C-Club Hall of Fame Adds Six Members
The SUNY Cortland C-Club will induct six new members into its Hall of Fame during the 42nd Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, Oct. 30, in the Corey Union Function Room.
This year’s honorees are: Alfred Pisano ’61, Fred Acee ’63, Richard Bianchino ’63, John Anselmo ’71, Sue Lauder ’75 and honorary inductee Joan Sitterly.
Established in 1969, the C-Club Hall of Fame recognizes Cortland alumni who competed as athletes at the College and who have since distinguished themselves in their professions and within their communities. Honorary members are recognized for their long and significant contributions to SUNY Cortland athletics.
New C-Club members have been added annually, and this year’s ceremony will bring the Hall of Fame roster to 213 alumni and 24 honorary members.
Alfred F. Pisano, Jr. ‘61 of Palm Harbor, Fla.
As the Cortland men’s lacrosse coach from 1965-69, Al Pisano was the architect of the Red Dragon program’s growth into a national powerhouse, while also guiding several student-athletes who would become some of the top lacrosse coaches in the country.
Pisano, who graduated from Mineola (N.Y.) High School, had started all four years as a defenseman on the lacrosse squad at SUNY Cortland, where he majored in physical education. An honorable mention All-American and two-time all-state selection, he captained the team and won the Red Letter as a senior.
The house president of Beta Phi Epsilon fraternity, Pisano won two letters as a football guard and linebacker.
After graduating in 1961, Pisano earned a master’s degree in physical education at The Pennsylvania State University, where he coached the freshman lacrosse squad. He returned to Long Island as a lacrosse and football coach at Massapequa High School for two years.
In 1964, Pisano became a physical education instructor, assistant football and head gymnastics and lacrosse coach at SUNY Cortland. Over the next five seasons, he put Cortland lacrosse on the national map. His teams went 45-12-1, including one-loss campaigns in 1967 and 1969, a pair of wins over Syracuse University, and moved from 33rd nationally to eighth in the country at a time when there was only one division.
He coached several All-Americans and participants in the North-South game, in which he was both an assistant and a head coach in 1969 and 1970, respectively.
Pisano launched Cortland’s well-deserved reputation as “The Cradle of Lacrosse Coaches.” His former Red Dragon charges include: Tony Seaman ’65 (Towson, Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, C.W. Post), Mike Messere ’66 (West Genesee High), Dave Urick ’70 (Hobart and Georgetown), Rich O’Leary ’70 (Notre Dame), Mike Waldvogel ’69 (Yale), Rich Speckmann ’67 (Nassau Community College) and the late Paul Rose ’67 (Geneseo, Colgate, Morrisville).
Pisano joined the U.S. Military Academy staff in 1970 and directed Army men’s lacrosse to a 53-19 record, including an appearance in the first-ever NCAA final four in 1971, over the next seven seasons. Six of his former Cortland and Army players are members of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
From 1976-83, he was physical education director and head football and lacrosse coach at Mercersburg (Pa.) Academy.
Since 1983, Pisano has been at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, Fla. He joined the staff as a physical educator and football coach. His teams went 70-35 between 1983-93 with two undefeated seasons and a district and regional championship. He was the 1985 Florida Athletic Coaches Association District Coach of the Year. Pisano has served as athletic director and, since 1993, has been dean of the students in the upper division.
A 2000 inductee in the Berkeley Hall of Fame, Pisano has received both its Pro-Communicate Award and The Berkeley Shield for contributions to the school community. In 1988, Berkeley renamed its softball field for Pisano and his wife, Marguerite “Peg” Mottola Pisano ’66, a teacher and coach there. They have four children, Alfred, Laura, Michael and Ronald.
Fred Acee ’63 of Monument, Colo.
Over the past four decades, Fred Acee ’63 has impacted collegiate lacrosse as a highly successful coach, role model and one of the founders of the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA).
Between 1966-97, Acee guided the Farmingdale Community College men’s lacrosse program to an amazing 312-119-1 overall record, 25 final four appearances in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) championships, and national championship titles in 1977, 1981 and 1987. He was voted the national junior college Coach of the Year in each of those three seasons.
Acee, who holds a career record of 350-223-1, was the U.S. Air Force Academy head lacrosse coach from 1998-2008. He served in an administrative capacity during his final year with the Falcons before retiring in 2009. He returned as a volunteer assistant in the 2010 season.
