2011 Hall of Fame Inductees
William S. Crawford '01, tennis
One of the most exceptional players in the history of Men’s Tennis, Will Crawford ’01 helped elevate the program to a high level of national recognition.
Crawford and James Davidson ’01 captured the Eastern College Athletic Conference North Regional doubles title in the fall of 2000. That year, the seniors swept the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Rolex East Regional Tournament without losing a single set, garnering All-American honors.
Advancing to the 2000 ITA Rolex Small College Nationals, the pair finished seventh among the best teams in the country. The Thoroughbreds emerged as ninth-ranked doubles team in NCAA Division III—a career record.
Men’s Tennis team leader for his entire Skidmore career, Crawford also helped the Thoroughbreds claim two Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament championships (1999, 2001) and earn second place honors twice (1998, 2000).
“He was willing to take on and challenge the toughest competitors we faced,” recalls former Men’s Tennis Coach Paul Arciero. “Will held the respect of his teammates, coaches, and our opponents.
”For Crawford, the respect is mutual. He states, “Being part of the Men’s Tennis team was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I had incredible teammates who became lifelong friends. We battled through some great matches and continued to get better each year. Paul Arciero, my coach and friend, has been one of the most influential people in my life. I credit him with everything I achieved while playing tennis at Skidmore. He made me want to work harder, play harder, and ‘be better than my previous self.’” These were lessons that he encouraged me to apply both on and off the court. I know I speak on behalf of my teammates when I say that we would not have accomplished what we did without the direction and support of Paul Arciero. He refused to let any one of us ever settle for less than the best. I will cherish the memories of my time on the tennis team forever.”
Liza C. Gorman '04, lacrosse
A prolific scorer and outstanding team leader, Liza Gorman ’04 propelled Skidmore’s Women’s Lacrosse to a new level of competitive play and established standards of excellence that remain unsurpassed.
The formidable attack player graduated as Skidmore’s all-time leading scorer with a program record of 155 goals and 43 assists for 198 points in 64 career games. She continues to rank first in goals and second in career scoring. Gorman also holds the program record of 12 points scored in a single game (8 goals and 4 assists).
The two-time Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association All-Star (2003, 2004) was named MVP her senior year, when she led the team in scoring with 43 goals and 16 assists for 59 points. Gorman was selected to the 2004 Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association New York Region First Team. That year, she captained the Thoroughbreds to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Mid-Atlantic semifinals and a ranking of 20th in the nation. She went on to represent Skidmore in the 2004 STX Division III North/South Senior All-Star Game.
Over Gorman’s remarkable career, Skidmore achieved a 55-19 record, marking the first time the program had four consecutive winning seasons since its varsity start in 1979.
Coach Beth Hallenbeck observes, “Liza was more than a talented attack player. She understood the game and quarterbacked the offensive unit with confidence and poise. A true team leader, she helped the lacrosse team to gain prominence and respect both on and off the field.”
Gorman recalls, “Playing on the Skidmore lacrosse team during all four of my college years was a wonderful experience. I improved as a player and learned so much from my coaches and teammates everyday both on and off the field. My teammates inspired me to be a better player, and I hope I was able to do the same as captain my senior year. Being part of the team also helped me find a balance between academics, sports, and my social life. I had so much pride and love for the lacrosse program that I chose to stay and help coach the team a year after graduation. Women’s Lacrosse will always be a part of me.”
Maria Nero Morin '94, softball
Maria Nero Morin ’94 is said to have changed the face of Skidmore Softball. An extraordinary pitcher whose win record remains the best in College history, Morin combined hard work and exceptional leadership skills to help transform a fledgling varsity program into one of the most competitive teams in New York State. MVP from 1992 to 1994, she powered the team’s entry into New York State Women’s Collegiate Athletic Association competition in 1992 and a program record 15-6 season. As team captain (1993, 1994), Morin led the team to its first 20-win season her senior year, when the Thoroughbreds went 20-8 and competed in the New York State Championships, earning All-Tournament honors.
She finished with a remarkable 38-17 career record. Morin also graduated as Skidmore’s all-time career leader in eight major pitching categories, including wins (38), strikeouts (200), games (63), winning percentage (.691), complete games (44), and innings (363). She still holds the program win and win percentage records and is third in strikeouts.
In 17 seasons as the head softball coach at Rhode Island College, Morin has achieved a stunning 439-239-4 record. Her teams have captured five Little East Conference titles and four tournament championships. Two-time NCAA Division III Regional champions (2007, 2008), they earned two College World Series berths. Named Little East Conference Coach of the Year in 2003, 2005, and 2006, Morin was honored as NCAA Division III New England Region Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2008.
