Alexander W. Deegan ’95
The starting goalkeeper for Davidson’s Final Four squad in 1992, Deegan pulled off some of the greatest saves the Wildcats have ever seen under intense pressure. After helping the Wildcats to a 13-4-3 regular-season record that year, the Westport, Conn., native earned All-SoCon Tournament honors by allowing just two goals in the three Davidson victories for the conference title. But it was his stellar play in the NCAA Tournament that wowed the crowds. Twice he outdueled the opposing goalkeeper in penalty-kicks, including an unbelievable diving stop to end the game against Coastal Carolina at Richardson Stadium. After a shutout victory at N.C. State, the Wildcats advanced to the national semifinals, hosted by Davidson. Deegan’s four-year career is just as impressive, with the most recorded saves (277) in the program’s history, second-best goals against average (1.30) and the most shutouts (tied at 20), despite missing most of his junior season with an injury. He was a second-team all-conference performer in 1992 and first team in 1995 — along with All-South Region honors — plus was named all-tournament both years (and MVP as a senior) as Davidson won tournament titles.
R. Stephen Heckard ’65
A three-year letterwinner in football, Heckard was a wide receiver for the Wildcats in his sophomore and junior years, catching a total of 43 passes for 695 yards, leading the team in both categories each year. In his sophomore season, he amassed a then-school-record 519 receiving yards and caught the longest pass (89 yards) in school history. The Winston-Salem, N.C., native switched to quarterback in his senior season, completing 63-of-126 passes (50 percent) for 650 yards with three TDs and just two interceptions. He was also a captain and the team’s top punter his senior year, plus earned Academic All-SoCon and SoCon Player of the Week honors once. Heckard also played baseball for two years, hitting .284 as a junior. Heckard went on to play professional football for the L.A. Rams from 1965-67, catching six passes for 106 yards, and served as the Executive Director of the Wildcat Club from 1970-72.
W. Rodney Knowles ’68
Knowles earned three letters in men’s basketball for the Wildcats. The Greenville, N.C., native ranks fifth in career rebounding (804), 16th in scoring (1,344 points) and ninth in scoring average (16.0 ppg) at Davidson. He earned first-team All-SoCon honors in 1967 and was named all-tournament in 1966 and 1967. Knowles posted a 51.5 career field goal percentage and hit 75.4 percent of his free throws. He helped lead Davidson to two of its nine NCAA Tournament appearances in 1966 and 1968. The 1968 squad, which finished with a 24-5 record and a No. 8 national ranking (AP Poll), came within a game from advancing to the Final Four after a 70-66 setback to North Carolina. The 1966 squad finished the year ranked 18th in the country (UPI Poll) after advancing to the NCAA Tourney regional semifinals.
Claudia D. Lombard ’96
As a freshman, Lombard scored six goals and led the team with nine assists as the squad went 10-8-1. The following year she was named the team MVP and earned a spot on the All-South Region Division I Team as she led the team with 14 goals and chipped in nine assists again. Women’s soccer became a Southern Conference sport in 1994, and Lombard continued to shine as she was voted the SoCon Player of the Year as a junior. She was second in the conference with 11 goals and 28 points, plus led Davidson to the first SoCon Tournament title. Lombard carried the ’Cats to the SoCon title again as a senior, earning tournament MVP honors to go along with being named to the all-conference first team with eight goals and nine assists. Ten years after finishing her career, she remains atop the career scoring lists in goals (39), assists (33) and points (111).
Carolyn Kirsch Rumpel ’97
Davidson’s only women’s basketball player to be named SoCon Player of the Year (1997), Kirsch is the school’s all-time leader in rebounding (878) and ranks third in scoring (1,370 points). The native of Heidelberg, Germany, earned first-team All-SoCon honors in 1997 and was named second-team all-league in 1996. She was named to the conference’s academic honor roll twice and was a two-time winner of the Wildcat Award, given to the team’s most valuable player. Kirsch led the ‘Cats to a 29-23 overall record and two top-5 SoCon finishes in her final two seasons.