In 1994, he was the defensive coach of the USA Lacrosse Team that captured the world championship. Four years later, he served on the executive board for the USA Team. In 2002, he coached the South team in the North-South Division I lacrosse game.
In 2001, the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) presented Acee with its prestigious Howdy Meyers Man of the Year Award for his extraordinary contributions and unselfish and untiring devotion to the game of lacrosse. He served on the USILA Rules Advisory Committee.
He received the USILA’s Joseph R. “Frenchy” Julien Award in 2007 for outstanding and continuous service to the sport. The same year, IMLCA gave Acee its Creators Award. In 1992, he was inducted into the Long Island Metropolitan Lacrosse Sports Hall of Fame. A past president of NJCAA, Acee was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2005.
Acee serves on the board of directors of the IMLCA, an organization of college coaches devoted to growing the sport, providing coaching development and monitoring the integrity of lacrosse.
A native of Clinton, N.Y., Acee was a standout in football, basketball and baseball at Clinton Central High School, where he is a 2005 Hall of Fame inductee.
Acee majored in physical education at SUNY Cortland, where he played quarterback on the football squad and competed all four years as a midfielder on the lacrosse unit. He earned the Red Letter and was an All-Morrill Division selection as a senior. He was a member of Beta Phi Epsilon fraternity and performed with Bess Koval’s Folk Dance group
He graduated from Cortland in 1963 and earned a master’s degree from Ithaca College in 1966. He taught physical education and coached boys and girls sports at Leonardsville (N.Y.) Central School from 1963-65 and was an elementary physical education instructor in the Ithaca (N.Y.) City Schools the following year.
At Farmingdale Community College, Acee chaired the Physical Education Department from 1975-97, was head soccer coach from 1966-76, directed intramurals from 1972-76 and was head women’s tennis coach from 1992-96.
Acee, who has been active recently with the Starlight Children’s Foundation in Colorado Springs, Colo., has three children, Andreana, Michael and Paulette.
Richard L. Bianchino ’63 of Anaheim Hills, Calif.
A four-sport athlete at Cortland, Richard Bianchino became a highly decorated Marine Corps officer and pilot whose repeated courage and valor in the face of danger saved lives and earned him a Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, and the Republic of Vietnam Air Cross of Gallantry.
The Albany (N.Y.) High School graduate and exceptional scholastic athlete majored in physical education at Cortland. He played halfback and safety in football, was among the state’s fastest track sprinters, competed as a lacrosse midfielder and performed on parallel bars and vault at the NCAA Eastern Regional gymnastics meet.
Bianchino was vice president of his class, active in the Men’s Glee Club, Dance Club, Social Activities Council, Beta Phi Epsilon fraternity and was a residence hall counselor.
He graduated from Cortland in 1963 and later earned a master’s degree in human resources management from Pepperdine University.
In 1963, he began his long career with the U.S. Marine Corps. Over the next three years, he served in both the U.S. and in Vietnam as an infantry officer with the 3rd Marine Div., and infantry company commander with the 1st Marine Div. Promoted to captain, he was staff platoon commander and instructor at The Basic School in Quantico, Va.
Bianchino became a student at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., where Roger Staubach quarterbacked his Navy Goshawks football squad.
In 1969, he returned to Vietnam as a pilot with the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, the most decorated squadron in Vietnam and the unit with the highest casualty rate. Bianchino suffered severe wounds in April 1969 when his helicopter was shot down attempting to save trapped Marines. He returned to duty as instructor pilot in Florida, where he was promoted to major.
In 1975, as a commanding officer, he helped to design and execute the plan for the safe evacuation of U.S. forces and civilians from the city of Saigon. From 1975-78, he was head of the Marine Corps Sports Unit, served on the U.S. Olympic delegation to Montreal, and mentored fellow U.S. Marines and Olympic boxer Leon Spinks.
In January 1979, he nicknamed his newly activated helicopter squadron the “Red Dragons” in deference to his alma mater. The squadron, still known by the same name, has been honored for its actions in combat situations and worldwide disaster relief operations.
Bianchino served as executive assistant to the chief of staff for the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii and was an associate professor and director of the University of Washington Navy ROTC, before retiring in 1987.
