BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- The 2015 Bridgewater State University Athletics Hall of Fame Induction and Banquet ceremony was held Friday evening, October 23, in the Rondileau Campus Center Ballroom and an audience of 250 was on hand as six former student-athletes were inducted into the hall by Dr. Mary Beth Lamb, director of athletics at BSU.
President Frederick W. Clark Jr., Esq., ’83, was on hand to offer welcoming remarks from the university and to congratulate the new members. “I welcome all of your this evening to this wonderful event and for our inductees, I welcome you back to Bridgewater and offer my heartiest congratulations.”
He said that “athletics has always been an important part of the heartbeat of this university and a rallying point for campus pride.”
Noting the portrait of a bear on the front cover of the printed program for the evening – the bear has been the mascot of BSU athletics since 1960 – he said “The Bridgewater Bear is a symbol that represents the passion, endurance and the strength of our athletic programs, and throughout my long association with this university – dating back now more than three-and-a-half decades – I have admired how much the bear conveys those qualities.”
Going forward, he said, “As Bridgewater’s new president, I want to work closely with Dr. Lamb and her team to continue to build on the finest traditions associated with our athletic programs. The men and women we will honor this evening are the perfect examples of that tradition of excellence.”
In her remarks, Dr. Lamb said “choosing this year’s inductees has been a labor of love” and also praised current student-athletes and their coaches – many of whom were present – for “all you have to make our athletic program such an outstanding success.”
Specifically, said Dr. Lamb, “The athletic program is growing both in size and achievement. This past year we had 574 men and women athletes competing for Bridgewater in 21 sports. Our athletes excel on the fields, the courts and the pool, in the classroom and in the community.
“Athletically our teams continue to excel, and this past year our teams took five MASCAC championships in women’s basketball, women’s lacrosse, men’s indoor track and field and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field. Individual student athletes competed in the NCAA national championships in men’s cross country, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field and — most notably — in 2015 Chris Perry won the Division III National Championship in the triple jump, the first national championship ever won by a BSU student.”
Further, Dr. Lamb noted the academic achievements of BSU student-athletes and their dedication to community service.
“In the classroom our student athletes continue to excel. For the fourth consecutive year more than 50% of our student athletes posted grade point averages above a 3.0. We had an all-time high of 16 different athletic teams achieve academic excellence with GPAs above 3.0 and 263 BSU student athletes were named to MASCAC All-Academic Team.
“Our student athletes are committed to acts of service within the community,” she said, noting that the football team is active in the “Road to Kindergarten” program; the field hockey’s involvement in “Crayola Crayons,”; and baseball and basketball teams which participate in the “Team Impact” program and working with Special Olympics and helping support the bone marrow registry drive.
The six inductees were then introduced:
First was Shannon V. Manning, ’10, who spent four seasons on the Bridgewater State women’s lacrosse team from 2007 to 2010, leading the team to the program’s second-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010. She was a three-time Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England First Team All-mStar (2008-2010), three-time New England Women’s Lacrosse Alliance (NEWLA) All-Conference First-Team selection (2008-2010), two-time NEWLA Player of the Year (2008, 2010) and a two-time winner of the BSU Athlete of the Year award (2009, 2011). Shannon was named to the WomensLacrosse.com Division III All-America Third Team in 2010, along with the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division III All-Berkshire Region Second Team. She led the Bears to three straight She led the Bears to three straightNEWLA regular season and tournament titles, and currently holds program records for most points (384)and assists (156) in a career, as well as most points in a season (120).
A two-time Massachusetts StateCollegiate Athletics Conference (MASCAC) All-Academic selection (2008, 2010), Shannon graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education, and recently earned a master’s degree in adventure education from Plymouth State. Shannon currently teaches health and physical education at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, and was named director of the girls lacrosse program in 2012. She also coaches club lacrosse in the off-season for middle school athletes.
Next was Daniel J. Maurer, ’00, who was a dual-threat quarterback for the football Bears from 1996 to 1999, passing for 57 touchdowns and rushing for 41 more. Dan holds school records for most touchdown passes in a career, as well as in a season (27 in 1999), and ranks third all-time in rushing touchdowns.
In his career Dan threw for 4,628 yards, and gained another 1,499 yards on the ground. His passing yardage total ranks second all-time at Bridgewater State and his 130.51 career passer rating is the fourth-highest mark in school history. Dan also ranks second all-time at BSU in total offense with 6,127 yards.
In 1999, Dan led Bridgewater State to an undefeated regular season and a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament, where the 19th-ranked Bears lost to Ursinus College 43-38. He threw for 1,940 yards and 27 touchdowns, while rushing for 622 yards and 15 TDs during the season, and was named to the New England Football Conference (NEFC) All-Conference First Team. Dan was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and NEFC Offensive Player of the Week three times that year, and was selected as the New England Football Writers Division II/III Gold Helmet award winner in week six of the season. Dan graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology.
