Inaugural Bears Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Announced

April 27, 2015

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - April 27, 2015 - The Office of Alumni Engagement and the Brooklyn Athletic Department at St. Joseph's College (SJC) are proud to announce the inaugural Bears Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will be held on Friday, May 29 at 6 p.m. at The Hill Center, located on the College's Brooklyn Campus.

The inaugural class of seven honorees includes Margaret Ward, Laurie Barth '72, Steve Somers '82, Bobby Knapp '88, Mary Barry '03, Luke Caccavo '04 and the 1971-1972 men's basketball team. As an added feature, the induction ceremony will also recognize the true pioneers of the College’s athletic program by paying tribute to all of the women who participated in a variety of sports from the decades preceding the 1970s. 

“We are thrilled to celebrate the rich history and tradition of the Brooklyn athletics program by honoring these worthy inductees," said Brooklyn Athletic Director Frank P. Carbone. "In many instances, their recognition is long overdue and we feel is it very appropriate to officially open the doors of our Hall of Fame with a wonderful ceremony here in The Hill Center.”

In addition to teaching physical education and coordinating the intramural program at SJC, Ward was the first athletic director of the Brooklyn Campus and was the long-time women's basketball coach from 1951-1984. Her teams had great success competing against schools across the metropolitan area, such as St. John's, LIU, Molloy, St. Francis and others.

Over her four-year career from 1967-71, Barth averaged 25 points per game amassing 1,020 points. She was the first woman in the NYC metropolitan area to cross the century scoring mark and set a city record that remained for more than three seasons.

Somers was a member of the men's basketball team for two seasons (1980-82) and currently is completing his second season as a volunteer assistant coach for the Bears baseball team in addition to serving on the College's Board of Trustees. The owner and president of Vigon International,Inc. has been an extremely generous contributor to the College across a variety of settings and played an instrumental role in providing many of the amenities that exist within The Hill Center.

Nicknamed "The Wizard", Knapp scored an astonishing 2,004 points in just three seasons (1985-88) in a Bears uniform. He averaged 35.7 points per game, including scoring 50-plus points five times highlighted by a single-game record of 59 points against Southern Vermont College.

Barry totaled 1,895 points over her four-year career (1999-2003), one of the highest scoring totals in program history, recording four straight seasons with more than 100 points, 100 rebounds, 100 steals and 100 assists—the only Lady Bear ever to accomplish the feat. The USCAA All-American helped lead the Lady Bears to three straight USCAA National Championship tournament appearances.

Caccavo was a member of the 1,500-point scoring club as a Bear from 2000-2004, receiving USCAA All-American honors in 2003 when he helped lead the Bears to the USCAA National Championship game—the only national championship appearance in any sport in SJC history. After graduating from SJC, Caccavo joined the Bears coaching staff for four seasons and was on the sidelines when they captured their first Hudson Valley Conference championship.

The first varsity men’s basketball team in SJC history took the court during the ’71-’72 season, featuring seven underclassmen led by Coach James Sullivan. The team competed primarily as a road team, playing 12 games against a variety of opponents throughout the metropolitan area. In just a short period of time, they developed into a quality squad who immediately earned respect on the hoops scene across the entire city in the early ’70s.

The Bears Athletic Hall of Fame honors former athletes, coaches and friends of the College who have contributed significantly to the athletic program and continue to exemplify the principles of sportsmanship and integrity through their contributions and achievements in their respective communities and professions.

Tickets to the Hall of Fame Reception and Ceremony are $40 per person. For more information, contact Evelyn S. Jones, assistant director of alumni engagement, at 718.940.5575 or [email protected]