Eight new members will be inducted into the SUNY Cortland C-Club Hall of Fame during its 43rd annual banquet and ceremonies on Saturday, Oct. 29, in the school’s Corey Union.
The 2011 honorees are:
• Thomas Major ’59, a football, baseball and wrestling letterwinner at Cortland and a long-time teacher, coach and athletic director at Trumansburg High School;
• James Sellars ’59, a standout football player, among his three sports, for the Red Dragons who signed professional contracts with the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills and is currently a successful business owner;
• Paul Rose ’67, a posthumous inductee who competed in soccer, wrestling and lacrosse at Cortland and enjoyed a long lacrosse coaching career at Clarkson, Geneseo, Colgate and Morrisville;
• Barbara Moenich LoPiccolo ’69, one of Cortland’s first female intercollegiate athletes and a successful physical educator and coach in the Norwich City Schools;
• Michel “Mic” Potter ’77, one of the nation’s foremost collegiate women’s golf coaches at Furman University and the University of Alabama and mentor to numerous LPGA professional players;
• Janine Henrickson ’84, a star women’s lacrosse and field hockey player who is an accomplished clinical audiologist for the Department of Veteran Affairs;
• Janine Engelhard Bennett ’91, a four-time women’s soccer All-American and national Player of the Year and currently a successful girls’ soccer coach at Dryden High School;
• and honorary inductee Phyllis McGinley, a 30-plus year Cortland physical education faculty member who mentored numerous student-athletes and served from 1981-83 as the acting chair of Cortland’s Women’s Physical Education Department.
In addition to Saturday night’s official ceremony, the inductees also will be introduced at halftime of the Cortland-College of New Jersey football game earlier that afternoon.
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 220 alumni and 25 honorary members.
A detailed look at this year’s inductees follows.
Thomas Major ’59
Thomas Major starred in three sports for the Red Dragons and enjoyed a long and successful career as a teacher, coach and athletic director at Trumansburg High School for more than 35 years.
As a Cortland student, Major lettered in football, baseball and wrestling. After a season as a junior varsity football quarterback, he played fullback and linebacker on the varsity for three seasons. On the baseball diamond, he played shortstop for four seasons — three on varsity — and his .474 batting average as a senior lasted as a school record for 20 years. He wrestled during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Major also was involved in Cardinal Key Club, the Neumann Club, the Men’s Athletic Association (MAA) and the fraternity Beta Phi Epsilon as a student.
Upon graduation, Major began teaching physical education at Trumansburg High School. His 35-and-a-half years of teaching included 15 years as the chairman of the Physical Education Department. He served as director of athletics for 25 years and was the school’s head football coach for 17 seasons. He also coached wrestling, basketball, track, baseball and golf at various times during his tenure.
Major was inducted into the Section Four New York State Athletic Association (NYSAA) Hall of Fame in 1983 and was named the section’s Athletic Director of the Year in 1995. He also was selected to the Chemung County Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Trumansburg Central School Hall of Fame in 2005. Trumansburg’s Tom Major Athletic Complex was dedicated in his name in 1996.
For 48 years, Major served as the recreation director for the Village of Trumansburg and Town of Ulysses. He’s been active for more than 25 years with the American Red Cross and started many youth programs during his 35-plus years as a member of the Trumansburg Golf Club. He’s also worked with the Rotary Exchange Program and the Elks Club of Ithaca.
Major is a 1955 graduate of Horseheads Central School and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 1992.
James Sellars ’59
James Sellars was a standout football player as well as a baseball and track and field letterwinner during his years as a Cortland student-athlete. He went on to serve his country in the U.S. Navy and has been a long-time successful business owner and community activist.
Sellars was a four-year starting center and linebacker for the Red Dragons from 1955-58. He was honored as a Small College All-American in 1958 and was a first team ECAC all-star and a team captain in both his junior and senior seasons. Also a standout punter, Sellars was selected to play in the first Gem City Bowl and was voted Cortland’s “Athlete of the Year” as a senior.
