Athletics – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Wed, 14 Dec 2022 19:28:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.6 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Athletics – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 Drayton Named Head Football Coach https://today.citadel.edu/drayton-named-head-football-coach/ Wed, 14 Dec 2022 19:28:38 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=33932 Maurice DraytonMaurice DraytonFormer Bulldog player and defensive coordinator Maurice Drayton has been named the next head football coach at The Citadel.]]> Maurice DraytonMaurice Drayton

From The Citadel Athletics

Former Bulldog player and defensive coordinator Maurice Drayton has been named the next head football coach at The Citadel. The announcement was made by Director of Athletics Mike Capaccio on Tuesday.

“We are very excited to have Maurice back at The Citadel,” said Capaccio. “We conducted a very thorough search and it was clear that Maurice was the best person for this position. He understands what it takes to be a cadet-athlete at The Citadel, and also understands what it takes to be successful on the field.”

A former standout player and defensive coordinator, Drayton returns to The Citadel after spending the previous seven seasons working in the NFL. He most recently served as the assistant special teams coordinator for the Las Vegas Raiders. Drayton also served as the special teams coordinator in Green Bay in 2021, assistant special teams coordinator for the Packers from 2018-20, and the special teams coordinator for Indianapolis Colts in 2016-17.

In his final season in Green Bay, Drayton worked with newcomer P Corey Bojorquez, who finished with the highest gross punting average (46.5 avg.) in a season (min. 35 punts) in franchise history. He also saw K Mason Crosby set a new franchise record with a streak of 24 consecutive field goals made from 2019-2021.

Drayton’s first season with the Colts saw him guide Pat McAfee to his second Pro Bowl after leading the league with a 49.3 yard average. Additionally, he helped Adam Vinatieri register his 19th and 20th 100-point seasons, extending his NFL record.

“I want to thank Gen. Walters, Mike Capaccio and the entire committee for giving me this opportunity. I made the decision several years ago to take the road less traveled, and it allowed me to meet people that have remained loyal.

“I believe in the divine power of God and that has moved in the minds of those who extended the invitation to return home. For me and my family, Moncks Corner, Charleston and The Citadel will always be home. I am prepared to assist in taking our school to the next level.”

Drayton served as The Citadel’s defensive coordinator from 2014-15, helping the Bulldogs to the 2015 Southern Conference Championship. The 2015 defense led the conference with 31 takeaways, 11 fumble recoveries, 10 passing TDs allowed and a 36.5 opponent third-down conversion percentage. The defense also ranked third in the FCS with 20 interceptions, including five returned for touchdowns.

All-in-all, Drayton has spent 14 seasons at The Citadel as a player or coach. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1998 and his master’s in education in 2007.

As a player, Drayton was a two-year starter at cornerback and finished his career with 145 tackles, 17 pass break-ups and three interceptions.

After completing his eligibility in 1998, Drayton spent the next seven seasons as a member of the Bulldog coaching staff. He began as a graduate assistant/secondary coach, before spending the 2000 season coaching the tackles/tight ends. He also worked with the wide receivers (2001) and outside linebackers (2002), before spending the 2003-05 seasons coaching the secondary, special teams and serving as the recruiting coordinator.

Drayton spent the 2006 season as the defensive coordinator for the Seinajoki (Finland) Crocodiles of the European Football League. He spent 2007 as an assistant principal and assistant coach at Goose Creek High School.

Drayton joined the staff at South Carolina State in 2008, coaching the defensive backs and special teams. In his two seasons in Orangeburg, Drayton helped SCSU capture a pair of Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) titles.

Drayton spent the 2010-11 seasons as the assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach at Coastal Carolina.

He would serve as the secondary coach for former Bulldog head coach Ellis Johnson at Southern Miss in 2012 before working with the defense and special teams with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 2013.
 
A native of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, Drayton and his wife are the proud parents of two children.

For more information on Drayton’s coaching career, click here.

