The 1990s started off well for the Elizabethtown College athletic program, with the men’s soccer team winning the MAC championship. The team came back to win the title five more times throughout the decade and was runner up twice. Etown soccer players were named All-Americans eight times throughout the decade.
Also in 1990, Bob Schlosser was named head men’s basketball coach. Schlosser coached the men’s basketball team for 27 seasons until his retirement earlier this year after the team’s 2016-2017 season. In the spring of 1990, the golf team went 9-0. The team went undefeated for two more seasons after that and, in 1998, Ben Smith, ’98, became Etown’s first individual MAC golf champion.
In 1992, the softball team finished runner-up in the MAC, finishing 24-9. Two years later, the team returned to the MAC playoffs, finishing 22-10 under new coach Wendy Snyder.
In women’s soccer, Amy Hyde, ’93, became the team’s first All-American. In 1996 the team won its first MAC championship and the next year, they made it to the Division III final four which was held at Herr Field. Kristy Wade, ’00, set the program record for most career goals (68) and points scored (171) from 1996-1999.
The men’s and women’s swim teams made strides throughout the decade, going 17-0 in the 1992-1993 season, finishing fourth in the MAC. The following year, the men won the MAC title for the first time since the 1969-1970 season. The women earned their first MAC title in 1997-1998 and Jackie Zimmerman, ’99, became the first and only Etown athlete in history to be named an All-American for all four years of her college career.
The wrestling team kicked off the 1990s with a 21-5 record, breaking the record for most dual meet wins in a season.
Two individual records were also set in the 1990s for the wrestling team. First, in 1992-1993, Mike Ahern, ‘93, set the record for most career victories, finishing his four years at Etown 122-20. In the 1995-1996 season, Justin Barbush, ’96, broke the program record for most wins in a single season with 41. Barbush was later named an All-American.
In 1997, Kathy Montgomery was named the new men’s tennis coach. In 1998, the team earned a 15-4 record, marking the program’s highest win total in the history of Etown’s men’s tennis program. From 1995-1998, Jon Flood, ‘98, finished his singles career at Etown 37-21, setting a program record.
Maggie Nelis, ’97, set a program record for the field hockey team for highest career assists with 38. Volleyball player Liz Bashard, ’98, set a program record for most career kills (1,295) and digs (1,440). The volleyball team as a whole made impressive improvements throughout the decade. Under returning head coach Bill Helm, the team finished the 1994 season 21-13 after winning only three matches the year before.
In the 1998-1999 season, Etown’s women’s basketball program became the first collegiate basketball program in any NCAA division to earn 800 total wins.
A few big changes came to the athletic program in the 1990s. Women’s tennis was moved from a spring sport to a fall sport. In 1993 the team won its first MAC championship. Also in the 1990s, cross country moved away from dual meets and toward hosting large invitationals. In 1998, track and field was re-added to the athletic program under the direction of coach Chris Straub. In 1999, the men’s cross country team won its first MAC championship since 1965.
In 1995, Ken Ober retired after serving as athletic director of the College after 14 years and head coach of the wrestling team for 29. He was one of 13 NCAA wrestling coaches to earn over 300 dual match wins.
Nancy Latimore took Ober’s place, becoming the College’s first female athletic director. Latimore headed the expansion of Etown’s intramural program and was responsible for the reintroduction of track and field and men’s and women’s lacrosse to the athletic program.