BOSTON, Mass. - On October 10, 2013, the University of Massachusetts Boston welcomed the newest members to its prestigious Athletic Hall of Fame class in the first-ever ceremony hosted in the Clark Athletic Center.
The event which featured the unveiling of the brand new Interactive Hall of Fame Display, the Wall of Champions, and the All-American wall was the launching point to what became a historic night.
In total six individuals were inducted into the Hall of Fame along with the 1990 UMass Boston men’s tennis team. The members of the class of 2013 included Bruce Lehane ’70 (cross country, track and field), Craig Cullen ’72 (ice hockey), Dan Hayes ’79 (lacrosse), Nick Conway ’08 (baseball), Katherine Wall ’08 (women’s soccer, women’s ice hockey, softball), and Melissa Belmonte ’11 (women’s ice hockey).
Each individual and the men’s tennis team were honored in front of a packed house as UMass Boston hosted perhaps one of its most successful events in the 11 year history of the ceremony.
Information about each inductee is below in the order they were introduced at Thursday’s event.
1990 UMass Boston Men’s Tennis team
The first UMass Boston tennis team to ever win a Little East Conference championship, all of the members of the historic squad were named to the UMass Boston Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2013.
Under the guidance of head coach Michael Bradley, the Beacons stood as the only team with a conference championship up until 2006. In their championship year, UMass Boston finished with an overall record of 11-1, with the only loss coming at the hands of Division II Stonehill College.
In the championship match, the Beacons were absolutely dominant winning at No. two, three, five, and six singles and as well as sweeping all three doubles matches. During the 1990 campaign, the Beacons won 10 matches by scores of 7-2 or better, including six 9-0 victories.
The top six singles players finished the championship year with a combined record of 74-13 respectively, while the top three doubles teams posted a final mark of 65-7. Among the many highlights from that season, was Oscar Jara’s perfect 12-0 record at No. 1 doubles. Tom Savoie ended the year with a 16-0 record at No. 2 singles and was 13-1 in doubles play.
Craig Cullen ’72
A two-time team Most Valuable Player (1971 and 1972) and a native of Southern California, Craig Cullen '72 is considered one of the program’s top two way forwards. During his four seasons with the Warriors, Cullen was instrumental in leading Boston State to the 1969 and 1971 Codfish Bowl Championships. For his efforts he was named to the All-Tournament team in 1971.
Named an ECAC Player of the Week as a junior and senior, Cullen established himself as one of the most gifted student-athletes to ever wear the Green and Gold. When not on the ice, Cullen was a four-time Dean’s List honoree, and received the Boston State College Scholar Athlete Award at the end of his senior season.
On the ice he closed out his junior campaign ranked second on the team with 24 points, which he then surpassed as a senior with a combined 38 points in 1972. Defensively solid, Cullen was considered a top penalty killer, but when given the opportunity was able to make things happen offensively. He finished with 81 total points (35 goals, 46 assists) in 66 games.
Katherine Wall ’08
The greatest three-sport athlete in the history of UMass Boston, Katherine Wall '08 was named to the UMass Boston Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.
As a member of the women’s soccer, women’s ice hockey, and softball programs, Wall remains as one of the most influential female athletes in the history of UMass Boston athletics. For the women’s soccer team, she was the first-ever three-time Little East All-Conference selection, earning second team honors in 2006 before being named a first team selection in 2007 and 2008. On the softball diamond she was only the second player in team history to be named a three-time all-conference selection, earning a pair of second-team honors (2005 and 2006) before being named a first-team honoree in 2007.
On the ice she still owns a share of the NCAA Division III record for most short-handed goals in a single game with two. She also sits second all-time in career short-handed goals with four and is tied for fifth in career games played with 102.
While with the soccer team, she finished her career ranked 13th all-time in most appearances having stepped onto the pitch in 68 of a possible 73 games played. She also sits tied for 11th with two game-winning goals and is 12th in career points by a defenseman with 24.
To date Wall sits in the top-10 in multiple categories as a member of the softball program. She is currently ranked third with 42 career extra-base hits and 27 doubles. She is fourth in triples with 10, slugging percentage with .576, and stolen bases with 30. Wall also stands second all-time in stolen bases in a single season with 19, which she recorded in 2006. Her 34 runs scored in 2006 are third most in a season.
