Five Monarch Alumni To Compete In Olympic Games
Aug. 11, 2004
NORFOLK, VA--Five former Old Dominion University standout athletes will be competing in the upcoming Olympic games in Athens, Greece. They are Oliver Purnell ('75), Anne Donovan ('83), Marina DiGiacomo ('01), Macha van der Vaart ('91), and Charlie Ogletree ('89) along with current assistant swimming coach Jacqueline Yost Bak. Oliver Purnell is an assistant coach with the USA Men's Basketball team. He captained ODU's men's basketball team that won the 1975 NCAA Division II National Championship. Purnell later became the Monarchs head coach from 1991-94 taking ODU to an NCAA tournament and two NIT's, as the Monarchs compiled a 57-33 record. He is ODU's eighth all-time assist leader with 476, and 31st all-time scorer with 1090. Purnell is currently head coach at Clemson. Anne Donovan is an assistant coach with the USA Women's Basketball team. Donovan played for ODU from 1979-83 and remains the school's leader in career scoring (2,719), rebounding (1,976) and blocked shots (801). During her four years at ODU, the Lady Monarchs compiled a 116-20 record, winning the 1980 AIAW national championship, taking third in 1981 and reaching the NCAA Final Four in 1983. She was named the 1983 Naismith Player of the Year. A former assistant at her alma mater, Donovan is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, CoSIDA Academic All-American Hall of Fame, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Donovan, who also was a member of three U.S. Women's Basketball Olympic teams as a player is currently the head coach of the WNBA Seattle Storm. Charlie Ogletree sailed for ODU from 1986-89. He will team with John Lovell for their third straight Olympiad for team USA in the Tornado class. The duo finished eighth in 1996, and seventh in 2000. Ogletree earned All-American honors at ODU in 1989 as he helped lead the Monarchs to fifth at the ICSA Team Race National Championships. He now lives in Houston, TX. Marina DiGiacomo was a two-time National Field Hockey All-American and 2000 Honda Award winner at ODU. She helped lead the Lady Monarchs to the 1998 and 2000 NCAA National Championship. The four-time CAA Player of the Year led the nation with 151 points, 63 goals and a 2.4 goals per game mark in 2000. She is the NCAA's all-time scorer with 167 goals, 80 assists, for 414 total points. She is a member of Argentina's Olympic field hockey team. Macha van der Vaart played for the Lady Monarchs in 1990 scoring 32 goals with five assists. She helped lead ODU to a 23-2-1 record and was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament squad as she scored four of the Lady Monarchs five goals in the National Championship won over North Carolina. She is a member of the Netherlands Olympic field hockey team. Jackie Yost Bak (Penn.'92) will be working with the U.S. Olympic swimming team. She has also served as a staff member at the 2003 World Championships in Barcelona Spain and the 2002 World Championships in Moscow, Russia. Bak is in her second year as ODU's assistant men's and women's swimming coach.