Six Legendary Figures Comprise Saint Michael's Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2021

Six Legendary Figures Comprise Saint Michael's Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2021

2021 Ceremony Registration

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College Department of Athletics announced its 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame class on Tuesday, with six new members set to be enshrined at the 32nd Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday evening, Sept. 17, at the Roy Room in the College's Dion Family Student Center.

The Class of 2021 is comprised of: Dr. Humberto Cosenza '65, all-state soccer player; Steve Dowd '73, cross country standout and champion coach; Mary (Davis) Stanton '81, field hockey star and significant figure in the women's lacrosse program's foundation; Brian Young '89, all-conference basketball player; Greg Cluff, whose women's tennis teams qualified for three NCAA Tournaments; and Dr. Dave Landers, long-time faculty athletics representative.

The Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet, which is a cornerstone of the College's Alumni and Family Weekend, begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 followed by the dinner and induction ceremony at 6:30 p.m.

 

Dr. Humberto Cosenza '65, Soccer

More than half a century after his playing days ended, Cosenza remains one of the men's soccer program's greats. Since his time at Saint Michael's, he has become a leading medical expert back in his native Honduras.

In 1960, College professor Dr. Armand Citarella was challenged by Athletic Director George "Doc" Jacobs to start a men's soccer program, back when the sport had yet to gain widespread popularity in the United States. A native of Italy, Citarella greatly utilized international students, many of whom hailed from soccer hotbeds and had come to Saint Michael's thanks to the College's Foreign Student Program, which began in 1954, to quickly build a competitive outfit. The Purple Knights were 2-1 during an abbreviated 1960 season before going 1-4-1 in 1961.

During a time when first-years weren't eligible to play varsity sports, Cosenza, who came to the College from Puerto Cortés, Honduras, finally debuted as a sophomore in 1962, siding with fellow international players Nick Ravelo '64 (Venezuela) and Juan Tamayo '64 (Colombia). Cosenza made an immediate impact as a forward, scoring seven of his team's 18 goals - Tamayo added five - while lending one assist despite playing just seven of 10 games. The Purple Knights finished 5-5 overall and 2-2 during their lone season in the New England Intercollegiate Soccer League, and Cosenza recorded four game-winning goals, a program record that would stand for 44 years. Among that quartet was the winner during a monumental 2-1 upset on Oct. 24 of Middlebury College, which had been nationally ranked in 1961.

As a junior, Cosenza recorded three goals and four assists to land on WCAX-TV's inaugural all-state team. The Purple Knights finished 4-2-2, including downing reigning National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national champion Castleton University, 1-0, on Oct. 11, 10 days after Cosenza became the first of five Saint Michael's players to ever hand out three assists in a game. He had a role in every Purple and Gold goal during a 3-2, double-overtime victory at Saint Lawrence University.

Despite a shift from forward to defense under new head coach Warren Gingras in 1964, Cosenza repeated as WCAX Vermont All-State, netting one goal to finish with 11 goals, five assists and 27 points over 26 career games. The Purple Knights played crosstown rival University of Vermont for the first time that season, finishing with a respectable 3-1 loss at Centennial Field in Burlington. The young program turned in a 10-14-2 record in Cosenza's three seasons on the pitch.

Cosenza was inducted into Alpha Epsilon Delta, the National Health Preprofessional Honor Society, and was a member of the Pre-Medical Society, International Club and Holy Name Society. A Dean's List student, Cosenza graduated cum laude with a degree in biology before going on to earn his doctorate in microbiology and immunology from the University of Notre Dame in 1969. Cosenza worked on his post-doctorate while being employed as an assistant professor of immunology at the University of Chicago between 1971 and 1973. For the next six years, Cosenza was a member of the scientific staff at the Immunology Institute of Basilea in Switzerland under the leadership of Niels K. Jerne, who went on to share a Nobel Prize in 1984.

Cosenza's medical career back in his native Honduras has spanned more than four decades. While becoming a leading immunologist in his homeland during the 1980s, he was a professor of immunology at the National Autonomous University of Honduras for 15 years, serving as department head for three. Cosenza was a founding member of the Latin American Association of Immunology in 1982 before earning Honduras' José Cecilio del Valle National Science Award in 1986.

