Eph Athletic Firsts

July 1, 1859

First intercollegiate baseball game
played in U.S. featured Ephs
vs. Amherst in Pittsfield, Mass.,
on July 1st.
Amherst won 73-32 in a game
played under “Massachusetts Rules.”

March 13, 1982

Williams College women's swimming & diving team won the first
NCAA Division III championship in Boston. The very next year
the Ephs became the first team to repeat as NCAA Champions.


March, 1988

Wendell K. Chestnut '88
1st African American
named an All-American

December 1988

1st NCAA men's
soccer coach named
National Coach of the Year
in consecutive years

May 10, 1992

Mike Masters '89
1st American professional
to score a gaol in famed
Wembley Stadium

January 29, 1997

 Lasell Gym was the site of the first known
bout between female Varsity college
wrestlers when Deb Hsu '00 of Williams
defeated Springfield's Stacy Kirschbaum
at 118 pounds on January 29. Hsu pinned
Kirschbaum at 1:45.  Springfield won the
match, however, 25-19.

October 3, 1995

Ephs win first Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC)
Jostens Institution of the Year Award for combined academic
and athletic excellence contested by 280+ schools in NCAA
Division I, II and III from Maine to North Carolina. Through
the 2009-10 academic year Williams had won the award 6
times, most of any school.


June 10, 1996

Williams wins the first Directors' Cup in NCAA Division III play
for overall excellence in athletics as determined by the
performance of teams in NCAA team championships and
awarded by the National Association of College Athletic Directors
and Sears Roebuck Company. Through the 2010-11 academic
year the Ephs had won 15 of the 16 Directors’ Cups and 13
in a row.

October 5, 1999

Williams becomes the first school to win the ECAC Jostens
Institution of the Year Award and the Directors' Cup in the
same year.


May 19, 2002

Williams became the first team to repeat as NCAA Division III
champions in women's tennis and in 2012 became the first
team to win 6 straight titles.

June 2, 2002

The first best team in NCAA Division III: 

Williams women's crew wins the first NCAA Division III Rowing
Championship for Women in Indianapolis.


August 11, 2003

Williams becomes first college
or university to be ranked 1st
nationally in academics and
athletics in the same year.
Williams has recorded
this unique double eight
straight years from
2003 – 2011.

May 31, 2008

Williams women’s crew becomes first Division III team to win NCAA
Division III women's rowing title three years in a row 2008 (pictured)

The Ephs extended the streak of NCAA titles to 8 in 2013


November 10, 2007

Williams becomes the first NCAA Division III member to
host ESPN’s College Football GameDay show at Weston Field.

September 2010

Williams Purple Cow in the person of James Dunn '10 is first
Division III mascot to appear in an ESPN College Football
GameDay commercial. Spot was filmed in Long Beach, CA.

Fall 2010

Williams first college
to win Directors' Cup,  ranked 1st nationally in academics by Forbes.com (all U.S. universities
& colleges), and win the  ECAC Jostens Institution of the Year Award in the same year.


April 24, 2014

Kelsey Levine '10
Head Alpine

NCAA Ski Coach

December 7, 2014

Hayden Rooke-Ley '15
1st NCAA DIII men's
basketball player named
National Player of the
Week by USBWA


If you are aware of an Eph athletic first that does not appear
on this list please email Sports Information Director
Dick Quinn – dquinn@wiliams.edu