June 13, 2008
BOSTON, MA - The University of Massachusetts Boston has announced its 2008 Athletic Hall of Fame class today, naming Robert A. Corrigan, Erle Garrett, Frank Legro, George MacKay, Nao Masamoto, Eddie Sullivan, Michele Williams and John Yeager along with the 1960 Boston State College baseball and the 1981-82 Boston State women's basketball teams, as its new inductees. The electees were voted in by a xx-member Hall of Fame committee in May and will be formally inducted at a ceremony on October 30, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. in the Campus Center ballroom on the campus of UMass Boston. For ticket information please contact David Marsters at 617-287-7815.
The Hall of Fame recognizes and honors former outstanding UMass Boston/Boston State College student-athletes, coaches, administrators and friends of the athletic program for their accomplishments and services to the Department of Athletics.
UMass Boston Athletics became a reality at the varsity level against NCAA competition in 1980-81 and Robert A. Corrigan was a driving force behind the dream of so many at the Harbor Campus to sponsor athletics at UMB. Dr. Corrigan served as UMass Boston's Chancellor and Professor of English from 1979 to 1988, before becoming the 12th President of San Francisco State University in September of 1988. He has been a champion of community service and civic engagement throughout his career, having established university-community partnerships at both UMass Boston and SFSU. In 1996, Dr. Corrigan was tapped by former President Bill Clinton to chair both the Steering Committee of college and university presidents for the "America Reads Challenge" and the National Steering Committee for the "America Counts" initiative. Dr. Corrigan also serves on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and has sat on various Mayor's Councils for the city of San Francisco. He is a member of the National Cancer Institute's Comprehensive Minority Biomedical Branch Task Force and the National Advisory Council for Campus Contact. Dr. Corrigan formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Jump Start program and is a founding member, past Chairman of the Board and Distinguished Fellow of the Association of Urban Universities. A biographer of poet Ezra Pound, he was also involved in the emergence of Ethnic Studies in the late 1960s. Dr. Corrigan has served as a provost at the University of Maryland, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri and faculty member Bryan Mawr College, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Iowa and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. He received his A.B. from Brown University and both his master's and doctoral degrees in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.
The National Football League's Minnesota Vikings selected Boston State College football player Erle Garrett in the 17th round, making him the first football player in the school's history to be drafted by a professional team. Garrett played four seasons for the Warriors, including his freshman campaign on the club team, seeing action as a fullback and tailback, before settling in at his primary position of defensive back. A 1974 graduate of Boston State, Garrett also played in 31 games over the 1971-72 and 1972-73 seasons for the Warriors' basketball team, helping them to a 40-11 (.784) record as a guard. Following his collegiate football career, he starred for six years in the Eastern Football League and was selected to the All-League squad at defensive back every season. Garrett's playing career eventually gave way to a successful coaching career that saw him mentor basketball and football players in Boston City High Schools as well as in South Boston and at Latin Academy. He also became the first African American golf coach at Latin Academy.
Frank Legro was one of the most productive and consistent scorers in Boston State College hockey history. The winger finished among the Warriors' top three single-season goal-scorers in each of his four seasons and finished his career with 72 tallies to rank second all-time at Boston State. Legro registered 30 or more points in every season he played to finish with 142 career points to place him second among the Warriors' all-time greats, while posting 70 assists to stand fifth on the career list in 107 career contests, which puts him third on the games played list. Legro was a co-captain in his senior campaign to cap a career that saw him play on the first line during his entire tenure as well as Boston State's top power play unit. A 1975 graduate, Legro helped the Warriors advance to the NAIA National Championship Tournament with an 18-11-2 mark as a junior, a record which included the second-highest win total in school history. The forward made an impact right away as the team's leading goal-scorer as a freshman and helped Boston State to a Codfish Bowl Championship with a 7-2 win over Merrimack College in 1971. Legro has already been enshrined into the Marblehead High School Athletic Hall of Fame and is presently the Director of Sales for the Narragansett Underwriting Group in Barrington, RI.
George MacKay was one of the first building blocks in Boston State College's string of successful basketball teams. The forward's career culminated in one of the school's most successful seasons in 1966-67 as the Warriors' became one of the first teams from Boston State to enjoy the national spotlight with its first appearance in the NAIA National Tournament. MacKay netted 21 points to lead the Warriors and was later named an All-Conference forward by the New England State College Athletic Conference. He began that final season as Boston State's captain and finished it as its Most Valuable Player after averaging a career-high 14.1 points to go with 7.6 rebounds per game to rank second on the team in both categories. He finished his career as the school's second all-time leading scorer and rebounder with 971 points and 637 rebounds in 91 games. The 1967 graduate also helped the Warriors to a school-best 23-5 record as a junior for a two-year record of 41-15 in his final two seasons. MacKay's athletic prowess wasn't limited to the basketball court, but was also on display with the outdoor track and field squad. He finished fourth at the 1967 New England Track and Field Championships as a javelin thrower competing against all divisions. Following his athletic playing career, MacKay became an educator and administrator in the Brockton public school system for 38 years. He was the Supervisor of the Teacher Mentoring program, a collaboration with the State Department of Education, Stonehill College and the Brockton public schools. He also spent time coaching the Brockton High School Freshman basketball team for 17 years, including a stint from 1998-2004 that saw his teams compile a 95-3 record. MacKay's charges were not just basketball players, but baseball, soccer and volleyball players also came under his direction at the junior high school level. He currently teaches and coaches at Cardinal Spellman High School.
