Category Archives: Hall of Fame

Penn’s action-packed sports weekend

As far as sports weekends go, it’s hard to imagine too many being bigger than this one for Penn athletics. Want to head out to campus to take in some of the action? Here’s a look of what’s on tap:

Women’s Lacrosse – Ivy League Tournament

Friday and Sunday, Dunning-Cohen Champions Field at Penn Park

For the third straight year, the Quakers will host the Ivy League Women’s Lacrosse Tournament, earning that right by finishing atop the league standings to capture their sixth straight Ivy championship. Incidentally, Penn has hosted this tourney (which determines the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament) all three years of its existence.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the tourney is that the games will be the first played by a varsity team at the synthetic turf field at Penn Park, which is primarily used as a practice facility. The reason for this is the team’s normal home at Franklin Field will be occupied by track and field (see more below).

As the top seed, the Quakers open with fourth-seeded Harvard on Friday at 8 p.m. Should they advance, they’ll play the Dartmouth-Cornell winner Sunday to become the second Penn team this spring to win the Ivy title. (The men’s golf team won in thrilling fashion last weekend.)

Track and Field – Outdoor Heptagonal Championships

Saturday and Sunday, Franklin Field

Just one week after Penn Relays, Franklin Field will be filled with elite athletes again as the seven other Ivy League teams join the host Quakers for Heps.

Last year the Quaker men finished in seventh place at the outdoor championships meet but Maalik Reynolds claimed the high jump title with the second-best jump in Heps history. Now a sophomore, Reynolds will look to defend his title, as will Penn’s 4×800 relay team, which took first at last year’s meet.

On the women’s side, junior Morgan Wheeler and junior Jillian Hart are among the favorites to win Heps titles in the javelin and pole vault, respectively, while the Quakers’ 4×100 relay team of Gabrielle Piper, Paige Madison, Leah Brown and Emily Townsend should also have a good showing.

Softball – One-Game Playoff for South Division Title

Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Penn Park

For the first time in conference history, there will be a one-game playoff to determine who plays in the Ivy League Championship Series. Penn and Cornell will do the honors after finishing tied atop the South Division with 15-5 records. Both teams set up the showdown after concluding the regular season with four-game weekend sweeps. The winner of the matchup will face North Division champ Harvard the following weekend.

Cornell has won the last three South Division championships, while Penn is going for just their second division title in program history. But the upstart Quakers (32-15) have already taken three out of four from Cornell this season and boast perhaps the best pitcher in the league in Alexis Borden.

Borden, a freshman, leads the league in earned run average (1.39) and wins (23). The Penn offense, meanwhile is led by reigning Ivy League Player of the Week Brooke Coloma (who is second in the league with 34 RBIs) and freshman Sydney Turchin (who leads the league with 36 runs scored).

Penn Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Saturday, The Inn at Penn

Away from the fields where Penn’s current athletes are competing for championships, some past champions will be honored in this invite-only, black-tie event.

The eighth induction class features Diana Caramanico W’01, LPS’11 (women’s basketball), Debra Cencits Donnally NU’81, GNU’83 (field hockey/women’s lacrosse), Tim Chambers C’85 (football), Willis N. Cummings D’19 (track/cross country), Melissa Ingalls C’90 (women’s volleyball), Bruce Lefkowitz C’87 (men’s basketball), Robert Levy C’52 (special award), Timothy Ortman C’01 (sprint football/wrestling), Joseph Sturgis, Sr. C’56 L’59 (men’s basketball), Paul Toomey C’77 (men’s soccer), John Tori C’54 (men’s fencing) and Bob Weinhauer (men’s basketball coach of the famed 1979 Final Four team).

It’s a pretty impressive class to be sure, and we’ll have more on these Penn greats following the induction ceremony.

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Matt Maloney, Kelly Greenberg inducted into Big 5 Hall of Fame

Matt Maloney C’95 and Kelly Greenberg both practically grew up going to Big 5 games at the Palestra. Maloney would watch Temple, where his dad, the late Jim Maloney, was a longtime assistant coach, while Greenberg followed La Salle, where her brother, father and uncle all played.

These days, however, Maloney and Greenberg don’t visit the historic gym on 33rd Street as much as they used to. Maloney, who teamed with Penn head coach Jerome Allen in the backcourt to lead the Quakers to a 42-0 Ivy League record from 1993-95, is currently enjoying his retirement from the NBA in Houston, while Greenberg, who starred as a La Salle player before coaching the Penn women from 1999 to 2004, is currently the head coach at Boston University.

