The Elizabethtown College athletic program through the years: the 1970s

Megan Piercy October 28, 2017 0

The 1970s began with the NCAA splitting into three divisions, with Elizabethtown College joining Division III. During this time, women’s sports had the opportunity to compete in post-season games and win championships.

The field hockey team won its first Mid-American Conference (MAC) title in 1975, then won again in 1978. The women’s tennis team had a 29-match win streak from 1972-1975 and had four undefeated seasons (1973, 1974, 1975 and 1977).

The women’s basketball team won its first MAC Championship in 1976 and won the Eastern AIAW regional tournament in 1978. Before the 1970s, there were restrictions on women’s basketball, including the number of dribbles a player could take before having to pass or shoot and where offensive and defensive players could move in the court. By 1970, all of these restrictions were removed, making the rules of men’s and women’s basketball the same for the first time since the sport began.

Volleyball was introduced to the College in the fall of 1978 and softball joined the program in the spring of 1979. Both programs were led by coach Jack Snader. Etown’s growing athletic program still made cuts when necessary. Two teams were dropped from the program in the 1970s: men’s track and field (1977) and golf (1978).

Men’s swimming started the 1970s off strong, going 11-1 and winning the 1969-1970 MAC Championship. Four swimmers earned All- American honors that season, the most from a single team in school history.

Etown’s men’s soccer team was also successful throughout the 1970s, winning three MAC Championships and making it to the NCAA Division II tournament once in 1973. The team competed in the Division III Chamionships every year from 1975-1978.

Men’s baseball won three consecutive MAC Championships from 1974-1976 and the men’s tennis team went 11-1 in 1974, setting a new program record for wins and earning its first winning record in 20 years.

In 1975, Etown instituted the Ira R. Herr Athletic Hall of Fame with members from the baseball team, men’s soccer team, men’s basketball team, field hockey and women’s tennis team getting inducted that year.


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