“My Skidmore athletic experience was one that I will always cherish with pride, says Morin. “I was very fortunate to have a wonderful coach and friend in Larry Ramos, who always pushed me to play at my best and taught me so much about the game. I also had great teammates who worked hard to take our program to the next level, all while having fun. My four years of playing softball were filled with many fine memories. I am proud to be a Thoroughbred and honored to be inducted into the FOSA Hall of Fame.”
Thomas L. Spinella '06, lacrosse
Thomas Spinella ’06 built a roster of athletic honors that established him as one of the most influential players in the history of Men’s Lacrosse. In the process, he helped transform the program into a regional powerhouse and national competitor.
The midfielder was a three-time United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All-American, earning 3rd Team honors in 2005 and honorable mention in 2004 and 2006. Spinella was the team’s leading scorer in 2005, when he set the Skidmore record for goals in a season (54), and captained the Thoroughbreds to their first Liberty League Championship and National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament berth. He was named 2005 Liberty League Player of the Year.
Continuing as team captain in 2006, Spinella led Skidmore and the Liberty League in goals per game with 2.69 and was fourth in scoring with 35 goals and six assists for 41 points. That year, Spinella, who was also a key member of Skidmore’s men’s hockey team from 2002 to 2005, was honored with the Senior Male Athlete Award. He is currently Men’s Lacrosse second all-time goal scorer (143) and stands fifth overall with 170 total points (143 goals and 27 assists).
Spinella went on to serve as an assistant lacrosse coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Bryant University. He currently coaches and teaches at the Millbrook School.
In addition to his Skidmore athletic career, Tom Spinella is proud of research he did over a two-year period with Associate Professor for Health and Exercise Sciences Paul Arciero. The study, which compared the impact of endurance and high intensity interval exercise on insulin sensitivity, was published several years ago.
Spinella observes, “My overall experience with both lacrosse and hockey teams and Skidmore in general inspired me to build a career in teaching and coaching.”
Team - 1991 Equestrian Team
This legendary team captured Skidmore’s second consecutive Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championship title on May 5th, 1991, in Roanoke, VA, firmly establishing the Thoroughbreds as a preeminent national competitor.
After besting 16 other teams in IHSA Zone II/Region 2 competition, the Thoroughbreds claimed the Cartier Cup in a decisive 30-point victory over 15 top-ranked rivals in eight different phases of horsemanship.
Coach Cindy Ford recalls, “Skidmore’s toughest battle in 1991 may have been with St. Lawrence University at the final regional horse show of the year. The Thoroughbreds prevailed with a slim one-point lead, qualifying for the trip to Roanoke. Once there, Skidmore took the lead in the Cartier Cup competition, and the riders never looked back.”
National championship performances in team competition were scored by Jennifer Rossire ’92, who won second place in the Open Over Fences and fourth in the Open on the Flat (and the individual National title in Intermediate Over Fences); Natalie Labouchere ’92, who captured first place in Intermediate Over Fences; Matthew Goodrich ’94, who claimed third place in Intermediate on the Flat; Dawn Gilbert Buchanan ’91, who took fifth place in Novice Over Fences; Olivia Chantecaille ’94, who finished third in Novice on the Flat; and Jennifer Lamphere ’94, who captured third place in Walk-Trot-Canter. Jennifer Kniffin Jones ’93 competed in the Walk-Trot. This distinguished team also included Marie Boccuzzi Cairo ’93, Colleen Dwyer Heise ’94, Mark Hoeber ’91, (who took fifth place in Individual Open Over Fences at Nationals), Christine O’Connell ’91, Kathleen Ryan O’Connor ’93, Lee Shannon Quinn-Leffler ’93, (Individual National champion in Intermediate on the Flat), Camille Sexton ’94, and Brenda Tananbaum ’93.
Marie Boccuzzi '93
Dawn Gilbert Buchanan '91
Matthew Goodrich '94
Colleen Dwyer Heise '94
Mark Hoeber '91
Jennifer Kniffin Jones '93
Natalie Labouchere '92
Christine O'Connell '91
Kathleen Ryan O'Connor '93
Lee Shannon Quinn '93
Jennifer Rossire '92
Camille Sexton '94
Brenda Tananbaum '93
Team of Distinction - 2005 Men's Baseball Team
With its astounding record of ground-breaking victories, this team ushered in a new era in Skidmore Baseball. The Thoroughbreds emerged as a regional powerhouse and formidable national competitor.
