Gators captured the College’s first Skyline Conference Champions as the 2007 team won the league title and earned the first NCAA Division III Tournament appearance in any sport.

The Gators won back-to-back Skyline Championships with their 2008 crown and returned to the NCAA tournament.

Returning to her alma Mater, Sandy Augstein-Collins has continued to lead the team to great success. The Gators have won three Skyline Conference regular-season championship titles (2013, 2014 and 2015), while the 2014 team won the Skyline Conference Championship and returned to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

The 2014’s team’s success included a record 20-match win streak after another undefeated season in conference play.  The Gators have continued to be a strong force in the Skyline Conference as regular-season champions again in 2015, while Augstein-Collin also achieved for 100th career win at Sage along the way.

Leading the Gators to some of the greatest achievements in Sage Athletics’ history are several notable athletes, including multiple Gators of the Year, countless Skyline Conference First-Team performers as well players recognized as the Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year. Among the many former players that have excelled on the court at Sage, there are three former student-athletes that are members of Sage’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

 

Top Sage Student-Athletes since 2008

All-Americans, All-Region Performers, Skyline Conference First Team Performers, Most Outstanding Athlete Award

  • Men’s Basketball: Kai Deans: Sage Male Athlete of the Year (2014-15); Men’s Basketball Gator of the Year (2014-15) NABC All-American Third Team, 2015, Skyline Conference Player of the Year, selection to ECAC Metro and D3Hoops Atlantic Region teams (2014-15).
  • Men’s Cross Country: Juan Reyes-Alvarez: program’s first four-time Skyline All-Conference performer (2012, 2013, 2014 2015); two-time Skyline Conference Men’s Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year (2013, 2014); placed 5th out of 97 at Skyline Championship (2015); 7th out of 143 at Mt. St. Mary Invitational (2015); three-time Men’s Cross Country Gator of the Year (2012, 2013, 2014).
  • Men’s Golf Zach Sullivan: Skyline Conference First Team All-Star (2014); three time Skyline All-Star Second Team selection (2011, 2012, 2013); Skyline Conference Sportsmanship Recipient (2013); Men’s Golf Gator of the Year (2014); Dean Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award (2014-15).
  • Men’s Soccer Kyle LeClerc: starter of every game in career; Skyline Defensive Player of the Year (2014, 2015); NSCAA All-East First Team (2015), Skyline Conference First Team (2015); first player to earn NSCAA Scholar-Athlete Third Team selection; First-Team Skyline All-Conference (2015); First Men’s Soccer Player honored as Skyline Men’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year (2015).
  • Men’s Soccer TJ Zehner: three-time Skyline First-Team All-Conference (2012-15); NSCAA All-East First Team (2015), leader of Skyline Conference in save percentage (.856) [2015]; Sage MVP; program leader in most saves and most wins in goal; Sage Male Athlete of the Year (2015-2016).
  • Men’s Soccer Gustavo Trinidad: Skyline Player of the Year (2013); program’s first three-time Skyline Conference First-Team All-Star (2012, 2013, 2014); program record for most game-winning goals (11).
  • Men’s Volleyball Dylan Krowicki: first player in program to surpass 1,000 career kills (2014); Skyline Conference Second Team All-Star (2012, 2013); Skyline Conference First Team All-Star (2014); program record-holder for most career point (1,184) [2012-2014].
  • Men’s Volleyball Spencer Hilland: ECAC Division III Men’s North Volleyball Championship’s Most Outstanding Player (2013); Skyline Conference First Team All-Star (2011, 2012); Skyline Conference Second Team All-Star (2013); program record for most kills (865) and most solo blocks (68) [2011-2013].
  • Men’s Volleyball Kyle Ray: Member of first varsity team in 2010, played 2010-13), program leader in setting assists in a season (1,304), career setting assists (2,910), career service aces (98), and career matches played (115) [2013]; Skyline Conference Second-Team All-Star (2010, 2011); Skyline Conference First Team All-Star (2013).
  • Men's Volleyball Andy Fishman: Rookie of the Year (2013); Skyline Conference Second Team All-Star (2013); 2013 NCAA Division III National Statistical Leader with aces per set average (0.83).
