Taney Returns Home Following Successful Trip to Greece

Taney Returns Home Following Successful Trip to Greece

BROOKLINE, Mass. - Women's Basketball Head Coach Marc Taney is headed to Greece to discuss the opportunity with locals about attending Hellenic College and the ability to participate in NCAA Division III sports at Newbury College. Due to the consortium between Newbury College and Hellenic College approved by the NCAA last December, students committed to attending Hellenic College may participate in sports programs at Newbury.

Day Eight: Coach Taney Returns Home from Greece

Hello all! 

 
Travel day today, so not much to report. Left the hotel at 10:00 a.m. to catch our 12:55 p.m. flight to Munich. The flight was eventually delayed 10 minutes, so we arrived in Munich with only 40 minutes to catch our connecting flight to Boston. We tried to quickly navigate our way through two security/passport checks, through two terminals, so we wouldn't miss that flight! Got to the gate...only to find our flight was delayed an hour. As we waited, we noticed the captain come to the gate (NEVER a good sign when the captain of the plane grabs the microphone). Yup!...sure enough...another delay. Fortunately an hour later (2:15 minute delay) we boarded...thank goodness.
 
The main purpose of this final update is to thank all the people that made this incredible, inaugural trip possible. First and foremost Vanessa Constantinidis, thank you for being a great host and preparing all the details, I think we made some great headway together. Secondly, the administrations from both schools; HCHC's President Fr. Christopher Metropulos and CFO Kevin Derrivan, Newbury's President Joseph Chillo, Vice President Paul Martin and AD Jonathan Harper. Finally, ALL the people in Greece that welcomed us to their country and their schools....thank you so much.
 
Thank you to everyone who followed! This relationship between HCHC and Newbury College is unique and has a great future...I look forward to seeing what's in store.

 

Day Seven: Meeting Prospective Students in Athens

The final day of visits...

Good morning all! Back in Athens today visiting Pierce High School and Athens Community School (ACS). 
 
Our day started again with breakfast in the shadow of The Acropolis at Hotel 360 Degrees. Afterward, we were taken by taxi to Pierce High School, where Ellen Froustis (International College Counselor) was ready with her group. Pierce was founded in 1875 in Turkey as a school for girls, moved to Greece in 1923 where it remained an all-girls school until 1984 when Greek law changed the mandate and would no longer allow single-sex education.
 
From there we taxied to ACS and met with Athletic Director, Annie Constantinides. Annie attended ACS, studied abroad at McGill University in Toronto where she earned her bachelor's and master's degree, as well as well as master's degrees from Louisville and the University of Indianapolis. Annie has GREAT ties to the basketball community in America and the world. She introduced us to Danai Papaioannou and Stelios Kalogridakis (whose brother graduated from Hellenic College Holy Cross!!). Danai and Stelios oversee the International College Counseling of students who wish to study abroad. Phenomenal contacts made here today at ACS...definitely looking forward to the future working with this group.
 
Well....that about does it for our barnstorming tour of high schools in Greece! Time for a nice dinner and some packing to prepare for our entire day of travel tomorrow. Hopefully, I can find my car in C Lot!!
 
I will give a final story tomorrow!!

 

Day Six: Three More Stops for Taney in Greece

Three Stops Tuesday! Mandoulides Lyceum, Aristotelio College High School, and American Farm School

First stop, Mandoulides Lyceum at 10:00 a.m. to meet with Elizabeth Michalakopoulou. Elizabeth set up a meeting with 23 prospective students several of whom were prospective student-athletes. The group was attentive and very interactive...great way to start the day!
 
Next stop, Aristotelio College High School, a truly, family-style run, private school, founded by two brothers over 50 years ago. Upon arriving we were greeted by Dimitris Grozoudis, Managing Director, who immediately made us feel welcome. We presented to over 30 students and were able to speak with about 6 prospective student-athletes.
 
After the presentation, we went on a tour of the primary school, where we (I) learned that Dimitris and his cousin (who manages the primary school) BOTH graduated from Hellenic College!! Such a small world...  It turns out Dimitris and a group of 19 students will be departing Thursday for a school tour in Boston! Their tour includes a stop at Hellenic College AND a quick tour of Newbury College! We recommended everyone bring winter jackets...see you in snowy Boston ACHS!
 
