The second class of the Roger Williams University Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted on Saturday, Oct. 26, during Homecoming Weekend, in the Campus Recreation Center. Athletes who will be honored include Vivian (Vieira) Byrnes ’96 (women’s soccer, women’s basketball), Spencer McCombe ’97 (wrestling), Peter Doucet ’01 (wrestling), Sara Coleman ’03 (women’s tennis), and Kevin Deegan ’07 (men’s soccer). They will be joined by retired RWU athletic director Edmund P. “Hector” Massa of Bristol, who served as athletic director from 1972 to 1988.
A reception begins at 5:45 p.m. in the “Hawks Nest” (lobby) followed by dinner in the upstairs gymnasium at 6:45. The induction ceremony will be hosted by Tom Campbell, RWU women’s rugby coach and B101 deejay (TC in the Morning).
Mr. Massa was the second athletic director in Roger Williams University history, succeeding Tom Drennan in 1972. He held his post for 16 years, making him the longest-tenured athletic director in the history of RWU athletics. Under his guidance, Mr. Massa helped lead the RWU athletic department through its years as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and spearheaded the department’s transition to the NCAA.
“I never expected something like this,” said Mr. Massa, who will turn 91 in December. “I was shocked when I got the call that I was going to be inducted into the Roger Williams University Athletic Hall of Fame. I’m truly humbled.”
Ms. Byrnes earned seven varsity letters, three in women’s soccer and four in women’s basketball during her four years at Roger Williams University. She was a three-time All-Commonwealth Coast Conference team selection in soccer from 1993-1995. In addition, she was named the 1994 RWU Female Athlete of the Year. She currently ranks first all-time in RWU women’s soccer history in points scored (132), second in assists (36), third in goals scored (48), and sixth in game-winning goals (9). In the RWU women’s basketball career record books, she ranks third in assists with 360.
Mr. McCombe, a four-year team captain on the wrestling team, was the first wrestler in school history to earn four varsity letters. He was a New England finalist as a freshman, becoming the first All-New England wrestler in school history and finishing his career as a three-time All-New England wrestler. He was a two-time Academic All-American, the first Academic All-American in RWU history in any sport, and was the 1995 and 1996 RWU Male Athlete of the Year. He won the 1995 New England Championship at the 142-pound weight class, the first New England Champion at RWU, and qualified for the NCAA Championships in the process. He closed out his career with the 91 wins, the most in school history.
Mr. Doucet, a four-year wrestler, was a 2000 NCAA All-American in the 158-pound weight class, in addition to being named RWU Male Athlete of the Year that same year. He was a two-time New England Champion and a four-time All-New England performer. He also was named to the Pilgrim League All-Star team all four years. A 2001 recipient of the RWU Male Sharon Castelli Award, he currently ranks in the top-eight all-time in school history in seven stat categories, including holding the career record for takedowns (510) and placing second in school history in wins (137).
Ms. Coleman was a four-year member of the women’s tennis team and the co-captain of 2002 squad that finished the year as CCC regular season and tournament champions. She was the 2002 CCC Women’s Tennis Scholar Athlete of the Year and was named to the All-CCC first team in singles and doubles that same season. She posted two undefeated seasons in dual matches, going 14-0 in 2000 and 17-0 in 2002. In addition, she also went 13-0 in doubles play during the 2002 season. She posted two of the best individual overall seasons in school history, going 14-1 in 2000 and 17-1 in 2002. Her 51 career singles wins and .822 singles winning percentage (51-11) are both best in school history. In addition, her 39 doubles wins places her fourth all-time at RWU and her .765 doubles winning percentage (39-12) is second-best in RWU history.
Mr. Deegan was a four-year starting goaltender on the men’s soccer team. He holds school records for goals-allowed average (0.70), wins (62), and shutouts (37). A four-time All-CCC First Team selection, he was the 2003 CCC Rookie of the Year and the 2005 CCC Player of the Year. In 2005, he led all NCAA Division III goalkeepers in the nation in goals-allowed average in 2005 at 0.274 and save percentage at .941. In 2006, he received the CCC Senior Scholar-Athlete Award. A three-time All-New England honoree, Mr. Deegan received All-American and Academic All-American honors in 2005. During his four seasons at RWU, he helped lead the team to three CCC Championships and one ECAC New England Championship.
According to RWU Athletic Director, Dave Kemmy, this is quite a notable Hall of Fame class.
“This year’s class is a very accomplished group of student-athletes; a highly successful team, and the athletic director who guided the University into NCAA membership,” he said. “We are honored to be able to induct these six individuals and one team in our second induction class.”
“I had the privilege of coaching Vivian, Spencer and Peter and all were dedicated, hard-working and outstanding student-athletes who achieved some outstanding individual accomplishments,” Mr. Kemmy noted. “The 2006-07 wrestling team had a remarkable season, capped off with the New England title. That was a group that was underdogs all the way, but through perseverance and undying team chemistry, they were able to achieve some incredible things.”
Mr. Kemmy also realizes the importance of Mr. Massa’s contributions.
“Hector’s legacy to the University is paramount,” he emphasized. “Ushering the program from the NAIA into the NCAA was no easy feat, and to be the longest-tenured director in history personifies his commitment to the program.”
To reserve a space for the induction ceremony, please register at http://onlinecommunity.rwu.edu/HOF2013.
For more information, contact Dave Kemmy at 254-3428 or email: [email protected]