After graduation, Deerfield remains a large part of many alumni’s lives. Alumni play an important role in the Deerfield community, and some shape the realm of Deerfield athletics.
Mike Trombley ’86, who pitched in the major leagues after attending Deerfield and Duke University, has volunteered to help college advisor and coach Steven August in coaching the boys varsity baseball team this season. Jared Pantalony ’18 describes Trombley as “someone I can look up to knowing how successful he was as a pitcher at Deerfield, in college, and later in the major leagues. He also gives good advice about pitching that has really helped me and has definitely made me a better pitcher.”
Alumni achievements have proved inspirational for current Deerfield athletes. Girls varsity lacrosse coach Allison DiNardo said via email, “We love to follow our alumni’s collegiate careers and report their successes back to the team.” As athletes hear the stories of alumni successes, they feel inspired and gain a more profound appreciation for their predecessors. Specifically, the collegiate success of Elliot Gilbert ’16 at Washington and Lee University has been inspirational to the current girls varsity lacrosse goalies Maggie Tydings ’20 and Liv Mikesell ’20. As a freshman, Gilbert has started in 16 games for the Generals, ranks second in the nation with a 3.92 goals-against average and is 2nd in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in save percentage (.505). Tydings said, “[Gilbert] played a key role in my [decision to attend Deerfield]…she is a great role model to have in the sport, and my position specifically, because I know that with hard work and dedication, you can succeed.”
Mr. Drew Philie ’09 represents the impact athletically talented alumni can have on teams. After graduating in 2009 as a tri-varsity athlete at Deerfield and playing lacrosse for the University of Vermont, Mr. Philie returned to campus and currently coaches the football, hockey, and lacrosse teams. He has passed down wisdom on all three sports based off of his own experiences at DA. Ollie Hollo ’18 said, “One of the things Coach Philie always says to us in both football and lacrosse is: ‘It’s not what’s on the back of the jersey, it’s the name on the front that matters. Don’t play for yourselves but play for DA.’ Knowing that he also played for Deerfield makes that statement much more powerful.” Mr. Philie was recently named to the UVM Lacrosse 40th Anniversary Team as a result of his great accomplishments as the captain of UVM’s lacrosse team. Mr. Philie was a four-year starter and three-year captain at UVM, and during his college career, he scored a point in all but one game, ending with 176 points.
As Deerfield alumni have continued to find success in their collegiate careers and beyond they also continue to return to Deerfield in hopes of inspiring and mentoring current athletes through.