He was staff manager of human resources for McDonnell-Douglas Corp. and worked for Interstate Specialty Marketing in California. He now presides over real estate and marketing firms.
Assisting the sick and youth groups for nearly 30 years with the Knights of Columbus, Bianchino has been active with local organizations to provide high school scholarships for budding artists and to paint the homes of elderly and disabled residents.
He and his wife, Brenda, have two daughters, Leah and Nicole.
John Anselmo ’71 of Massapequa, N.Y.
Presently the Syracuse University football secondary coach, John Anselmo ’71 set the highest standard of excellence at Nassau Community College where his football teams won a staggering 80 percent of their games during his 18 seasons as head coach.
From 1987-94 and 1999-2008, Anselmo guided Nassau to an impressive 152-37 record and 12 Junior College Bowl games. His squads finished undefeated in 1989, 1991 and 1993, capturing the national title in the latter year. Between 1989-94, Nassau won 55 of 58 contests. His teams finished ranked in the nation’s top three on five occasions and the top 20 in 15 different seasons.
A five-time Coastal Conference Coach of the Year, Anselmo mentored more than 150 student-athletes who went on to Division I schools and more than 600 student-athletes who advanced to compete at four-year colleges. Of those, more than 300 received scholarships to compete and earn educations at NCAA Div I or Div I-AA institutions. More than 50 of his charges played in the NFL. Overall, 85 percent of all his Nassau football players advanced to four-year institutions.
Anselmo took over as the Georgia Tech secondary coach for Coach George O’Leary between 1995-98, when his players included future NFL competitors Ryan Stewart, Travares Tillman and Jason Bostic. Georgia Tech competed in the 1997 Carquest Bowl.
A Freeport (N.Y.) High graduate, Anselmo excelled in athletics at Cortland. He won the Red Letter and captained the football team as a record-setting and All-ECAC quarterback. He lost just once in two years as a wrestler before an injury sidelined his career in that sport. He became only the second Red Dragon to bat over .300 for three consecutive years. He was an All-State University of New York Athletic Conference outfielder and the league’s leading hitter. He was the baseball Red Letter Award winner and team captain as a senior.
Anselmo, a member of Beta Phi Epsilon fraternity, served as vice president of the Interfraternity Council on campus. Active with the Men’s Athletic Association, he was listed in the 1971 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Cortland in 1971, a master’s degree from Syracuse University in 1972 and an School District Administrator certificate from C. W. Post in 1981.
He began his professional career teaching physical education and coaching football, wrestling and baseball at Tappan Zee (N.Y.) High School from 1972-77 and at Freeport High School from 1977-86.
Anselmo was the Nassau football defensive coordinator from 1978-86 for Cortland C-Club Hall of Famer Jim Weinman ’60. He joined the Nassau faculty in 1986 as a professor of physical education and remained in that capacity at the college until he left in 2008. In 1993, he received the Distinguished Adjunct Professor of the Year Award.
Within the community, he was active with the Nassau County Heart Association Fundraiser and was a Nassau County Marathon volunteer.
He and his wife, Carol Eichel Anselmo ’71, have three children, Alison, Tracy and Peter.
Sue E. Lauder ’75 of Worcester, Mass.
A gifted four-sport athlete at Cortland, Sue Lauder ’75 has distinguished herself throughout her professional career as a highly successful coach, athletics director, football conference commissioner and member of influential NCAA Div. III national committees.
Since 1996, Lauder has directed and greatly enhanced both the intercollegiate athletics and recreation programs and opportunities at Fitchburg (Mass.) State College. She was a catalyst behind the construction of new facilities and secured one of only nine NCAA/Strategic Alliance grants to help fund Fitchburg athletic initiatives.
Her emphasis on Fitchburg’s coaches and student-athletes becoming involved in the community has established a standard of service that has helped Special Olympics, nursing homes, Habitat for Humanity, blood drives and care packages for the troops. The Fitchburg athletics program received an NCAA Div. III Sportsmanship Award at the national convention in 2010.
Lauder has been the commissioner of the 16-member New England Football Conference — the largest in NCAA Div. III — since 2005. The only female to head a collegiate football-only league, she received the All-American Football Foundation’s Asa S. Bushnell Outstanding Commissioner Award in 2009.
