Distinguished Service Award for Gallagher Highlights 2012 ECC Awards Dinner
Old Westbury, N.Y. - Over 120 Presidents,
administrators, coaches, student-athletes and guests from all nine
East Coast Conference institutions traveled to the de Seversky
Mansion on the campus of New York Institute of Technology on May 23
for the East Coast Conference Awards Dinner.
The event highlighted team and student-athlete accomplishments and also posthumously honored Thomas V. Gallagher, the first commissioner of the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference, the ECC’s predecessor. Gallagher’s wife, Anna, and his children, Thomas, Meg, Michael, Maureen, and Kate, were in attendance to accept the Distinguished Service award on his behalf.
Gallagher, who passed away at the age of 82 on November 7, 2011, was named the first commissioner of the NYCAC in the mid-1990’s. Despite not having a large background in college athletics, Gallagher impressed enough during the interview process to earn unanimous support from the conference’s athletic directors to be hired in the role as commissioner.
Gallagher was a visionary, an organizer, and a planner. He helped write the conference Constitution and Bylaws and Operating Codes. He also worked closely with the Directors of Athletics, Coaches and other administrators to run quality championships, conference wide educational programs for student-athletes and to establish an identity for the NYCAC.
Despite stepping down as commissioner in 2001, Gallagher’s impact is still felt today. Through his tireless efforts and commitment, the NYCAC and now the ECC, is known nationally as a competitive intercollegiate conference that is committed to NCAA Division II and the overall growth and development of its member institutions and student-athletes.
NYIT Director of Athletics, Clyde Doughty, Jr., presented the award to Gallagher’s family. During his speech, Doughty said, “The ECC is a stronger unit because of the foundation Tom built for us. It will withstand any and all negative forces because his spirit continues to live within all of us at the ECC.” Doughty continued, “He was a man of true conviction and high moral integrity; simply put, he was one helluva guy.”
In addition to recognizing the Players, Coaches and Scholar-Athletes of the Year from all thirteen ECC sponsored sports, the conference honored seven student-athletes, five faculty members, and five institutions while also handing out the 2011-12 Commissioner’s Cup.
The Molloy College athletic department was named the recipients of the ECC Community Engagement Award of Excellence for their involvement with the Special Olympics. (read more)
Queens received the ECC Cares Award for leading the conference in monies raised for collective causes. The Knights raised an average of $60 per student-athlete to benefit Movember and the American Cancer Society among others. (read more)
St. Thomas Aquinas College was presented with the ECC Community Cup for the third consecutive year after averaging 22 hours of community service and community engagement per student-athlete, the highest among the nine institutions. (read more)
Dowling College and the University of Bridgeport women’s soccer teams shared the ECC Sportsmanship Award. The two institutions were honored for supporting each other in the face of adversity moments before taking the field in the NCAA Tournament. (read more)
Senior goalkeeper Andrew Tartara (Bardonia, N.Y.) of the St. Thomas Aquinas men’s soccer team was named the 2012 Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Tartara, a psychology major, boasted a 3.7 GPA and helped lead the Spartans to their first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. (read more)
Graduate libero, Lisa Peacock (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) of New York Institute of Technology’s volleyball team was tabbed the 2012 Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Selected the 2011 ECC Libero of the Year, Peacock maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA in her master’s program after receiving her undergraduate degree with a 3.65 GPA. (read more)
Three student-athletes received the John Smillie, Jr. Award for overcoming personal and physical challenges to continue to play the sport that they love. Junior Stephanie DiLegge (Bay Shore, N.Y.) of the Mercy College women’s lacrosse team, graduate student Brian Farley (Levittown, N.Y.) of the Molloy College men’s lacrosse team and junior Ashley Olen (East Islip, N.Y.) of the C.W. Post women’s lacrosse team were recognized for their courage, dedication and inspiring stories. (read more)
William Clyde, Jr., Dr. Mary Ellen Ferraro, Dr. Mark Greer, Eileen McGann, and Gail Feinzig, were the first ever recipients of the ECC Faculty Appreciation Award. These individuals were nominated by student-athletes and athletic department staff for their support of intercollegiate athletics and student-athletes at their institutions. (read more)
The most prestigious award of the evening, dubbed the Excellence in Community and Character Award (E.C.C. Award), was presented to three student-athletes this year. The E.C.C. Award recognizes student-athletes who have distinguished themselves through positive actions and behaviors that are consistent with the NCAA Division II attributes of learning, service, passion, sportsmanship, balance and resourcefulness. This year’s recipients were Tomas Gajdusek (Prague, Czech Republic, Men’s Tennis, University of the District of Columbia) and Katherine Colon (West Babylon, N.Y., Women’s Soccer/Track and Field, Queens College). (read more)