Amy Kennedy Camblos ’00 (left), who organized the scholarship drive, captures a moment at the women’s soccer anniversary celebration with head coach Todd Dyer ’93, to the delight of Angela Miller ’00. (Photo courtesy of Mike Kropf ’14)
An athlete’s success can be measured by a wealth of statistics: wins, losses, goals, assists, saves and many more. However, there has yet to be a metric created that can gauge the impact of a well-run athletics program on a student-athlete’s life.
The alumnae of Longwood women’s soccer did their best to quantify that impact in September, when they made the trip to campus for the program’s 25-year anniversary celebration and surprised head coach and program founder Todd Dyer ’93 with a scholarship donation of more than $16,000.
That money was crowdsourced entirely through the women’s soccer alumnae network and will provide the foundation for an endowed scholarship that is the first of its kind for Longwood women’s soccer.
And while the scholarship is a fitting tribute to the strong emotional connection that hundreds of current and former women’s soccer players have with the program, many noted it was just as much an honor to Dyer, who has served as head coach and mentor for them all.
“This wasn’t about just celebrating 25 years of Longwood women’s soccer, it was about celebrating 25 years of coach,” said Amy Kennedy Camblos, a 2000 graduate who helped organize the scholarship donations. “That’s what makes this so special for all of us.”
Camblos was one of more than 70 Longwood women’s soccer alumnae who returned to Longwood along with their families for the anniversary celebration on Sept. 29, which saw, fittingly, the 2018 version of the Lancers take down Big South foe Presbyterian 2-0. The group celebrated that win, and the more than 250 others the program has tallied, afterwards at a reception where the group presented the $16,431 check to a shocked—and, in his own words, humbled—Dyer.
The soccer alumnae in attendance represented three decades of Lancers, ranging from members of the inaugural 1994 team to last season’s Big South Conference runner-up squad. Among the crowd was Dyer’s daughter, Kylie, a 2015 graduate who organized the event in her role as assistant director of athletics engagement.
Todd Dyer, who began the program shortly after his graduation from Longwood in 1993, has won more than 55 percent of his games since. But that statistic tells only half of the story. Dyer’s Lancers have performed at a level academically that is among the best of Longwood’s teams each year. The program has produced doctors, teachers, valedictorians, Academic All-Americans and even other coaches, many of whom draw on lessons they learned under Dyer’s leadership.
“Our coaching style is to bring that family atmosphere, and that’s what coach Dyer embodies every single day,” said Amy Sherrill ’08, who went on to pursue a coaching career of her own after graduation and is now head coach at Albemarle High School alongside fellow Lancers Anne Whitmore ’08 and Katie Devlin Carpenter ’12.
“He’s always been about that sense of unity, putting everybody on the same playing field and making it known that we’re all in the same fight together. You can see it happening throughout every single team that’s been out there. It’s really cool to see through the years how he hasn’t wavered in his methods or his coaching.”
It’s a formula that has produced a program that after 25 years is still on the rise, and the numbers prove it.