Photo by Melanie Fidler
Release courtesy of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association and Foundation
KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Sept. 24, 2016) – On Friday, September 23, the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation (AAF) hosted the 2016 Athletic Awards Dinner in conjunction with USMMA Athletics. The annual event took place during the AAF's Homecoming Weekend and honored Jim Yocum '47 (Reading, Pa.), Joe Martucci, Jr. '70 (Asbury Park, N.J.) and the 1970 Dinghy Team.
Jim Yocum '47, who turned 90 on September 23, received the 2016 Acta Non Verba Award, which is the highest honor presented by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Department of Athletics and honors an individual or organization who has gone far beyond expectations in his or her support of Kings Point Athletics. Jim Yocum is the 12th recipient of this award, given only to those who have dedicated a portion of their lives or business to the success of Kings Point and Kings Point Athletics.
Jim's passion and dedication for the USMMA Waterfront and Sailing Programs is literally second-to-none. Named in his family's honor in 1994, the Yocum Sailing Center is one of the premier sailing centers in the country for modern-day, intercollegiate sailing. Home to numerous personal and team national championships, Kings Point sailing would not be what is today without Jim Yocum. He has dedicated decades of service to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the Regiment of Midshipmen.
Joe Martucci, Jr. '70 became the sixth recipient of the 2016 "Skip" Prosser Achievement Award, which was established in 2007 to honor the memory and life of George Edward "Skip" Prosser '72. The award is presented biennially to a USMMA alumnus who epitomizes the true spirit and qualities of "Skip" Prosser '72, which included honesty, integrity, dedication and determination to serve others. Before his sudden passing in 2006, "Skip" Prosser was the one of the NCAA's up-and-coming coaches. Joe Martucci is constantly thinking about the Academy, Kings Point Athletics, and the Midshipmen. He was a long-time assistant football coach at USMMA, along with being heavily involved in the recruiting efforts of multiple team sports. He has also donated countless amount of auction items to the Blue & Gray Golf Classics, thus helping raise thousands of dollars for the athletic department.
A first for Kings Point, the 1979 Dinghy Team, which won the 1979 Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) National Championship, became the first team ever to be inducted into the USMMA Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Dinghy Team was the first U.S. Merchant Marine Academy athletic program to win a team national championship. The victory catapulted the USMMA sailing program to win four additional national championships which led to the dedication of the Yocum Sailing Center in 1994. The 1979 squad consisted of Head Coach Ken Legler, Alex Smigelski '79, Tom Lincoln '80, John Eckart '80, John Duclos '80, Tito Giron '81, Bernie Rodal '82, Gary Stewart '82, David Sloane '82, and Tom Lihan '82. They not only dominated intercollegiate sailing but also brought Kings Point into the forefront of college sailing. The win sparked recruiting, attracting the likes of Morgan Reeser '84, Jay Renehan '85 and William Hardesty '98, all of whom won ICSA College Sailor of the Year honors.
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