BY NICK JACOBS
For some University of Mary Washington athletes, last week marked the beginning of their first season playing intercollegiate sports, and for others it marked their the beginning of their last. For Athletic Director Ed Hegmann, it marked his 33rd year at the helm of UMW athletics.
Since giving up coaching, Hegmann describes himself as a “pure administrator” with the job of coordinating the efforts of all the coaches. He also oversees the indoor tennis center and the physical education program.
This school year will be a challenging one for Hegmann. The largest project crossing his desk will be the finalization of a new indoor arena that will be located outside of Goolrick gymnasium.
“We are 65 to 70 percent complete with working drawings for our new basketball/volleyball arena,” Hegmann said. “Its very exciting for us and that’s the biggest change on our plate right now. We hope to be under construction early next year and hope to take ownership of the building in 2010.”
Personnel changes have also been a part of this year’s agenda.
“At one time we had three coaches that were dual sport coaches, which now is a very unusual situation,” Hegmann said. “When I came here that was pretty much the standard. This particular year Kurt Glaesser, who coached both women’s soccer and men’s lacrosse, is now only coaching men’s lacrosse only.”
“Corey Hewson, who was his assistant for six years, is now the head coach. We also have a new assistant athletic trainer. Those are the two personnel changes for this year.”
However, the addition of new coaches and staff are bound to put further stress on a difficult budget year.
“I am very concerned about the budget,” Hegmann said. “We are receiving no increases this year in our operating budget. Everyone needs more money, no doubt. But in intercollegiate athletics I think we hit a lot of areas on campus that a lot of people don’t think about.”
While the entire school is experiencing budget cuts, Hegmann’s department is experiencing some of the largest increase in costs.
“We are experiencing about a 40 percent increase in transportation costs and that is significant,” Hegmann said.
“Last year we spent about $140,000 on transportation and this year it is probably going to be close to a couple hundred thousand. That money is going to have to come from somewhere.”
“There are also significant increases in the fees for officials. It will cost us about $600 a game just for officials in a sport like men’s lacrosse. Since we do not charge admission, we have no revenue stream coming in,” he added.
However, Hegmann is certain that he would not begin charging admission to sporting events.
“I think it is a great thing for our students to just come and use their ID cards,” Hegmann said. “At the NCAA events, the school foots the bill; we are required to pay for the Mary Washington students who come to those games. At this point in time the institution has been willing to pay that.”
The new general education requirements that no longer include physical education are beginning to add to Hegmann’s stress.
“We are not sure what the requirements are going to do to our population of students in classes. We have one class that is down to eight students, which is very unusual for us. We don’t know if that is a sign of whether reduction is going to occur or not.”
“Other institutions that have gone through this process really haven’t experienced a whole lot of reduction, because a lot of students like the P.E. classes as opposed to their academic ones,” he added. “Its not rigorous, its a lot of fun and they get credit for it too.”
Although UMW athletics is already facing some large challenges, Hegmann is still confident in all the teams.
“I don’t want to put pressure on anybody,” Hegmann said. “But I think they will all be very successful and I am looking forward to it.”