CLAREMONT, Calif. – A new season is here for the top-ranked, defending national champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men’s tennis team. And while the focus now is on the 2016 season that lies ahead, the 2015 national championship team earlier this week had one more opportunity to celebrate their incredible championship run.
Team members and coaches of the 2015 squad were presented their NCAA Division III national championship rings by Claremont McKenna College President Hiram Chodosh and CMS Director of Athletics Mike Sutton ’76 at an informal dinner at President Chodosh’s house on Jan. 19. Members of this year’s team were also at the dinner.
“Our College and our students, we hardly ever put our feet up on the table and celebrate after doing something big,” Chodosh said. “We are always off to the next thing, off to the next competition, off to the next problem set. So occasionally it’s really nice to pause, look back, relax, and celebrate together.”
At the professional and NCAA Division I levels, often times when a team wins a championship, an invitation from the President to visit the White House ensues. United State Presidents have invited championship teams to the White House for decades now which is where CMS head coach Paul Settles got the idea for dinner with President Chodosh.
“It was exactly the celebration I envisioned when I dreamed about a national championship for this team,” Settles said.
The national championship came back on May 20 for CMS, a resounding 5-0 win over Middlebury in Mason, Ohio to cap off a 32-2 season and the program’s first national title since 1981.
“It is an exemplary group of student-athletes and we [the College] are very proud of them. They set the bar vary high for the rest of us,” Chodosh said.
Coach Settles added, “I am incredibly proud of that team. Those seniors were part of what I thought was the best team in the country for the last three years and it was great to see the 2015 Stags earn the recognition they deserved by winning a national title.”
The Stags begin their title defense on Feb. 20 in the season-opener against Brandeis.