Athletic Hall of Fame
Class of 2013 to be announced later this year
About the Athletic Hall of Fame
The Herkimer County Community College Athletic Hall of Fame honors former Herkimer County Community College athletes, coaches, teams and other individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to the College through intercollegiate athletics. Nominations will be accepted biannually in four categories:1) athlete 2) team 3) coach and 4) associate member, administrator or contributor. To be eligible for membership in the Athletic Hall of Fame, nominees must meet the following criteria:
- Athletes must have successfully completed at least one full season in a given sport, brought prestige and recognition to the College, and either graduated from Herkimer County Community College or transferred to a four-year college or university where he/she received a bachelor’s degree.
- Teams must have compiled a significant record of accomplishments at the regional and/or national level.
- Coaches must have compiled a significant winning record for a minimum of five complete seasons while contributing to the future success, either in college or employment, of the athletes who competed under his/her leadership.
- Associate members, administrators and contributors must have made special contributions to the quality, growth and reputation of Herkimer’s intercollegiate athletic program at the community, state, and/or national level.
To be eligible for consideration, a nominee must have been disassociated with the College by virtue of graduation, advancement in career or transfer to another institution of higher education for at least five years or have been disassociated with his/her coaching or administrative responsibilities for a period of five years. A selection committee may choose up to six nominees (1 contributor, 1 coach, 1 team, and 3 athletes) for membership in the Hall of Fame biannually.
Class of 2011
Herkimer County Community College inducted its inaugural class into the Athletic Hall of Fame Friday, September 30, 2011. Pictured above (from left): Dr. Frederick Douglass Opie, Thomas LaPuma, Marguerite Alofs (accepting the award for her late husband Jack Alofs), Dwight Barnett and Sharon Gleasman-Howell. View full story
Of Frankfort, was instrumental in developing the intercollegiate athletic program at HCCC as well as the physical education curriculum, fitness center, and intramural sport program. LaPuma was hired as an instructor of physical education in 1970 and retired as a professor emeritus in 2003. He served as director of athletics from 1974 to 1990. During his tenure, LaPuma coached men’s lacrosse, women’s soccer, women’s tennis, women’s softball, men’s volleyball, men’s golf, men’s baseball, men’s wrestling and men’s bowling. In 2001, he was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. LaPuma served in numerous professional organizations throughout his career, including being a U.S. representative for the International University Sports Federation (FISU) since 1999. From 2005-2010, he served as Vice-President for the Men’s Division of the NJCAA, until his recent retirement.
Taught physical education and coached basketball at Herkimer from 1971 until his retirement in 1991. During his 20 years at Herkimer, Alofs achieved a 72 percent winning percentage with a record of 391-155. Highlights of his career included a fourth place finish in the National Junior College Division I basketball tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1987, and a Division III Junior College National Basketball Championship in 1991. Alofs was twice named New York State Junior College Coach of the Year, and was inducted into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2005, Alofs published a book, “Jack Plus 5: Secrets, Strategies, Experiences and Fundamentals in Coaching Winning Basketball.” In his book, Alofs shared his coaching techniques and strategies, as well as many human interest stories about his experiences coaching high school and college basketball. Originally from Gloversville and a long-time resident of New Hartford, Jack received this award posthumously.
A native of Jamaica, NY, led the 2005 Herkimer Generals men’s soccer team to a NJCAA national championship. While at Herkimer, Barnett was named two-time All Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year, two-time Region III Player of the Year, two-time NJCAA first team All-American, two-time NSCAA first team All-American, and NSCAA Division III Junior College National Player of the Year. After graduating from Herkimer, Barnett received an athletic scholarship to Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida where he led the Fighting Knights to two consecutive NCAA national tournament appearances and was selected as the Sunshine State Conference Offensive Player of the Year. He was also named a NSCAA third team All-American and a CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine third team Academic All-American. Barnett went on to play for the Montreal Impact of the United Soccer League First Division, scored his first goal of his professional soccer career in the 83rd minute of a 2-1 victory over Miami FC. Barnett was the first men’s soccer player from HCCC to be drafted in the MLS.
Of Ilion, excelled as a multi-sport athlete at Herkimer. Howell was a member of the 1978 and 1979 volleyball, basketball and women’s track teams. She competed in volleyball and track regionals and nationals, was named Most Valuable Player for track, Most Improved Player for volleyball, and was named to the regional all-star volleyball team. Howell was named All-American for track and held several records including the 100 meter, 200 meter, long jump, high jump, 400 meter relay, 800 meter relay and sprint medley relay. She was named HCCC’s Female Athlete of the Year in 1979 and was one of the first HCCC female athletes to receive a Division I scholarship. She earned a B.S. in physical education from the University of Rhode Island where she played volleyball and broke several track records, some of which still stand in the top 10 today. Howell also holds an M.S. from SUNY Cortland and is a long-time professor and coach at HCCC.
Of Boston, MA, was a two-time NJCAA All-American lacrosse player and Team MVP while at Herkimer. Opie continued his education at Syracuse University where he played in two national championship games in 1984 and 1985 in which the Orange lost to John Hopkins University both years. He also played club lacrosse with the Long Island and Maryland Lacrosse Clubs and earned a World Championship with the Men’s National Lacrosse Team in Perth, Australia in 1990. Opie holds a Ph.D. in History from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University and is Professor of History and Foodways at Babson College. He is author of Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America (Columbia University Press, 2008), Black Labor Migration in Caribbean Guatemala, 1882-1923, Florida Work in the Americas Series (University of Florida Press, July 2009) and numerous journal articles on Latin American history and foodways. He is also a blogger at http://frederickdouglassopie.blogspot.com/ where he does “Daily Musings on Culture, History, and Food with Related Recipes.” Opie has appeared on American Public Media, BBC radio, and National Public Radio.