Tag Archives: Tony Kunczewski

Volleyball CelebrationBerry players and fans celebrate the Vikings’ stunning come-from-behind victory over Covenant College in the second round of the NCAA Division III Atlanta Regional. Photo courtesy of Jack Lewis.

Football Celebration

Senior Antonio White Jr. hoists the SAA championship trophy as Berry celebrates a perfect 10-0 regular season. Photo by student photographer Matt McConnell.

Historic success in volleyball and football provided a spectacular climax to fall semester for Berry’s intercollegiate athletics program. Caitlyn Moriarty (14G) and Tony Kunczewski each earned conference and regional Coach-of-the-Year recognition after leading their respective teams to Southern Athletic Association championships and NCAA Division III national playoff appearances.

Powered by the All-American trio of Hannah Kate Thompson, Carson VanCampen and Emily Hancock, the volleyball Vikings finished a perfect 14-0 in conference play – a first in SAA history – dominated the SAA tournament and advanced to an NCAA Division III regional final, another program first. Their final win total (30) represents a new high for Berry volleyball in the NCAA era.

The football team also claimed perfection in conference play, led by two-time All-American and 2017 D3football.com National Defensive Player of the Year Mamadou Soumahoro and many other All-Conference and All-Region performers. The Vikings defeated Huntingdon College in the first round of the national playoffs before a hard-fought loss to Division III power St. Thomas of Minnesota capped an 11-1 finish, the best in Berry history.

The softball Vikings also swept the SAA last spring, winning regular-season and postseason titles, giving Berry three unbeaten conference champions in 2017.

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Mason Kinsey prepares to catch a touchdown pass late into the fourth quarter of Berry's home opener against LaGrange.Mason Kinsey prepares to catch a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of Berry’s home opener against LaGrange. The Vikings won the game 28-14, part of a 14-game winning streak dating back to last October.

Berry volleyball players celebrate their first-ever win over Emory University.

Hannah Billiard (15) and her Berry teammates celebrate during their first-ever win over Emory University.

To say it’s been a splendid fall for Berry’s volleyball and football teams would be something of an understatement. Both have earned national rankings and kindled championship dreams by dominating their peers in the Southern Athletic Association.

The volleyball team made history Oct. 22 as the first SAA program to finish the regular season with a perfect 14-0 record in conference play. Next up is the SAA tournament, to be held Nov. 3-5 in the friendly confines of the Cage Center. A victory in that event will guarantee the Vikings and coach Caitlyn Moriarty (14G) a trip to nationals. SAA tournament website.

The football team has enjoyed similar success, soaring to a best-ever 9-0 start that includes a 7-0 mark in conference play. The Vikings have clinched a share of their second consecutive SAA championship and can win the title outright with a home victory over Trinity (Texas) on Nov. 11. Regardless of the outcome of that game, coach Tony Kunczewski’s team has already assured itself of a first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III national playoffs. Complete coverage.

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Conference championships in football and women’s cross country highlighted another successful fall for Berry’s student-athletes.

The football team posted a best-ever 9-1 record in its fourth season of competition, closing with a five-game winning streak to share the Southern Athletic Association crown with Washington University in St. Louis. Highlights for Berry included road wins over SAA rivals Hendrix and Centre and a perfect 5-0 record at Valhalla. Also notable was a thrilling 22-19 overtime win over Millsaps made possible by a play you simply have to see to believe. Click the video and you’ll know why it was named d3football.com National Play of the Week.

In women’s cross country, senior captain Danielle Patterson paced Berry to first place in the SAA meet and sixth in the NCAA Division III regional (held in the Clara Bowl). Her time of 22:32.30 in the latter race qualified her for NCAA nationals, a first for Berry.

Fittingly, both of Berry’s SAA-winning coaches, Tony Kunczewski and Paul Deaton (91C), earned conference Coach-of-the-Year recognition. Student-athletes in a number of sports also claimed individual honors this fall. Visit www.berryvikings.com for complete coverage.

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Viking ChargeSingle-game tickets for the 2016 football season are now available online for alumni and friends wishing to join in the fun as coach Tony Kunczewski’s Vikings – ranked No. 21 in NCAA Division III by Lindy’s magazine – work to build on their 7-3 finish in 2015.

