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Two of Athletics’ Biggest Supporters Create Gifts for Athletic Training

helped dig the dugouts for the softball and maybe the baseball field. He knew all the coaches, and they all knew him.

Q: How many Winthrop games do you think you’ve attended?

Z: Oh, gracious. That’s hard to say, because how long have they been playing? Since ’85, something like that. We went to all the home games, and Joe went to away games more than I did.

N: Basketball or all sports? Because if it’s all sports, this year it’s probably every home game we’ve had. I would say close to 130. She’s definitely got me beat.

Z: Well, I’ve been here longer. (laughter)

Q: Do you have any special game rituals? Or something you yell the most?

Z: In the last three minutes of the game, you’ve got to stand up and cheer. I’ve had people move from sitting behind me. I’m not moving. I’m a tree. I grew there. I tell them standing makes a difference!

N: Probably something I shouldn’t say! (laughter) Q: Where’s the best place to sit in the Coliseum?

Z: Section 123, Row L. It’s actually halfway up behind the railing; it’s where Joe wanted to sit. There’s a method to his madness!

N: One of two places. If we’re winning, I’m going to be in the student section, about three rows up, close enough to heckle the other team, but far enough that the refs can’t figure out who it is. If I feel we need some energy, some livelihood, I’m going to be near the bench.

Z: I feel like I’ve played the game after some of them are over!

Q: What has been your favorite game experience, a game that was so exciting you’ll always remember it?

Z: One that’s not a happy memory is from a (NCAA) tournament game against Tennessee. At the last second, Tennessee got the shot, and Winthrop lost the game. I never saw anybody do that—it was just seconds! And I love to beat Liberty any time.


Joe and Zeta ’57 Sistare shared a passion for Winthrop sports. Because of that mutual love, the couple, who met on a blind date at Winthrop, established the Joe and Zeta Sistare Athletic Training Fund and the Joe and Zeta Sistare Athletic Training Endowment.

“We chose to establish the scholarships for the training of all the athletes involved in their individual sports. By making our gift to the athletic training center all student-athletes will benefit from it,” said Zeta.

Even after Joe’s 2012 death, the family continues to support Winthrop sports.

Joe and Zeta Sistare

Jeff Lahr, assistant athletic director for athletic training, said the gifts have been used to purchase rehabilitation equipment that will help the staff take care of the health needs of student-athletes.

N: I have two. The first was my freshman year, and that’s because during a half-time promotion, they had me dressed in a sumo suit. We played Campbell for the championship, and I just remember we were up by a good amount. I remember storming out with all the students to celebrate in the middle of the court.… That’s a big-time feeling.

The game that we played against Liberty here in conference play, it was intense the whole game. I remember at the last second they passed it to Bjorn (Broman) and it’s perfect all down the line until it hits the rim. That was a heartbreaker. I feel like that shot took forever to fall. But that’s how it is sometimes.

Q: Do you consider yourself Winthrop’s No. 1 fan? Z: Well, I kind of know that is a fact.

N: I definitely do. Sometimes when people ask me how much I love Winthrop, I say, ’If Winthrop was a girl, we would have been high-school sweethearts.’ I love everything from the academics to the athletics to the opportunity that you get as a student here to experience leadership, service, and just being around the people here is so amazing.


The women’s tennis team earned its first victory in the NCAA Tournament with a 4-3 win over No. 20 Auburn in the first round. The team lost in the next round to No. 4 ranked Georgia Tech and finished with a 20-6 record overall. The Eagles, who finished the regular season undefeated in Big South play with a perfect 8-0 league record, hosted and won the Big South championship with a hard fought victory over Liberty.

Megan Kauffman and Lauren Proctor, the doubles team that was ranked 23rd nationally, advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Doubles Championship where the juniors experienced their first loss of the season. The duo, which earned All-American status, finished the season with a remarkable 24-1 record.

Proctor also qualified for the singles competition but lost in the first round. The Bradenton, Florida, resident, who was ranked as high as 14th in the nation, was named the Big South Women’s Player of the Year for the third-consecutive time, and Head Coach Cid Carvalho ’81, ’89, took Coach of the Year honors for the 10th time in his career.

From top, clockwise: The team celebrates the program’s first NCAA Tournament win; doubles team Proctor, left, and Kauffman were happy to see their names on the Doubles Championship bracket; the team captured the program’s 20th Big South Championship.


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