In 1992, Cosenza was appointed adviser for science and technology by President Rafael Leonardo Callejas Romero, who the following year commissioned him to create the Honduran Council for Science and Technology. Cosenza was later appointed national commissioner of science and technology, which carried the rank of secretary of state. He founded Centro de InmunoDiagnóstico Especializado in 1994 and AgroBioTek Laboratories in 1995, and remains director of both. AgroBioTek, which Cosenza established in an effort to help strengthen Honduras' food, agricultural and veterinary industries, now has offices and labs in Honduras, Venezuela, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

Cosenza has been published often during his career, appearing in such periodicals as the Journal of Immunology, European Journal of Immunology and International Journal of STD & AIDS. He has also served as the Honduran Health Ministry's HIV adviser, adviser to the minister of health, and executive secretary of international cooperation, even appearing as a medical expert in some media reports about the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Steve Dowd '73, Men's Cross Country and Coach

A native of Harwichport, Mass., Dowd, who lives in Essex Junction, Vt., was a key member of some of the earliest men's cross country teams at Saint Michael's before later coaching men's and women's cross country at his alma mater and becoming a Hall of Fame cross country and track & field coach at nearby Essex High School.

Upon the men's cross country program being revived following a decade of dormancy for his first year at the College in 1969, Dowd immediately stood out, holding down the Purple Knights' second scoring position for the first half of that fall before star harrier Peter Laskarzewski '73 missed the rest of that season and the following campaign due to injury. Dowd emerged as the team's top runner in that season and a half, notching five top-four finishes in 1969 and six top-two showings in 1970, in all winning five of those races.

With Laskarzewski back in 1971 to lead a deep roster, Dowd was regularly finishing between third and fifth on his own team but still registered five top-six showings. Saint Michael's accumulated a 15-9 record during his career, when cross country schedules were dominated by head-to-head dual meets with one or two other schools. His five career victories remain tied for fifth in program history. Dowd did not run as a senior during the 1972-73 school year, instead pursuing a teaching position in Essex as he prepared for postgraduate life.

After graduating from Saint Michael's in 1973 with a degree in English, Dowd began teaching English at Essex High, and coaching cross country and track & field there as well - being offered the cross country coaching job on his first day of teaching. He is credited with being a very innovative coach, implementing creative training methods and sports psychology ahead of the trend. In 20 years of coaching, his Essex teams earned 25 state championship titles, while his teams and individual student-athletes also claimed New England championships.

Dowd came to Saint Michael's first to serve as an assistant coach with the men's cross country program during the early 1990s before heading the women's cross country team for six seasons beginning in 1995, leaving the position after the 2000 season. He led the Purple Knights to three fourth-place finishes at Northeast-10 Conference Championships, with the 93 points they scored at the 1997 meet standing as the program record until the 2014 squad eclipsed it. One of the stars of Dowd's teams was SMC Athletic Hall of Fame member Amy Vile '98, whose time of 18:35 during a 5K at Saint Anselm College in 1996 stood as the school record for 12 years. Dowd also coached future Saint Michael's star and Athletic Hall of Famer and fellow coach Joan Wry '79 during her time as a schoolgirl at Essex High.

Dowd, who continued to teach English at Essex High during his time coaching at Saint Michael's, ultimately serving as department chair, returned to the Essex High track & field and cross country programs as an assistant coach. He continues to serve as the meet director for track & field meets. Thanks to his contributions to high school athletics, Dowd was inducted into the Vermont Principals' Association (VPA) Hall of Fame in 2014. He was also previously an English instructor at the Center for Technology, Essex.

 

Mary (Davis) Stanton '81, Field Hockey and Lacrosse

A native of Purchase, N.Y., and current resident of New Canaan, Conn., Stanton was not only one of the first field hockey stars in Saint Michael's history but was a driving force behind the foundation of the women's lacrosse program.

After field hockey won three total games in its first three seasons of existence, Stanton combined with SMC Athletic Hall of Famer Kathy O'Neil '81 to create a formidable 1-2 scoring punch in helping Saint Michael's go 6-3-1 during their rookie seasons in 1977. Stanton totaled eight goals and one assist, as she and O'Neil combined to score 15 of their team's 21 goals. She added four more goals as a sophomore. Now with sister Trish '83 on the team, Stanton turned in two goals and four helpers in 1979. Saint Michael's was 5-4-2 during Stanton's senior year, when she scored twice. She finished her 38-game career second in program history in both goals (16) and points (37), trailing only O'Neil in both categories; Stanton is now tied for 26th in goals and tied for 31st in points.