  • Women’s Basketball Megan Bowman: program record holder in career assists (458) [2011-15]; two-time Skyline Conference First Team All-Star (2013-14, 2014-15); Skyline Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player (2014); Sage Female Athlete of the Year (2013-14).
  • Women’s Cross Country: Sage produced first student-athlete in program history to earn Skyline Conference First Team All-Star honors (2014); Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year (2014).
  • Women’s Lacrosse: Jackie St. Pierre: Skyline Conference Second Team All-Star (2015); program record holder for most career wins (10) [2015, 2016]; single-season record holder for most saves (153) [2015]; was ranked #10 nationally for saves per game average (11.77) in 2015; breaks career saves record in 2016 (423).
  • Women’s Soccer Rebecca Marszalek: three-time Skyline Conference First Team All-Star (2009, 2010, 2011); program leader in most career goals (52), played 2008-2011.
  • Women’s Soccer Nicole Maher: Women’s Soccer Gator of the Year (2012); program’s first Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year (2012); two-time Skyline Conference First Team All-Star (2012, 2015); National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-East Third Team (2015), played 2012-2015; Named Sage Female Athlete of the Year (2016-2016).
  • Women’s Soccer Samantha Trimblett: Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year (2015); Skyline Conference First Team All-Star (2015); started career at Sage in 2015.
  • Softball Kristen Beikrich: (2012-2015) Sage’s first three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American (2013, 2014, 2015); Softball program’s first ECAC Female Scholar Athlete of the Year (2013-14); Skyline Conference NCAA Woman of the Year (2014); Softball Gator of the Year (2015); all-time leader in career hits (221), stolen bases (65), runs scored (166); four-time Skyline Conference Scholar-Athlete (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015); Sage Female Athlete of the Year (2013); National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Northeast Region Third Team (2015); Skyline Conference Second Team All-Star (2015); Skyline Conference First Team All-Star (2012, 2013); Skyline Conference Softball Player of the Year (2013); Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year (2012).
  • Softball Kellie Jones: CoSIDA Academic All-District Third Team (2010); Sage Athlete of the Year (2009-10); Sage Softball’s Gator of the Year (2010); NFCA All-Region Team (2010); Atlantic Region Third Team (2010); Atlantic Region Honorable Mention Team (2009).
  • Softball Rachel Smith: program’s first CoSIDA Academic All-American (2012); Skyline Conference Softball Scholar Athlete of the Year (2012); record holder of most homeruns in a season (9) [2009-12]; Softball’s Gator of the Year (2012); Sage’s Female Athlete of the Year (2011-12); Skyline Conference First Team All-Star (2012).
  • Women’s Tennis Kirsten Ackerman: program’s first three-time Skyline Conference First Team All-Star (2012, 2013, 2014); two-time Skyline Conference Player of the Year (2012, 2013).
  • Women’s Track and Field and Women’s Volleyball Helen Putriment: first outdoor track and field competitor to win an event for the program (2015 high jump); Became track’s first student-athlete to qualify for the D3 ECAC Championship (2015); Women’s Track and Field Gator of the Year (2015); Sage Co-Female Athlete of the Year (2014-15); Sage Women’s Volleyball Gator of the Year (2014); four-time Skyline Conference First Team All-Star (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014); Skyline Conference Tournament MVP (2014); AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention Team (2014); Skyline Conference Volleyball Player of the Year (2013); Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year (2011); second in career kills (1,354).
  • Women’s Volleyball Nicole Corbett: CoSIDA Academic All-District second Team (2010); three-time Skyline Conference First Team All-Star (2008, 2009, 2010); program leader in career blocks (447).
  • Women’s Volleyball Caitlin (CJ) Ostrowski-Grebert: Hall of Fame Member—inducted 2007, softball & volleyball player 2004-06, program leader in career kills (1,411), career kills per game (4.09) single-season kills (594) and single-season kills per game (4.57); AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention (2006), ECAC Robbins Scholar-Athlete Award Recipient (2006-2007).