MIDDLETOWN - Six former SUNY Orange athletes and coaches will comprise the second class of the Colt Athletic Hall of Fame this fall when the College hosts its induction celebration at 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 26 at Kuhl’s Highland House in Middletown. Set to be enshrined are Walter Cawein ‘57, Susan Deer ‘71, Lois Hayes ‘79, Richard E. Morse ‘58, Achilles J. "Kelly" Rossi ‘53 and John Scanlan.
During their playing days, the six members of the Class of 2013 represented seven sports, including soccer, basketball, cross country and wrestling on the men’s side along with basketball, tennis and softball for women. Two of the inductees - Deer and Hayes - also coached the Colts’ women’s basketball squad at different times while Deer also served a stint as the College’s athletic director.
"We are looking forward to inducting our second class into the Colt Athletic Hall of Fame," says Wayne Smith, SUNY Orange athletic director and chair of the hall of fame committee. "On the heels of last year’s inaugural induction, this class once again demonstrates the highly accomplished athletes we’ve had at SUNY Orange throughout our history.
"This group is very diverse. It includes a national champion wrestler, a coach who brought us two regional women’s basketball titles, a regional tennis doubles champion, a former athletic director and several ‘athletes of the year," Smith adds. "Many of these six also went on to play at four-year colleges, including Navy, Ithaca and Marist."
The induction ceremony will be part of the College’s two-day Homecoming and Reunion Weekend that kicks off with a cocktail reception on Friday, Oct. 25, and a full slate of Family Day activities from 12-3 pm on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Cawein was a standout on the College’s early men’s soccer and basketball teams. He helped spark the soccer squad to its best win-loss record to date in 1957, setting the College’s single-season goal scoring record in the process. He averaged 10 points per game in basketball and was considered the team’s top playmaker. Following graduation from the College, Cawein would attend, and graduate from, the United States Naval Academy.
Deer performed for the SUNY Orange women’s basketball, tennis and softball teams during a standout two-year career. She was named to the all-region doubles team in tennis and participated in the national tournament. She later returned to the College, carving a remarkable coaching career with the women’s basketball program. She led the team to regional championships and appearances in the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament. She was also an instructor at the College and served as athletic director and associate vice president.
Hayes played for the softball and women’s basketball teams at SUNY Orange. She was a guard, team captain and regional Most Valuable Player for the basketball squad. On the diamond, she was a shortstop, team captain and regional MVP. Hayes played at Marist in 1981-82 before graduating in 1983. She later became head women’s basketball coach at SUNY Orange, guiding the Colts from 1987-92 and bringing home two junior college regional championships. For many years, she has helped coach boys and girls varsity basketball and girls junior varsity soccer at Monroe-Woodbury High School.
Morse competed for the College’s cross country team during the 1953-54 and 1954-55 seasons. He served as team captain of the 1954-55 squad. During his career, he set a new State Hospital Course record by covering the 3.2-mile circuit in 15:48 and eclipsing the previous mark by 13 seconds. During the 1954-55 season, he finished ninth in the National Junior College Athletic Association meet at Van Cortlandt Park in New York City. His time in that race was 16:21. Morse was named the College’s Athlete of the Year in 1955.
Rossi spent two years as a member of the wrestling team, competing at the 137-pound weight class. He served as co-captain of the 1951-52 team and was the lone team captain in 1952-53. He was victorious in each of his matches, winning every one by pinning his opponent. He later wrestled for Ithaca College.
Scanlan was also a two-year member of the wrestling team. As a freshman in 1970, he forged an unblemished 30-0 record en route to the national championship in the 126-pound weight class. He received the Earnest B. Gould Award as the National Junior College Athletic Association’s outstanding wrestler in 1970 and was named a first-team NJCAA Wrestling All-American. His sophomore season started out with a tournament title and MVP selection before a knee injury cut short his season and essentially curtailed his career. Scanlan was a standout high school wrestler at Pearl River High School and was inducted into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Annually, the selection committee may elect to present honorary Hall of Fame Awards to those individuals who have distinguished themselves through exemplary service and commitment to the SUNY Orange Athletic Department. Alumni and friends of the College may submit athletes for consideration, but athletes are also able to nominate themselves.
The inductees were chosen by a nine-member selection committee that represented areas of the College: athletic director (Smith); administrator (Mike Albright, communications officer); faculty member and member of the Athletic Advisory Committee (Ann Marie Boffalo, movement science professor); former coach (Gary Dross); current student athlete (Corinn Lumbrazo, softball); student services staff (Anthony Scalia, academic advisor and retention specialist), alumna (Stacey Morris; assistant athletic director, former softball coach and 1989 graduate); current coach (Paul Rickard, golf coach and former longtime men’s basketball coach) and existing Hall of Fame member (Marie Piccone, HOF ‘12).