Alex Loughton Joins ODU Sports Hall Class of 2014
NORFOLK, VA—The 2014 Old Dominion University Sports Hall of Fame Induction class features the nation’s winningest field hockey coach, the school’s winningest women’s basketball coach, a two-time All-American tennis player, an All-American wrestler and a men’s basketball CAA Player of the Year and Academic All-American.
The 2014 ODU Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held Saturday, Nov. 8 at 9 a.m. during homecoming weekend when the Monarchs take on FIU at 3 p.m. This year’s inductees include Beth Anders (Field Hockey), Wendy Larry (Women’s Basketball), David Lindhjem (Wrestling), Izak van der Merwe (Tennis) and Alex Loughton (Men’s Basketball). Tickets for the induction breakfast are $25 and are available by calling 683-3359.
Beth Anders, the first Division I coach to reach the 500-victory plateau, concluded her 30th and final season at the helm of the Old Dominion field hockey program in 2012. Anders coached more games than any Division I coach, having been on the sidelines for 704 games over her 30-year career. Anders posted an amazing .803 winning percentage and her 561 overall wins and nine NCAA titles are the most of any Division I coach in history.
After leading the Lady Monarchs to the 2012 CAA regular season title and their record 30th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, Anders cemented her status as one of the elite coaches throughout intercollegiate athletics. Anders consistently made contributions throughout her life to the game of field hockey. As a player, she participated at every level possible, including World Cup and Olympic events. Her coaching achievements are nothing short of impressive, including nine NCAA titles, a bronze medal at the Pan American World Cup Games. Considered by many to be a pioneer of her sport, her resume is dotted with a long list of incredible achievements and monumental firsts.
At Old Dominion, the Lady Monarchs achieved more honors than any other field hockey program in NCAA history. Among the most prestigious, Anders and her teams brought the NCAA Championship trophy back to Norfolk an unprecedented nine times. In addition, the Lady Monarchs won the CAA regular season crown 15 times and the CAA Tournament 14 times while making 17 appearances in the NCAA championship round. Anders also captured 12 CAA Coach of the Year awards. Anders is currently the NCAA field hockey national coordinator of umpires.
Wendy Larry's career at Old Dominion spanned more than 30 years, as one of the first women student-athletes to receive a grant-in-aid to ODU, as a graduate and assistant coach, and as the head coach of the Lady Monarchs from 1987-2011. She became the 20th national all-time coach to win 600 career games in December, and completed her tenure at ODU with a 608-234 overall record and 559-203 slate at ODU. Larry's teams reached 20 NCAA Tournaments, captured a NCAA record setting 17-straight Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) titles from 1992-2008, and advanced to the championship game of the NCAA tournament in 1997.
Larry was the recipient of Coach of the Year awards from three different leagues, most recently in 2010 with her eighth CAA Coach of the Year selection. She has also been recognized on the national level as well with WBCA District III, RCA, Sporting News, and in 1997 as the United States Women's Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Coach of the Year.
She first returned to her alma mater under the guidance of Women's Basketball Hall of famer Marianne Stanley for the 1979-80 season as a graduate assistant coach, before being elevated to a full-time assistant. During that span, she was part of two Old Dominion national championships, in 1980 (AIAW) and 1985 (NCAA). Nine of Larry’s former players were drafted by the WNBA, including four in 2002, joining Connecticut with the most athletes selected in the draft. She also served as President of the Women’s Basketball Association (WBCA) and as a member of the USA Basketball Collegiate Selection Committee. She is currently an Associate Commissioner at the Atlantic 10 Conference, a post she has held since 2012.
David Lindhjem earned All-American honors for the Monarchs’ wrestling program in 1967. When he placed fourth at 145 pounds at the NCAA College Division National Championships held in Wilkes, PA. Lindhjem compiled a 19-2 record with five pins that season. He also qualified for the College Division National Championships in 1968 and 1969. Lindhjem was a three-time Mason Dixon Conference Champion, winning titles in 1967, 68 and 69, while wrestling for ODU’s Hall of Fame coach Pete Robinson. The 1969 ODU Scholar Athlete of the Year recipient, Lindhjem would go on to win the State AAU tournament in the early 70’s. He
received a US Naval Officer Commission, OCS, Newport Rhode Island in 1969.
Lindhjem retired from Norfolk Academy in 2013 after 37 years as a teacher and wrestling coach. He also coached wrestling at Bayside High School and Princess Anne Junior High. David and wife Mary, a former ODU swimmer and diver live in Hardy, VA., and are the parents of two children, Luke and Leif. He graduated from Old Dominion with a degree in Geology in 1969 and later earned a master’s of educational administration in 1980.
Izak van der Merwe is ODU’s first two-time ITA Collegiate Tennis All-American and the only Monarch to reach the national semifinals in the NCAA, All-American and & Indoor national championships. He advanced to the NCAA national semifinals in singles during the 2005 season as well as the 2005 ITA National Indoor Championships. Ranked as high as 24th nationally, van der Merwe, compiled a 27-12 singles record and finished his ODU career with a 100-39 mark, second best in school history. In 2004, he teamed with Zoltan Csanadi to advance to the NCAA doubles national championship semifinals, as well as the finals of the ITA National Indoor Championships and the semifinals of the ITA All-American Championships. He compiled a 92-45 career doubles record. Van der Merwe was named to the CAA’s Silver Anniversary squad for men’s tennis. In June 2008, van der Merwe qualified for the 2008 Wimbledon main draw, beating World No. 177 Miguel Angel Lopez Jaen, World No. 126 Kristian Pless, and World No. 246 Frederic Niemeyer . He would also qualify for the Australian (2012) and French Opens (2011). In 2011, van der Merwe ranked as high as 94th in the world. A native of South Africa, Izak now lives in Dallas, TX where he is working towards an MBA at the University of Texas in Dallas. He graduated from ODU with a degree in finance.
Alex Loughton came to ODU from Australia and led the Monarchs to the 2005 CAA title and the 2006 NIT national semifinals. The 6-10 Loughton scored 1,646 career points and hauled down 952 career rebounds. He was named the 2005 CAA Player of the Year and tournament MVP and honorable mention All-American. A three-time All-CAA and NABC All-District selection, Alex also got it done academically, earning third team CoSIDA Academic All-American honors in 2006 and was named twice an Athletic Director’s Association Scholar All-American in 2005 and 2006. Alex was the CAA’s Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2005 and was a three-time league All-Academic selection.
In October 2009, Loughton was named to the Colonial Athletic Association Silver Anniversary team for his career at Old Dominion. He was also selected to Collegeinsider.com Mid Major All-Decade team. Alex graduated with a degree in marketing. He is currently playing professionally in Australia for Cairns Taipans of the National Basketball League. Alex, the 2005 ODU Alumni Association’s Male Athlete of the Year and his wife Michelle have three children Liam, Georgia and Ivey.