Sellars also was active on campus as a member of Beta Phi Epsilon for four years. As a senior, he was a member of the Student Activities Council and was president of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (AAHPER) on campus.
He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL in 1959 and played during the exhibition season. In 1960, he signed a contract with the Buffalo Bills of the newly-formed American Football League (AFL). He was the team’s starting outside linebacker and backup punter for their first four exhibition games but was cut before the start of the season.
Sellars graduated from Naval Officer Candidate School with the rank of ensign USNR in 1961. He was assigned to the USS Henrico APA 45 as a deck officer and was promoted to gunnery officer prior to deployment during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) during active service and lieutenant commander while in the Naval Reserve.
Sellars held various sales and marketing positions with several computer oriented companies after his military career. In 1984, he founded Whalepole Painting, a business he continues to run.
An accomplished singer, Sellars has performed with the Los Cancioneros Master Chorale in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County for more than 17 years. The group, which raises money for music scholarships for local students, has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City as well as venues in Europe and Canada.
Sellars has helped support high school athletics as a long-time member of the South Bay Athletic Club. He’s coached youth baseball, football, soccer and track and field, and is very active with Cortland’s West Coast Alumni Association.
Paul Rose ’67
A native of Baldwinsville, N.Y., Paul Rose starred in three sports during his Cortland athletic career. He then enjoyed a storied collegiate coaching career, primarily in lacrosse and wrestling.
Rose, who passed away in March 2010, lettered four years in soccer, wrestling and lacrosse with the Red Dragons. As a forward on the soccer pitch, he twice earned first team all-state and All-SUNYAC honors, won the Red Letter Award twice, and helped Cortland make two NCAA tournament appearances. A three-time All-SUNYAC wrestler, Rose won conference crowns at 137 pounds in 1966 and 130 pounds in 1967.
Rose led the lacrosse team in scoring and earned the Red Letter Award in 1965. As a senior, he started on a squad that ranked 12th nationally. Off the field, he was named to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities as a senior.
After one year as freshman soccer coach at Penn State, Rose coached soccer, wrestling and lacrosse at Clarkson University from 1968-70. He moved to Geneseo State in 1970 and served as lacrosse head coach for 10 years and wrestling head coach for nine seasons. The Knights won ECAC lacrosse titles in 1975 and 1976, defeated Syracuse in the 1977 season and posted an overall record of 86-24.
Rose took over the head soccer and lacrosse coaching reins at Colgate University in 1980 and coached at the school for five seasons. He then spent eight years at Morrisville State College from 1985-93 and coached three lacrosse All-Americans. He remained at Morrisville as a senior admissions counselor from 1993-97 and dean of enrollment management from 1997-2001, then resumed as part-time lacrosse head coach from 2001-06. He spent his final years as a volunteer lacrosse coach at Hamilton High School.
Both Geneseo and Morrisville have inducted Rose into their athletics Halls of Fame. He also was named the 2008 Upstate Lacrosse Man of the Year and was a 2010 inductee into the Upstate New York chapter of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Rose was very active in the village of Hamilton for many years. He incorporated youth soccer as part of Hamilton’s summer recreational program from 1980-83. He was a member of the village recreation commission from 1987-94 and chaired the commission for four years. He also started a youth lacrosse program in 2003 and was a 30-year member of the Park United Methodist Church.
Barbara Moenich LoPiccolo ’69
One of Cortland’s first female intercollegiate athletes, Barbara Moenich LoPiccolo mentored numerous students and teachers as a long-time physical educator and coach in the Norwich City Schools.
LoPiccolo arrived at Cortland in 1965 just prior to the advent of women’s intercollegiate athletic opportunities at the College. She played on intramural and class teams in field hockey, soccer, volleyball and basketball for three years and was a member of the club lacrosse team in 1968-69. In her senior year, she played guard on Cortland’s intercollegiate women’s basketball team and outfield on the intercollegiate softball squad.