The 2005 team achieved the program’s first winning record (28-14), most number of wins (28), and highest winning percentage (.667). The men captured the 2005 Liberty League regular season title and Tournament Championship. The first baseball team to represent Skidmore in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III tournament competition, they entered the NCAA New York Regional Tournament as #2 seed, claimed two wins, and finished in third place. The Thoroughbreds were named among the top 30 baseball teams in the nation by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Coach Ron Plourde recalls, “While there have been some special seasons for Skidmore Baseball, the 2005 Team stands out to me more than any other. This was a special group of young men, especially the seniors, who endured three tough years before putting it all together their senior year.”
Matthew Barad ‘08
Jesse Berkowitz ‘05
Matthew Blum ‘08
Adam Brown ‘08
Gregory Carlow ‘08
James Faraci ‘08
Matthew Ferrari ‘05
Michael Godlewski ‘05
Robert Hutchison ‘07
Paul Legan ‘06
Martin Levison ‘06
Michael Matias ‘08
Evan McNamara ‘06
James Melillo ‘08
Matthew Rivers ‘05
Michael Rivers ‘05
Maxwell Ruby ‘05
Timothy Ryan ‘06
Jacob Stewart ‘07
Chris Twombly ‘05
Steven Yaeger ‘05
Bob Bogdan, coach
Ronald Plourde, coach
Eric Thompson, coach
Michael J. Garcia
Mike Garcia is a seminal figure in the history of Skidmore Athletics. Hired by former Director of Athletics Tim Brown as head athletic trainer in 1980, Garcia spent the next 30 years building a distinguished athletic training program, and rehabilitating injured players with expert care. As coach and teacher, he helped shape the evolution of Skidmore’s physical education program into two distinct, nationally recognized departments, Health and Exercise Science, and Athletics. Garcia did it all with an extraordinary dedication to excellence and an unwavering commitment to the success and well-being of the student-athletes he served.
He taught courses in sports medicine and athletic training, along with other core curricular offerings. Garcia, who developed the athletic training portion of the exercise science major, also designed the Ahearn Athletic Training Room in the Williamson Sports and Recreation Center. He coached Men’s Lacrosse in the 1980s, and later directed a recreational activities program, teaching everything from karate to fly-fishing.
Former Director Jeffrey Segrave observes, “Mike has had a very significant impact on a department that has undergone incredible transformations during his tenure. The stature that the Health and Exercise Sciences and Athletics programs enjoy today is in no small measure due to his multiple professional contributions over a lifetime of dedicated service.
”But it was his extraordinary ability to prepare student-athletes for peak performance and bring injured players safely back into the game that earned Garcia the enduring gratitude of generations of Thoroughbreds. “There would be no Skidmore Hall of Fame inductees without the wisdom, sacrifice, and magic performed by Mike throughout the years,” notes Women’s Basketball alumna Tracey Watson ’86. He was a true believer in the student-athlete and looked out for each player’s best interest.”
Brown recalls, “We could always be certain that when Mike said injured athletes were ready to play again, they were truly ready.”
Current Director Gail Cummings-Danson states, “There is no athletic trainer more knowledgeable than Mike Garcia."
Sharon Shearman P'01, P'99
For more than twenty years, Sharon Shearman has been the operational backbone—and the heart and soul—of Skidmore Athletics. With extraordinary skill and dedication, she has developed and overseen the administrative structure that keeps the department running, championed the athletics program and its coaches and staff, and cheered on generations of student-athletes. A College employee since 1988, she was hired in 1991 to help inaugural Director of Athletics Tim Brown manage a loose collection of student clubs and fledgling varsity teams.
As administrative assistant to Brown and subsequent directors Jeffrey Segrave and Gail Cummings-Danson, she became the steady hand running the day-to-day operations of the Athletics Department as it grew into the home of nationally ranked teams. But that’s just her day job. Whether hosting Liberty League tournaments, supporting the Thoroughbreds at National Collegiate Athletic Conference events, or staying after hours to watch student-athletes compete, Shearman is ever present—and synonymous with Skidmore Athletics.
She has done it all, observes Brown, “with dedication and loyalty second to none. I just couldn’t imagine doing the job without her. When I was out of the office coaching in the afternoons or on the road, I could always be confident that departmental business would run smoothly because Sharon was in charge.”
Hockey alumnus Joe Doldo ’96, who was one of Shearman’s student-employees, considers her “the ultimate Friend of Skidmore Athletics.”
Segrave adds, “The organizational foundation upon which Skidmore Athletics rests is in no small measure due to Sharon’s competence, diligence, industriousness, and care—the result of a lifetime’s professional commitment to the program, the coaches and staff who deliver it, and the student-athletes who thrive in it.”
Current director Cummings-Danson concludes, “Simply put, the Athletic Department would not be the success it is today without Sharon as part of the team.”
CREATIVE THOUGHT MATTERS
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