Blue Devils Induct 2013 Hall of Fame Class

The Central Connecticut Department of Athletics held its 2013 Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Friday night, Jan. 25 in Alumni Hall in the CCSU Student Center.  More than 150 guests and current Hall of Fame members gathered to welcome five new individual inductees, and one team, into the Hall of Fame.

COMPLETE PHOTO GALLERY

The class 2013 consists of five individuals and one team.  The 1961 cross country team becomes the first team to be inducted into the Hall. The individuals who joined the Hall of Fame are Bruce Biel ’88 (broadcaster), Christine Dadducci ’96 (volleyball), Dawn Hankey ’96 (softball), Joe Murphy ’69 (football) and Ronald Thompson ’68 (cross country/track).

"The men and women in this Blue Devil Hall of Fame class represent everything that makes Central Connecticut Athletics special.  They were inducted for their excellence in athletics, but they are also first class individuals who have achieved great success in their professional lives," Director of Athletics Paul Schlickmann said.  "The five individuals who entered our Hall continue to represent CCSU in a positive light in everything that they do.  We were also thrilled to award our first ever team induction.  The 1961 Cross Country team is indicative of the rich tradition and history of success achieved by many teams in our storied Blue Devil past.  They are most deserving of this unique honor."

In addition to the Hall of Fame Inductees, former football student-athlete Dan Siracusa '79, was awarded the Harrison J. Kaiser Alumni Service Award.  The Kaiser Alumni Service Award is given to a CCSU alumnus/alumna who participated in intercollegiate athletics at CCSU and who, since graduation, has distinguished himself or herself and the University by his/her accomplishments and service.

"As our Kaiser Award recipient, Dan Siracusa has translated the lessons he learned on the field of play into exceptional success as a businessman, as an engaged and generous alumnus and as a mentor and leader in the community," Schlickmann said.

The CCSU Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame recognizes and honors former outstanding CCSU student-athletes for their contributions and achievements in athletics. Nominees, in general, must be of good character and worthy of the award, and individuals, who, through their actions, have shown support for the ideals of the University. Nominees shall have represented CCSU in a positive manner both on and off the playing arena.  There are currently 137 members of the CCSU Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame, and one team.

BRUCE BIEL ‘88
Bruce Biel is a 1988 CCSU graduate and has been the voice of CCSU on the radio for the past 25 years, since his days as an undergraduate student. Biel is a former sports director of the campus radio station and holds the distinction of calling the school’s first-ever Division I contest in 1986. He also called the school’s first-ever Division I NCAA Tournament game in March of 2000. Co-workers of Biel have said “His passion for and commitment to the university cannot be fully measured,” and “Bruce is part of the reason the audience and excitement for the CCSU athletics program continues to grow.” Biel has been entertaining and informing audiences for a quarter of a century and has been a staple of CCSU basketball broadcasts on its radio network, most recently on Fox Sports Radio 1410 and ESPN Radio 1300. Biel is a former producer at WVIT NBC-30 in West Hartford and was also a broadcaster for the New Britain Red Sox from 1986-1989. He also broadcasts CCSU football games.

CHRISTINE DADDUCCI ‘96
Christine Dadducci, a standout volleyball player for the Blue Devils from 1992-95, holds four career records including matches played (139), sets played (500), kills (1,678) and blocks (506). She also holds three of the top five spots in single-season kills; first (471), second (470) and fifth (431). Dadducci is second in single-season hitting percentage (.377) and single-season blocks (153). Her .304 career hitting percentage is fifth overall. In addition to her impressive hitting and blocking statistics, Dadducci also ranks fourth all-time among Central volleyball players in service aces (157), seventh in digs (945) and is tied for eighth in single-season service aces (53). Dadducci earned numerous conference accolades during her athletic career in the East Coast Conference and in the Mid-Continent Conference. She was named to the All-East Coast Conference second team in 1993. She was also named Mid-Con Player of the Week twice and Defensive Player of the Week once. She earned a spot on the Mid-Con Conference First Team in 1994 and Mid-Con Conference East Division First Team in 1995. In 1994 she was ranked 15th nationally and first in the Mid-Con Conference with a .377 hitting percentage. Dadducci capped of her career with placement on numerous all-tournament teams, a tournament MVP nod and even tried out for the U.S.A. National team.    

