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Hall of Fame Shines Spotlight on Garnet Athletics

By Mark Anskis, athletic communications director


Some relics of Swarthmore's athletics glory are found on display in the Lamb-Miller Field House. Photo by Laurence Kesterson

Since 1878, student-athletes at Swarthmore have proven that it is possible to excel in the classroom and on the field, earning All-America honors, winning national championships, and even starring in professional sports leagues. Now the accomplishments of the College’s most exemplary student-athletes, coaches, and teams will be enshrined in the newly created Garnet Athletics Hall of Fame.

The inaugural Hall of Famers will be inducted on Friday, Oct. 26, during the annual Garnet Weekend. Inductees will receive Hall of Fame certificates at a special on-campus dinner that night and be further honored during halftime of the Swarthmore-Haverford men’s soccer game on Saturday night.

“We are very excited to celebrate the exceptional performances by Swarthmore athletes and teams throughout the history of our athletics program,” says Adam Hertz, Marian Ware Director of Physical Education and Athletics.

Among the 12 inductees are 10 athletes, one coach, and one team chosen from a long list of accomplished nominees. They are:

  • Robert “Tiny” Maxwell, Class of 1907 (football, track and field), a pioneer of American football and still the record holder of many Swarthmore track-and-field events
  • Richard “Dick” Esrey ’50 (baseball, football, basketball), a three-sport star who earned a pair of football All-America honors
  • Richard “Dick” Hall ’52 (baseball, football, basketball, track and field, soccer), another multisport star at the College who spent 19 seasons playing professional baseball, winning two World Series titles
  • Avery “Bunky” Blake Jr. ’53 (lacrosse, football), a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the program’s only four-time All-American
  • McWelling “Mac” Todman ’77 (soccer, track and field), the catalyst of the 1974 men’s soccer team’s run to the NCAA championship match and school record holder in the 100-yard dash
  • Pat “Hondo” Holmes ’82 (wrestling), the College’s most decorated wrestler and a two-time All-American
  • Gwyneth Jones Cote ’84 (lacrosse, field hockey), a lacrosse All-American and the program’s all-time leader in career points and assists
  • Charles “Chip” Chevalier ’93 (football), the football program’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns
  • Danielle Duffy ’98 (field hockey, track and field), an All-American field-hockey player and eight-time Centennial Conference track-and-field individual gold medalist
  • Heather Kile Lord ’02 (basketball, lacrosse), a four-time all-Centennial Conference performer in basketball and the program’s all-time leading scorer.

Eleanor Kay “Pete” Hess, the longtime lacrosse and field-hockey coach and advocate for women’s athletics who died last winter, was the coach chosen for the inaugural class. The 1984-85 men’s tennis team, which captured the NCAA Division III national championship and featured five All-Americans, rounds out the class.

According to Hertz, the idea for an athletics hall of fame was proposed several times in the last few years but finally came to fruition in summer 2011. Since the creation of the Hall of Fame was announced last year, Swarthmore community members have submitted more than 100 nominations.

Future classes of the Garnet Athletics Hall of Fame will feature at least six inductees, providing ample opportunity for the College’s most recognized student-athletes, teams, coaches, and administrators to receive their deserved spot in the hall.

“We look forward to many more nominations and many more years of Swarthmore athletics excellence being celebrated in the Hall of Fame,” says Hertz.

With 134 years of athletics history to consider, that shouldn’t be difficult.

To nominate a student-athlete, coach, team, or administrator for the Garnet Athletics Hall of Fame,
click here

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