EAST PROVIDENCE — Four former athletic standouts and another noteworthy graduate headline the 2012 class of inductees into the East Providence High School Hall of Fame. The 30th annual EPHS induction ceremony and dinner takes place Sunday, Oct. 20, at the Venus de Milo Restaurant in Swansea.
The five 2013 inductees are Bill “Corsair” McGroarty Class of 1959, Michael McGuinn Class of 1967, John “Sandy” Gorham Class of 1970, Mark Hellendrung Class of 1986 and Nathan B. Lovett Class of 2008.
McGroarty is a decorated soldier and radio performer. After West Point training, McGroarty served in Vietnam, receiving the Bronze Star and Combat Air Medal among others. He has multiple Rhode Island radio credits from the 1960’s and ’70’s including a number one rated noon to 3 p.m. show on the former WICE.
Also in the 1970s, he was the host of a highly rated overnight talk show on WCAU in Philadelphia. McGroarty received the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2000 by Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo and was recently inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame.
McGuinn is a retired East Providence teacher, who taught at Martin and Riverside Middle Schools. He helped to create, design and co-teach a collaborative math and instructional lab for students with special needs. He coached Bryant College basketball and was a member of the Providence College Friars teams in the early years of the Dave Gavitt era.
McGuinn was a first team All-State player at EPHS in 1967. McGuinn also won All-Division honors while playing on the Townie football team and competed in outdoor track, earning All-State honors there as well. He was an elected member of the Smithfield School Committee and Town Council, also serving as Council President. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve Commission.
Gorham is a physical education teacher and very successful coach at East Providence High School. He was a standout athlete while at EPHS in football and swimming. Gorham has won more state football championships (five) than any other coach in E.P. history, leading the Townies to seven title games total in his now 21 years on the sideline. He has coached EPHS football since 1993. He also coached the Townies’ boys swim teams to state titles in 2009 and 2010.
Gorham was an assistant softball coach at EPHS and is currently the head coach of the sport at Barrington High School. He is also coaches the Barrington swim teams. Gorham has held numerous other coaching roles during his career, including a stint as the head coach for Barrington football, winning one Super Bowl there in 1986.
Gorham has received numerous statewide awards including R.I. Aquatic Hall of Fame, R.I. Football Coach of the Year in four different years with the R.I. Male Coach of the Year award twice. Gorham was also inducted into the R.I. Football Coaches Hall of Fame and the Providence Gridiron Hall of Fame. He received a distinguished faculty award from the National Honor Society.
Hellendrung was a National Honor Society member while at EPHS and a two time All-State athlete. He was recognized for superb academic and athletic performance. He excelled in football and baseball.
He received the Dartmouth Book Award and the Secretary of State Award. While at Brown University he was captain of the baseball team. Successful in business, he became president of Nantucket Nectar and accepted the challenge to rebuild Narragansett Brewery as President and CEO. He is a major sponsor of civic events.
Lovett also graduated Brown and was an All-Ivy League punter for the Bears during his fine collegiate football career. At quarterback, he led the Townies to their last state football title in the fall of 2006. He also lettered in basketball and baseball all four years at EPHS, serving as a team captain for all three sports. Lovett earned multiple All-State and All-Division accolades for football. He received the East Providence High School William Stringfellow Football Player of the Year Award and was a member of the Golden Dozen R.I. Chapter of the National Football Foundation in 2008.
Academically, Lovett was chosen as the Providence Journal 2008 Honor Roll Male Student-Athlete of the Year and was a Football All-Academic Selection for three years. He was a member of the National Honor Society and Rhode Island Honor Society. He also served as Vice President of the Townie Athletic Board and was a member of the Student Council.
Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Kenneth R. Walker, EPHS Class of 1949, a retired East Providence school administrator, Rhode Island College professor and current Chairman of the R.I. Parole Board, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.
The Hall of Fame was created and initiated by former Superintendent of Schools, Myron J. Francis, Class of 1947, and was instituted in 1984 in conjunction with the East Providence High School Centennial Year Celebration. Francis was also 1947 EPHS class president. The Hall was designed to recognize distinguished Townie graduates who have brought honor to themselves and to the high school.
The event is open to the public and tickets are available at the high school main office and at Martin and Riverside Middle Schools. Tickets are $40 each and include a full dinner. Reception is at noon and dinner at 1 p.m. Tickets can also be obtained from Don and Linda Carlson by calling 401-433-3693. Tickets can be obtained through Monday, Oct. 14.