But for a few hours on Tuesday, both returned to the place that meant so much to them as Maloney and Greenberg were inducted into the Big 5 Hall of Fame. It’s a well-deserved honor and I was lucky enough to be there and write about it for CSNPhilly.com. For more on what they said about the induction, I’ve included quotes from both Maloney and Greenberg, which you can find below:

MATT MALONEY

On the induction: It’s incredible. I haven’t been back here in a decade. Once I walked through the door, a bunch of emotions came flooding back – not only from my days playing here but just going to games when I was younger. There’s just an incredible atmosphere and history and tradition of the Big 5, and it’s just incredible to be a part of right now.

On the legendary Matt Maloney-Jerome Allen backcourt: Well, I think it’s more Allen-Maloney. If you ask me, he was one of the best players in Big 5 history. He entailed everything you want in a great player. I just tried my best to not embarrass myself around him more than anything. He taught me so much about game. It was just an incredible experience playing with him. I’m just so happy he’s the coach here. I think it’s great for Penn basketball.

On the Allen/Maloney-led Penn teams that went 42-0 in the Ivy League: Our teams went on a great run and it wasn’t solely because of one or two people. And Fran Dunphy was a great coach. Being part of that ride was fun. Every game we played there wasn’t anyone we felt we couldn’t beat.

Maloney was the Ivy League Player of the Year in his senior season (1994-95)

On playing in the NBA from 1996-2003: I was incredibly fortunate. I know I worked hard to get the opportunity but it’s about someone giving you the opportunity above and beyond. [Former Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich] gave me the opportunity to start and stuck with me for three years down there. And my teammates gave me all the confidence in the world.

On playing with Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler for the Rockets: They were the original Big 3, right? It was incredible. It was kind of easy. You dribble down, you throw the ball to one of them and just watch. It was a great experience. I was very fortunate to get the opportunity.

On possibly returning to basketball: I’m getting perspective on what I want to do. I don’t know. I definitely want to give back what my dad gave me – all the knowledge of basketball. Whatever opportunity comes up, I’ll consider and go from there. … Eventually, I will do something on the basketball level.

On Allen being Penn’s head coach: I was so excited. I knew it would be so good for Penn. He’s got so much knowledge of the game and he’s such a great leader. He commands respect for how good he was. Just being in a room and talking basketball, I know players respect him. He’s really turned the program around, and he’s just started.

On his decision to transfer to Penn after one season at Vanderbilt: I originally wanted to do so it so my dad could see me play. I ended up at Penn and the education I got here was one of the best in the world. And the opportunity to play for Coach Dunphy was incredible. He’s one of the best coaches in the game and Jerome was one of the best players in the game. It was just walking into a perfect-storm situation.

On his most memorable Palestra moment: I remember my first game here at Penn, how nervous I was. From what I recall, I was never really nervous before games. My first game in the NBA, I wasn’t nervous. But my first game here, playing for my hometown team, I was so nervous. I would say that’s the biggest moment – the atmosphere of playing here rather than being in the stands and watching.

On what he thought about when he returned to the Palestra for the first time in more than a decade: Walking down the ramp, it brought back all the memories of me walking down that thing going to practices. Going to Temple practices when I was younger. The first time I met John Chaney down here was a big experience for me when I was kid. Sitting here, now looking around, I remember when they threw streamers on the floor. A lot of different memories hit me.

KELLY GREENBERG

On the induction: It’s a tremendous honor, it really is. It’s funny, when people mention the Big 5 to me, I don’t think of when I played and don’t think of when I coached. I actually think of when I was a little girl and when I came here. It’s just a tremendous honor to have my name put up on the wall with all of the legendary players and coaches and media people. I’m very fortunate. I don’t think I was a star player or a star coach in any way. I just happened to be involved with people that really won a lot and I’m really lucky.

On her family ties to the Big 5: My brother, dad and uncle played at La Salle. My dad and uncle weren’t in the actual Big 5; they played before the Big 5. Coming here in fourth and fifth grade, I remember the banners and streamers. And then becoming a player and realizing there’s a whole new side to it. I always knew the men and by the time I got to college, the women started having a Big 5 of their own. I got to experience both sides to it.

On how this day compared to when she was unveiled as the new Penn coach in 1999: That really was a great day for me. It was a great day for my family and me being back home and being able to coach my home games in this legendary building. That was a magical five years for us. As an assistant coach for so many years, you finally get a chance and I thank Steve Bilsky for giving me that opportunity. What’s special about today is all 11 of my siblings are here. The 12 of us don’t get together too often anymore because there’s much going on. That’s mostly my fault, to be honest.

On if she misses Philadelphia: I definitely do. I miss the basketball part of it and I really miss my family. Up at BU, I feel like we’ve got something really special going on but my family is not a part of it, so that’s the one thing I do miss a lot.

Greenberg coached Penn to two Ivy League championships in five years at the helm

On if it was a hard decision to leave Penn for Boston: It was. At the time, it was very hard. It wasn’t like I had to get the heck out of Penn but I felt ready for a different challenge. I lived up in Boston during my 20s and loved it. BU’s a great place. I really enjoy it. That first year-and-a-half, you always worry if you did the right thing. But I did. And my time at Penn is a great memory.

