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Wielgus Portrait Well Done

A painted portrait of former Dartmouth College women's basketball coach Chris Wielgus now hangs in the entryway to Leede Arena. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

A painted portrait of former Dartmouth College women's basketball coach Chris Wielgus now hangs in the entryway to Leede Arena. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

It’s no secret that there was unhappiness on both sides earlier this year when longtime Dartmouth College women’s basketball coach Chris Wielgus resigned. Neither the coach nor the athletic administration was thrilled with how it felt the other handled the situation, but there’s been a nice symbol of detente hung in the entryway to Leede Arena. Forgive my substandard photography in the image above.

Athletic director Harry Sheehy said the department asked Rick Bender, director of media relations, if he could find an artist to paint a portrait of Wielgus and it turns out he knew just the man. New Jersey artist Todd Doney had done similar portraits for Bender’s alma mater, Davidson (N.C.) College, when it inducted greats into the school’s athletic hall of fame.

You never quite know how a painted portrait will turn out. Will it really resemble the subject? Will there be details that make those who know him or her shake their heads? But I think this one is fantastic. It really captures Wielgus, now the director of operations for UMass women’s basketball, and hopefully one day she can return to view it after the hard feelings have blown over.

There’s a plaque detailing Wielgus’ accomplishments that hangs alongside the portrait.