When he first stepped onto the UMass Boston campus Nao Masamoto had only lived in the United States for a year after his family's migration from his native Japan and could not speak English very well, but he could play baseball extremely well. The middle infielder made the Beacon nine as a walk-on during his freshman season and soon became the team's starting shortstop, while setting school-records for at-bats and assists in a season and ranking second on the squad in hits, runs scored and stolen bases. Masamoto was even better as a sophomore, leading the team in hits, runs, total bases and on-base percentage, while establishing a new school-mark with 25 stolen bases, which ranked second among Little East Conference players. Following an arm injury, the Japanese import was relegated to a designated hitter role and excelled, with a .336 batting average, which led to his distinction of becoming the first player in school history to be selected as a Little East Conference First Team All-Star. He matched the feat a year later in his second year as the team's captain when he was named to the LEC First Team as a second baseman after ranking third among the league's leaders with a then school-record .425 batting average. Masamoto also placed among the league's top five in hits, runs scored and stolen bases, while maintaining a .455 on-base percentage. He finished his career as UMass Boston's career leader in at-bats (533), runs (124), hits (177), stolen bases (60) and times being hit by a pitch (21), while standing 10th with a career batting mark of .332. Masamoto also ranks second with 138 games played, 91 runs batted in, 30 doubles, 47 bases on balls, 236 total bases, seven triples and 266 assists. Following his 2001 graduation from the Harbor campus, Masamoto secured stints with Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs as their minor league strength and conditioning coordinator before taking on his current role as the Cubs' major league video coordinator.
Edward Sullivan was part of two of the greatest hockey teams in Boston State College history and played an integral part in both of them. The forward began his career as the sixth-leading point-scorer on the Warriors' undefeated team from 1965-66 that posted a 20-0-0 mark and was the second-leading scorer for the Boston State edition that advanced to the NAIA National Championship tournament in 1968. Sullivan finished that season with 29 points on 16 goals and 13 assists and finished his career with 52 goals and 50 assists for 102 points in 93 games to rank ninth on the school's career goals list, 10th in games played, 15th in points and 17th in assists. A four-year letterman, he saw time on the first line penalty kill and power play units his entire career and helped the Warriors to a four-year mark of 58-32-1, including four straight Codfish Bowl titles. Sullivan was named to the 1968 Codfish Bowl All-Tournament team and is one of just three players in history to have had a hand in four of the tournament's championships. He was named captain for his final season and finished his career with 1.10 points per game. Following his graduation from Boston State in 1969, his playing days continued with action in the New England and the Southern New England Amateur leagues for eight years. Sullivan also shared his hockey knowledge as the Varsity Hockey Coach at Lowell High School and is currently the Principal and Founder of Tricon Sports in Lexington, MA.
There is no shortage of great athletes that have come out of the UMass Boston women's track and field program. Michelle Williams continues an annual trend of being named to this year's Hall of Fame class. The two-time All-American was the first great hurdler for the women's program, winning the national indoor title in the 55-meter hurdles as a freshman in 1985 with a time of 8.31 and finishing third in the same event at the 1986 NCAA indoor championships with a mark of 8.36. Williams was an integral part of the 1984-85 team's first indoor national championship in 1985 and had an outstanding year, winning four individual indoor titles and one outdoor title that season, including the ECAC indoor crown in the 50-meter hurdles with a time of 7.05. Head Coach Sherman Hart called her his toughest and gutsiest athlete following her second season that saw her compete, despite being injured. Williams still achieved All-New England and All-ECAC status in both the 55 and 100-meter hurdles and helped the Beacons become the first team in NCAA history to win both the indoor and outdoor national championships in 1986. She captured the 1986 ECAC 55-meter hurdles indoor crown with a time of 8.36 and followed that accomplishment with first place at the New England championships with a school-record time of 8.27 in the 55-meter hurdles. Williams also finished third in the 1986 ECAC 100-meter outdoor race with a time of 15.45 and later went on to graduate from UMass Boston in 1995.
