Manhattan College will hold its 32nd annual Athletic Hall of Fame Induction on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 6:00 p.m. in Smith Auditorium, sponsored by the Manhattan College Alumni Society. The eight honored inductees are: Brenton Birmingham ’95, men’s basketball; Roger Freda ’67, football; Joseph Hayes ’36, swimming (posthumously); George Kiefer ’36, baseball (posthumously); James McHugh, track and field coach 1962-1969; Steven Quagliano ’78, crew; Br. Thomas Scanlan, F.S.C., Manhattan president 1987-2009; and Sophia Tasker-Sterling ’97, track.
In addition, the 1930-1931 basketball team, selected as the No. 1 college basketball team in New York City by The New York Times, and the 1965-1968 football team, which won the 1966 club national championship, will also be honored at the ceremony.
The 2010 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees will be recognized for their tremendous hard work and commitment to Manhattan College’s athletic program.
Their accomplishments include:
Brenton Birmingham ’95, men’s basketball – In his first game for Manhattan against Hofstra, Birmingham set a school record by sinking six of seven from three-point land. In the last seven games of his junior year, he shot 64 percent from the floor, with 52 percent from three-point range. He played both the small forward and shooting guard positions and kept the Jaspers from losing a game at home (the only season that ever happened). In addition, he was the high scorer when the Jaspers played their first NCAA Tournament game in 35 years. During his senior year, he received the Mike Cohen Award (MVP), and was named First Team All-Metropolitan, Academic All-American District 1-First Team, MAAC All-Tournament Team, MAAC All-Academic Team and All-MAAC Second Team.
Roger Freda ’67, football – When Manhattan reintroduced a football team to the athletic lineup in 1965 after not having a team since World War II, Freda started his career with the College. Freda was known for making thrilling catches that changed the pace of many games. As a wingback (wide receiver), Freda’s touchdown helped to win his first game as a Jasper against NYU with a score of 20-14. The highlight of Freda’s football career occurred when the Jaspers defeated the Fordham Rams for the first time 38-26, after he retrieved an almost intercepted ball and ran into the end zone. He was awarded the MVP trophy for the game for bringing victory to the Jaspers against Fordham for the first time in history.
Joseph Hayes ’36, swimming (posthumously) - Hayes was often called “The Iron Man” in the pool because of his scoring in many races at each competition, and had an undefeated record as a freshman. The highlight of Hayes’ swimming career was during his junior year when he set the record for the 50-yard freestyle, an extremely difficult task for a long distance swimmer. He continued to be a vital member of the team, leading the Jaspers to a victory over Fordham University and serving as an anchor on many relays for the remainder of his college career.
George Kiefer ’36, baseball (posthumously) - As a Metropolitan All-Star shortstop, he was known for his ability with the bat and glove. Although he was sidelined with a broken ankle early in his sophomore season, Kiefer came back his junior year to news stories heralding him “as potentially the greatest ball player to swing for the Green in many a season.” He was also named to the All-New York College Baseball team.
James McHugh, track and field coach 1962-1969 - In 1962, McHugh started working at Manhattan College as the assistant track and field coach and sports information director before taking over as head coach for six years. During what would be considered a short tenure, he won nine Metropolitan Intercollegiate Championships (two cross country, four indoors and three outdoors). When the 1968 track year concluded, McHugh’s athletes held 17 of the 26 Manhattan College track records. He also has 11 of his Jaspers in the Athletic Hall of Fame.
Steven Quagliano ’78, crew - Quagliano led his freshman 8 and 4+ team into several wins his first season in the coxswain position, including first place finishes in the Freshman 4+ and second place finishes in the Freshman 8 at the Grimaldi Cup Regatta and the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Rowing Championships (MIRA). That year he also made the semifinals in the Freshman 4+ in the highly competitive Dad Vail Regatta, competing with 1,100 rowers from 48 schools. In fact, he reached the semis or finals (one as coach) all four years of his collegiate career at this national level. When the team faltered after losing coach Tom Delaney due to illness, most thought the season was lost. Quagliano, however, stepped down from his position as coxswain to serve as the team’s coach. Under his leadership, the Jaspers had victories at the Grimaldi Cup, MIRA Championship and placed second in the Marist College President Cup. The Freshman Lightweight 8 also stroked their way to a third place finish at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta, and this was the best finish for a Jasper 8 since World War II.
Br. Thomas Scanlan, F.S.C., Manhattan president 1987-2009 - Br. Scanlan brought Jasper athletics to a new level during his tenure, and created a program that was balanced for both men and women with scholarships available for all 19 Division I athletic teams on campus. He was instrumental in bringing three new programs to campus — women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse. With 72 MAAC Post-Season Championships and 18 MAAC Regular-Season Championships notched on his belt during his 66 seasons on campus, Br. Scanlan made sure that academics were not compromised while enhancing the athletic program. Hundreds of All-Academic MAAC athletes attest to the integrity of an athletic program that proved excellent students could also excel on the court and field.
Sophia Tasker-Sterling ’97, track - During Sterling’s athletic career at Manhattan, she achieved five track records for the College. She continued to set records in every category, whether indoors or outdoors, relays or individual races. Today, her records still stand in indoor, including: the 55-meter dash with a time of 6.92 at the ECAC Championships in Boston in 1997, and the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.49 at the George Mason Invitational in Fairfax in 1997. Her records in outdoor include: the 4x400-meter in 45.76 at the ECAC Championships in Fairfax in1996, the 4x200-meter relay in 1:38.25 at the Penn Relays in 1997, and the Sprint Medley in 3:57.21 at the Penn Relays in 1995. Sterling was All-East five times and still holds a MAAC Championship Record of 7.09 set in 1997. She placed first in the 4x100-meter outdoors as a sophomore at the Mets, the 100-meter dash outdoors as a junior, and the 55-meter indoors as a senior.