Tiffany Whitton Gould '03
Softball | Class of 2018
Harvard Athletic Achievements
All-Northeast Region first team (2002) … ECAC All-Star Team honorable mention (2003) … Ivy League Player of the Year (2002) … 4-time All-Ivy League first team (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003) … 3-time recipient of Harvard’s Best Offensive Player award (2000, 2001, 2002) … Mary G. Paget Prize recipient (2003) … 2-time Ivy League Champion (2000, 2001) … Ranks among Harvard’s career leaders for batting average (.402, 2nd), slugging percentage (.677, 2nd), on-base percentage (.449, 5th), runs scored (92, 8th), hits (189, 4th), doubles (43, 2nd), home runs (28, 2nd), RBI (106, 5th), and total bases (318, 4th) … 4-year letterwinner … 2-time captain (2002, 2003).
Remembering Harvard Athletics
My Harvard journey began in the winter of 1999 when I stayed with Sarah Koppel on my recruiting trip. A fellow Southern Californian who also grew up spending every weekend playing travel ball, Sarah and I were instant friends and stayed up half the night talking about a random assortment of things. Almost twenty years later, I’m proud to say that Sarah and I are still close friends.
During my four years at Harvard, I was fortunate to play with an amazing group of talented women (two are fellow Hall of Fame inductees) who captured two Ivy League titles and an ECAC championship. Every year, we had epic battles with Princeton and Cornell. I think one game with Princeton lasted 12 innings. We even played Oklahoma, the eventual NCAA Softball National Champion, during Regionals (we won’t talk about the score).
In addition to great games, I took away a few lessons that I’ve used during my post Harvard days to include:
Make the best out of what you have. Every winter and early spring, we practiced on concrete because our field was covered in snow.
End hard work with some fun. On numerous occasions, Coach Allard ended practices with a friendly competition of homerun derby between the classes.
Be prepared at all times. At the airport, we had an elaborate process to handle our bags as they came off the baggage carousel. I credit this process for helping me with my first job as a consultant doing process mapping and identifying improvements.
Eat well. While we ate our fair share of Wendy’s, we were also fortunate to have many home cooked meals from team member’s families when we were on the road.
Ask for help when you need it. My team and coaches were always there for me from small things (rides from the field to the quad) to big things (Coach Allard adjusting my practice schedule so I could finish my senior thesis and keep my sanity).
Important moments are that much better when shared with friends. One of the moments that I treasure most from Harvard is when my teammates took me out for a celebratory dinner after I handed in my senior thesis.
While I’m flattered to receive recognition as an individual, I want to acknowledge and recognize the many others who should share in this recognition. Softball is a team sport – no one individual can win or lose a game since there are many pitches, at bats, plays, etc. And I was fortunate that many others beyond my team and coaches helped me along the way – before, during, and after Harvard.
It all started with my parents who signed me up for “Bobby Sox” softball when I was six years old. From “Bobby Sox” to travel ball to high school, I think one of you attended every game that I played. For almost a decade, you sacrificed multiple weeknights and almost every weekend to drive me to practices or games. You worked family vacations around softball tournaments. Words can never express how much I truly appreciate everything you did and continue to do for my family and I. Your tireless dedication, care, and support were instrumental in all my success on and off the field. My boys are lucky that I had such amazing role models to teach me what it means to nurture your kids so they achieve unimaginable feats.
I want to thank my relatives and family friends who were always willing to buy whatever item (raffle tickets, poinsettias, etc.) I was selling to fund my trips, uniforms, or equipment. I want to thank my husband for everything from helping me work through job/career stuff to joining slo-pitch teams. At the top of the list is giving and helping me raise two lively boys that I hope continue the tradition of playing sports or some other hobby where they can push themselves to new levels.
I want to thank my teammates who pushed me during lifting, practices, and games; made me laugh; made up cheers for me; and even braided my hair. I want to thank my roommates and friends for trekking across the river to watch my games; staying late at the dining hall so I didn’t eat alone; and inviting me to your homes for holidays or meals. You all contributed to helping me feel like I belonged in the vast Harvard world.
I want to thank my coaches for their patience and understanding as I learned how to be a “grown up” college student-athlete. Also, I want to thank our trainers for helping me recover from numerous injuries and never judging me for trying to do things a little sooner than I should.
Finally, I would like to thank the Harvard Varsity Club for this honor. It’s a privilege to be included in a group of such decorated athletes. I’m grateful that I was given the opportunity to be a student-athlete at Harvard where I could pursue excellence in both academics and athletics.
-- Your Team for Life --