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August 23, 2013

USMMA Athletic Hall of Fame to Induct Seven New Members on Homecoming Weekend


USMMA Athletic Hall of Fame (List of Members)

Kings Point, NY – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Athletic Hall of Fame will induct its 15th class on Friday, September 27, as part of Homecoming Weekend.  The event will be hosted by the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation (AAF) in Melville Hall at the Officers Club on the campus of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at 6:00 pm.  If you have any questions or would like to attend the event please contact AAF Director of Marketing / Blue & Gray Gregg Matalas at 516-773-5544 or gregg.matalas@alumni.usmma.edu.

The Athletic Hall of Fame will welcome seven new inductees in 2013 inductees, moving the total membership to 106 honorees.  The class of 2013 includes All-American wrestler Les Kempf ’67, football standouts Tyler Caruso ’70 and Chris Fiore ’86, basketball standout John Doherty ’89, volleyball and swimming star Michelle May Porter ’95, All-American sailor Bill Hardesty ’98 and USMMA’s former volleyball coach Jim Hettenbach.

“I have been very fortunate to be present for every Hall of Fame induction since its inception in 1990,” said Athletics Director Sue Petersen Lubow. “In my 34 years at the Academy, it’s been an honor and privilege to, literally, watch the careers of our accomplished athletes and coaches. This group is no stranger to success and it’s going to be special to celebrate this wonderful achievement with them.”

In 1967, Les Kempf became the second Kings Pointer and first wrestler to ever be named a NCAA All-American, earning that distinction at 123 pounds.   Kempf twice captured the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Tournament Championship in his weight class, topping the field in 1964-65 and 1966-67.  He was a dominant force at the Metropolitan Wrestling Tournament, claiming individual titles in 1964-65 and 1966-67 along with a third-place finish in 1965-66 as well as silver at the Junior AAU Metropolitan Championships in 1964-65.  Kempf went undefeated in dual competition during the 1966-67 season, leading Merchant Marine to a 10-1 overall record.

Tyler Caruso was a three-year signal caller as the quarterback of the Merchant Marine football team during the 1966-68 seasons.  Caruso was tabbed the MVP of the 1969 Boardwalk Bowl Game in Atlantic City vs. rival Pennsylvania Military College.  He also led the team to a 1968 Lambert Bowl runner-up ranking, which is symbolic of the top Division III football team in the Eastern College Athletic Conference.

During his career, Caruso established Academy records for most touchdown passes in a single game (3), season (10) and career (19).  He also set new standards for most passing yards in a season and career as well as completing the then-longest pass play for a touchdown in USMMA history, which went for 63 yards.

Chris Fiore was a mainstay in the back field of the USMMA football team as a running back from 1982-85.  He was the team’s Offensive Player of the Year in 1984 and 1985 as the Mariners compiled a 15-5-1 record during that span.  Fiore served as a tri-captain in the 1985 season in which the Mariners captured their first Liberty Conference Championship.  During his time in a KP uniform the Academy celebrated four straight Secretary’s Cup victories and claimed the 1984 ECAC Southern Region Championship.

At the time of his induction, Fiore’s name is still etched in the Merchant Marine Football Record Book.  He holds the records for most rushing yards in one quarter of play with 122, most consecutive rushing carries with 13, and most touchdowns and points scored in a career with 40 and 240, respectively.  Fiore was also tabbed as a Pizza Hut Division III Football All-American.

At the time of his induction, John Doherty ranks fifth on the Mariners men’s basketball all-time scoring list with 1,517 career points.   He was the co-captain of the 1988-89 team that posted a 25-3 record and became the first team in Academy history to reach the NCAA Tournament.  Doherty established a single-season record for assists during the 1988-89 campaign, compiling 194 assists.  He also has the second highest single game point total in program history as he dropped in 44 points against Union during his senior year.

Michelle May Porter received the Julie A. Berke Trophy after a stellar collegiate career as a four-year letter winner on both the Merchant Marine volleyball and swimming teams.  She served as a captain for both teams in the 1995 and 1996 seasons.  May Porter was named volleyball team MVP all four seasons she played as a middle hitter and tabbed a Great Northern Atlantic Volleyball Conference First-Team All-Star in her junior and senior seasons.  She was also a member of the 1995 Skyline Conference All-Star Team and led the Mariners to a 24-7 record in the 1996 season.  May Porter established 12 match, season, and career volleyball records during her time at the Academy.

May Porter collected MVP honors on the swimming team in 1993 and contributed to setting two USMMA relay records.  She led the team to a 6-4 record in the 1995-96 season and captured an individual championship in the 400-yard freestyle at the Metropolitan Swimming & Diving Championships as the Mariners finished in third-place overall.

Bill Hardesty enters the USMMA Athletic Hall of Fame as a four-year intercollegiate letter-winning sailor who continued his athletic success after graduation.   At the Academy, he led the coed dinghy team to four consecutive ICYRA Coed National Championship appearances, winning the National Championship in 1996.  Hardesty was named the 1998 College Sailor of the Year and was tabbed an All-American all four years of his collegiate career.  He was instrumental in guiding the Academy sailing team to the 1995 single-handed and 1998 sloop National Championships.

After his time at the Academy, Hardesty became one of the top sailing skippers and match racing tacticians in the world.  He claimed the 2008 and 2011 Etchells Class World Championships.  Hardesty was also selected the 2011 U.S. Sailing Association ROLEX “Yachtsman of the Year” after capturing the 2011 International Sailing Federation World Match Race Tour Championship.

Jim Hettenbach served as the USMMA Women’s Volleyball Head Coach for 14 years, 1989-2000 and 2007-2008.  During that span he led the Mariners to Skyline Conference Championships in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000 as well as two Division III NCAA Tournament berths.  Hettenbach is the winningest coach in USMMA women’s volleyball history, compiling a 162-136 record at the helm of the Mariners program.  He received the Dr. Stephen “Bill” Omeltchenko Award in 1996, which distinguishes the Academy’s Coach of the Year.