Last stop of the day, and we could have stayed for days, was the American Farm School. Founded in 1904 by American Educator Dr. John Henry House and his wife who was dedicated to educating the whole individual, focusing on "The Head, The Hands, The Heart". To this day the school operates under the same premise. Students are required to be active not only in the classroom but in clubs and actively working the expansive farm that separates this school from so many.
 
Charlotte Bailey, College Counselor, graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2016 and came to AFS as a Secondary Student Life Fellow (what an amazing experience she has had!!). This school not only teaches the standard curriculum that most schools do, it also teaches students to work dairy farms, chicken farms, greenhouses and many types of agriculture, wine making, beer brewing and how to operate a snail farm (yes...a snail farm!). Charlotte arranged for us to meet with over 20 students to describe the Hellenic College experience and what studying in Boston would be like....thank you Charlotte!
 
I could go on for hours about all three of these schools and the phenomenal people met along the way, BUT we have to catch a flight back to Athens!
 
Tune in tomorrow for Pierce High School and  Annie Constantinides from Athens Community School!!

 

Day Five: Meetings with Prospective Students

Early morning start today, met the cab at 7:30 a.m. to take us to our first High School. We arrived at De La Salle College at approximately 8:15 and were immediately greeted by a student from Ohio State University. It was her first day of her student teaching, teaching English as a Second Language, here at De La Salle. Before we knew it, we were whisked away to a lecture hall and greeted by 20 students, ready to hear about Hellenic College and the opportunities to study abroad. In the group were three men's soccer prospects, one men's volleyball and one women's volleyball. Exciting to meet some potential future student-athletes!
 
From there we were taken to Anatolia College, a K-12 private school with direct ties to the American College of Thessaloniki...ACT (so direct in fact they are connected by a bridge!). Two beautiful campuses with strong ties to the United States with many, many of their students studying abroad.
 
We toured the campuses and sat with Heather Funk Theodoridi (Director of International Programs at ACT) to discuss exchange programs and options for students studying abroad. Then, we enjoyed lunch with Arian Kotsi (Director of U.S. College Counseling) and Georgia Proestopoulos, and had a great conversation about 10-day immersion possibilities and athletic camp options for athletes interested in playing/studying in the U.S. We presented to the prospective students and headed back downtown.
 
As we pulled into our hotel, our driver mentions he was heading to see his favorite soccer team play and he could see my excitement. He invited me to go with him! How could I say no? So our driver, Saki, and I headed to see Aris FC play Ergotolis FC. The game was okay...Aris won 3-0. The spectators were the SHOW! Football (soccer) fanatics beat their drums and chanted the entire match...unbelievable show.
 
Heading to three schools Tuesday...then back to Athens Tuesday night....gonna be a long one. Stay tuned!

 

Days Three and Four: Taney Arrives in Thessaloniki

Spent most of Saturday traveling from Athens to Thessaloniki (Founded in 315 AD, it is Greece's second largest city at a population of over 1 million people). Arrived at the Colors Hotel around 2:00 p.m., dropped off the bags and went for a walk around the port. Found a nice Irish bar, Dubliners, for dinner. Enjoyed a steak and called it a night....soooo tired.

Sunday started with brunch and a walk around Thessaloniki. We saw some Greek Orthodox churches as old as 1,000 years, open-air grocery store, and a marching protest. That's right...a marching protest calling for the removal of the leader of a professional football club! There were chants, huge flags being waived, and flare style torches. Clearly, people are VERY serious about their professional teams here.

We met up with Vanessa's friend Christina for the rest of our walk and we headed to the port for a walk along the water. Christina recommended we take a short cruise on the water for a coffee and a view of the city from the water. The hour-long cruise was free...that's right free....and was quite relaxing.



