Going to the majors no minor feat
Chad Reineke ’05 on the mound for the San Diego Padres.
By David Driver
Editor’s note: As the boys of summer play ball, a former Miami closer recalls his major league debut toward the end of last season.
Chad Reineke ’05 was at a minor league baseball stadium in Oregon in August when he was called into his manager’s office.
Randy Ready, the skipper for Class AAA Portland, informed Reineke he was being promoted to the major leagues for the first time with the San Diego Padres.
Two days later in San Diego he was the winning pitcher when he allowed three runs in five innings in an 8-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Reineke also had his first major league hit and RBI in the game.
“It was pretty crazy how it worked out,” said Reineke, who grew up in Defiance. Ohio. “About one hour before the game I thought I was going to be sick.”
But Reineke, 26, said he calmed down as he walked to the bench with his catcher and pitching coach after warming up. He remained calm as he took the mound.
“I wasn’t shaking. That was my biggest worry,” he said.
Reineke had never been on a major league field before his debut with the Padres. He was drafted in the 13th round as a Miami senior in 2004 by the Houston Astros, then traded to San Diego in July.
Miami head coach Dan Simonds, an assistant when Reineke was in school, said the program has enjoyed following the progress of the 6-foot-6 right-hander.
“He is one of the hardest workers we have had since I have been in the program,” Simonds said. Reineke said Miami was the only Division I school that allowed him a chance to walk on coming out of high school.
Reineke was 2-1 with an ERA of 5.00 in four games with San Diego in 2008. Not bad for a pitcher who was not even sure he would get drafted as a Miami senior.
David Driver is a freelance writer based in Cheverly, Md.
Sports' Bicentennial celebration
Hundreds of varsity alumni are being invited back to campus throughout 2009 and into 2010 to participate in the university’s Bicentennial. The first reunions occur April 17 and 18 when former letter winners from football, men’s track and field, and baseball will return to Oxford. For details, see athletics’ Bicentennial link.
The women’s swimming and diving team won the Mid-American Conference Championship Feb. 28, holding off a strong challenge by Ohio University.
Miami’s women outperformed Ohio 639.5 to 611.5 at Bowling Green’s Student Recreation Center. Winning individual championships were senior Alyson Schmidt in the 100 freestyle and sophomore Kelsey Vehr in the 200 breaststroke, qualifying them for the NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving championships in March.
This is the first time in 15 years that Miami has sent two swimmers to the national meet. Schmidt qualified in the 50-, 100-, and 200-yard freestyle events and Vehr in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events.
At the end of the season seven Miami women were named to the 2009 All-MAC Women’s Swimming and Diving Team, and Miami head coach Dave Jennings was named MAC Coach of the Year for the ninth time in his career.
The RedHawks hold the league record for the MAC title at 16.
Michael Haywood, new head football coach
New football coach takes the field
Miami is “an institution with outstanding academics and a storied football tradition. The Cradle of Coaches, Ara Parseghian, Bo Schembechler, Bill Mallory, Jim Tressel…What an unbelievable coaching tradition. I’m so excited about joining the Miami family, with a fan and alumni base that is nationwide.” – Michael Haywood, Miami’s new head football coach.
Offensive coordinator at Notre Dame the past four years and a former staff member under some of college football’s greatest mentors, Haywood became a leading candidate for Miami’s head coaching position because of his experience and success at four different Bowl Championship Series schools, according to Miami athletic director Brad Bates.
For more about Haywood, his coaching picks, and the fall football schedule, click here.
Women’s cross country wins first MAC title
Miami’s women’s cross country team made history in November, winning its first-ever Mid-American Conference Championship. The RedHawks placed five runners among the top 13 finishers to outdistance Akron 39-81.
“It was a solid team effort,” head coach Rita Arndt-Molis said. “We came out smart as a team, and I give credit to every single runner. They each thought of the team instead of themselves.”
For her leadership, Arndt-Molis was named MAC Coach of the Year by her peers. In her first season at the helm of the program, she was quick to share the credit.
“I was lucky enough to inherit a strong team and that is a reflection of my predecessor, Rich Ceronie.”
As Miamian was going to press, Miami’s ice hockey team was returning to campus from Minneapolis as the NCAA West Regional Champion and preparing for its first-ever face-off in the NCAA Frozen Four.
A 2-1 victory over Minnesota-Duluth March 28 earned the team the semifinal berth, the first time any Miami athletic team in any sport has ever qualified for the semifinal round of a national championship tournament. The RedHawks take on Bemidji State April 9.
Miami’s women skaters are also showing top command of the ice this spring with the senior synchronized skating team heading to the ISU World Championship in Zagreb, Croatia, April 2-4 as one of two teams representing the U.S.
Miami’s senior and collegiate teams both captured national titles at the U.S. National Synchronized Skating Championship in March. The senior team’s gold-medal finish secured its fourth-straight world championship appearance.
40th Hall of Fame Class
The Class of 2008-09 was inducted into Miami’s Athletic Hall of Fame Feb. 14.
Joining the 200 members already in Miami’s Hall of Fame are Ben Burnau ’89, Devin Davis ’00, Kelly Davis ’88, Gaby Downey ’89 MS ’93, Bill Gunlock ’51, Wally Szczerbiak ’99, and Maarten van den Berg ’97.
For more about each inductee, click here.