A field hockey standout from the beginning of her time on campus, Stanton's influence might have been even greater when it came to lacrosse. During her first fall on campus in 1977, she was not only in the middle of her debut field hockey season but was already amid working with Mary Cullen '79 to organize the school's first club women's lacrosse team. Stanton was one of two captains when the team hit the field for the first time in spring 1978, while former men's club players were instrumental in coaching the team that first season. Of the 24 women on the team, only three had prior lacrosse experience, but the Purple Knights played to a respectable 5-2 loss against Middlebury College in their opener, taking on a schedule that featured varsity opponents. Stanton potted the second goal in program history.

The 1979 team's numbers were down to 19 players, with 11 newcomers joining the ranks, as the Purple and Gold played such foes as Middlebury, Castleton University and Williams College. Stanton remained a leader, and by the following season, exactly half of the 24-woman roster was comprised of veterans. The spring of 1980 also saw Stanton broaden her role within the program, becoming a player-head coach. Saint Michael's came up with a big 6-5 comeback victory over the University of Vermont's junior varsity team before sister Trish had four goals while Stanton posted a hat trick in an 11-8 win against Keene State College. The program's fate changed dramatically in 1981 upon business professor Todd Wadsworth becoming head coach. Thirty-two women comprised the roster, Stanton was a captain, and the Purple Knights went 4-2-1.

Stanton graduated in 1981 with degrees in fine arts and secondary school English and narrowly missed seeing the women's lacrosse program being elevated to varsity - along with men's ice hockey, men's lacrosse, women's skiing and women's soccer - prior to the 1982-83 school year. Wadsworth remained head coach until 1986, helping the Purple Knights qualify for the 1984 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division II Tournament championship game in their second year of varsity play. The program Stanton played an integral part in starting was the College's most consistent between 1984 and 2000, when the Purple and Gold went 113-59 with a winning record in 15 of 17 seasons, never finishing below .500.

Stanton was also involved with the theatre as an undergraduate, and she was joined not only by sister Trish in attending Saint Michael's, but brothers Robert '81, John '85 and Edward '86. Stanton was a 1985-86 SMC College Fellow Club member and remained an active alumna. She entered the world of marketing soon after graduation, working in New York City as an account executive at TVS Television Network before spending five years in the same position at Ogilvy. Stanton was later an account supervisor in Greenwich, Conn., at Clarion Marketing and Communications, which represented major sports and various well-known companies, during the early-1990s before serving as director of marketing at the Center for Advanced Pediatrics in Norwalk, Conn., from 2009 until 2020. In early 2020, she became a manager at New Canaan (Conn.) Pediatrics. Stanton and her husband Dave, a former All-America lacrosse player at Colorado College, have four sons.

 

Brian Young '89, Basketball

A native of New York City and currently a resident of South Plainfield, N.J., Young's arrival at Saint Michael's coincided with the program's return to prominence after more than a decade of lean win-loss records. Young graduated ninth in Saint Michael's history in scoring (1,330), remaining 19th as of 2021, despite appearing in fewer than 100 games. The 6-foot-5 forward started 84 times in 95 outings while adding 657 rebounds (6.9 per game), 262 assists, 148 steals and 55 blocks. Over his four years, the Purple Knights were 74-42 overall, including 36-20 during league play in a pair of conferences.

After the Purple Knights went 7-21 overall in 1984-85, including 1-9 during their initial year in the Mideast Collegiate Conference, a young, talented group led them to a 19-10 season in 1985-86, when Young was a first-year. A well-rounded supporting player on a roster that included sophomores George Daway '88 (16.2 ppg) and Gus Gabriel '88 (10.1 ppg, 113 assists) and junior transfer Larry Irving '87 (10.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg), Young led the team in blocks (17), took second in rebounding (5.3) and placed fourth in scoring (7.6) and assists (45) while starting 19 of his 27 games. He was named to the Vermont Collegiate Men's Basketball Coaches Association All-Rookie Team for his efforts. Saint Michael's tied for second in the MECC at 6-4, and Young scored 20 points in 33 minutes during a league tournament semifinal loss to Philadelphia University, 75-63.