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The Citadel to Host 76ers for Training Camp https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-to-host-76ers-for-training-camp/ Fri, 26 Aug 2022 19:09:14 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=32907 The Philadelphia 76ers will conduct one week of preseason training camp inside McAlister Field House from Sept. 27-Oct. 2.]]>

From The Citadel Athletics

The Citadel Athletic Department officials announced Friday that the Philadelphia 76ers will conduct one week of preseason training camp inside McAlister Field House from Sept. 27-Oct. 2.
 
“We are very excited for the opportunity to host the 76ers,” said Director of Athletics Mike Capaccio. “This will be a great opportunity to show off our campus and our great city of Charleston.”
 
Stay up to date on all your Bulldog news by following @CitadelSports or visit CitadelSports.com.

Membership in The Citadel Brigadier Foundation is open to alumni and friends of The Citadel who are interested in supporting Bulldog athletics. By joining, you provide annual charitable contributions that fund scholarships for cadet-student-athletes.  Supporters interested in joining TCBF or for more information, please click here.

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Conroy Named Head Basketball Coach at The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/conroy-named-head-basketball-coach-at-the-citadel/ Wed, 23 Mar 2022 19:03:02 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=31416 The architect of the last 20-win season in program history, Ed Conroy returns as the head basketball coach at The Citadel.]]>

From The Citadel Athletics

The architect of the last 20-win season in program history, Ed Conroy returns as the head basketball coach at The Citadel. The announcement was made by Director of Athletics Mike Capaccio on Wednesday.
 
Conroy will be formally introduced at a press conference at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
 
“We are very excited about welcoming Ed back to The Citadel and The Citadel family,” said Capaccio. “Ed has had proven success at The Citadel and is very appreciative of this opportunity. I could tell from our first conversation how he felt and the drive that he had for this job, as well as his love and respect for The Citadel.  
 
“We are looking forward to him building the program and having success in a very difficult job. As a cadet-athlete and former coach, he has a good understanding of the school and what it takes to win in the ever changing times of college athletics.”
 
Conroy previously served as the head coach at The Citadel from 2006-10. He guided the Bulldogs to their first 20-win season in over 30 years and a postseason berth in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
 
The 20-win season of 2008-09 saw the Bulldogs amas a school-record 15 Southern Conference wins. The team was led by first-team all-conference selections Demetrius Nelson and Cameron Wells. Wells would go on to become a three-time all-conference selection after being tabbed the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year by the coaches and media in 2007-08.
 
Following the 2008-09 season, Conroy was selected as the SoCon Coach of the Year by the league’s head coaches and media members. He was also named the NABC District 22 Coach of the Year, CollegieInsider.com Coach of the Year and the CollegeInsider.com Skip Prosser Man of the Year.
 
“I want to thank Gen. Walters and Mike Cappaccio for the tremendous opportunity to be the next head basketball coach at The Citadel,” said Conroy. “Ginny and I are extremely excited to return to Charleston and be a part of a city, community and institution that means so much to our family.
 
“I look forward to building relationships with our current team and recruiting elite cadet-student-athletes to our basketball program. I cannot wait to get to work and have the incredible privilege of representing The Citadel and Citadel Basketball again!”
 
Conroy most recently spent the 2021-22 season as the associate head coach at Vanderbilt. In his one season with the Commodores, Conroy helped guide the team to 19 wins and the third round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
 
The 19 wins marks the most for Vanderbilt since 2016-17, an improvement of 10 wins from the previous season.
 
Conroy went to the West End after spending the previous five seasons on staff at the University of Minnesota. He served as the team’s associate head coach in his last season after serving as an assistant for the previous four seasons.
 
During his time with the Gophers, Conroy guided the Gophers front court to three straight seasons with the conference’s leading rebounders in Jordan Murphy (2018, 2019) and Daniel Oturu (2020). The former left with the second-highest rebound total in Big Ten history, while Oturu earned the first Minnesota nod to an All-America team in 21 years.
 
During his tenure, the Golden Gophers made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including a first-round victory over Louisville in 2019.
 
Conroy spent six seasons as the head coach at Tulane where he led the Green Wave to a pair of postseason berths and the school’s first 20-win season in 13 years. The back-to-back trips to the postseason were the first appearances for the Green Wave in 1996-97, a span of 18 years.
 