LoPiccolo was active in Officials’ Club for three years and both the Women’s Athletic Association (WAA) and Intramural Board for two years. Outside the sports world, she was a member of Theta Phi Sorority from 1966-69. She was president in 1968 and house president in 1969. In addition, she volunteered with adapted physical education classes in her junior and senior years.
The fall after her graduation, LoPiccolo began teaching and coaching in the Norwich City Schools. She taught physical education from 1969-2003, coached varsity field hockey, soccer, softball and basketball from 1969-78, and coached swimming from 1981-89. She also resumed as softball coach from 1997-99 and coached basketball at Sherburne-Earlville High School from 1994-97.
From 1990-2003, LoPiccolo mentored new teachers at Norwich. Also during her tenure, she supervised BOCES students in a physical education field experience and was a district trainer for staff members in lifeguard training, water safety and CPR. She has served as a nationally certified swim official since 1990.
LoPiccolo has worked as an instructor for the Southern Tier Chapter of the American Red Cross for more than 30 years and was a board member from 1992-99. She’s also been involved with activities at the YMCA of Norwich and with cancer outreach programs for the Chenango Health Network. Since 2006, she has been an adjunct physical education professor and assistant track and field throws coach at SUNY Oneonta.
Michel “Mic” Potter ’77
Mic Potter is one of the nation’s most accomplished collegiate golf coaches. In nearly three decades at Furman University and the University of Alabama, Potter has amassed numerous individual and team awards and has coached 11 student-athletes who have gone on to play on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour.
Potter played soccer for three seasons and golf for one year while a student at Cortland. He scored the game-winning goal in the Red Dragons’ 1-0 win over Union in the 1974 ECAC Championship game. Upon graduation, he worked as a shop assistant at the Cortland Country Club in 1977 before becoming the assistant golf professional at Furman the following year.
Potter was promoted to head professional as well as assistant men’s and women’s golf coach at Furman in 1979. He served as head women’s golf coach from 1982-2005, during which time he was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year eight times. The National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) selected him as South District Coach of the Year in 1993, and he was inducted into the NGCA Hall of Fame in 1994.
Under Potter’s guidance, the Paladins earned 15 NCAA championship berths and posted six top-10 national finishes, including an NCAA runner-up showing in 1987. Among Potter’s pupils was Dottie Pepper, who won 17 events and earned more than $5 million in career winnings on the LPGA Tour during a 20-year professional career.
Since 2005, Potter has coached the women’s golf team at the University of Alabama. He’s been named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year twice and has led the Crimson Tide to five NCAA championship appearances. Between Furman and Alabama, Potter has coached 21 NGCA All-Americans, 15 NGCA All-Scholar Team selections and 12 conference players of the year. His teams have qualified for NCAA regional competition every year since regional format was established in 1993.
In addition to his coaching, Potter has organized and conducted a Junior Girls Golf Clinic, in conjunction with the Professional Business Women’s Golf Network, designed to bring more girls into the game at a younger age. He also organized the St. Mary’s Golf Classic to benefit the St. Mary’s School in Greenville, S.C.
Janine Henrickson ’84
New York, N.Y.
After a stellar collegiate athletic career on Cortland’s field hockey and women’s lacrosse teams, Janine Henrickson has established herself as a successful clinical audiologist for the Department of Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System in Brooklyn.
In four seasons of lacrosse at Cortland, Henrickson recorded 102 goals and 24 assists. She earned all-state honors in her junior and senior years. Henrickson helped the Red Dragons finish second nationally in the 1984 U.S. Women’s Lacrosse Association (USWLA) Division III tournament and third nationally in 1983. Cortland also placed seventh in the 1982 Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Division II tournament and won the 1984 ECAC Mid-Atlantic tournament title.
Henrickson played field hockey at Cortland for three seasons from 1979-81. The Red Dragons won the New York State AIAW crown in 1979 and also participated in the state tournament the following year.
