The Gold Award recognizes individuals who have made a positive impact in Division II all the way from former student-athletes to administrators. The decision is based on each individual’s achievements in athletics, professional achievement, service and leadership regarding Division II.
Dr. George Mihalik earned a nomination after 44 years at SRU. He spent 28 years as the head coach of Slippery Rock football before retiring from coaching and teaching in January 2016. He was inducted into the SRU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.
Mihalik amassed eight PSAC West championships and six NCAA Division II playoff berths. By the end of his coaching tenure, he had received six PSAC West Coach of the Year awards, three American Football Coaches Association’s regional Coach of the Year honors, the 1991 Tri-State Intercollegiate Football Officials’ Association’s top coach award, and the 2012 Eastern Collegiate Football Officials Association’s sportsmanship award.
Mihalik’s academic career also played a role in the nomination. He is part of an elite group of collegiate coaches with a doctorate degree. Additionally, the former SRU quarterback and coach helped develop the successful safety management program at Slippery Rock.
Vivian Stringer is the other Slippery Rock nominee. Stringer was a part of the class of 1970, and she was inducted into the SRU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984.
While at The Rock, Stringer was a standout basketball and field hockey athlete. She went on to an impressive coaching career beginning at Cheyney State College where she was a head coach. The former Rock athlete then took on head coaching jobs at the University of Iowa and Rutgers University. She would become the first coach in NCAA history to lead three different women’s basketball teams to the Final Four.
Stringer herself was the coach of four NCAA Final Four teams as she made it once more with Rutgers.
She has the third most wins for women’s coaches in college basketball history and was the 1985 USA women’s team head coach.
Pam Miller was a PSAC nominee, but she was a student-athlete at Slippery Rock before graduating in 1979.
Her nomination comes from her lengthy and accomplished career as an official. She officiated women’s basketball, field hockey and women’s lacrosse for more than 30 years. Additionally, she worked multiple title games, elite-eights and tournaments. The alumna has worked in 30 consecutive PSAC women’s basketball tournaments.
The PSAC will vote to choose two nominees out of the 38 PSAC nominees to represent the conference for the award. Results of the PSAC vote will be announced by November 6.