Connecticut College will Welcome Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2011 Oct. 15
NEW LONDON, Conn.--The Connecticut College Athletic Hall of Fame will welcome three inductees and an entire team in a special ceremony held on Saturday, Oct. 15 in New London. The class of 2011 includes: Elizabeth Ashforth Bacon '78 P'07 ‘09 (field Hockey, lacrosse), Tracy Hayley Smith'97 (sailing), Doug Roberts (men's ice hockey coach 1979-2003) and the 1998-1999 men's basketball team.
At 5:00 p.m., plaques will be unveiled in the Hall of Fame Room off the foyer of the Charles B. Luce Field House. The athletes will also be honored at a dinner after the ceremony. Tickets are still available by contacting Judy Richard at 860-439-2541.
Elizabeth Ashforth Bacon '78 was a top multi-sport athlete who played a major role in the development of the Camel women's lacrosse program in the mid-1970s. Bacon entered Connecticut College in 1974, just two years after the passage of Title IX, a federal law that had a tremendous impact on the growth of athletic programs for girls and women. Since the College did not sponsor a women's lacrosse team, Bacon led the effort with the help of teammates to establish the program for the 1976 spring season.
As a three-year starter at the third home position, Bacon was a two-year team captain in 1977 and 1978. She also was honored with the squad's Most Valuable Player Award both in her junior and senior seasons. In the squad's final game of the 1978 season, Bacon closed out her lacrosse career scoring the lone goal in the Camels' exciting 1-0 victory over Division I Yale University.
"In addition to being a phenomenal athlete, Elizabeth was a tremendous asset in getting the women's lacrosse program off the ground," praised Charlie Luce, the College's director of athletics from 1974-1992. "She was so far ahead of other athletes and was one the best lacrosse players we had during my tenure. In fact, she probably could have played on any Connecticut College women's lacrosse team at any time in school history. And while Elizabeth was the standout player of the team, she was also very humble and a true team player."
In field hockey, Bacon had an immediate impact as a freshman forward. In addition to serving as captain of the junior varsity squad, she saw action in several varsity contests and led the Camels in scoring. Her prowess on the field as a rookie earned the respect of her teammates who selected Bacon a team captain as a sophomore. After taking off the fall 1976 season to study abroad at Westminster College in Oxford, England, she returned to the field as a senior and again was a team co-captain for the 1977 season. Bacon closed her field hockey career earning selection to the 1977 Northeast College All-Star Team.
Complementing her leadership on the field, Bacon was well-respected on campus and was chosen for one of the prominent housefellow positions in Marshall Residence hall during her senior year.
One year after graduating from Connecticut College with a B.A. in child development, Bacon earned a master of education degree from Lesley University. In 2008, she began doctoral work at Lesley and currently is a Ph.D. candidate in the field of educational psychology.
Professionally, Bacon is the director of This is MYCity!, a Worcester, Mass., nonprofit organization that she founded in 2004 as an after-school program for the city's students who are challenged academically, economically and socially. In 2007, Bacon was the founding director of Worcester's Blackstone Canal Horse and Wagon Tours, which she continues to oversee. For her work in the community, she received a Blackstone Valley Tourism Council ARISTA Award in 2010.
Prior to these positions, Bacon was an elementary school teacher in Ithaca, N.Y. and Worcester, Mass. from 1979 through 1984. After taking time off to stay at home with her children, she returned to work in 1994 as a reporter for the Millbury/Sutton Chronicle, a position she held until 1999. For the next five years, Bacon was director of education for Preservation Worcester, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods representing the culture, history and architecture of the city. She later was a founding member and executive director of Worcester's Arts & Humanities Educational Collaborative (now known as CultureLEAP [Learning through Education & Arts Partnerships]), a coalition of cultural institutions, funding partners, and the Worcester Public Schools that encourages students, teachers, and administrators to become life-long learners and active participants in Worcester's cultural life.
In addition to her professional positions, Bacon has held several volunteer leadership roles within her community. She served on the Sutton (Mass.) School Committee (1986-1991), including one year as committee chair; was a 10-year board member for the Performing Arts School of Worcester (1986-1996); led efforts to develop the Sutton Cedar Swamp Nature Trail and was on the PTA Nature Trail Committee (1992-1997); was active in the Massachusetts charter school movement (1994-1998); and served on Sutton's Historical Commission (1999-2007) and Arts Council (1998-1999).
Bacon served on the Connecticut College Parents' Committee from 2006-2009 while two of her children were Camel student-athletes. Margaret '07 competed in soccer, lacrosse and track & field, while Samuel '09 played lacrosse.
