C.W. Post Inducts Nine Into Athletic Hall of Fame
Nine individuals were inducted to the C.W. Post Athletic Hall of Fame Friday night, including (L-to-R): Chris Feder, Susan O'Connor, Dick Vining, Linda (Glum) Sagnelli, Gary Wichard, Bob Higgins, Vin Salamone and Bob DeBonis.
GLENWOOD LANDING, N.Y. (Mar. 9, 2007) - The C.W. Post Department of Athletics played host to a special evening Friday night at the Swan Club, as nine individuals were inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.
Bob DeBonis '78 - Baseball and Basketball
DeBonis was a two-sport athlete during his time at C.W. Post, playing basketball and baseball for the Pioneers. On the hardwood, DeBonis was a three-time All-Long Island selection, and currently ranks 13th on the C.W. Post all-time scoring list, with 1,144 points. He also holds the Pioneers’ career free-throw percentage mark, as he shot at an .823 clip from the charity stripe. As a senior, DeBonis garnered Academic All-America accolades as a baseball player. A two-time all-Metropolitan Baseball Conference selection, he graduated magna cum laude from C.W. Post and received both the Dr. Roy Ilowit Award and a NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.
Chris Feder '69 - Wrestling
Feder was one of the best wrestlers to ever come through the C.W. Post Campus, as he was twice named an All-America performer. He placed second at the 1969 NCAA Championships, and went undefeated in dual-meet competition for the Pioneers. Feder won three Metropolitan Wrestling Conference championships, and continued his wrestling career after college by winning two silver medals at the Maccabiah Games (1969, ’89). He is a member of the California Wrestling Hall of Fame, and received their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. Feder coached Terra Linda (Calif.) High School’s wrestling program from 1976-90, and has served as a vice-president for the 24 Hour Fitness company’s Team Sports Program.
Linda (Glum) Sagnelli '83 - Volleyball
The former Linda Glum was a three-time C.W. Post volleyball captain and team MVP (1980-82), and helped the Pioneers to a top-10 finish nationally in 1982. She was named the most valuable player of the AIAW’s regional championship that season, and led the 47-5 Pioneers to its first-ever NCAA Volleyball Tournament. Glum represented the United States on a select collegiate team at Sweden’s Viking Cup, and participated in the 1983 Nationals tourney as a meber of “The Windchimes” open-level national team. She has gone on to become a successful college volleyball coach, as her 21-year career at both Iona (14 seasons) and currently at Central Connecticut has produced 242 victories.
Bob Higgins '65 - Football and Baseball
Higgins was a four-year member of the Pioneers football team, playing for three seasons as a running back before serving as a wide receiver his senior year. He set school records for most receiving touchdowns, single-season receptions, single-game receptions, single-game receiving yardage, single-season receiving yards and longest punt. Upon graduation, the C.W. Post Football Hall of Fame member signed a contract with the New York Jets. Higgins spent four seasons in professional football with the Jets, Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants. A former C.W. Post Athlete of the Year, Higgins also was a three-year starter at third and first base for the Pioneers baseball team. He batted .303 for his career, and hit for the cycle twice (vs. St. John’s and Fordham). Higgins helped C.W. Post to a league title as a senior, and the first-team all-conference performer was named the team’s most valuable player.
Dr. Roy Ilowit - Administrator
Dr. Ilowit was C.W. Post’s director of athletics and head football coach in school history. He was instrumental in the start of many programs during his tenure at the school, including the basketball, baseball, men’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, wrestling, and track and field teams. As a football coach, one of his greatest feats was mentoring the Pioneers to their first victory over local arch-rival Hofstra in 1963 - his last game as C.W. Post’s football coach. A graduate of CCNY, Dr. Ilowit played professional for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and during World War II played football for the United States Navy. He was a long-time physical education teacher, and coach of the football, wrestling and baseball teams, at Long Beach High School, Dr. Ilowit received Newsday’s Nassau County football coach of the year honor in 1953 after leading the school to its only undefeated season. He stayed at C.W. Post after his days as Director of Athletics, serving as Dean of the Evening and Extension divisions, and later as Dean of the School of Education.
Susan O'Connor '80 - Basketball and Field Hockey
O’Connor was a basketball and field hockey standout for the Pioneers, and led the 1976-77 basketball team to a third-place finish in the NYSAIAWDivision II Tournament. A point guard, she led the basketball team in scoring as a freshman, and compiled career totals of 892 points and 267 assists in her four years of competition on the hardwood. Equally as impressive, O’Connor was a record-setting forward in two seasons of action on the C.W. Post field hockey team. Her 36 career goals ties for the school record, while her six-goal game in 1977 vs. Queens College is a Pioneers’ single-game record. O’Connor coached over 1,000 athletes in 23 years as a high school field hockey, basketball and lacrosse coach in Nassau County. Many of her former players went on to participate in college athletics, and is currently in her 23rd year as a guidance counselor.
Vin Salamone '63 - Administrator
Salamone has served the C.W. Post Department of Athletics for over 40 years. After playing football (four years), baseball (two) and lacrosse (two) for the Pioneers, he has served as an athletic administrator for the school ever since. He was an athletic trainer for 20 years, a baseball coach for four years, and was the Campus’s Director of Athletics for 20 years, as well. Salamone helped implement the women’s soccer, women’s lacrosse and women’s swimming programs, and nearly doubled the department’s full-time staff. The president of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) during the 1999-00 academic year, Salamone was co-founder of both the Diamond Baseball Conference and New York Collegiate Athletic Conference. A former chair of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Committee, Salamone also was a recipient of the All-American Football Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He also is a member of the school’s Football Hall of Fame, and currently works as C.W. Post’s Director of Athletic Fundraising.
Dick Vining - Baseball
Vining garnered 574 victories in his 28 seasons as head baseball coach at C.W. Post, and received five Diamond Conference Coach of the Year honors. He led the Pioneers to seven conference championships (two in the Metropolitan Conference, and five in the Diamond Conference), and has mentored over 25 players who went on to sign professional baseball contracts. Vining became the first college baseball coach in New York state to win over 700 games, as his career record is a stellar 815-686-17 mark. Named a Professor Emeritus by the Trustees of Long Island University, Vining led the C.W. Post baseball team on a “People to People” trip to China in 1985 - the first time a college baseball program traveled to that country. He served Long Island University for over 40 years - nine as an associate professor and baseball coach at the Brooklyn Campus, and 34 at C.W. Post.
Gary Wichard '73 - Football
Wichard was a record-setting quarterback for the C.W. Post football team, as the two-time All-America performer set school career records for passing yardage and touchdown passes. The first Pioneers player to be named to both the Associated Press and Kodak All-America teams, he was invited to the Senior Bowl All-Star Game and drafted by the NFL’s Baltimore Colts. For the last 25-plus years, Wichard represents over 35 clients in the NFL, NBA, and entertainment industry through the company he founded: Pro Tect Management. Some of the notable clients he has represented over the years include Jason Taylor, Dwight Freeney, Wally Szczerbiak, Lindsay Lohan and Brian Bosworth. Wichard’s sports agent prowess led director Cameron Crowe to use the C.W. Post alumnus as an inspiration for the hit movie “Jerry Maguire,” which starred Tom Cruise. Wichard currently resides in Los Angeles, Calif., with his wife, Maire. They have two daughters, Dana and Jessica.
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