A member of Cortland’s Speech and Hearing Club for three years as a student, Henrickson began her present clinical audiologist position in 1987. In 1990, she was chosen as a finalist for the New York Federal Executive Board Employee of the Year Award. She also has received the Award for Continuing Education from the American Speech and Hearing Association and earned a Citation of Appreciation in 2005 from the Brooklyn Key Chapter of the American Prisoners of War recognizing her dedicated service to hearing impaired POWs.
Henrickson received a master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1987 and a Doctor of Audiology from Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2004. A 2008 inductee into the Manhasset High School Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Henrickson has served as an adjunct assistant professor at Brooklyn College since 1993 and has held similar positions at Hunter College and Long Island University. Since 2005, she has been a volunteer blood drive coordinator for the New York/Brooklyn/Staten Island community blood center.
Janine Engelhard Bennett ’91
Very few athletes in any sport rival Janine Engelhard Bennett’s accomplishments on the soccer field at Cortland. The defensive standout was a rare four-time All-American from 1987-90, and as a senior was chosen as the NCAA Division III Player of the Year while helping the Red Dragons advance to the national championship game.
Also as a senior, Bennett was a nominee for the prestigious Honda Broderick Award and shared Cortland’s Female Senior Athlete of the Year honor with current C-Club Hall of Fame member Vicki Mitchell ’91. She was named to the 1990 NCAA Division III Final Four all-tournament team. In all, Bennett’s teams posted a combined 66-11-12 record, won three State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) championships and made four NCAA tournament appearances.
Bennett has since enjoyed a successful coaching career, primarily on the high school level. After two years as head women’s soccer coach at the University of the South in Tennessee and one year as an assistant women’s soccer coach at Cortland, she took over as the varsity girls’ soccer coach and junior varsity softball coach at Newark Valley High School in 1995. She moved to the Dryden Central School District in 1998 as the varsity girls’ soccer coach and a middle school physical education teacher.
At Dryden, Bennett has led her soccer squad to six Interscholastic Athletic Conference (IAC) divisional titles, three IAC overall crowns, a Section Three co-championship and a sectional runner-up finish. She has won more than 150 games and her teams have been named National Scholar Athlete teams five times.
Bennett has conducted numerous coaches’ and youth clinics with the Dryden Sertoma Club, a local community organization, since 1991 and was a volunteer coach for the Crown City Soccer Club from 1992-2009. She’s also been active with the New York State West Youth Soccer Association Olympic Development Program as well as a variety of other committees.
Phyllis McGinley (Honorary)
Phyllis McGinley served as a member of Cortland’s physical education department faculty from 1962 until her retirement in December 1992. She oversaw women’s athletics as the acting chair of the former Women’s Physical Education Department from 1981-83 and directed Cortland’s Summer Sports School from 1979-90.
From 1962-81, McGinley was an assistant professor of physical education specializing in aquatics and elementary and secondary methods. From 1984-92, she coordinated student teaching and elementary methods. McGinley returned to the College as an associate professor emerita and lecturer emerita in the department from 2003-05.
Many Cortland student-athletes have considered McGinley to be a mentor over the years. “There are few who have not come under Phyllis’s ‘touch’ while at Cortland and her sincere interest and follow through with support and assistance,” said C-Club Hall of Fame member Sandy Morley ’77. “Her house is always open to her students who need a room, her time is always available to those who need her advice, her guidance is always freely given to those who face decisions and need a guiding ear. Phyllis has a special warmth and charm which never goes unnoticed by those either who were in her classes or those who now are raising families of their own while balancing their professional lives.”
Active within the New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NYSAHPERD), McGinley served on the organization’s executive committee and was president of its Southway Zone. She also assisted the organization as a National Aquatics Council member.
A native of Urbana, Ill., McGinley earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in 1952 and a master’s degree from Cortland in 1969. She worked in Fort Riley, Kan., and Champaign, Ill., from 1952-58 and was a teacher at Cortland Junior-Senior High School from 1959-61.