Coaching During COVID-19

Coaching During COVID-19

Friday, March 26, 2021 12:00 pm EDT to 1:00 pm EDT

Register for this Event

Hear from Denison’s Big Red athletic staff about coaching students during a pandemic.

Join us for an inside look at how three Denison coaches have transitioned during COVID-19 to successfully develop, train, and mentor current Denison athletes while also recruiting the next class of Big Red athletes. This virtual panel will feature Gregg Parini, head swimming coach, Sara Lee, associate director of athletics and head women’s basketball coach, and Lauren Grogan head golf coach with moderation by Nan Carney-DeBord ’80, Denison’s associate vice president and director of athletics.

This event is available to members of the Denison community. Attendees will be emailed the Zoom link in their registration and before the event.

About the Panelists and Moderator

Gregg Parini

Denison University and the men’s and women’s swimming & diving program has become synonymous with success. Since 1987 the driving force behind Denison swimming & diving has been Gregg Parini.

Over the past 33 seasons, Parini has built one of the most successful programs in the history of Division III athletics, highlighted by six NCAA Division III national championships, 16 national runner-up finishes and a streak of 64 consecutive top-10 national finishes across both genders. As new personal bests are set, records are broken, and new banners are raised to the rafters of the Trumbull Aquatics Center, there has been one constant, Sempre Avanti. Translated from the Italian phrase meaning “Always Forward,” the motto has provided the foundation for personal growth and competitive drive that has become Big Red Swimming & Diving’s calling card.

Parini began his coaching career in 1984 as a volunteer assistant women’s coach at Michigan State University where he earned his master’s in counseling psychology. Since then he has held coaching positions for the Upper Arlington Swim Club, Mount Union, and East Lansing High School. He was also the National Coaching Advisor for the Isle of Mauritius.

He is a 1982 graduate of Kenyon College where he was a member of Jim Steen’s first national championship team in 1979. A tri-captain for the 1981-82 season, he led the team to its third NCAA crown in as many years. Parini was an 18-time All-American, a seven-time Division III National Champion, and left Kenyon with five national records. He was voted the team’s most valuable swimmer in 1981 and Senior Athlete of the Year in 1982 by the Kenyon athletic department. In May of 2002, he was inducted into Kenyon College’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Sara Lee

In 2020-21, Sara Lee enters her 32nd season as Denison’s head women’s basketball coach and her ninth year as the department’s Associate Athletic Director.

One of the winningest coaches in Division III women’s basketball history and a champion for equity, diversity, and inclusion, Lee boasts a career record of 491-327 in 31 seasons leading the Big Red. Entering the 2019-20 season, Lee ranked 23rd in victories among active Division III coaches and 41st in all-time wins in Division III.

Under Lee, Denison has won four NCAC regular-season championships and seven NCAC Tournament titles. In 2015-16, the Big Red won the North Coast Athletic Conference championship and finished with a 23-5 record, advancing to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the sixth time in program history. In 2010-11, the Big Red completed the conference’s first undefeated regular season at 25-0 and went on to capture the NCAC Tournament title for the sixth time in seven years. Led by NCAC Player of the Year, Shaina Kaiser, Denison finished the year 28-0, marking the best season in program history. Sara is a six-time NCAC Coach of the Year (1990-91, 1997-98, 2006-07, 2010-11, 2015-16, and 2018-19).

A native of Moorhead, Minn., Lee enrolled at Minnesota State Moorhead after graduating from high school in 1982. She earned her B.S. in physical education from Minnesota State Moorhead in 1986. Lee went on to earn an M.A. in athletic administration from Kent State in 1987. In 1995, Lee was inducted into the Minnesota State Moorhead Athletic Hall of Fame for her distinguished accomplishments and career both on and off the playing field.

Lauren Grogan

Lauren Grogan enters her second season as the head men’s and women’s golf coach in 2020-21. Grogan came to Denison from Aquinas College in East Grand Rapids, Michigan where she has served as the head men’s and women’s golf coach since 2017.

In her first season at the helm of the Denison men’s and women’s golf programs, Grogan led both Big Red men’s and women’s programs to a pair of simultaneous top-25 Division III rankings for the first time in Denison history. The Denison women’s golf team won three of the five tournaments they competed in during the 2019 fall season.. The Big Red men’s golf team won the Centre Fall Invitational and were the runner-up at the Virtues Fall Shootout highlighting a fall season that saw them post a 293.6 18-hole team scoring average.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Grogan was a four-year letter winner at the University of Michigan where she competed in four Big Ten Championships and one NCAA Regional. Grogan was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree who posted a career average of 77.46 with six Top-20 finishes and three Top-10 finishes. She was the recipient of the Big Ten Sportswoman Award in 2013 and 2015.

In two seasons leading the Aquinas College golf program, the women’s team improved its team score by nearly 20 strokes while logging one tournament win and four individual medalist honors. The men moved from seventh to fourth in the regular season conference standings. Grogan was a four-time recipient of the WHAC Conference Champions of Character Coach of the Year award.

Prior to Aquinas, Grogan spent two seasons as the graduate assistant women’s golf coach at Central Michigan University. She earned her master’s in sport administration in 2017.

Nan Carney-Debord ‘80

In nine years as the director of athletics at Denison University, Carney-DeBord has made a definitive impact on the campus community with her brand of competitive excellence. She returned to her alma mater in 2011, and in addition to serving as director of athletics, she chairs the Health, Exercise, and Sport Studies major and was promoted to associate vice president of the college in 2016. In 2019, Carney-DeBord was named the Under Armour Division III Athletics Director of the Year by the National Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and was honored at the organization’s annual convention in Orlando. In addition to her roles as AD and AVP, Carney-DeBord carries holds the rank of associate professor on the Denison faculty.

Prior to accepting the post to guide Denison’s athletic department, Carney-DeBord was one of the winningest coaches in Division III women’s basketball history, posting a career record of 433-227 while guiding Ohio Wesleyan to six NCAA Division III Tournament berths. In 2001, she was named National Division III Coach of the Year by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

Carney-DeBord was a four-year letter winner in basketball and field hockey at Denison. In 1998, she was inducted into the Varsity D Association’s Hall of Fame. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Denison, Carney-DeBord holds a master’s degree in athletics administration from Kent State University.