Tickets may be purchased for $6 apiece (including $1 online surcharge) at www.BerryGameDay.com and picked up at the will-call window on game day; no tickets will be mailed. Online purchases must be made by noon Wednesday of the week preceding each game. If you miss this cutoff or prefer to purchase your tickets in person, visit the Krannert Center Information Desk between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, or stop by the stadium ticket booth on game day. Interest is high, so get your tickets early!

This year’s home schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Sept. 3
Maryville College, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 24
Sewanee: University of the South, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 8
University of Chicago, Noon

Saturday, Oct. 29
Millsaps College, 1 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5
Birmingham-Southern College, 3 p.m.

Last year’s inaugural season at Valhalla was a winner for the team and the fans, producing a 4-1 record on the Williams Field turf and average attendance of more than 3,000 per game (ranking Berry in the top 12 percent nationally for NCAA Division III).

Note to campus community: Free tickets for students and faculty/staff are available at the Krannert Center Information Desk the week preceding each home game. Students are eligible for one free ticket per game; faculty/staff receive two. Up to two additional tickets may be purchased at the time of pickup for $5 apiece.

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The most unique homecoming celebration in America starts its second century Oct. 2-4, and this is one you don’t want to miss. Click here for a complete schedule of events. Be sure to make note of the second-annual Mega Reunion Brunch, which this year will host the academy and college classes of 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010.

After Saturday’s traditional picnic and Grand March, we hope you will make plans to stick around for the first Mountain Day football game to be held on campus since the Georgian and Syrreb literary societies concluded their gridiron rivalry decades ago. Kicking off at 6 p.m. at Berry’s new on-campus stadium, Valhalla, the contest will pit coach Tony Kunczewski’s Vikings against Washington University of St. Louis in a rematch of last year’s overtime thriller won by Berry at Barron Stadium in Rome. Alumni tickets are available for purchase online at www.berrygameday.com.

A printed brochure will be arriving in your mailbox soon with details on the Mega Reunion Brunch and other Mountain Day events. Information also will be posted to www.berry.edu/alumni as it becomes available.

Traffic advisory: This year’s Mountain Day celebration coincides with the Wings Over North Georgia Airshow at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport, located just north of the Berry campus on U.S. Highway 27. As you make your way to Berry, please build extra time into your travel schedule to account for traffic generated by this event.

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MS Walk

Berry football coach Tony Kunczewski with Associate Dean of Students and MS Walk co-captain Julie Bumpus.

Berry football coach Tony Kunczewski took aim at a very different kind of opponent this spring, sharing his family’s fight against multiple sclerosis to help raise awareness of the disease. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Georgia chapter spotlighted the Berry coach on its website, relating his late mother’s experience with MS in a story by Georgiann Caruso.

“Sports were a huge part of my life growing up, and I think a big reason why they’re still a major part of my life is that I never took being able to walk, run, throw or do anything athletic for granted – because I saw my mom in a wheelchair all those years,” said Kunczewski, who also puts foot to pavement through active involvement in the annual on-campus MS Walk. “One of my goals is to pass on her legacy, and that’s why it’s important for me to volunteer and try to find help for others who are battling this disease.”

By Maxine Donnelly, Philanthropic Communications Editorial Assistant

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Gift of Home

Bob (62H) and Kay Williams with Berry football coach Tony Kunczewski.

An on-campus stadium for Berry’s football, lacrosse, and track and field programs is one step closer to reality thanks to a $500,000 commitment from Bob (62H) and Kay Williams.

Gifts and pledges toward the facility – named Valhalla by lead donor Steve Cage (74C) – now exceed $3.9 million. Construction will begin when the fundraising goal of $6.5 million is achieved. Bob and Kay hope their gift will encourage other alumni to support the project as well.

“Let’s get behind it,” Bob challenged. “Let’s show the world that we can do with football what we’ve done with everything else.”

This is the latest in a series of generous gifts by the couple. Their recent commitments, which total $1 million with the addition of the Valhalla gift, include funding for Berry’s new baccalaureate nursing program, two Gate of Opportunity Scholarships and an additional need-based scholarship named for their late daughter, Ann.

