Stonehill Inducts Seven to Athletics Hall of Fame

Stonehill president, Rev. Mark T. Cregan, CSC, was among the seven inductees to the Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2012. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

College inducts three former student-athletes, President and three contributors at 24th annual ceremony held recently

Hall of Fame Ceremony Photo Gallery

EASTON, Mass. (October 24, 2012) – Stonehill College recently inducted seven individuals to its Athletics Hall of Fame at the 24th annual induction ceremony held in the Joseph W. Martin Institute Auditorium.

With its seven new Hall of Fame members, Stonehill’s total inductees since the first ceremony in 1989 have increased to 120. Inducted were cross country and track and field standout Dianna Chivakos, ’05, Joseph Kelly, ’85, from the baseball program, Todd Dawson, ’93, from the football program, former basketball announcer John Murphy, ’69, former women’s basketball coach Kelly Hart, long time administrator Cynthia MacDonald and College President Rev. Mark T. Cregan, CSC, ’78.

Cregan, who was a surprise inductee for the night in honor of his recent announcement to step down as president at the end of the year, has overseen a tremendous growth in the athletic department over his tenure. Stonehill has seen an increase in athletic scholarships, full-time coaching and administrative positions vital to success in the Northeast-10 and NCAA Division II. With his leadership, Stonehill made vast improvements to its outdoor athletic facilities, centered on the construction of W.B. Mason Stadium. The College has also recently laid out plans for a renovation to the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex to provide much needed lockerroom, training and fitness space for Stonehill’s student-athletes as well as the potential for a new gymnasium in the future.

All four of Stonehill’s NE-10 Presidents’ Cups have been won with Cregan as President, including each of the last three years. Stonehill, which has finished third or higher for eight straight years, has won 51 Northeast-10 Championships, made 59 NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching two Elite Eights and making four National Semifinal Appearances, with two lacrosse national championships, one Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) national championship and one individual national championship for men’s indoor track and field.

Chivakos, center, presented to the Hall of Fame by Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Brendan Sullivan (left) and Fr. Cregan. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Stonehill has also performed in the classroom, with the College earning one of the inaugural Presidents’ Awards from the NCAA for Academic Achievement. The College has annually boasted an Academic Success Rate above 95, with the many of its programs earning a perfect 100 ASR.

Chivakos played a large role in transforming Stonehill’s women’s cross country and track and field programs into the Northeast-10 and East Regional power that they are today during her career from 2001-2005.

Chivakos, a two-year captain for both programs, became the second Stonehill runner to earn cross country All-America honors and then later competing for the National Championship in both the indoor 5000-meters and outdoor 3000-meters during her senior year. She received the Edward E. Martin Award as the most outstanding scholar-athlete in her senior class at Stonehill. Chivakos earned All-Northeast-10 and All-Region honors three years, winning the 2004 Regional Cross Country Championship to claim East Region Runner of the Year honors.

Dawson with Sullivan and Fr. Cregan. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Chivakos remains the school record holder at 3000-meters for both indoor (9:59.24) and outdoor (9:49.99), indoor mile (4:52.26) and indoor 5000-meters (17:10.05). A three-time U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic honoree, Chivakos is also a two-time All-New England performer.

Dawson is regarded as one of the best offensive linemen the football program has ever produced. He was a three-time All-East Coast Football Conference selection at Stonehill, serving as team captain his senior year. He keyed a Stonehill offense that posted 2,995 yards of offense his final season, with the team posting a 6-2-1 record. Dawson captained a line that allowed just 12 sacks and the team’s 50 touchdowns scored in 1992 still rank fourth in program history.

The native of Hampton Bays, N.Y., helped lead the football program to a 19-12-2 record over his four seasons. Stonehill won the ECFC Championship in 1988 and 1991.

Kelly welcomed to the Hall of Fame by Sullivan and Fr. Cregan. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Kelly helped put Stonehill baseball on the map in the early days of the Northeast-10 Conference (then known as the Northeast-8). He is the first Northeast-10 Player of the Year in program history, earning the honors his senior season in 1985 as Stonehill posted a 17-14 overall record, including a 9-3 mark in Northeast-8  play to win the Conference’s regular season championship. The team went on to win the first postseason baseball tournament in Conference history with a 6-3 triumph over Bryant in the finals. Kelly was a key member of two NE-10 championship teams in all.