On her best memory at Penn: I remember [in 2000-01] when we kept winning and went undefeated [in the Ivy League and went to the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament]. That was so special because of the senior class of Claire Cavanaugh, Erin Ladley, Liz Alexander, Jess Allen and of course Diana [Caramanico]. I remember every single game and we squeaked out of so many of those Ivy League games. I really remember games more than anything. To be honest with you, as a coach, I can do without an office. I really remember the practices and the games and the players of course.

On keeping up with Penn women’s basketball after leaving (following Penn’s second trip to the NCAA tourney in 2004): In the beginning, when Amanda [Kammes] and [Jessica Fleischer] and them were finishing up their careers and I wasn’t here, I certainly kept in touch. But it’s really hard when you have your own program and start getting pulled and you just don’t have the time. I’m not a real Internet person but when I could check the papers early on, I certainly did. And now it’s just so different and I don’t know any of the players. But I still want them to do well, of course. I keep in touch with players I coached at Penn. I went to Diana’s wedding. I went to Tara [Twomey’s] wedding. I’ve seen Claire’s kids. So you know, they’re all special people in my life.

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An evening of honors and memories

Penn's seventh hall of fame class poses for a photo

Over the weekend, I had the privilege of covering the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the Gazette. I’m planning on saving most of the quotes and material I got for a magazine article that will appear in the next issue, but I thought I’d share some highlights of the evening. (And for more on the seventh class, see this previous post.)

  • E. Craig Sweetin, who took home the first-ever “special honorary award” for his lifetime contributions to Penn, is 96 years old and still going strong. He says he hopes to continue to come back to Penn for many more years. I believe it.
  • Three Penn athletes were inducted posthumously: basketball player Frank Crossin C’47, football and baseball star Walt Hynoski W’55 and William Byrd Page, a high jump champion in the 1880s. Only Byrd Page didn’t have family there. Hynoski passed away last October, but his sons were kind enough to pass on a speech he wrote upon his induction into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame two years ago.
  • Swimming inductee Bob Atkinson C’73 is a cool dude. He’s been living in Honolulu for 27 years and sometimes competes in open ocean relays, swimming from one island to another. (Meanwhile, I have trouble swimming from side of a hot tub to the other.) 
  • Penn basketball coach Jerome Allen C’95 was in attendance, looking spiffy as always. Allen, however, is not a member of Penn’s Hall of Fame. Should he be?
  • Athletic Director Steve Bilsky W’71, a Hall of Fame member himself, called out the lacrosse tables for being rowdy and told the people who have complained to him about not getting into the Hall of Fame to redirect their anger towards the committee. He then named the committee members to the delight of everyone in attendance. On a more serious note, he boasted that the honorees spanned three centuries, a feat he said most universities cannot match.
  • Patty Kennedy’s (C’87) speech was hilarious at times and inspiring at others. It was truly the highlight of the night. More on that to come in the magazine story.
  • Ex-baseball manager and soccer coach Bob Seddon was the other inductee to give a speech. He mostly talked about everyone else in attendance rather than himself, and choked up just by mentioning longtime assistant coach Bill Wagner’s name.
  • Seddon also spoke glowingly of one of her former players Doug Glanville Eng’ 92, a fellow inductee. A feature essay written by Glanville, along with a Q&A, will be in the next Gazette issue.
  • I was placed at the fencing table, sitting next to the family of inductee Gail Rossmann Kedoin C’88 and longtime Penn fencing coach Dave Micahnik C’59. Interestingly enough, Micahnik’s women’s fencing team was the first team I ever covered back when I was a freshman writing for the Daily Pennsylvanian.
  • I got a chance to speak to Micahnik about what it’s like to be a part of the Hall of Fame. He choked up when he recalled the speech he gave during the ceremony 12 years ago when he said, “This is the second greatest honor that Penn ever bestowed upon me. The greatest honor was when I was permitted to wear the Red and Blue.”
  • Micahnik, who retired a year ago last month, also told me what it was like being away from Penn fencing for the first time in more than 50 years. “You miss it. Of course you miss it. It’s tough to go to a meet and not coach.” But he and his wife Phyllis are enjoying the extra time they’re able to spend together – for now. “She’ll get tired of me sooner or later,” he said.
  • Former Penn soccer player, coach and administrator Charley Scott closed the ceremony by leading a rousing rendition of the Red and Blue. When a recorded version came on over the loudspeaker a few seconds in, Scott didn’t even try to sync up the two versions. Just about everyone followed him, too.

