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Executive Summary

The last five years of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) athletics has arguably been the most successful in the history of the department on many fronts; a higher student-athlete graduation rate, an improved departmental cumulative GPA, more National Championships, All-American selections, and All-Academic National team members.

There is much to be proud of, but little room for complacency. Whatever successes we have experienced; we can never assume we have reached excellence. Our competitors will never rest; the landscape of intercollegiate athletics is constantly growing, and we must carry on being adaptable enough to face change.

As we look forward to maintaining what has been successful while always being open to ways to enhance that success. With institutional values that we will never alter or abandon, we have to rapidly evolve our athletic industry. The balance we must strike is to maintain our culture of success on the field, track, court, and in the stables, while clinging steadfastly to our core principles: Dedication to the Student-Athletes, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, and Excellence.

Athletics integrates with the academic experience by providing student-athletes the opportunity to succeed at the most elevated level in academics and United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) intercollegiate competition. Cultivates committed collaborators and leaders of consequence who distinguish themselves during their college experience and flourish in the world following graduation. Develops a more engaging campus experience for the unified community, inspiring a shared allegiance and a lifelong commitment to the College. Connects the College’s generations and extended community by building spirit, enthusiasm, and pride in athletic successes. Brings positive visibility to the College by highlighting the academic and athletic values of the institution.

Mission Statement

SMWC Athletics encourages student-athletes to develop their skills and themselves to maximize potential and benefit from the experiences of perseverance, competition, sacrifice, and teamwork. Athletics is an integral complement to the principal mission of the College, and our department strives to provide equitable athletic experiences. In addition, intramural and recreational opportunities support the academic excellence, wellbeing, and holistic education of every student. Our goal is to use intercollegiate athletic competition as a vehicle to cultivate leaders who will affect change in their ventures beyond SMWC. Athletics equally contributes to the college through athletic and academic achievement, generate visibility, promotes institutional pride, enhances campus life, and serves as a connection with alumni and fans.

Guiding Principles

Dedication to the Student-Athletes

We will promote the well-being of student-athletes and provide opportunities for academic, athletic, and personal success. We will foster academic excellence, graduate student-athletes, support their development as citizens, and prepare them to be leaders.


We will demonstrate integrity in all areas. We are dedicated to financial stability, rules compliance, diversity, and personal accountability.


We are gracious competitors win, lose, or draw. We will conduct ourselves with dignity and show compassion to our opposition. We have high regard for truth and will manage our decisions in ethical ways.


We will celebrate a climate of mutual respect, inclusiveness, and loyalty by recognizing contributions to our teams, our department, and the institution.


We believe in a spirit of comprehensive excellence. We will strive for excellence in all we do.

This is SMWC Athletics

SMWC sponsors 14 intercollegiate athletic programs and is a member of the USCAA. The equestrian program is a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).

The Pomeroys first scholarship athletic program began in 1994 with women’s basketball. One year later, softball was added to the list and became the department's second sport. Equestrian was incepted at the College before the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics took form.

In 2001, SMWC transitioned from the National Small College Athletic Association (NSCAA) to the USCAA. This was a key component in the department's growth in athletics.

In 2000, women’s soccer entered the fold, the Institution did not add another scholarship sport until equestrian and women’s golf in 2008. In the following year, women’s cross country joined the mix. During 2015, the institution made history and announced it would become coeducational.

Since 2015, one sport has been added each year beginning with volleyball in 2015, men’s golf in 2016, men’s cross country in 2017, and men’s soccer in 2018. For the 2019-20 calendar year, SMWC has added men’s and women’s track & field.

The latest news was announced by the Department on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, as it adds men's basketball in 2021-22.

Deanna Bradley serves as the athletic director and leader of the athletic department. She fulfilled this role since her arrival at The Woods in 1991.

As SMWC enters its 27th season of intercollegiate athletic scholarship competition, the Pomeroys have established a great deal of success. The department holds 17 USCAA National Championships, 13 USCAA National Runners-Up finishes, 279 USCAA National All-Academic team members, 117 USCAA All-American selections, six USCAA Individual National Champions, four USCAA Coach of the Year recipients, four USCAA Player of the Year awards, two USCAA Student-Athletes of the Year winners, one USCAA Hall of Fame inductee, and two Director's Cup Championship.

Our Preamble

SMWC teams and student-athletes are referred to as the "Pomeroys". The name was dedicated in memory Sister Mary Joseph Pomeroy; alumnae and faculty member. She served as a Sister of Providence, a leading advocate of athletics, and health/fitness. “Pomeroy” about the competitive spirit of athletic excellence and sportsmanship.

Sister Pomeroy was a member of the women’s basketball team and played in the first recorded intercollegiate basketball game at SMWC. The Woods defeated Indiana Normal College for its first athletic victory in 1920. She was noted by the Indianapolis media as being a “stellar player.”

"#PomeroyPr1de" is a theme that has been embodied by SMWC athletics since its inception. From great team performances to outstanding individual achievements. Pomeroy student-athletes have succeeded at the highest level of college athletic competition. Whether in the classroom or in their chosen career after graduation. The dedication and innovation of past SMWC student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and supporters have contributed to building a great tradition from which present Pomeroys are now benefiting from. 

Department History

In SMWC’s early stages, the physical education director oversaw athletics until Mary Hums was named athletic director in the 1980s.

Jane Middleton | 1916

Helen Dawalter | 1917

Helen Stewart | 1918-20

Marguerite Holzbauer | 1921-22

Helen Miller | 1923

Ethel Scofield | 1924-25

Euphrasia Donnelly | 1926-29

Rose Eresch | 1929

Katherine Maher | 1930-31

Margaret Fitzsimmons | 1932-34

Agnes Carlin | 1935-38

Dorothy Courtney | 1939-41

Mary Kathryn Young | 1942-1945

Betty Farians | 1946

Barbara Duffy | 1947

Thelma Basham | 1948-51

Mary Kathryn Young | 1952-59

Patricia Rooney | 1960

Sharon Izor | 1964-66

Marianne Pries | 1967

Mary Meyer | 1968

Vikki Sordean | Early 70’s

Julie Cox | Mid 70’s

Darlene Gordon | Late 70’s and early 80’s

Mary Hums | 1984-89

Jan Blade | 1987-91

Deanna Bradley | 1991-Current