(This story is also featured on brookdaleathletics.com)
Eatontown, NJ – Brookdale Community College inducted the Class of 2016 into their Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, February 12th.
The ceremony took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Eatontown, where over 200 people attended. The class was also honored prior to the men’s and women’s basketball games at the Collins Arena on the school’s Lincroft campus the following day.
“To be eligible for consideration, a nominee must have been disassociated with the college for at least five (5) years or have been disassociated with his/her playing, coaching or administrative responsibilities for a period of five (5) years. An active coach may become eligible after five (5) complete seasons of service to that sport,” according to athletic director Shawn Noël.
The selection committee for the Class of 2016 consisted of Noël, Executive Director, Foundation & Alumni Affairs Tim Zeiss, President of the Alumni Association Lauren Watson, sportswriter Tony Graham, former Dean of enrollment development and Student Affairs Jim Palumbo, former men’s soccer and golf coach Doug Welsh, and current men’s basketball head coach Paul Cisek.
Six individual players were honored along with a team, a coach and an athletics director. The Class of 2016 consisted of Lou Giglio, Lori Kirschbaum (McDermott), Dennis McCaffery, Katie Motondo (McDonald), Miguel Rodriguez, Marissa Sottile (Busch), the 1986 baseball team, Bo Scannapieco, and Jack Ryan.
Lou Giglio – Men’s Soccer – 1975
Giglio starred on the Jersey Blue’s men’s soccer team in 1975. He became the first NJCAA All-American in the history of the men’s soccer program before transferring to Trenton State College (The College of New Jersey). Giglio was named All-NJAC in his two seasons at TCNJ and captained the team during his senior year.
“Coming to Brookdale was the best decision I’ve ever made,” Giglio said in his induction speech. “The team was all about making friends, playing together and having fun. I want to say thank you to everyone and I wouldn’t trade my time at Brookdale for anything.”
Lori McDermott Kirschbaum – Women’s Basketball & Soccer – 1999-2001
Kirschbaum played on both the Jersey Blues’ women’s basketball and soccer teams from 1999-2001. She became the first Brookdale player to score 1,000 points in basketball and she finished her two-year career with more than 1,100 points. She was also two-time All-GSAC and All-Region honoree in addition to being named NJCAA All-American in the 2000-01 season. She continued playing at Felician College.
Kirschbaum was inducted by her father, John McDermott, who shared the story on how his daughter ended up at Brookdale.
“I remember when we went to look at (Brookdale), she stayed in the car,” McDermott said. “She didn’t want to go to school there because all of her friends were going away to school. Coach Jack Ryan spoke with her about the program, and the rest was history.”
“Brookdale was the best decision made,” Kirschbaum said. “I enjoyed playing both basketball and soccer while getting a great education.”
Dennis McCaffery – Baseball – 1989
McCaffery had a year to remember on the baseball diamond in 1989. He earned NJCAA All-American and All-Region honors while also being named Region XIX Player of the Year. He continued his baseball career at Villanova where he was named Big East Player of the Year in 1990 and a member of the Big East Championship team in 1991 that advanced to the regional round of the NCAA Tournament. He played in the Cape Cod League before being drafted by the California Angels in 1991. McCaffery played professionally in the Angels’ organization for three seasons.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to be here tonight,” McCaffery said. “Brookdale changed my life before I even stepped onto the baseball field. While in the minors, I played for a coach who is in the majors right now and I would take Brookdale’s coaching staff over him. Brookdale took a kid who did not have a career path and did not know what he was going to do with his life and sent him to Villanova and now has a wonderful life.”
McCaffery is now the head baseball coach at Cranford High School, where he teaches his players similarly to how he learned playing under Coach MacLaughlin at Brookdale.
“With Coach MacLaughlin, everything was one way; his way,” McCaffery said. “Up at Cranford, I run practice exactly the way it was run at Brookdale.”
Katie McDonald Motondo – Women’s Soccer – 1997-98
Motondo played on the women’s soccer teams in 1997-98 when she played a key role in reviving the soccer program after a hiatus. She started a petition herself to bring the program back to Brookdale and got a team started the next fall, including some kids who hadn’t played the game in 5-6 years. She kept the team together through a tough first year. The following season, Motondo led the Blues to the program’s first NJCAA National Tournament appearance in 1998 after going 18-1 and was also named All-American, All-Region and All-GSAC that season. She remained with the program as an assistant coach for five years, reaching the National Tournament twice in that position.
“I want to thank my parents who pushed me constantly and help me become the person I am today,” an emotional Motondo said.
Miguel Rodriguez – Men’s Basketball – 2002-04
Rodriguez starred on the men’s basketball team from 2002-04. He was the first NJCAA All-American in the history of the men’s basketball program. He was a member of the 2003 team that won Brookdale’s first Region XIX Championship in men’s basketball and led his team to a third-place finish at the NJCAA Division III National Championship that season. Rodriguez finished his basketball career at Stockton College, where he garnered All-NJAC honors his senior year. Rodriguez graduated from Brookdale not missing a class in two years and went onto receive his master’s from Maryland in Social Work.
“I have my own Jersey Blues village that raised me into the man I am today,” Rodriguez said. “Back at home, I was always second in everything until I came here. Now I can say that I’m a Hall of Famer. I want to thank the committee, staff and Mr. Shawn Noël for this honor.”