In 2012, Wall returned to her alma mater and served as an assistant coach with the women’s soccer program, which won it’s first-ever Little East Conference Regular Season and Tournament championships.
Bruce Lehane ’70
One of the most impressive runners to ever compete for the Warriors in both cross country and track and field, Bruce Lehane '70 ended his college career with a combined 12 varsity letters. The career record holder at Boston State in the 880 meter and the mile run, Lehane earned his All-American honors in the 1969 and 1970 outdoor seasons.
While with the cross country program, Lehane could always be found at the front of the pack and led the Warriors to multiple top finishes. On the track, his top events included the 880 meter, the 1,000 yard, and the mile run. He was also a member of the two mile and distance medley relay teams.
To date, Lehane serves as the head men's and women's cross country coach at Boston University. Since 1982, Lehane has coached 37 Division I All-American and 24 IC4A/ECAC Individual champions. Amongst the countless athletes he has coached include Olympians Cathy O'Brien and Rosemary Ryan. During his tenure the men's cross country team has competed in 10 NCAA Championships, which include three top-10 finishes. The women's cross country team has grabbed 15 out of the 19 conference championships under Lehane's tutelage.
Lehane would later graduate from UMass Lowell with his master's degree in reading and language.
Melissa Belmonte ’11
A member of the first four women’s ice hockey teams at UMass Boston, Melissa Belmonte '07 finished her career second all-time in career points with 157 (76 goals, 81 assists) and is one of only four members of the 100 point club. Named a two-time USCHO.com Preseason All-American, she was an ECAC East Second Team All-Conference selection in 2007. She also grabbed All-Rookie Team and Honorable Mention All-Conference honors in 2004.
Belmonte sits tied for first for most games played in program history, appearing in all 103 games that took place during her four years at UMass Boston. Her 76 career goals sit second most all-time behind 2013 Hall of Famer and classmate Andrea Ciarletta ’07.
Her 81 career assists stand as the all-time Beacons high mark, while her seven career hat tricks and 18 multi-point games are second most. She currently owns the program mark for career multi-point games with 46 and sits third in school history with 17 career power-play goals and eight game-winners.
Belmonte ranks second in points scored in a single season by a freshman with 53, fourth in points by a senior with 44, and fifth in points by a junior with 40. She currently holds the program mark for power-play goals in a season with seven, and his tied for first in single season hat tricks with four. Her 25 assists as both a freshman and a junior is tied for third most.
She also stands as the program leader in most points recorded in a single game with six, which she reached on two occasions. She also owns the record for most goals in a game with four, which she also recorded in two different contests.
Dan Hayes ’79
Named a Colonial League All-Star in his senior season, Dan Hayes '78 led Boston State to three Colonial League titles and three ECAC Championship Tournament appearances in 1976, 1976, and 1978. Named a co-captain in 1978, Hayes was selected for the All-New England East/West All-Star game at the end of his senior campaign.
By the end of his college career, Hayes ranked fourth all-time in program history amongst midfielders in points with 63 (43 goals, 20 assists). He would also leave Boston State third all-time in goals scored by a midfielder in a single season with 19.
A defensive specialist, Hayes was the go-to player on the Warriors penalty kill all four seasons. Following his graduation from Boston State, Hayes stayed involved with the program by establishing the Boston State College/UMass Boston Lacrosse Alumni Association in 1980, while also serving as an assistant coach. He would later earn his Master’s Degree in Education from Cambridge College.
Nick Conway ’08
The all-time career and single-season leader in strikeouts with 234 and 82, Conway becomes the first player during head coach Brendan Eygabroat’s tenure to be named as a Hall of Fame inductee. A freshman when Eygabroat took over the baseball program, Conway was instrumental in leading the Beacons to four consecutive Little East Conference tournament appearances—a program first.
Named the 2006 and 2008 Little East Conference Pitcher of the Year, Conway also grabbed 2008 LEC First Team All-Conference honors as well. On top of holding the career and single-season mark for strikeouts, Conway also stands as the program’s all-time leader in innings pitched in a career with 245.0. His 86.0 innings of work, which he recorded in 2006, still remains the single-season best at UMass Boston.
He also stands second all-time in career wins with 14 and is third all-time in career appearances with 45 and earned run average with 3.49. His 15 and 12 K’s in a single game still stand as second and fourth most all-time respectively.