A past president of the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC), Lauder currently serves as vice president and on its Executive Committee.
On a national scale, Lauder chaired the NCAA Div. III Women’s Basketball Committee from 2000-02 and served on the NCAA Nominating Committee from 2005-09. She assisted with the NCAA Future of Div. III Focus Group in 2003-04 and, from 1993-96, served on NCAA Div. II Women’s Basketball Legislative Committee.
A graduate of Fairport (N.Y.) High School, Lauder excelled as a Cortland student-athlete. She competed all four years as a halfback in field hockey and a guard in basketball, serving as team captain in both sports as a senior. She was a softball catcher for a season and sprinted and threw javelin on the track and field squad.
Lauder, a member of Theta Phi sorority, studied in Cologne, Germany, at the Deutsche Sporthochschule as a senior. She earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Cortland in 1975 and a master’s degree from Syracuse University in 1978. She taught and coached at Romulus (N.Y.) High School from 1975-77.
Lauder was director of women’s athletics and the women’s basketball and tennis coach at Hartwick College from 1978-85. She posted a 103-52 overall record in basketball. She won the New York State AIAW Coach of the Year in 1982-83, when her team was undefeated in the regular season and participated in the first-ever NCAA Div. III Tournament.
She was a consultant in adaptive physical education for The Education Cooperative in 1985-86 and assistant director of athletics and director of intramurals and wellness at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Mass., for a year.
Lauder worked at Assumption College in Worcester from 1987-96 as the assistant director of athletics, head women’s basketball coach and the senior women’s administrator.
Joan Sitterly (honorary) of Vass, N.C.
One of college’s all-time premier volleyball coaches, Joan Sitterly established a dynasty in her 22 years as Cortland’s head coach before translating that success into guiding Cortland’s elite NCAA Div. intercollegiate athletics program from 2004 until her retirement in 2010.
Sitterly, who joined the Cortland physical education faculty in 1983, coached the women’s volleyball program to a phenomenal 816-234 record between 1983 and 2004, when she became only the second coach in Div. III women’s volleyball history to reach 800 career wins. Her Cortland teams qualified for the NCAA Div. III Tournament in 18 of her last 20 seasons, while capturing 13 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) titles and the SUNYAC East Division championship every year between 1985-2001.
A seven-time SUNYAC Coach of the Year, Sitterly also was voted the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Regional Coach of the Year on seven occasions. Promoted to assistant professor in 1990 and associate professor in 1998, Sitterly was interim athletics director in 2000-01 and in 2003-04 before she was appointed to the full-time position.
As Cortland’s athletics director, Sitterly oversaw a 25-sport program that perennially ranked among the most successful in the nation. Under her watch, Cortland remained just one of six colleges among more than 400 in NCAA Div. III to annually finish in the top 20 of the all-sports National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Directors’ Cup. Cortland finished third in 2006-07 and fifth in both 2005-06 and 2008-09.
Sitterly, as executive director of the SUNY Cortland C-Club, was a catalyst for the construction of the C-Club Pavilion, refurbishing the C-Club Wall of Fame in the Park Center Hall of Champions and the hosting of the Pre-Title IX Women’s Teams Reunion.
The SUNYAC president in 2006-07, Sitterly served on the NCAA’s Management Council, Women’s Volleyball Rules Committee and Div. III Championships Committee.
A Fairport, N.Y., native, she earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education from SUNY Brockport in 1974. She was a standout competitor in basketball, field hockey, lacrosse and tennis at Brockport, where she was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
Sitterly earned a master’s degree in 1979 from the University of Colorado, where she was a member of the 15-2 field hockey team that competed in the national tournament. She received a doctorate in education from Syracuse University in 1995.
From 1974-83, Sitterly taught physical education and was the head volleyball and basketball coach at Newark (N.Y.) High School. Her volleyball teams won five Finger Lakes League (FLL) championships and captured the 1982-83 Western New York championship. She won two FLL titles in basketball and was assistant track coach for the undefeated Newark track and field squad from 1982-84. She coordinated the Finger Lakes Volleyball League and served as chair of Section V Class A Basketball.
A U.S. Lacrosse official for girls and women’s lacrosse since 1974, Sitterly and her husband, Gary Miller, reside in North Carolina, where she remains active as a collegiate lacrosse official.