Saint Michael's found itself back in the national limelight during Young's middle two seasons, including as the Purple Knights won the MECC Tournament his sophomore year of 1986-87 before advancing to their first NCAA Tournament in 13 years. The Purple and Gold was 20-11 overall and 6-4 in the league, while Young overtook Gabriel and Irving in the scoring race to place second on the team (13.6) only to Daway. He finished third in assists (115), rebounding (6.0) and steals (48) while rejecting 20 shots, taking second to 7-foot-3 first-year Michel Bonebo '90, who went on to shatter block records throughout his career. Young posted 16 points and eight rebounds in 37 minutes during a 64-50 MECC semifinal win against Le Moyne College on Gannon University's home floor in Erie, Pa., before matching Bonebo for the team lead with 13 points in the final, a 79-68 victory over Philadelphia that clinched the Purple Knights a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Saint Michael's saw its postseason hopes dashed in the opening round, with an 83-76 loss to Millersville (Pa.) University, as the regional was also played at Gannon. Young played 38 minutes while leading the Purple Knights with 20 points, matching two Millersville players for the game high. Saint Michael's lost a regional third-place game the next day; Young had 10 points, five assists and three steals in 30 minutes.

With players like Bonebo, Daway, Gabriel and Young returning, expectations were sky high in 1987-88, when national publications Sports Illustrated, Off The Glass, Tipoff Magazine and Basketball Times all picked Saint Michael's as the No. 1 preseason team in NCAA Division II. The Purple Knights also made their debut as members of the Northeast-10 Conference. Young had reached his personal peak early on, emerging as the team leader in scoring (19.9) and rebounding (8.4) while making nearly half of his shots (49.3%). That opening stretch coincided with Saint Michael's facing a challenging slate, which yielded a 4-5 record for the preseason favorite. Many of the early-season losses came at the hands of established national powers: 82-74 at defending national champion Kentucky Wesleyan College; 95-90 at 1985-86 national champ Sacred Heart University, then a Division II program; and 89-73 versus the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, the eventual 1987-88 Division II national champion. Young's best game was a 31-point outing versus Assumption University in the first NE10 contest in program history, and he added another star performance of 23 points, 11 rebounds and four assists against UMass Lowell. Saint Michael's rebounded to finish 17-11 overall and 13-5 in the league, coming within one win of regular-season champion Assumption, but was upset in the opening round of the NE10 Tournament by Quinnipiac University, 78-71.

Young was one of two captains as a senior - and the only returner to hold the title, joining transfer Greg Thomas '89. Daway, who finished second in program history with 1,893 points, was lost to graduation, and Young and Thomas formed a formidable 1-2 punch, combining for 36.0 points and 4.5 steals per game. Young led the team in scoring (18.8) and rebounding (9.1), good for sixth and second, respectively, in the NE10. He earned an NE10 All-Conference honorable mention nod, an All-Vermont second team laurel, and Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) All-Star status. Saint Michael's went 18-10 overall and 11-7 in the NE10 before going on the road for a league quarterfinal contest. Young turned in 12 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals in 34 minutes in his college finale, a 91-65 setback to host Saint Anselm College.

Young has been involved in reunion activities and was a member of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Society as an undergraduate. An American studies major at Saint Michael's, Young has remained active in basketball as a coach at Union Catholic Regional High School in Scotch Plains, N.J. After working in the insurance industry for 11 years as an underwriter before moving to the sales industry for two decades, Young currently works in the hospitality industry in Trenton, N.J. Young and his wife, Tyeisha, have a blended family of five children and three grandchildren.

 

Greg Cluff, Women's Tennis Coach

A native of the Waterville area of Maine and a resident of Charlotte, Vt., Cluff remains one of the most successful coaches in College history, having led the women's tennis program to new heights during 10 seasons as head coach. In his 13 years on the coaching staff, Saint Michael's was 160-74 overall and 124-33 in the Northeast-10 Conference.

After serving three years as an assistant coach under head coach Steve LaTulippe '72, Cluff led the Purple Knights to a 124-65 mark between 2003-04 and 2012-13, including 95-27 in the NE10. His charges qualified for their first three NCAA Tournaments between 2008 and 2010, and advanced to the semifinal round of the NE10 Tournament all 10 seasons. They tied for the 2006-07 regular-season crown and finished as tournament runners-up that year and the next. While Cluff was head coach, 21 Purple Knights combined to earn 43 all-conference accolades, while five were NE10 Academic All-Conference.

Cluff joined Saint Michael's legend George "Doc" Jacobs as the only coaches in the history of the College to lead a varsity program to the NCAA Tournament at least three times. Named NE10 Coach of the Year in both 2007-08 and 2010-11, Cluff was also the first three-time Purple Knight Coach of the Year, as voted upon by Saint Michael's head coaches, and established in 2002. Cluff also served as the College's coordinator of athletics admissions for his final six years at Saint Michael's, helping streamline recruiting efforts between the Department of Athletics and the Office of Admission.

