Central Connecticut women's basketball head coach Beryl Piper, a 1987 graduate of CCSU, has been selected to receive 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.
Piper will receive the award at the Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Dinner on Saturday, May 5, 2018 in Alumni Hall on the CCSU Campus beginning at 6 p.m.
The 2018 CCSU Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame class includes, Thomas Bezrutczyk '77 (track and field), Jen Cote '04 (volleyball), Amy Crispino '97 (softball), Jere Quinn '77 (basketball), Juan Roman '90 (football), Mark St. Germain (football) and the 2004 baseball team.
Piper was selected to the CCSU Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999 and is one of 12 women's basketball members in the select group. Piper has also received the Rebecca McCord Award for Athletic and Academic Excellence from Central Connecticut State University.
Piper recently completed her 11th season at the helm of the Blue Devils program. She has posted the most Division I wins in the program's history winning over 140 games and ranks second on the program's all-time wins chart.
She coached the 2015-16 team to a share of the Northeast Conference regular season crown for the first time in program history. Central won a program-record 14 conference games and earned the second postseason tournament bid in program history, facing Fordham in the Women's National Invitation Tournament.
Piper has coached the Blue Devils to 19-win campaigns in 2010-11 and 2014-15, marking their best win totals since moving to Division I. Her 142 career wins ranks second in Central annals and her CCSU program has advanced to the NEC semifinals five times, while earning bids to the WNIT in 2009 and 2015.
Piper returned to her alma mater after leading New Britain High School to three state titles and 289 wins in 19 seasons. Among her many accolades while coaching the Golden Hurricanes was being named Connecticut High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year, being presented with the Merit Award by the CIAC Girls Basketball Committee and being named the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance Doc McInerney Coach of the Year in a female sport. In 2008 she was inducted into the New Britain Sports Hall of Fame.
Piper came to Central as an undergraduate from Trumbull High School and played basketball under the legendary Brenda Reilly. A four-year player and co-captain of the 1985-86 women's basketball team, Piper helped lead the Blue Devils to a 24-4 mark as a senior. That team, which reached the NCAA Division II quarterfinals, holds the record for most wins and best winning percentage in program history.
Piper also played for the Blue Devils softball team and won the Gail Rutz Award as a senior as CCSU's outstanding female student-athlete. She went on to play professionally for Team Blarney in Ireland, where she was part of the 1986-87 national championship team.