Conroy’s tenure at Tulane was marked by a number of signature victories, including the first win over Memphis since 1992 and the first over Cincinnati since 1991.
 
He guided Green Wave players to seven all-conference honors, including 2012 C-USA Freshman of the Year, Ricky Tarrant.
 
The Davenport, Iowa, native has served as an assistant coach at seven different schools throughout his career. Prior to landing the head job at The Citadel, he spent one season as an assistant at Coastal Carolina, following stints at Tennessee (2003-05) and Tulsa (2000-01).
 
Conroy’s first head coaching job came from 1997-2000 at Division II Francis Marion University, where he earned the Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year award in 1998. That was preceded by assistant coach stops at Furman (1994-97), VMI (1993-94) and N.C. State (1990-93).
 
A four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs from 1985-89, Conroy still ranks among the all-time top 10 at The Citadel in career free throw percentage (.815) and career 3-point percentage (.395). A three-year starter, he served as team captain as a senior and held the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Corps of Cadets, the highest rank achieved by a basketball player in the modern era at The Citadel.
 
Conroy and his wife Ginny have three children: daughter, Hannah, and sons Riley and Hunt. His son Riley is on staff at Southeastern Louisiana, while Conroy’s brother, Duffy, has spent the last seven seasons as an assistant basketball coach at Louisiana Tech.
 
He is also the cousin of The Citadel Hall of Famer, Pat Conroy.
 
Coaching Career
2022 • The Citadel • Head Coach
2021-22 • Vanderbilt • Associate Head Coach
2020-21 • Minnesota • Associate Head Coach
2016-20 • Minnesota • Assistant Coach
2010-16 • Tulane • Head Coach
2006-10 • The Citadel • Head Coach
2005-06 • Coastal Carolina • Assistant Coach
2003-05 • Tennessee • Assistant Coach
2000-01 • Tulsa • Assistant Coach
1997-2000 • Francis Marion • Head Coach
1994-97 • Furman • Assistant Coach
1993-94 • VMI • Assistant Coach
1990-93 • NC State • Assistant Coach
 

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Search underway for new Bulldogs basketball coach; Baucom contract will not be extended https://today.citadel.edu/search-underway-for-new-bulldogs-basketball-coach-baucom-contract-will-not-be-extended/ Thu, 10 Mar 2022 20:03:20 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=31131 The Citadel head basketball coach, Duggar Baucomduring the opening round of the SoCon tournament against ETSU on March 4, 2022.The Citadel head basketball coach, Duggar Baucomduring the opening round of the SoCon tournament against ETSU on March 4, 2022.“We thank him for his leadership and the significant impact he made on our basketball program since he began coaching the Bulldogs in 2015."]]> The Citadel head basketball coach, Duggar Baucomduring the opening round of the SoCon tournament against ETSU on March 4, 2022.The Citadel head basketball coach, Duggar Baucomduring the opening round of the SoCon tournament against ETSU on March 4, 2022.

Photo above: The Citadel head basketball coach, Duggar Baucom during the opening round of the Southern Conference tournament against ETSU on March 4, 2022.

The Citadel is exploring potential replacements for Bulldogs’ basketball coach, Duggar Baucom, the head men’s basketball coach since 2015. The 2021-22 basketball season will be his last in that role.

“The Citadel is grateful for Coach Baucom’s professionalism and dedication,” said The Citadel Athletics Director, Mike Capaccio. “We thank him for his leadership and the significant impact he made on our basketball program since he began coaching the Bulldogs in 2015. We wish Duggar the very best in his future endeavors.”

The college granted Baucom a one year extension in 2021 and has decided not to renew the coach’s contract. The Bulldogs finished the current season with 12 losses and six wins in the SoCon regular season.

During his career Baucom has had 15 former players make it to the professional ranks, including Kevin Martin who played 12 seasons in the NBA and Reggie Williams who played seven seasons in the NBA. During the 2020-21 campaign, The Citadel finished with a winning record for the first time since 2008-09, recording a 13-12 mark.