Marissa Busch Sottile – Softball – 2002-03
Sottile was a two-time NJCAA All-American softball pitcher who went 42-7 in two seasons from 2002-03. She hurled 26 shutouts including five no-hitters and one perfect game. Her career ERA of 0.78 was then a national best and remains the best in Jersey Blues’ softball history. She was inducted by her coach, Bo Scannapieco, who shared her story.
“Marissa’s sister played softball at Brookdale and I remember after a game we lost, a 13-year old Marissa came up to me and said ‘Bo if I was pitching, we would have won today,'” Scannapieco said. “In 2002, we were playing in the National Tournament in Joliet, IL. We made it to the championship game and we wanted to throw Marissa, but her arm was bothering her. I asked her if she felt like she could pitch and she said ‘Bo, I’ve been waiting for this for six years. I’m pitching this game.’ She went out and threw a complete game, one-hit shutout retiring the last 19 batters and won the program’s first ever National Championship.”
“Playing for Bo taught me so much more than just being a softball player,” Sottile said. He taught me how to be an amazing mother of two children. I received many D1 offers, but I would not have had as much fun playing for them as I did playing for Bo. My mind was made up when I was 13 years old. I told Bo then I would win him a National Championship. I’m glad I held to my promise.”
1986 Baseball Team
The 1986 baseball team finished the season with a record of 38-9 and placed third at the NJCAA Division 1 Baseball World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado. They won the GSAC Championship, Region XIX Championship and Mid-East Distric Championship in Hagerstown, MD. Four members from the team were drafted or signed by a Major League Baseball organization including Jeff Kipila (Oakland A’s), Tracey Pancoski (Baltimore Orioles), Gary Smith (Detroit Tigers), and Ken Welch (Cleveland Indians). A total of 54 players to come out of Brookdale’s program have played professional baseball, including four Major Leaguers.
Bo Scannapieco – Head Coach, Softball – 1987-present
Scannapieco is widely known as “Mr. Brookdale.” He has been the head coach of the softball team since 1987. In his 30+ years at the helm, Scannapieco’s teams have qualified for the NJCAA National Championship Tournament 18 times, winning National Championships in 2002, 2005 and 2010. Scannapieco has won 18 Region XIX Championships including 11 straight from 1996-2006 and 15 GSAC Championships. His all-time record is 990-276-3 entering the 2016 season and was inducted into the National Junior College Softball Hall of Fame in 2007. Scannapieco was also inducted into the Jersey Shore Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. He is a three-time NJCAA Coach of the Year (2002, 2005 and 2010) and his coaching staff was also named the staff of the year in 2010 by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). His 2002 softball team that won the program’s first National Championship was inducted into the Brookdale Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.
“Brookdale changed my life,” Scannapieco said. “I was home working in between semesters and a few friends told me to try Brookdale for a semester. I ended up going there for a year and graduating before going to Trenton State College. When I was in my senior year at Trenton State, I was doing student teaching and I came home to send a transcript.”
“On my way out, I stopped by the baseball field to talk to Coach MacLaughlin and he asked me what I was doing. I told him I wasn’t playing baseball my senior year and I was ready to enter the job market as a teacher. He asked me if I ever thought about coaching. I said that I haven’t really thought about it. He told me that he was looking for an assistant. Most people don’t know this, but I ended up spending six years coaching baseball as an assistant with him. Then I went over to softball and coached three years under Jack Ryan before he went for his master’s and wanted me to become the head coach. I haven’t stopped coaching since.”
Jack Ryan – Athletic Director – 1997-2005
Ryan served as Athletic Director from 1997-2005, but his Brookdale tenure began in 1969 when he came as a student. After graduating, he was hired by Bob Walsack in 1972 as a student helper and served a 24-year stint as the department’s athletic trainer. Ryan played an essential role in giving women athletic opportunities as he coached softball and started the women’s soccer program in 1979 and was also an assistant for the men’s soccer program. Ryan coached his programs to multiple Region and GSAC titles. For his role in supporting women’s athletics, Ryan was named the first ever male recipient of the NGWSD Award in 2010.
“I want to thank all the faculty for coming out tonight and showing your support,” Ryan said.
The inductees joined two previous classes: the inaugural class of 1979 and the Class of 2015. The Class of 1979 included John “The Count” Montesfusco (baseball – 1971-72), Dennis Walling (baseball – 1974) and Leon Zuckerman, who was a founding trustee of the college in 1967 and served as member of the Board of Trustees and Chairman of its Building and Grounds committee until 1978. Zuckerman was a strong supporter of the development of the athletic program and was a leader in the design and construction of the campuses athletic facilities.
The Class of 2015 consisted of Bob Walsack (Athletic Director and men’s basketball coach – 1971-77), Paul MacLaughin (baseball head coach – 1971-98), Bill Hill (baseball – 1978-79), Ron & Abel Lampa (men’s tennis – 2001-03), Lisa Fiorillo Lanza (women’s soccer – 1998-99), Jen Rosant (softball & women’s basketball – 1996-97), Maryann Soares Ribeiro (softball – 1998-99), and the 2002 softball team that finished 47-9 and won the program’s first National Championship.