Though initially critical of Berry’s decision to add football as an intercollegiate sport, Bob is proud that the field on which the team plays will bear his surname. He and Kay became champions of the program due in large part to the leadership they have witnessed from head football coach Tony Kunczewski. The coach, in turn, feels blessed to have the couple on his team.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Bob and Kay,” Kunczewski stated. “They have been such ardent supporters of Berry athletics for years.”

Visit the Valhalla website to learn more about the project and make your own show of support.

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Berry Football ScheduleThe countdown to Berry’s inaugural football game begins in earnest with this week’s arrival of more than 100 student-athletes for preseason practice. As the Vikings prepare for their Sept. 7 season opener, your alumni staff is making plans to help you enjoy the historic game.

An online ordering system has been established for alumni wishing to purchase their general admission tickets in advance of the game, which will be played at Barron Stadium in Rome. The price is $5 per ticket. Purchases may be picked up in the Berry Alumni Center (Aug. 28 to Sept. 6) or at a special alumni will-call on the stadium grounds beginning two hours prior to the 6 p.m. kickoff. Visit our Football FAQ for other game-day details, and don’t forget to join us for the alumni tailgate party beginning at 4 p.m. at Schroeder’s on Broad Street.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The online order form is for alumni only. Tickets for students, faculty, staff and the general public will be available at the Krannert Center information desk beginning Wednesday, Aug. 28. Click here for more details.

As you finalize your plans for the first game, coaches and players will be hard at work preparing for Maryville College of Tennessee. Many of the Berry players hail from Georgia and nearby states, but some have come from as far away as Washington, Illinois and New Jersey to be part of the new program. Head coach Tony Kunczewski is particularly proud of his team’s strong academic profile, which compares favorably with that of other incoming students.

“It was a team effort to get this first class,” said Kunczewski, crediting the many students, faculty and staff who assisted with the recruiting process. “I like to think our players epitomize Berry.”

Looking ahead to a schedule that includes six games against Southern Athletic Association foes, Kunczewski emphasized, “We don’t talk about winning. If that’s all that it’s about, then I think you’re missing the point. Our goal is to get a little bit better each week. I believe we are set up for success here both on and off the field. That’s one of the things that attracted me to the job.”

As fundraising efforts continue for an on-campus stadium – christened Valhalla by lead donor Steve Cage (74C) – the Vikings will split their 2013 home games between Barron Stadium and nearby Darlington School. Those interested in supporting the Valhalla project have the option of making a gift online (select Valhalla or Clark Track when prompted for a gift designation) or emailing David Clark (85c) for more details.

Complete coverage of all Berry sports is available at www.berryvikings.com.

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Berry College Football HelmetTony Kunczewski is looking for a few good players – and he needs your help to find them! Berry’s first-ever football coach is seeking alumni input as he builds his roster for the 2013 inaugural season. Kunczewski (or Coach K, as he’s known on campus) has been hard at work since the spring recruiting student-athletes destined for success in the academic-focused world of NCAA Division III. If there’s a talented football player in your area who would benefit from a Berry education, please contact Coach K via phone (706-378-2920) or email.

This is our team, Berry alumni. Let’s help fill these helmets!

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A track record of success in NCAA Division III and a passion for Berry’s distinctive mission helped Tony Kunczewski emerge from a pool of 263 applicants to earn the title of head coach for the college’s first varsity football team. The new program, with Kunczewski at the helm, will begin play in 2013 as a member of the Southern Athletic Association.

“Berry is one of the most beautiful and impressive campuses in the world,” Kunczewski said during the April 16 press conference announcing his selection. “It’s truly a unique place that combines excellent academics with a strong history of success in athletics. The people from the administration on down were so impressive in their desire to promote well-rounded student-athletes in their athletics programs. It was easy to detect that there is something special about the Berry culture.”

Kunczewski (pronounced kun-CHESS-key) has more than a decade of experience as an assistant coach in Division III. Most recently, he served as defensive coordinator and head strength and conditioning coach at LaGrange (Ga.) College, where he helped launch football in 2006. Two years later, in 2008, the Panthers set a record for single-season improvement and made an appearance in the national playoffs.

“[Coach Kunczewski] understands how to build a football program that both wins on the field and contributes to the greater good of the campus,” said Berry President Steve Briggs. “He coaches for life as well as for Saturday afternoon.”

Read story and view press conference.

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