Bronx, NY—Eight illustrious former student-athletes were inducted into the Fordham University Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony following a delicious brunch in the McGinley Center Ballroom on Fordham’s Bronx campus on Saturday. Their addition raised the total of the HOF to 260. The new class was one of great diversity. The oldest graduated in 1929 and the most recent left Fordham in 2006. The class included representatives of five sports.
The senior inductee was Bob Cooney, a 1929 Fordham grad. Although he pitched more than 80 years ago, he is still tied for the Fordham mark with six complete game shutouts. The hurler compiled a 64-18 won/loss record in his four seasons on the team. Two years after his graduation. Cooney was pitching in the majors for the St. Louis Browns, where he played for two seasons. He passed away in 1976.
The next eldest honoree, Bob Cole, began his tenure on the baseball squad as a walk-on and concluded it in 1978 as a valuable relief pitcher that held the school’s season marks for appearances (19) and saves (7) and career records for both with 43 appearances and 13 saves.
A superior batter, 2006 grad Kate Davis Barrick led the Rams to its first regular season softball title in 2005 when she was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. She graduated as the holder of several career Fordham softball records, home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage and total bases.
Three 21st century water sports stars were also honored. Swimmer Erika Newell (’05) was a record breaker in her years on the swimming team. She graduated with nine Fordham swimming marks. Her heroics in the pool at Fordham culminated in her receiving the Hobbes Family Award as Fordham’s outstanding female athlete in her senior year.
Another swimming champion and Fordham record breaker, Mark Wiedenbach (’01), was named Fordham athlete of the year in 2000. The Vincent T. Lombardi winner received that honor in his sophomore year.
Dan Wolleben (’04) was a gold medal winner in a Varsity National Championship in each of his four years at Fordham. He was on a winning crew in the Dad Vail championship three times and on a victorious crew in the ECAC National Championship once. Wolleben continued serving the Fordham Rowing Team as an assistant coach from 2004-7. He is currently a coach at Bucknell.
Two middle distance runners, one male and one female, completed the class of new Hall of Famers. Maureen Zivic was a winner of two Atlantic-10 championships, the indoor 500m in 2005 and the outdoor 800m in 2006. Her victories were not only on the track, but also in the classroom as she was a two-time Academic Atlantic-10.
Bronx native Deric Zephire (’03) continued his education at Fordham after graduating from Fordham Prep. The Bronxite earned honors in the Atlantic-10 and the region by his successful showings in middle distance and relay races while at Fordham.
The ceremony was very ably conducted by emcee Michael Kay. He was accompanied to the event by his wife, news anchor Jodie Applegate. The Yankees broadcaster was lauded by Fordham President Fr. McShane for his loyalty and support of his alma mater. Despite honoring eight former student-athletes, the largest group in several years, the program was interestingly and quickly done.
The closer and eldest inductee on the podium, Bob Cole, was appropriately chosen to speak for the Class of 2012. Not only were his remarks gracious and well- spoken, but he individually articulated the feelings of gratitude of each of his fellow inductees. The nephew of a past Fordham president, Father Finley, said of the inductees, “We are winners because of the opportunities the Fordham education gave us.”
The feeling of the large number of friends, family, teammates and classmates of the inductees in the ballroom was best described by Kay, “You don’t just go to classes, but you become part of another family.”
A special, non-human, guest in the ballroom was the Lombardi Trophy, won by the New York Giants two weeks earlier at the Super Bowl. A long line of guests, including the new inductees and their families took advantage of the opportunity to pose for photos with the trophy.