“We are actively looking for a new head coach to lead our basketball team to the next level,” added Capaccio. “We hope to have that person in place and ready to go before training for the next season begins.”

The Citadel has had 112 basketball seasons and 30 head coaches. See the full list of the Bulldogs’ head basketball coaches here.

The Citadel Athletics media contact

Media with questions about this announcement should contact The Citadel Athletics Department’s communications representative, John Brush, at jbrush@citadel.edu or by calling (270) 293-0590. 

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The Citadel’s Hayden Brown is guided by faith https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadels-hayden-brown-is-guided-by-faith/ Sun, 12 Dec 2021 11:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=29320 The super senior from the Upstate has grown and developed his game and himself during his time here in the Lowcountry.]]>

As seen on WCBD – Count on 2, by Dan Fanning

The Citadel helps mold its cadets into some of the future leaders of tomorrow.

The basketball team’s leader, and maybe one of the biggest leader on campus, is forward Hayden Brown.

“He’s kind of our heart and soul. Literally our spiritual leader. And for the school, maybe the greatest ambassador for a cadet student athlete that may have ever played here,” said Bulldog Head Coach Duggar Baucom.

The super senior (5th year due to COVID) from the Upstate has grown and developed his game and himself during his time here in the Lowcountry.

“I think the structure ultimately helped me. I think I’m one that kind of thrives with structure. If there’s too much freedom or whatever I just kind of sometimes can get lazy. So I think that’s something this school kind of breathes into its individuals,” The Citadel’s forward Hayden Brown said.

Military college isn’t for everyone, but Hayden has gotten through it thanks to the people at The Citadel.

“Yea I kind of briefly mentioned it already but the people. It’s not the most appealing place it’s a military school. I had no military background. But you meet people here…I don’t have an answer for it but they’re just special,” Brown said.

Hayden also has some special talent evidenced by him being named the preseason SoCon player of the year.

His goal this season is to lead the Dogs to a SoCon title. another one is to be guided by his faith.

“My ultimate goal is to glorify God in whatever I do. So if that’s on a basketball court, cool. If it’s in a church, cool. That’s my ultimate goal,” he said.

Brown continues to bless defenders at the rim.

As someone who lives by being where his feet are.

Bulldog fans, coaches, and fellow peers are glad they’re set firmly at the Military College of South Carolina.

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SoCon’s champion volleyball team preparing to play No. 8 Georgia Tech on Dec. 3 https://today.citadel.edu/socons-campion-volleyball-team-preparing-to-play-no-8-georgia-on-dec-3/ Tue, 30 Nov 2021 18:34:51 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=29019 Graphic showing Citadel and Georgia Tech logosGraphic showing Citadel and Georgia Tech logosWatch the team at Quarters One on campus as they learn who'll they'll be playing.]]> Graphic showing Citadel and Georgia Tech logosGraphic showing Citadel and Georgia Tech logos

Volleyball team heads to Atlanta

The Citadel volleyball team will open the 2021 NCAA Volleyball Tournament at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3, as the Bulldogs take on No. 8 Georgia Tech inside O’Keefe Gymnasium in Atlanta.
 
The winner of The Citadel-Georgia Tech match will face the winner of Western Kentucky-South Carolina on Saturday at 7 p.m.
 
The Bulldogs are making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament after capturing the school’s first conference championship for a women’s program. The Citadel defeated the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seeds on their way to the Southern Conference Championship.

Team visits The Citadel President’s home for bracket watching celebration

As seen on WCSC-TV

Follow Bulldogs volleyball

For more information and score updates on The Citadel volleyball team, please visit CitadelSports.com or follow @CitadelVB on Twitter, @CitadelVolleyball on Instagram and here on Facebook.
 
Membership in The Citadel Brigadier Foundation is open to alumni and friends of The Citadel who are interested in supporting Bulldog athletics. By joining, you provide annual charitable contributions that fund scholarships for cadet-student-athletes.  Supporters interested in joining TCBF or for more information, please click HERE.

