Photos courtesy of Ithaca College Sports Information
The Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed its largest induction class since 2006 Friday evening.
The class of 2012 features 10 alumni dating from 1964 to 2002, including two members who are still actively coaching for the Bombers.
Members of this year’s class include Brooke Andrews ’01, Sandra (Picioccio) Givas ’87, Blase Iuliano ’64, Becky Karver ’01, Dan Katz ’98, Mike O’Donovan ’99, Deb Pallozzi, Tracy Swyers ’95, Liz (Jackstadt) Theeman ’02 and Geoff Wright ’72.
To qualify for the athletic hall of fame, each member must be at least 10 years removed from his or her graduation from the college. After the 10-year waiting period, the nominee becomes eligible for consideration by a committee consisting of members of the college’s sports information, athletic, alumni and health studies and human performance departments.
Ken Kutler, associate director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation sports, said after a nominee is eligible for the hall of fame, he or she will be in consideration every February when the committee reviews the list. During the review, the committee creates a list of 16 nominees, and from there, it can choose up to 10 nominees for induction. Kutler also said every hall of fame class carries its own uniqueness.
“We have a wide variety of athletes in this group, some who played multiple sports and some who won individual championships as well,” Kutler said. “We also have an automatic qualifier, which is something we don’t see every year.”
Pallozzi, the softball team’s head coach, is the automatic qualifier for this year’s class. In 2011, Pallozzi was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame, a distinction that Kutler said automatically grants her induction into the college’s athletic hall of fame.
Pallozzi said it is special to her to be inducted while still having the opportunity to be a coach and work with the players year-round.
“It’s unbelievable that I’m still coaching, and when a coach has the honor of being inducted into their hall of fame, I know it’s because of the players I had the chance to coach,” Pallozzi said. “It’s quite an honor, and there’s some pretty dynamic people in it already.
There are also members of this year’s hall of fame class who coach and work in the same sport they played during their time as a Bomber. Givas won an individual national championship for gymnastics in her senior year and led the Bombers to a second-place finish at the national championship meet. Despite moving to Florida after graduation, Givas said she has maintained contact with her former teammates and her gymnastics Head Coach Rick Suddaby, who will introduce Givas at the induction ceremony.
“Nothing was more exciting to me than seeing my team advancing and performing well against a difficult opponent,” Givas said. “When you look back and see all the things that our team accomplished, it’s a special sense of satisfaction and just euphoric because I loved the sport so much.”