NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College Athletic Department held its 33rd Annual Goal Club Hall of Fame Golf Outing on Monday, June 2, 2014 at Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle.
Five stellar former student athletes and coaches were inducted into the Goal Club Hall of Fame. Former football coach and current College of New Rochelle Athletics Director Harold G. Crocker, cross country and track All-American Richard Kiplagat '06, water polo and swimming standout Kristie Przekota ’01, men's basketball's Kevin F. Vesey '82 and baseball mentor Alan F. Zoccolillo.
The Hall of Fame Dinner also included the presentation of the fifth Donald E. Walsh '66 award, presented annually by the Iona College Goal Club to individuals who have demonstrated loyal support and service to Iona College Athletics through exceptional volunteerism. This year's award was presented with great honor and respect to Br. J. Kevin Devlin ‘61.
Br. Devlin has been the moderator for the men’s basketball program for nine years. He previously served as the moderator for the football team for many years. Br. Devlin has long been a tremendous friend and advocate for the Iona College Athletics Department; always willing to lend his guidance and support to all of Iona College’s student-athletes, coaches and staff.
The Iona Hall of Fame Golf Outing and Dinner directly benefits the Iona College Goal Club, which is the fund raising arm for Iona's 21-sport athletics program. The donations received from the Hall of Fame Golf Outing will help support scholarships, equipment and other essentials needed to keep Iona College at the forefront of Division I Athletics. Through the support of the community, alumni, families and friends of Iona College, the Goal Club has enabled us to make great strides within our athletic programs.
On behalf of the Athletics Department and all of the student-athletes who will benefit from the generosity of the many people who supported our golf outing, we thank you!
GOAL CLUB HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Harold G. Crocker '94
Harold G. Crocker '94 served as Iona’s head football coach for 13 seasons from 1985 through 1997. He was the longest tenured and winningest coach in Iona College football history. In 1989, Crocker was named the Liberty Conference Coach of the Year after posting an 8-2 season record. He guided the Gaels to a 7-2-1 mark in 1991.
Crocker led the program through its transition from Division III to Division I-AA. In the program’s first season in the newly formed MAAC Football League, Crocker led the Gaels to a league title. Iona posted a 9-1 record during the regular season and made an ECAC Bowl appearance vs. Wagner. The nine wins in 1993 matched the program record and is the school record during the varsity era. For his efforts, Crocker was named both MAAC and ECAC Coach of the Year.
Among the many talented student-athletes he mentored at Iona, Crocker coached Goal Club Hall of Famers Kyle Flood, Tom Proudian, and John Schachinger. Flood is the current head coach at Rutgers University and Proudian and Schachinger are one of the top offensive and defensive players respectively in program history.
Prior to Iona, Crocker was head coach at New Rochelle High School and guided the Huguenots to the 1980 New York State Championship with a perfect 10-0 season. After Iona he served as a regional scout for the National Football League’s New York Giants. At the time of his induction, Crocker is the Director of Athletics and the Wellness Center at The College of New Rochelle. He was inducted into the City of New Rochelle’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.
Richard Kiplagat '06
Richard Kiplagat '06 is one of the most decorated cross country / track & field performers and student-athletes in Iona College history. He earned 10 All-American honors during his tenure including three cross country, five on the indoor track and three on the outdoor track. Kiplagat’s running prowess was displayed from his first MAAC Cross Country Championship appearance in 2002 – where he ran a MAAC record and the second fastest 8k time in school history at Van Cortlandt Park – to his final race in 2006 and his 10th All-American performance as a third place finisher at the NCAA Outdoor Championship 5,000-meter event.
In between, Kiplagat became the first three-time cross country All-American at Iona, finishing 15th as a freshman, 20th as a sophomore and second as senior at the 2005 NCAA Cross Country Championship, the highest finish in school history. He broke the school record 8k mark at Van Cortlandt Park in his senior year debut. Kiplagat’s Meet of Champions time of 23:54.4 also stands as the fourth fastest time in the historical venue’s course history.
On the indoor track, Kiplagat finished fourth in the NCAA Championship 5k in 2003 and improved to third in 2004. As a junior, he tackled the 3,000-meter event and finished fourth overall. As a senior in 2006, he won two All-American honors by finishing fourth again in the 3k and second in the 5k at the University of Arkansas. Kiplagat was also the first-ever Iona harrier to run a sub-four minute mile with his time of 3:57.40 at the 2006 NYC Gotham Cup.