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Bulldogs win! Citadel volleyball earns school’s first SoCon title in women’s team sports https://today.citadel.edu/bulldogs-win-citadel-volleyball-earns-schools-first-socon-title-in-womens-team-sports/ Mon, 22 Nov 2021 16:58:46 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=28961 The Citadel volleyball team won the military school’s first Southern Conference championship in a women’s team sport on Nov. 21. ]]>

Photo: The Citadel volleyball players celebrate after winning championship point at the SoCon tournament (Courtesy: Chase Cochran, Samford Athletics)

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Jeff Hartsell

For years, Citadel volleyball had a reputation.

“When I was at other schools, The Citadel was a place you scheduled to get your wins in,” said fourth-year coach Dave Zelenock. “It was a known thing — this is who you schedule to get your wins in.”

That reputation is changing.

The Citadel volleyball team won the military school’s first Southern Conference championship in a women’s team sport on Nov. 21. 

The No. 7-seed Bulldogs defeated No. 4 Wofford 3-0 at the Pete Hanna Center in Birmingham, Ala., taking their first league title by scores of 25-23, 25-18, 25-22 to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament. 

All-SoCon first-teamer Sharlissa de Jesus, who spent her summer working out with The Citadel football team, led the way with 18 kills. SoCon freshman of the year Ali Ruffin added 11 kills, while all-freshman player Belle Hogan had a team-high 42 assists as the Bulldogs improved on the first winning record in program history to 14-11. 

Makaya Middleton and Maddy Cardenas added six kills each, and Gina Delancey had five. Kenzie Kellerman, a 4-11 junior, had 11 digs, second only to 12 for de Jesus. 

The Bulldogs, who missed their first five games this season due to COVID-19 protocols, beat the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 seeds on the way to the title, including three-time defending champion Samford. 

“It’s huge,” Zelenock said. “We’ve only have volleyball for 20 years, and for all the women who started it for us, it’s a big deal.”

https://twitter.com/SoConChamps/status/1462564138736041984

Citadel volleyball began in 1998, and the team went 0-24 in its first season and 1-53 during the first two, never managing a winning record until this year.

“It’s definitely a huge milestone,” said de Jesus, a fifth-year senior from Puerto Rico. “But I think it will teach us that we’re capable of anything if we put our minds to it.”

That goes not only for volleyball, but for soccer, golf, cross country, rifle and track and field, the other women’s sports at The Citadel.

“I think for women’s athletics and The Citadel, it’s a huge deal,” said Zelenock, who was hired from Tennessee Tech in 2018. “I think for all the women’s programs, showing them that it’s possible is huge. For our team and our program, it’s a huge step forward. It’s going to help us with recruiting and show people that it’s not the way the program was years ago when it was first starting out.”

The Citadel will learn its NCAA Tournament assignment on Nov. 28, when the selection show is held at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU. First-round play in the 64-team field begins Dec. 2.

“I have no words,” de Jesus said of earning a postseason bid. “Never in my life did I think that this would be happening, since I started as a freshman. But it’s a huge milestone and we’re definitely going to work even harder in our next few practices to keep making history for The Citadel.”

This year marked a high-water mark for women’s sports at The Citadel.

The Bulldogs’ soccer team, 10-7-2 this year under coach Ciaran Traquair, posted just the second winning record in program history, which dates back to 2001. The Citadel set a school record with 43 goals scored, and forward Suzuka Yosue became just the third Bulldog to earn first-team All-SoCon honors.

But this volleyball run is the biggest team achievement in the history of women’s sports at The Citadel, which first admitted women to the Corps of Cadets in 1996. Within five years, the military school went from no women’s sports to seven teams. Today, more than 50 percent of the women in the Corps participate in varsity sports, the highest percentage in Division I of female students playing varsity sports, according to The Citadel. 

