BY SAM MCCLINTOCK
Former University of Mary Washington athletic director and women’s tennis coach Ed Hegmann was recognized in an honor ceremony on Wednesday, April 9. The UMW Board of Visitor’s recognized Hegmann was by naming the Tennis Center the “Edward H. Hegmann II Tennis Complex” in his honor.
Former UMW tennis alumnus and Hall of Famer Christy Cooper from the class of ‘91 spoke at the ceremony. Other speakers included current UMW Director of Athletics Ken Tyler, UMW President Richard Hurley and Dr. Hegmann.
Hegmann helped build UMW athletics into one of the nation’s best and most respected Division III programs. He worked to help the program grow from six sports in 1976 to 23 by 2012. This included watching 22 of the 23 sports teams earn national championships.
In his own work with the women’s tennis team, Hegmann led the Eagles to three national championships, including the AIAW national title in 1982 and NCAA Division III titles in 1988 and 1991. He earned eight Capital Athletic Conference Coach of the Year awards in his tenure and coached the team to nine straight CAC championships from 1990-1999.
The conference was formed in 1990 and Hegmann retired in 1999. During every season he coached in the CAC, the women’s team won the conference, a very impressive feat. He was alsonamed the NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year twice, in 1988 and in 1999, his last year as coach. In addition, Hegmann is a member of the UMW and the College Women’s Tennis Hall of Fame.
Despite all of the achievements that he and the team won during his years as coach, Hegmann is best known for his master ability in planning facilities. He oversaw the construction of the Battleground Athletic Complex, the school’s outdoor facilities where five national championships were played, and was also a key contributing player in the planning of the UMW Indoor Tennis Center, which was built in 2005.
Under Hegmann’s watch, the construction of the state-of-the-art basketball and volleyball gym, the Anderson Center was built. Because of this new gym, hundreds and hundreds of UMW students were able to attend the exhilarating sweet 16 and elite eight games played by the men’s basketball team.
The gym seats nearly 2,000 fans, which allows the school to play to host many post-season tournaments. It is no surprise that the humble Hegmann praised the Board of Visitors in his speech.
“It’s very appropriate and fitting that this would come from the Board of Visitors, because without their help over the years we wouldn’t have the tennis facility,” said Hegmann.
During his 36 years working for the school, Hegmann was one of the most influential people in the school’s long history as evident by former players of his making appearances for the ceremony.
Even present players on the women’s team understand the impact Hegmann had on the school.
“It’s extremely fitting to have the tennis center named after someone who has done so much not only for the tennis program here at UMW but also for the athletic program as a whole,” said junior Michaela Dowd.