A native of Allston, Mass., Kelly earned All-Northeast-8 first team outfield honors as a junior and senior. The team captain as a senior, he was regarded as the best defensive outfielders in Stonehill history, finishing his career with 62-straight error free games - a school record at the time. Kelly batted .352 his senior year and .357 as a junior after hitting .407 his sophomore year - ranking seventh in New England.

Murphy with Sullivan and Fr. Cregan. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Murphy is one of the most ardent supporters the Stonehill athletic department has ever seen. Known as the “Mayor of Spirit” during his time at Stonehill, he is remembered for his contagious enthusiasm for all sports teams at the College.

Murphy was a member of the basketball team at Stonehill and went on to serve as Director of Intramural Athletics. It was in this role that he began to plant the seeds for club football at the College, starting with organizing a football game between Stonehill and Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. In a certain sense, he was one of the founding fathers of the football program here at Stonehill.

Murphy served as the announcer for the varsity basketball games at Stonehill, which led to his moniker of “The Voice of Stonehill.” He is a former member of the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee and continues to be a steadfast supporter of the entire athletic program at Stonehill.

MacDonald with Sullivan and Fr. Cregan (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

MacDonald has served the Stonehill athletic department and its student-athletes for over 20 years, wearing numerous hats along the way. Now as Senior Associate Director of Athletics, MacDonald has always put the many student-athletes at Stonehill first with a tireless work ethic and in her various roles over her years at the College.

MacDonald was hired as the College’s head athletic trainer in September 1991, a position she held for five years before being promoted to Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine in 1996. She moved strictly into an administrative role as Assistant Athletic Director and Compliance Coordinator in 1998 before being named Associate Director of Athletics in 2001 and then Senior Associate AD in 2003. She has served as the athletic program liaison for men’s and women’s cross country and track and field, women’s lacrosse, field hockey, women’s soccer and equestrian, offering both guidance and valuable support throughout the seasons and beyond.

Hart greeted by Sullivan and Fr. Cregan (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

MacDonald has overseen the athletic department’s NCAA compliance for 14 years and been supervisor of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee since 2001. She has served on numerous committees, including the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee for Region 1 and the Academic/Athletics Committee, Intercollegiate Athletic Committee, Academic Convocation Committee, Leadership Committee and Varsity Club here at Stonehill.

Hart served the women’s basketball program for 14 years, the final five as head coach, playing a big role in a program that won nearly 300 games during that time. She joined former head coach and current Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Paula Sullivan’s coaching staff after graduating from Boston College in 1986. In her ten years as an assistant coach for Sullivan, Stonehill won four Northeast-10 Championships and earned two trips to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. Stonehill won a school-record 30 games in 1994-95, advancing to the National Semifinal Round.

After helping lead Stonehill to a 212-64 (.768) record over her nine years as assistant coach, Hart took on the unenviable task of replacing the only head coach the program had ever known when Sullivan retired from coaching in 1996. Hart stepped in and led Stonehill to an 83-50 (.629) record over her five seasons as head coach. Stonehill won the 1997 NE-10 Tournament Championship and she guided the program to three more NCAA Tournament bids, reaching the regional finals in 1997 as well. Hart coached six All-Conference selections, two NE-10 Players of the Year, a two-time NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year and one Rookie of the Year in her time as head coach.

Stonehill earned its third-straight Northeast-10 Conference Presidents' Cup Trophy for the 2011-12 academic year, marking the eighth-straight year the College has finished in the top three of the final standings. Stonehill has been recognized for its academic performance with regard to graduation rate by earning a 98-percent Academic Success Rating (ASR) for the second-straight year as released by the NCAA receiving an inaugural Presidents’ Award for Academic Achievement from the NCAA. Stonehill is ranked sixth in the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Power Rankings used to assess the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs, marking a top ten ranking among Division II schools for the third straight year.