Following Dan, Tara A. Dolan Morano, ’92, spent four years on the women’s swimming and diving team from 1988 to 1992, setting three individual records in diving that stood several years after her graduation. In 1989, Tara set the one-meter diving mark for an 11-dive event with a score of 347.50 points. The following season, she eclipsed the school standard for a 10-dive event on the one-meter board with a score of 231.05 points.
Finally, in her senior season in 1991, she shattered her previous record for 10 dives with a score of 290.85 points. During her career, Tara served as captain of the swimming and diving squad, and was president of the Captains’ Council for the athletic & recreation department.
Tara was also an exceptional student, finishing on the dean's list each year and graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in 1992. After graduation, Tara remained at Bridgewater State as an assistant swim coach for two seasons and also served on the Athletics Hall of Fame Committee. Tara was also the athletic trainer for the Middleborough Cobras, a semi-professional football team. She teaches physical education at Middleborough High School, where she is also an assistant coach for the swimming and diving team. She served as the school’s athletic trainer from 1996 to 2013, where she was part of two state championship teams.
Tara was honored in 2013 with the MIAA Distinguished Women in Sports Service Award, which “celebrates the efforts of those whose contributions have had a lasting and profound effect on female student athletes.” Tara currently resides in Middleborough with her husband, Darin Morano, ’93, and two children, Tylar and Camryn.
Next was Michael D. Quinn, ’06, who is one of the top scorers, as well as one of the most versatile players, in the history of the Bridgewater State men’s soccer program. Mike currently sits second on the Bears’ all-time leaderboard with 29 goals and is third in scoring with 71 points. He was a four-time All-Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) selection from 2002 to 2005, including three appearances on the first team, and garnered conference player of the year honors in 2005. A two-time team captain who played both forward and fullback, Mike led the Bears in scoring during his junior and senior seasons in 2004 and 2005, amassing 24 goals and 11 assists during that two-year run. He started in all but one of the 73 games that he played in during his four years at Bridgewater, and notched nine game-winning goals. As a junior in 2004, Mike led the Bears to the MASCAC Tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Bridgewater posted a 2-0 victory over Baruch College in first round action with Mike tallying the gamewinning goal. Mike was also a three-time member of the MASCAC All-Academic Team (2004-2006), and graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice.
Angela M. Vecchione ’09; became one of the most decorated athletes in the history of the Bridgewater State softball team. Angela earned All-Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) accolades for four straight seasons from 1998 to 2001, including three first team honors, and was a two-time winner of the MASCAC Player of the Year award (1999, 2001). She was named a Third Team All-American in 1999, and was selected to the National Fast-pitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-New England First Team in each of her four seasons. Bridgewater hosted four straight New England Regional Tournaments during Angela's career.
Angela led the Bears to back-to-back regional titles in 1998 and 1999 as the team advanced to the eight-team World Series. For her performance, Angela was named to the New England Regional All-Tournament Team in both ’98 and ’99. Angela finished her career at Bridgewater State with a stellar .428 batting average, holding school records for hits (253), runs (193), triples (41), at bats (591) and games played (182). She also either set or tied five school marks during her sophomore season in 1999, racking up 71 hits, 57 runs, 36 extra-base hits, 12 triples and 133 total bases.
Angela graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and served as an assistant coach for Wheaton College in 2005 and 2006. She returned to the Bears’ program in 2009 as an assistant. She has always had a passion for teaching our youth the fundamentals of softball, and has worked with local programs including Taunton High School, Middleboro Youth Softball and the Parkway Girls Softball Program.
Angela is a program director for a nonprofit afterschool program in Quincy and resides in Canton with her wife, Kelli-Beth, and their son, Cole.
Leon Weinstein, ’70; was an integral part in the turnaround of the Bridgewater State football program during its early stages. Leon started in all 30 games of his college career, anchoring both the offensive and defensive lines during his four-years with the team from 1966 to 1969. He was named a New England Football Conference (NEFC) All-Conference selection for all four seasons, making him the first player in BSU history to achieve such a feat.
Prior to Leon's arrival at Bridgewater State, the football team’s record reflected a 15-game losing streak that spanned the previous two seasons (1964-1965). The Bears won their first game with Leon at offensive guard and defensive tackle, en route to a 15-14-1 record during his collegiate tenure.
In Leon's last two seasons, Bridgewater utilized a balanced attack on offense, gaining 2,213 yards on the ground and 2,447 yards through the air. Most of the teams running plays went to Leon’s side of the field, with the line’s dominance allowing the Bears to attacknwith their passing game as well. Leon graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education.
After graduation, Leon continued to enrich the school’s football program, as he was an early contributor to the development of the BSU Football Alumni Council and assisted in the creation of the Tom Cook Football Scholarship Award.
Leon also taught elementary school for two years, and recently retired from his business , the Globe Fish Company in Boston, after 42 years. He presently resides with his partner, Ann Miles; has two daughters, Michelle and Marcie, and a grandson, Brett.