DePauw's national championship women's basketball team is headed to Washington, D.C., where the student-athletes, their coach, Kris Huffman, and other DePauw athletic administrators will attend a ceremony at the White House today. Also on hand will be the Indiana Fever, who will be honored for winning the WNBA championship. Members of the group began arriving in the nation's capital yesterday afternoon.
President Barack Obama is expected to attend the 2:45 p.m event in the East Room, which will be webcast here.
The Tigers were a perfect 34-0 this season and Huffman won three national "Coach of the Year" awards. DePauw, which also took the national title in 2007, sealed the historic season on March 16 with a 69-51 victory over Wisconsin-Whitewater in the NCAA Division III national championship game, becoming the only team in Division III women's basketball history to win 34 games in a season.
DePauw is the third NCAC program to be recognized in Washington. A contingent of Kenyon All-America swimmers met President George H.W. Bush at the White House in May 1989. Earlier that spring the Kenyon Lords had won their 10th straight national championship in men's swimming, a feat that had never before been accomplished by any team in any sport or NCAA division. Kenyon's women's swimmers had claimed their then sixth consecutive national crown. Seven NCAC swim teams finished in the top 20 at the 1989 national meet.
And in April 1988, Ohio Wesleyan's men's basketball team met President Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office, a first for a Division III team in any sport. The Battling Bishops had claimed the NCAA Division III championship in March of that year with a 92-70 win over Scranton in the Tournament final.