After a bit of a hiatus, it’s time to get the blog going again. It’s hard to believe we are only about two weeks away from the first of our fall sports teams reporting back to campus for preseason. Over the next several weeks we will be previewing each of Bucknell’s teams heading into the 2017-18 season.
In the meantime, let’s clean out some of the notebook with happenings from this summer:
- We were all saddened to hear of the passing of the legendary Tom Mitchell earlier this week. College and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Clarke Hinkle, who played here from 1929-31 and went on to have an All-Pro career with the Green Bay Packers, is widely considered Bucknell’s greatest football player. But Tom Mitchell is arguably the best of the “modern” era. A member of the Class of 1966, Tom was a two-time Little All-American and ECAC College Division Player of the Year. He graduated with every Bucknell season and career receiving record, and those marks held up all the way until last fall, even though Tom played in nine-game seasons and before freshman eligibility. Originally drafted by the AFL’s Oakland Raiders, Tom went on to play one year in Oakland and then another 10 in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts (1968-73) and San Francisco 49ers (1974-77). He compiled 239 receptions and 24 touchdowns in his pro career, and he made two Super Bowl appearances with the Colts, including a victory over the Cowboys in Super Bowl V. Also of note, Tom was the father-in-law of Bucknell graduate and well-known coach Greg Schiano, and the grandfather of current Bison defensive end Joe Schiano.
- It’s been a difficult summer, as Bucknell lost another Hall-of-Famer back in June in Tommy Thompson ’60. Tommy was one of those Bucknell lifers, a star athlete in his own right who went on to coach four different sports here. Between his playing and coaching days, no individual has ever participated in more Bucknell competitions than Tommy Thompson, and his total of 1,003 combined victories is a record that may never be broken. Our thoughts continue to be with Robynn and the entire Thompson family.
- On a happier note, various media outlets have reported that Mike Muscala ’13 will be returning to the Atlanta Hawks next season. A free agent coming off his best NBA season in 2016-17, reports say that Mike has signed a 2-year, $10-million deal with Atlanta.
- Julién Davenport ’17 has already completed his first mini-camp with the Houston Texans and is raising some eyebrows. The Texans begin preseason training camp July 26 at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.
- Another recent graduate joining the pro ranks is women’s basketball’s Suné Swart ’18, who just signed with a team in Romania.
- Jackson Place ’14 made the Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game for the second year in a row.
- The Bucknell football team will begin preseason practice on July 31 at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. And speaking of college football, Bucknell AD John Hardt will be serving on the Division I FCS Athletic Directors Association this season. The FCS ADA will have quite a Patriot League presence, as Lafayette’s Bruce McCutcheon (First Vice President) and Holy Cross’ Nathan Pine (Third Vice President) also serve on the committee.
- We hope you have been checking out the Bison Summer Series over at BucknellBison.com. Our student-athletes have been doing some amazing things this summer, such as interning at the Cannes Film Festival, studying the affects of alcohol consumption, and participating in the prestigious ILTM program. How many Division I basketball tournament MVPs do you think are spending the summer working to perfect a rapid dual injection syringe for use in heart patients? That’s exactly what Zach Thomas has been up to.
- We’re really excited about the 2017 Hall of Fame Class. It’s going to be a great ceremony where there is sure to be fun reflections of the historic 2005 and 2006 NCAA basketball teams, as three of the stars of those squads (Kevin Bettencourt ’06, Charles Lee ’06, Chris McNaughton ’07) are all being inducted together. It’s also another big weekend for the track & field program, as Melanie Buczko Lincoln ’07 and Maria Garacia Harkley ’04 are enshrined. Same goes for Lectie Altman ’06, who led the Bison women’s swimming team to four straight Patriot League titles.