Later Sunday evening we met up with counselors for dinner from two schools that we will be presenting to Monday and Tuesday. Georgia (from Anatolia High School) and Charlotte (from The American Farm School) treated us to a wonderful dinner consisting traditional Greek foods including grilled calamari and fresh grilled sardines! The conversation was phenomenal. Both Georgia and Charlotte had great ties to America, Georgia moved back to Greece in 1994 from Middletown NY and Charlotte played DIII women's soccer!! Both women were extremely excited to meet us and cannot wait for us to meet their prospective student-athletes. Going to be a great couple days in Thessaloniki!!

 

Day Two: Taney Travels Through Greece

Vanessa and I spent most of the day sightseeing and prepping for our evening meeting with Maria Bougiesi, MSc PhD.
 
We started with a traditional Greek breakfast at the hotel looking up the entire time at The Acropolis. Breakfast was quite similar to breakfast in the States....pastries, donuts, cereals etc. BUT there were also crepes with Nutella (very popular) and bananas, mini Mediterranean style pizzas, and of course several types of cheeses.
 
Following breakfast, I was on my own for a walk around town. Friday morning...and the streets were already full. People performing in the squares, tourists from all over the world checking out the rich historical sights, flea markets open and ready for business. I was able to grab a cup of tea (shocks no one...I know), BUT it was at Starbucks! No Dunkin' here!! I walked around several sites of ruins; The Tower of the Winds (built around 50 BC! - pictured first), The Roman Agora, Library of Hadrian (132-134 AD - pictured second).
 
 
Around 2:00 p.m., we headed to The Acropolis, a short 15-minute walk up the hill and we were there. Once inside the gates, one can't help to not be taken away by the impressive size and pure historical significance of the ground we were walking on. It is truly hard to put words to the feelings of being on the grounds of the gods. I've included just some of the pictures...needless to say, I took plenty.
 
After touring the site for 3 hours, we headed to our meeting with Maria. We met up outside the hotel and found a bistro a couple blocks away to sit down and chat. We discovered Maria held multiple degrees including a Master's in Sport Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Exercise-Dance, Emotional Intelligence, and Mental Health. She has many contacts in the world of physical education and is excited to share the story of our consortium. Maria will be presenting her studies at Harvard this summer and plans to come see Hellenic College on her trip!
 
Friday over....travel to Thessaloniki Saturday!

 

Day One: Taney Flies to Athens

Hello everyone and welcome to the story of our trip to Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece. I have been fortunate enough to team up with Vanessa Constantinidis, Associate Director of Admissions at Hellenic College Holy Cross, as we tour local high schools in search of the Hellenic College's first co-ed recruiting class of student-athletes.
 
We departed Boston at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. While everyone at home braved the New England weather, we were fortunate to depart on time in the rain (not snow!) en route to Frankfurt, Germany. Our 6 hour 22-minute flight on Lufthansa was excellent, three movies...a couple of meals with no sleep, and we were there. I immediately found an area with four open chairs, laid down and got some much needed sleep. Two hours later, I woke up only to learn that our flight had been delayed, one...then two hours...ugh! Eventually, we took off again with our new arrival time in Athens at 3:30 p.m. local time (yes that's 7:30 a.m. back home). By 4:30 we checked in at our hotel, Hotel 360 Degrees, and we both agreed it was nap time. 
 
FYI...it's called Hotel 360 Degrees, because of it's 360-degree view of the Acropolis (see the view from the hotel!!)
 
 
After a nap, it was time for a quick walk around tour of the streets of Athens (thank you Vanessa), and dinner. But!.... before we got to the restaurant we ran into a huge women's march celebrating March 8th, International Women's Day. There were thousands and thousands of women, and men, marching around Syntagma Square. The energy and feelings we quite impressive and moving.
 
We found an authentic Greek-style restaurant and began to order. After several suggestions from people back in the states (thank you sister), we ordered, xoriatiki salad (aka village salad), grilled octopus, chicken and lamb souvlaki. All very good....but the octopus was phenomenal. After dinner, we went directly across the road for gelato (look good??)...what a great way to end a busy travel day.
 
Next up Friday!....Tours of the Acropolis (can you believe some of these ruins were built more than 2,000 years ago??!!), and our first recruiting meeting!