Tracy Hayley Smith '97 is one of the most talented skippers in Connecticut College sailing history. As a challenger in the A-Division, she competed in all the women's major regattas and regularly was a top finisher for the Camels. A four-time All-America selection (1993, 1994, 1996, 1997), Smith and her crew won the 1993 and 1997 Inter-Collegiate Yacht Racing Association (ICYRA) National Championships, while adding a third-place finish at the 1994 event. She also received the Camels' Most Valuable Sailor Award twice in her career.
During the 1994-1995 academic year, Smith took time away from the College and intercollegiate competition so she could focus on her sailing campaign and train for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Ga. Competing in the 470 Class (a two-person dinghy), Smith and her crew, Louise Gleason, placed third at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials, just missing a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. Smith returned to Connecticut College in 1997 to complete her education along with her collegiate sailing career. She received the Athletic Department's Anita L. DeFrantz '74 Award as the outstanding female member of the graduating class whose athletic ability, leadership and sportsmanship best exemplify the qualities of Olympic medalist Anita L. DeFrantz '74.
From 1997-1999, Smith again concentrated on an Olympic campaign for the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Australia. For three years (1997, 1998, 1999), she was ranked number one on the U.S. Sailing Team. After qualifying for the 1999 U.S. Pre-Olympic Sailing Team, the Smith/Gleason team won a silver medal at the Pre-Olympic Regatta in Sydney. Unfortunately, at a later event, the duo's finish was not high enough to secure a spot on the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team.
Smith has continued her sailing career in the past decade, competing at the Vector North American Championships (2003-2005). She finished fourth in the Snipe Class/rowing at the 2007 U.S. Pan American Games in Brazil. More recently, Smith and her husband Ezra sailed in the gold fleet at the 2010 International 14 World Championships in Australia.
In addition to competing, Smith has given back to the sport of sailing. For several years, she coached the U.S. Paralympics Team at the U.S. Team Trials. Smith also has served as a volunteer coordinator for Shake-a-Leg Miami, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating sailing opportunities for disabled and at-risk children
Also active in swimming and triathlons, Smith trains with the Newport (R.I.) Athletic Club masters swimming group. Since 2004, she has participated in the Save the Bay swim, a 1.7-mile open water competition across Narragansett Bay. In the 2011 event, Smith's time of 48.33 placed her 55th out of more than 450 swimmers. This year, she also competed in the Narrow River Turnaround Swim, a one-mile open water event in Rhode Island. Her 23.49 finish earned her 23rd place among the event's 104 competitors. Another highlight of Smith's was her third-place age-group result in the 2007 Wild Dog Triathlon, consisting of a quarter-mile swim, 10-mile bike ride, and three-mile run.
After graduating from Connecticut College with a B.A. in history and a minor in Hispanic studies, Smith earned a master of business administration from the University of Arizona's Thunderbird School of Global Management. In 2006, she was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at her secondary school, Ransom Everglades School (Coconut Grove, Fla.), where she was a top sailor while also competing in soccer, softball, swimming, and water polo.
For more than two decades, Doug Roberts was a foundation of Connecticut College's Department of Athletics as a coach, administrator and faculty member. A respected and loyal member of the Athletic Department for 25 years, he played a key role in the development of the College's men's athletic programs. His efforts to establish and sustain a top-notch men's ice hockey program attracted males to campus and served as an example for other growing men's athletic programs at the College. In addition, the early successes of Roberts' ice hockey teams were a principal factor in the College's admission to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in 1982.
When he joined the College's coaching staff in 1979, Roberts had the challenging task of developing a competitive men's ice hockey program in the wake of the College's embracing coeducation with the acceptance of male students. One year after competing at the club level, the 1980-1981 Camels posted a winning record (12-10-1) in their first season of varsity play.
Throughout the 1980s, Connecticut College ice hockey squads were regularly ranked number one or two in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) South Division. From 1986 through 1990, Roberts' teams earned an average 16 wins per season and received five consecutive bids to the ECAC Tournament. After finishing the 1985 season as ECAC South runner-up, the Camels were division semifinalists three straight years before capturing the 1990 ECAC South Division crown. In 1991, Connecticut College was invited to join the ECAC East, a stronger and more competitive division of ECAC ice hockey. The Camels were the 1998 East runner-up when they hosted the championship round, and they reached the East Division quarterfinals in 1996 and 1999.