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New group of Quaker legends set for Hall call

Tomorrow, at a black-tie gala at the Inn at Penn, 12 people will be inducted into the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame. I’ll be attending the event for a Gazette article and will be reporting back next week with some details. For now, here’s a quick look (in alphabetical order) at the seventh class of inductees:

JOHN ADAMS

Class: W’72

Sport: Men’s Tennis

Claim to Fame: Penn’s first and only All-American tennis player, Adams was a dominant singles player. After losing just one match each of his sophomore and junior campaigns, he won the Eastern Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles and doubles titles as a senior before leading the Quakers to a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

Dionne Anthon

DIONNE ANTHON

Class: W’92, L’05

Sport: Women’s Basketball

Claim to Fame: Nearly 20 years after graduation, Anthon remains in the top 10 all-time in career assists (294), career free throws (295), career field goals (485) and career points (1,293). She was a three-time All-Ivy recipient and a two-time All-Big 5 honoree.

BOB ATKINSON

Class: C’73

Sport: Men’s Swimming

Claim to Fame: A 1968 Olympic trialist and an All-American, Atkinson held eight program records when he left Penn: 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke, 200 IM, 400 IM, 400 free relay, 800 free relay and 400 medley relay. He became just the third Penn athlete to earn an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Francis Crossin

FRANCIS CROSSIN

Class: C’47

Sport: Men’s Basketball

Claim to Fame: Though his career was interrupted by his service in World War II, Crossin starred for the Quakers in 1942-43, 1943-44 and 1946-47, captaining the last two squads and leading the team in scoring. Following his Penn playing career, he was the first-round pick of the Philadelphia Warriors in the 1947 Basketball Association of America draft, playing three years for the team. He later played and coached in the American Basketball League and served in the state House of Representatives.

DOUG GLANVILLE

Class: Eng’93

Sport: Baseball

Claim to Fame: An All-American outfielder, Glanville set school records and led the Quakers to a 29-win season in 1989, their highest win total to this day. He later played Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies, before finding his voice as a New York Times columnist, author and ESPN analyst.

Walter Hynoski

WALTER HYNOSKI

Class: W’55

Sport: Football/Baseball

Claim to Fame: On the gridiron, Hynoski was considered one of the last of Penn’s triple-threat single-wing backs, throwing touchdown passes on top of his halfback and punting duties while leading the Quakers to an undefeated 1952 season. On the diamond, he was a three-year letterwinner and a starting pitcher. Two years ago, he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

GAIL ROSSMANN KEDOIN

Class: C’88

Sport: Women’s Fencing

Claim to Fame: A two-time captain and four-time first-team All Ivy recipient, Kedoin led Penn to an Ivy League title in each of her four seasons on campus. During her sophomore campaign, she helped the Quakers capture what remains their only NCAA fencing title.

PATRICIA KENNEDY

Class: C’87

Sport: Field Hockey/Women’s Lacrosse

Claim to Fame: A two-sport star, Kennedy captained both the field hockey and women’s lacrosse teams in 1987 and was honored with the Julie Staver Award as Penn’s top two-sport athlete. As a senior, she led the field hockey team to its third championship in four years before earning lacrosse All-America honors that spring. She later played lacrosse at the international level.

W. KELSO MORRILL III

Class: W’85

Sport: Men’s Lacrosse

Claim to Fame: Upon graduation, Morrill was the Quakers’ all-time leader in goals (98), second all-time in points (164) and tied for third all-time in assists (66). He also helped the Quakers to their first Ivy League title, going 32-9 overall in his final three seasons.

WILLIAM BYRD PAGE

Class: BS 1887, ME 1888

Sport: Men’s Track & Field

Claim to Fame: Before Franklin Field even existed, Byrd Page was one of the best high jumpers in the world. A three-time All-American, he became the world record holder in the high jump in 1887. His school record in the event stood for 55 years.

Bob Seddon

BOB SEDDON

Class: Coach

Sport: Men’s Soccer/Baseball

Claim to Fame: The head soccer coach from 1968-86 and head baseball coach from 1972-2005, Seddon was an institution on campus for many years. As the soccer coach, he led Penn to three Ivy League championships, six NCAA tournament appearances and boasted a .643 career winning percentage. As baseball coach, the man nicknamed “9” won 634 games, the most in Ivy League history, and enjoyed 14 20-win seasons. Fellow inductee Doug Glanville played under his tutelage.

E. CRAIG SWEETEN

Class: W’37

Sport: Men’s Soccer

Claim to Fame: Sweeten will take home the first Penn Athletic Hall of Fame “special award” for his contributions on and off the field. After playing soccer from 1934-36 – and captaining the 1936 squad despite never having played soccer before arriving at Penn – he worked many development and public relations jobs at the university. In 1985, he was the first recipient of the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award. The E. Craig Sweeten Alumni Center was dedicated to him for his many years of service to the university.

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