Outdoors, his All-American honors came as a freshman and senior. In 2003, he showed his versatility in the middle-distance events by finishing seventh overall in the NCAA Championship 1,500-meter event. In his last career event at Iona, he finished third in the NCAA 5k event.
Kiplagat won all nine career MAAC Championship events he participated in and was a six-time IC4A Champion. Upon graduation, he held Iona records in the indoor mile, 3k and 5k and outdoor 5k events.
Kristie Przekota '01
Kristie Przekota '01 was a standout dual-sport student athlete excelling for both the swimming & diving and water polo programs at Iona College. She is one of the top performers in both sports in school history.
At the time of her graduation in 2001, Przekota was the school record holder in the 500-yard freestyle event. Her time of 5:13.88 was set at the 2001 MAAC Championships at Loyola College. Przekota was also a part of school records in all five relay events including the 200- and 400-yard medley relays and 200-, 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays. She was also a two-time team captain as a junior and senior and won program MVP honors three times from 1999-2001. Przekota left an indelible mark on Iona’s record book and finished her career in the Top 12 in 13 of the 15 total events. In addition to her 500-free record, she ranked No. 2 in the 1000- and 1650-yard freestyle and 100- and 200-yard butterfly events and No. 3 in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke and 400-yard individual medley events.
Equally as talented as a water polo performer, Przekota amassed 247 points with 142 goals and 105 assists and was the first player in program history to record both 100+ goals and 100+ assists. Upon completion of her career, she was the all-time leader in goals, assists, points, steals and ejections drawn. At the time of her induction, Przekota still ranks in the Top 10 of all categories despite playing in just 72 career games. She also ranks second all-time in points per game with an average of 3.43 ppg.
Przekota earned her degree from Iona in 2001 and is the sister of current water polo head coach Brian Kelly '94. She is married to former swimmer and water polo star, Dominick Przekota, a 2001 graduate of Iona.
Kevin Vesey '82
Kevin Vesey '82 was a key member of the Iona men's basketball team during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Vesey ranks fourth all-time with 184 blocks. He eclipsed the 40 block mark all four seasons, including a career high 48 during his sophomore season and led the team with 42 blocks as a freshman during the 1977-78 season. Vesey shot over 50.0% from the field all four seasons in Maroon & Gold, including a career best 55.5% during the 1979-80 season. During the 1977-78 season, Vesey set career highs with a 17 point effort against Holy Cross and a 16 rebound game against Buffalo. He was a member of the 1977-78 team that holds the school record for points per game and appeared in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 1979 and 1980. All four of Vesey's teams appear in the top 10 in single season field goal percentage.
Vesey became the fourth player in Iona history to be selected in the NBA Draft when he was selected in the seventh round by the Atlanta Hawks with the 144th pick in the 1981 NBA Draft.
Alan F. Zoccolillo
Alan F. Zoccolillo was the fourth head baseball coach in Iona College history and served at the helm of the program for 18 years from 1988 through 2005. Zoccolillo posted 378 victories for the Maroon & Gold and 206 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action. In 25 seasons as an NCAA head coach, his teams reached the 20-win plateau on 19 occasions.
Zoccolillo had tremendous success in the MAAC, guiding the Gaels to nine straight postseason appearances, four MAAC South Division titles and two MAAC regular season championships. In 1992, he led Iona to its first-ever MAAC baseball championship and a trip to the ECAC Finals. In 2000, Zoccolillo mentored the Maroon & Gold to school records in overall (31) and conference (22) victories. He was named MAAC Coach of the Year three times.
A number of Zoccolillo’s student-athletes earned individual accolades during his tenure. Zoccolillo oversaw six MAAC Players of the Year, a Pitcher of the Year and a Relief Pitcher of the Year. More than 30 of the players he coached moved on to professional baseball careers. Zoccolillo coached six major league players including former Chicago White Sox starter Mike Bertotti and 2011 World Series Champion Jason Motte.
Prior to Iona Zoccolillo coached at Concordia College in Bronxville for seven years. He is a 1967 graduate of Husson College and earned his master’s degree from Pace University in 1970.