WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The inaugural class was inducted into the University of Saint Joseph Athletics Hall of Fame Saturday at The O’Connell Athletic Center. The University welcomed five athletes, one coach and three special contributors in a gala ceremony.
The honorees were:
Stacey Brown '02 (tennis): The all-time winner in both singles matches (47) and doubles matches (35) in school history, she went undefeated in singles (16-0) in 2001 and was the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Player of the Year.
Juliette Byrnes (swimming): Broke over a dozen school records and was the 2005 New England champion in both the 50-yard breaststroke and 100-yard breaststroke as a senior.
Kathy Kurys Cartiera '01 (tennis): As the 1998 GNAC champion, she went 16-0 in singles. She is second in school history with 40 career singles victories.
Noel Kusek Schwartz '99 (volleyball): She was the centerpiece of three GNAC championship teams from 1996-1998, and was named the GNAC Player of the Year in 1996 and 1997.
Stacy Manfredi '98 (basketball): The career leading scorer with 1,806 points. She led the team to its one GNAC championship in 1997-1998 and was named the GNAC Player of the Year that season.
Jeanne DiGiacomo (volleyball coach, 1996-2005): She was named GNAC Coach of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 1998 and led the Blue Jays to the GNAC championship all three years.
Winifred E. Coleman (special contributor): It was under her leadership, as president from 1991-2004, that Saint Joseph began competing in NCAA intercollegiate athletics.
Vitaline McGovern O'Connell and Dr. Maurice Francis O'Connell (special contributors; posthumous): The O'Connell Athletic Center represents the culmination of nearly 40 years of giving to Saint Joseph by Dr. and Mrs. O'Connell.
"What a great night and tremendous celebration,” USJ Athletic Director Bill Cardarelli said. “We are very proud to welcome this group as our first class of inductees into the Hall of Fame."
UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma was the guest speaker and MSG Network sportscaster and five-time Emmy winner Mike Crispino was the master of ceremonies.