DAWN HANKEY ‘96
Dawn Hankey set multiple records while playing softball for the Blue Devils from 1993-96. She currently holds four career records and ranks in the top four on the career list in 10 out of 11 major statistical categories. The 1996 graduate holds the school record for triples (18), RBI (108), total bases (290) and slugging percentage (.543). She is second in batting average (.337), hits (180) and at bats (534). Hankey finished her career with 15 homeruns, 29 doubles and 83 runs scored, putting her fourth all-time in each of those categories. Hankey holds the record for putouts in a single season (140) and is tied for the most triples in a single season with eight. Hankey played in every game in three-straight seasons, 1994, 1995 and 1996. In 1996 she received Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Week honors and was named to the All-Mid Con Conference First Team. In each of her four seasons, Hankey finished first on the team in RBI and finished in the top two in batting average and hits. She was first on the team in doubles, triples (tied), home runs and slugging percentage in three of her four seasons.

JOE MURPHY ‘69
Joe Murphy, a 1969 graduate of Central, was a key member of the Central football defensive line during his time as a Blue Devil. He served as a defensive co-captain during the 1968 season in which Central allowed only 4.4 points per game in nine games. The 1968 team finished first nationally in the NCAA college division in points allowed per game. During his third year, Central suffered only one loss with Murphy as the defensive co-captain. He was the first Blue Devil to be honored with a spot on the Eastern College Athletic Conference team and also earned a spot on the Associated Press Second Defensive Team for New England among stars from Harvard and Yale in 1968. Murphy’s coach, Bill Loika, described Murphy as “the heart of our defense,” Loika said, “He always comes up with the big play, the key tackle.” Following his impressive football career, Murphy earned his master’s degree from Central in 1972.

RONALD THOMPSON ’68 (Posthumously)
Ronald Thompson, a 1968 graduate of Central, made a long-standing mark on the cross country and track record books. He holds the record in the 440 yard dash with a time of 47.00, a record he set in his final season at CCSU that has been unsurpassed in nearly 45 years. Thompson was also a member of the 1967 4x440 yard relay team that currently tops the record book with a time of 3:12.20. Thompson was the co-captain in his final year and was a consistent performer throughout his career. In each his three years, Thompson claimed the New England 440 Yard Championship (1966-1968). As a freshman, Thompson was a member of the freshman one mile relay team that set a new school record by three seconds. As a sophomore he was a member of the relay team that clinched three victories in a meet against Villanova and Georgetown. Thompson finished his career with an impressive collection of first-place victories and school records.

1961 CROSS COUNTRY TEAM
The 1961 Cross Country Team enjoyed a stellar season that remains unmatched in school history. The team, under Head Coach Ted Owen, earned an impressive third place finish at the NAIA National Cross Country Championships in Omaha, NE. The team boasted three All-Americans in Jim Keefe, Ray Crothers and Greg Bigelow. Keefe earned the national title coming in first place out of 98 participants at the National Championships. He was followed by Crothers in ninth and Bigelow in 10th. Other key members of the team included Augie Grace, Norm Marincic and Ralph Harper.

DAN SIRACUSA '79 - Kaiser Alumni Service Award
Dan Siracusa '79, will be awarded the Harrison J. Kaiser Alumni Service Award.  The Kaiser Alumni Service Award is given to a CCSU alumnus/alumna who participated in intercollegiate athletics at CCSU and who, since graduation, has distinguished himself or herself and the University by his/her accomplishments and service.  Dan has established one of the premier moving companies in Connecticut since his time as an undergraduate with the Blue Devils.  He also founded Button Up Connecticut, the largest winter coat drive in the country.  Since 1993 they have collected and distributed over 400,000 coats.