Cross-country runner Mandy Garcia became The Citadel’s first female scholarship athlete in 1997, and Lt. Col. Bonnie Jo Houchen was named the Bulldogs’ first volleyball coach in 1998.

https://twitter.com/SoConSports/status/1462564747719684105

Track and field’s Peaches Hudson was the first Citadel woman to earn All-SoCon honors in 1999, and there are two females in the school’s athletics Hall of Fame — track and field’s Stephanie McNeil (Class of 2007), a nine-time SoCon champ in throwing events, and soccer’s Mariana Garcia (2014), the only Bulldog to earn SoCon freshman of the year and player of the honors in that sport.

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Citadel cadet takes oath before taking the field https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-cadet-takes-oath-before-taking-the-field/ Mon, 18 Oct 2021 15:58:42 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27857 Cadet -- and Bulldog soccer player -- Ryleigh Jenkins is joining a long family line of serving our country.]]>

Cadet — and Bulldog soccer player — Ryleigh Jenkins is joining a long family line of serving our country. Her grandfather was a Navy Seal; her dad, a Marine.

Before her nine-win Citadel soccer team hit the road for Mercer, she had her own ceremony as part of her process of becoming a Navy Midshipman.

As seen on WCIV – ABC News 4, by Scott Eisberg

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My Ring Story: Remember your “why” https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-remember-your-why/ Fri, 15 Oct 2021 20:11:21 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27854 Meet Jerry Eugene Higgins III, Class of 2022 Jerry Higgins is a cadet-athlete from Cleveland, Ohio, who is majoring in Biology. He is a basketball player and has received gold]]>

Meet Jerry Eugene Higgins III, Class of 2022

Jerry Higgins is a cadet-athlete from Cleveland, Ohio, who is majoring in Biology. He is a basketball player and has received gold stars for academic achievement. After graduation Higgins plans to attend medical school and become a physician.

Q. What is engraved on the inside of your ring and what is its significance?

A. I put two phrases inside my ring. The first is “Remember Your Why.” That will be a constant reminder to strive for greatness in everything I do. Your “why” is the reason you get out of bed in the morning and do all that you do. Your “why” is what you believe you are meant to do here. Some of us know our “why.” Some of us do not. And, for some of us it changes over the course of a lifetime. Knowing your purpose is crucial because it gives you direction. My “why” is focused on my family and the people close to me that have made me the man I am today; I truly don’t know where I would be without them.

The second engraving is “God’s Speed.” This will remind me that things will happen when they are meant to occur. Like being in the wonderful place right now of getting my band of gold. Through the journey of life, having God by my side eases my worries because I know In the end I will be alright.

Q. Who inspired you to begin your journey here at The Citadel?

A. My father has definitely inspired me to not only make the choice to come here, but to push through the hard times to success. When deciding to attend as a cadet-athlete, I was skeptical about whether I could handle sports plus the military requirements, on top of academics. I did my best to set an example of how an athlete at The Citadel should balance academics, athletics and our military requirements – all of them – like everyone else.

Left to right: Me, my father, Jerry Higgins Jr., my brother Cameron, my stepmother Svetlana, and my sister Sasha, in July when we all attended my brother’s preschool graduation.

My father assured me that he raised me to be able to endure any environment, and this was very true. His strength powers me through every day!

Q. Do you feel that you will have any special obligations now that you wear the ring?

A. Yes. Many. The ring represents everyone that has come before my class and that will come after. The same principles that I learned here will be with me as I wear the ring.

For me, wearing the ring is also showing appreciation for the people who were here in the Corps of Cadets before me. I know there have been many African American cadets that have attended this college that have paved the way for minorities to be accepted here.

Additionally, I think that it’s important that people realize that our ring isn’t your typical class ring. The ring bonds everyone that has successfully come through the gates of this school and represents sacrifices they made to be here.

Q. What are three specific things The Citadel taught you?

A. 1. Be grateful for everything. 2. Struggle is necessary for growth. 3. The importance of accountability.

Cadets Jerry Higgins and Douglas Karam, accompanied by Dr. John Weinstein, Biology, deploy an experiment to measure how face masks, rubber gloves and hand wipes decompose in the salt marsh behind Inouye Hall on Thursday, October 14, 2021.  Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel
Cadet Jerry Higgins III in the marsh near The Citadel campus, setting up a biology research project to measure the environmental impacts of discarded facemasks, gloves and anti-bacterial wipes in coastal areas.