The greatest lacrosse goalie in Boston State College history was John Yeager - period. He was named to the All-New England team all four years of his career, including the First Team as a sophomore and senior and was selected to the All-Colonial League First team in each of his four seasons for the Warriors. In just his first season with Boston State, he led it to an 11-2 record and its first-ever appearance in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association National Championship tournament, where it advanced to the quarterfinals. That was just the beginning as the Warriors would win three Colonial League titles and a pair of ECAC Division II and III championships with Yeager in net. He was tabbed Boston State's Most Valuable Player for his senior campaign to wrap up a lacrosse career that saw him finish as the program's all-time leader in games played (54), victories (39), saves (937) and lowest goals against average (5.3), while leading the Warriors to a 39-15 mark for a .722 winning percentage. Yeager spent time in the fall playing for Boston State's soccer team, earning three letters in four years for the varsity team and the title of co-captain in his senior season. Before graduating in 1976 from Boston State, Yeager earned the institution's Sportsmanship Award in both 1973-74 and 1974-75. Yeager continued his lacrosse career with the Brine Lacrosse Club from 1976-85, before moving on to the USA Box Lacrosse team from 1979-80, where he was the MVP at the World Championships in Vancouver, Canada. He also enjoyed two seasons with the New England Blazers of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League from 1989-90 and was an Assistant Coach and the General Manager for the Blazers from 1990-93. Yeager also had coaching stints with Framingham North and Marblehead High Schools, Tufts University and the College of the Holy Cross as well as Culver Military Academy, where he led the program to a pair of Indiana State championships. He was the Founder and Director of Peak Performance Lacrosse Goalie camps and, after receiving a Doctorate degree from Boston University in 1982, he went on to co-author Character of Coaching - Building Virtue in Athletic Programs and in 2006, he wrote The Character and Culture of Lacrosse, a book he dedicated to his former head coach, Gordie Webb. Yeager was also a counselor in the Massachusetts public schools for 12 years, an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Boston University for 12 years and is currently the Director of the Center of Character for Excellence at The Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana.
The 1960 Boston State College Baseball team went 14-4 and won the New England Teachers College Conference Championship as well as the NAIA District 32 New England Region title to become the first championship team in school history. Coached by UMass Boston/Boston State College Hall of Famer James P. "Gus" Sullivan, the Warriors began the season with a 10-1 record and went on to defeat defending champion Plymouth State College, 3-0, in Plymouth, NH to take the conference crown. Victories over Stonehill College, Central Connecticut State and a 17-6 rout over Southern Connecticut State propelled Boston State into the NAIA National Tournament, before falling to Indiana State Teachers College of Pennsylvania. Outfielder Paul Hughes led the Warriors with a team-high .380 batting average to go with a school-record 20 runs scored and was later offered bonuses by three major league teams to leave school early. Captain first baseman Joe Bage hit .330, while smacking 20 singles and 20 runs in 18 games, while outfielder Leo McSweeney batted .329 and third baseman Jim Walsh registered a .306 batting mark. Bob Gianusso anchored the pitching staff with a 6-1 record as part of the "Big Three" and established school-records for wins, innings pitched (58 1/3) and strikeouts (45). Harry Vigdor, who finished with a 4-1 record and Jack Cloherty, who owned a 4-2 mark, complemented Gianusso as one of the best pitching trio's in the region. Members of the team included Sullivan, assistant coach Bob Currier, Larry Aiello, Bage, Tom Boussy, Cloherty, Joe Colannino, Jim Collins, John Conley, Gianusso, Hughes, Lou Jennings, Harold "Red" Martell, McSweeney, Les Smith, Vigdor, Walsh, Paul White and Paul Winter.
On January 25, 1982 Boston State College ceased to exist as an institution by an act of the Massachusetts Board of Regents for Higher Education. As a result, the 1981-82 Boston State College Women's Basketball team was playing for more than just victories on the court, but also to make a statement to the rest of the NCAA that the Warriors would go out in style and not be forgotten. They certainly did that, posting the greatest season in school history for the program with a 21-6 record and its first appearance in the NCAA National Tournament. They played the last game of any Boston State College team when they bowed out in the NCAA Regionals to Clark University after ranking second in the nation in defense, holding opponents to just 45 points per game. Under the direction of Head Coach and former BSC player Lisa Carlson, the Warriors were ranked among the Top 20 in Division III all season, peaking at sixth and went on to win their first-ever Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference championship with a win over Salem State College to gain an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Freshman center Diane Barry was the team's tallest player at 5'9" and led the Warriors with 11.5 rebounds per game to go with 8.8 points per outing and 49 steals. Because of the lack of height, Boston State relied on quickness, aggressive play and different looks on offense and defense. The Warriors employed a full-court press, got on the floor for loose balls and utilized a fast break to take advantage of their overall team speed. Senior quad-captain Colleen McBride was the team's leading scorer with 14.1 points per game, while fellow captain Debbie Thompson joined her in the front court with 7.3 points per contest. Sophomores Patty Suprey and Kelly O'Donnell held down the backcourt, averaging 8.8 and 7.7 points per game, respectively. Senior quad-captain Linda Silvestri was Boston State's sixth woman, coming off the bench to put up 9.8 points per game. Members of the team included Carlson, assistant coach Sandy Matthews, Barry, Mary DiNatale, quad-captain Kelly Gamby, Paula Gately, McBride, O'Donnell, Patty Regan, Silvestri, Sharon Stephans, Suprey, Thompson and athletic trainer Brian FitzGerald.