Fordham Welcomes Athletic HOF Class of 2015
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By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 9- On February 7, the newest contingent of former student-athletic standouts were inducted into the Fordham University Athletic Hall of Fame. The first class was inducted during the 1970-71 year and included Frank Frisch “the Fordham Flash” and Vince Lombardi. The seven newest inductees were all students at Fordham during the 21st century with the exception of one, Kevin Sullivan, who graduated in 1974.
Sullivan was the only one of the seven who participated in water sports. The Bronx native qualified for the Eastern Championships in each of his four years at Fordham as both a swimmer and member of the water polo team. In 1973, he was selected to the All-East Water polo team.
One track and one field athlete of the first decade of the 21st century was also inducted. Matt DiBuono (’04), the five-time Atlantic-10 titlist, was a specialist in the hammer, 35 lb. weight throws and the shot put. Tom Dewey, the current Track & Field coach accepted the award for DiBuono.
Mark Porcaro (’09), in the 400, was the first Fordham runner to win an Atlantic-10 event. The team MVP in all four years at Fordham holds the Fordham indoor mark at 48.11. The Bronx native won the Terence J. O’Donnell Award in 2004.
Erin Brooks (’04) was a true student-athlete in her years at Fordham. In addition to contributing to the softball team’s first 30 win season in 2003, Brooks was an Academic All-America in 2003 and 2004. She was the university’s winner of the Hobbs Family Award, which is given to the school’s best female athlete. She has not wandered far from her college sport as she serves as head softball coach at Haverford College.
Dominique Ligouri Damian (’09) joined her mother, Bette-Ann Speliotis Ligouri as the only mother-daughter duo in the Fordham HOF. The tennis great, like her mom, was a four-time team MVP. She was a First Team All-Atlantic-10 in 2007 and 2009.
Marcus Stout (’08) was a starter in all four years on the basketball team. He remains in career scoring with 1,709 points and second in threes with 259. Stout was selected to the Atlantic-10 All-Rookie Team. Stout played basketball professionally in Europe for three years. Stout’s coach at Fordham, Derek Wittenburg returned for the ceremony honoring his former player.
Marcus Taylor (’07) was recognized nationally as a defense standout on the gridiron during his years at Fordham. He was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year in 2006. He ranked high nationally in tackles in 2005 and 2006. Taylor brought his two, young daughters to the podium to accept his award with him.
Porcara gave the response from the honorees. He talked of the meaning of the awards, “This is home to us. Thank you for welcoming us home for this special occasion. Our families have always been our greatest fans. So much credit goes to our coaches and our teammates.”
Father McShane spoke of the humility of giving the credit to others, “They turn the focus away from themselves to those who were the sources of their strength and their inspirations. Today they are induced into our Pantheon.”
New York Yankee broadcaster, a Fordham graduate, served, as he does nearly every year, as the emcee of the award ceremony, and as usual, did an excellent job. Fordham President McShane referred to him as “the great ambassador for Fordham.”