The Citadel ring, known as The Band of Gold, symbolizes more than just a cadet’s time spent as a member of The South Carolina Corps of Cadets or the time in the classroom. It symbolizes the military college’s core values of honor, duty, and respect; the same values Citadel cadets take with them to positions of leadership and military service around the world after they earn the ring and graduate.

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My Ring Story: leaning into the challenges towards triumph https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-leaning-in-to-the-challenges-toward-triumph/ Wed, 29 Sep 2021 14:49:26 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27173 Cadet Mya Dollard on the high jumpCadet Mya Dollard on the high jump"Honor, Duty, and Respect are now significantly instilled within me."]]> Cadet Mya Dollard on the high jumpCadet Mya Dollard on the high jump

Meet Cadet Mya Monaye Dollard, Class of 2022

Cadet Mya Monaye Dollard is an athlete on the track and field team, a gold star-earning scholar, and a future nurse. She is from Lake City, South Carolina.

Q. What quote is engraved inside your ring?

A. The quote that is inside of my ring is “And Still I Rise” and #LLRG. They are significant to me because I have faced so many obstacles while being here at The Citadel, yet I have earned my ring.

The engraving #LLRG pays tribute to the late Mr. Ra’Shaud Graham, The Citadel Class of 2017 and a mentor to me and so many others. It means Long Live Ra’Shaud Graham. He was an inspiration and motivated me to keep pushing forward and to believe in myself and losing him was hard for us all.

The biggest obstacle I faced while being here is when my mother was diagnosed with advanced-stage cervical cancer in early July of 2020 which also was the peak of COVID-19. Her diagnosis was life-altering, not only to me but to my family. Seeing someone you love so sick and not being able to be there for them was heartbreaking. The first semester of 2020, my mother went through weeks of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. I felt helpless, but thankful that my little sister was there with my mom. I wanted to make my mother proud, so I finished both semesters of my junior year with Gold Stars. In December of 2020, a few days before Christmas, she finally got to ring the bell for beating cancer, thus the engraving, “And Still I Rise.”

Cadet Mya Dollard with family at high school graduation
“This was June 6th, 2018. Pictured from right to left is Vincent Cole (boyfriend), my mother Mikiko Dollard, me, and my father, Samuel Dollard. This was taken on the night of my High school graduation at Johnsonville High.

Q. What is the number one way this institution impacted your life?

A. This institution provided me with everlasting life lessons and friendships.

Q. What are three things the Citadel taught you that you wouldn’t have learned at another college?

A. Honor, Duty, and Respect are now significantly instilled within me. I believe that many other schools do not take the time to emphasize the importance of these characteristics as a human being. But, here at the Citadel, we do!

Q. What will you think while looking at your Citadel band of gold on your finger?

A. My ring will remind me about my own perseverance. It will remind me of all the days that I did not think I could go on, yet I pushed through with the best version of myself. I believe that this institution has helped me grow as an individual while having the great support of my mentors, teammates and peers.

Cadet athlete Mya Dollard wearing her jersey and stethoscopes
Photo provided by The Citadel Athletics

Q. Why do you think it is important for people to understand the symbolism and weight of The Citadel ring?

A. The Citadel Ring conveys the message of overcoming adversity while being a principled leader in all aspects of life. The Citadel breaks you down to mold you into the best version of yourself, setting you up for success in life.

Q. “We wear the ring” is a repeated phrase amongst Alumni. What does it mean to you to wear the ring?

A. It means unity and strength! I do believe that it takes grit and fortitude to be here at The Citadel. I am honored to be part of a group that took a oath committing to take the road less traveled. I am a proud Citadel woman!

Cadet Mya Dollard pictured on left
“This was April 12 , 2018, signing day when I accepted my Citadel scholarship to become a cadet-athlete with the Track and Field team. I am on the left with my younger sister Sa’Mya Dollard on the right. She now attends the University of South Carolina, Class of 2023.”
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