After the Purple Knights were a combined 31-17 (25-10 NE10) during Cluff's first three years as head coach, they turned the corner in 2006-07, going 14-7 (11-1 NE10) while tying for the program's second NE10 regular-season crown - the first came in 2001-02, in his second year as an assistant coach. Saint Michael's, which also took the 2006-07 NE10 Sportsmanship Award, advanced to its first championship match, where the top-seeded Purple and Gold narrowly fell shy of its initial postseason crown, losing to No. 3 Bryant University, 5-3.

The Purple Knights qualified for the NCAA Tournament each of the next three years, with the 2007-08 squad claiming the debut appearance. That team was 15-7 (10-2 NE10), registering a program record for wins and advancing to the NE10 finals before losing to Bryant. Saint Michael's fell to California University of Pennsylvania, the ninth-ranked team in the nation, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

The 2008-09 squad finished 14-7 (9-3 NE10) and lost a close 5-3 decision to top-seeded Stonehill College during an NE10 semifinal. The Purple Knights returned to Stonehill's home court for the NCAA Tournament, where they bowed to Queens (N.Y.) College in the opening round as the region's sixth seed, their highest in an NCAA Tournament. Saint Michael's was 12-9 (10-3 NE10) in 2009-10, again facing Queens in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, where its season concluded.

The winning continued during Cluff's final three seasons, as the Purple and Gold went a combined 38-18 (30-8 NE10) between 2010-11 and 2012-13, each of which included an NE10 semifinal berth. The NE10 Tournament switched from an individual format to a team setup in 1999-2000; Saint Michael's was the league's lone team to qualify for the semifinal round each of the first 14 years of the new format, with the final 13 coinciding with Cluff's tenure at the College.

Cluff brought an extensive coaching background to the College, spending more than 30 years as the boys' tennis coach at Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg, Vt., where he served as a social studies teacher for 38 years. Cluff's teams won two state championships and made numerous additional finals appearances. He also taught tennis for several summers, has been a tutor in Charlotte and Shelburne town recreation programs, and was the teaching pro at the Burlington Tennis Club in the early 1970s and 1980s.

 

Dr. Dave Landers, Faculty Athletics Representative

A native of Auburn, N.Y., and current resident of Williston, Vt., Landers made a significant impact to the Saint Michael's Department of Athletics and its student-athletes as the faculty athletics representative for 13 years (2005-18), acting as a liaison between student-athletes and faculty members while redefining the role in the Northeast-10 Conference. An ardent Purple Knight supporter, Landers was also a professor at the College for more than three decades.

As the College's FAR, Landers played an integral role in a number of initiatives that helped improve academic performance by Purple Knight student-athletes, including strengthening the Faculty Team Affiliate Program by recruiting a faculty member to join each varsity program and aid in the solution of academic hurdles. He also established the Academic Mentor Program, which was founded to focus on giving additional attention to teams that were underachieving academically.

Landers was influential in the Saint Michael's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) contributing to the It Gets Better Project in 2011, as he challenged the student-athlete leaders to complete a video as part of a cause responding to the suicides of LGBT youths who had been bullied. Landers was also involved with Pie a Purple Knight, serving as a willing participant in taking a pie to the face in the name of raising money for student-athlete organizations.

Landers was also a supportive force in Danny Divis '17 and Justin McKenzie '17 establishing mental health organization Hope Happens Here, for which they earned the prestigious Hockey Humanitarian Award in 2017. HHH continues working to fight the negative stigma surrounding mental illness on college campuses, especially within student-athlete populations. Chapters have been established at more than a dozen colleges and a dozen high schools.

Landers' significance was recognized on the national stage in January 2015, when he received the second annual Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award from the NCAA Division II SAAC during the NCAA Convention in Washington, D.C. By the time he retired in 2018, the Saint Michael's and NE10 SAACs had renamed their faculty mentor awards in Landers' honor. He also served a stint as chair of the NE10 FAR Committee.

Landers first came to Saint Michael's in March 1982 as a psychology professor while also serving as director of the Student Resource Center for 23 years. In 2005, he transitioned from SRC director to FAR, all while continuing to teach at the College. Landers retired from his position as a visiting associate professor of psychology following the 2016-17 school year, but returned for a final year as the College's FAR in 2017-18. He is also a published author, having released "I Wish He'd Taught Me How to Shave," a collection of student essays and his own reflections, in 2013.