In directing the Camel ice hockey team from infancy, Roberts built a nationally-ranked program, posting a 252-249-28 mark (.503 winning %) over 23 varsity seasons before retiring from coaching in 2004. His players have won numerous awards and honors, and four standouts have earned inducted into the Connecticut College Athletic Hall of Fame: Nigel Bentley '83 (inducted in 2003), Jim Brown '89 (1997), Chip Orcutt '84 (2005) and Todd Taplin '89 (2007).
As an adjunct professor of physical education, Roberts taught several skills courses, including skating, tennis, and golf. Roberts also flawlessly ran the College's Dayton Arena for a quarter century. A tireless ambassador for the sport of ice hockey, he created several youth ice hockey and public skating programs for the Southeastern Connecticut community.
Roberts, a native of Detroit, Michigan, was a three-sport high school standout, receiving all-state football recognition in addition to excelling in ice hockey and baseball. He accepted a full scholarship to play football at Michigan State University under the condition that he also could play hockey. Roberts excelled in the latter sport, scoring 56 goals and adding 53 assists for 109 career points. The three-year letter-winner led the Spartans' scoring efforts as a junior (21 goals) and senior (28 goals, 61 points). As a senior team captain, he earned 1965 All-America First Team selection as well as the squad's Most Valuable Player Award.
Following graduation from MSU, Roberts was drafted into the National Hockey League (NHL) where he enjoyed an esteemed 12-year playing career (1965-1977). One of only two U.S.-born players in the NHL at that time, he played with the Detroit Red Wings, California Golden Seals, Boston Bruins and Hartford Whalers. Roberts became the first American player to skate in the NHL All-Star Game when he represented the Golden Seals at the 1971 event.
Roberts passed on his ice hockey prowess to his two sons who had their own thriving careers. Doug Roberts, Jr. ‘91 played ice hockey for his father, helping lead the Camels to a four-year 59-34-2 mark (.632) and the 1990 ECAC South Championship. He graduated as one of the program's all-time leading scorers. After a stellar hockey career at the University of Michigan, Dave Roberts played for the U.S. Team at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Following his father into professional hockey, he had an 11-year NHL career playing for the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.
"Doug Roberts has two and a half decades of alumni who speak very highly of him regarding the ways he taught them about life," praises Fran Shields, Katherine Wenk Christoffers '45 Director of Athletics, Chair of the Physical Education Department, and a former assistant ice hockey coach during Doug's tenure. "Many successful careers after college were due to Doug's leadership."
The 1998-1999 Connecticut College Men's Basketball Team is one of the most successful squads in College history. The Camels earned a multitude of achievements, including an undefeated regular season mark and a number one national ranking as they advanced to the NCAA Tournament Final Four round.
Under the direction of head coach Glen Miller, the Camels finished the regular season 24-0 and extended their winning streak to 27 consecutive games before dropping a heartbreaking decision to Hampden-Sydney College in the NCAA semifinals. However, they rebounded and won an overtime consolation game over William Paterson University to close the season with a national third-place finish, the furthest advancement of any Connecticut College team in NCAA Tournament play. Along the way, several school records were broken including season wins (28), consecutive wins (27) and season winning percentage (.966).
In addition to being the lone men's team (among all divisions) to go undefeated that season, the Camels became only the second NESCAC men's basketball squad to post an undefeated regular season. The region's top team for six straight weeks (January 19 - February 23) in the NABC New England Poll, the squad closed out the last two weeks of the regular season (February 17 and 24) at number one in the NABC National Poll.
In addition to his squad's numerous accolades, Coach Miller received both NABC and NESCAC Division III Northeast Coach of the Year honors. Zach Smith '99 was named the ECAC New England Division III Co-Player of the Year and, along with Dwayne Stallings ‘99, was selected to the NESCAC All-Conference First Team.
Recognition has continued for the 1998-1999 Camel squad since its spectacular season. In 2003, the team was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. Individually, two players have been revered by the Connecticut College Athletic Hall of Fame - Kareem Tatum '01 was inducted in 2007 and Zach Smith '99 earned 2010 induction.
Team members included:
Head Coach: Glen Miller
Assistant Coaches: Lloyd Gibson, Kevin Jaskiewicz, Tom Satran ‘94
Chris O'Leary '99, Zach Smith '99, Dwayne Stallings '99
Jason Ashur '00, Bill Bassett '00
Tope Adekanbi '01, Sam Freedman '01, Jason Shea '01,
Kareem Tatum '01, Aaron Taylor '01
Mizan Ayers '02, Rich Futia '02, Leland McKenna '02,
Vaidas Nutautas '02, Chris Zoller ‘02
October 6, 2011