Athletic Hall of Fame inducts 30th class

Fri, 07/01/2011 - 5:00pm
Hall of Fame 2011

The Spring Hill College Athletic Hall of Fame was started in 1972 by alumnus and former member of the SHC football team, A. B. “Troj” Meriwether, as a way to recognize former athletes who brought fame and glory to Spring Hill College. To this day, the Hall of Fame is a tradition of honor here on the Hill.

On Feb. 26, the College saluted three outstanding athletic teams who distinguished themselves and brought honor to both Spring Hill College and their communities: the men’s basketball teams of 1955, 1956 and 1957.

Led by coaches Bill Gardiner and Paul Napolitano, these three teams, known as the “Fabulous Fifties,” emphasized a fierce desire to excel. Talent, persistence and teamwork allowed these players from a small Jesuit institution to compete against large public universities and win.

The pinnacle of the 1955 season was the Gator Bowl championship victory over a previously unbeaten University of Florida team. The following year, the 1956 team earned Spring Hill College its first Senior Bowl victory, defeating Memphis State in the finals. In 1957, the men’s basketball team took home the Senior Bowl trophy a second time after defeating the heavily favored Morehead State College in the finals.

Representing the teams of 1955, 1956 and 1957 on the evening of the event:
Happy Mahfouz ’55
Joanne Regan, who accepted the award on behalf of her late husband, Jack Regan ’55
Peggy Hasser, who accepted the award on behalf of her late husband, Jim Hasser ’56
James McGuire ’56
D.R. Atkinson Sr. ’57
Bob Coyle, class of ’57
Gene McGuire ’58
Ed Tibbetts Sr. ’58 
Joe Phelan ’59

Others not at the event:
Francis L. Poole ’56
Tom Colbert ’57 (deceased)
Jerry Rubin ’57
Dr. James J. Burke ’57
Robert “Whitey” Barnes ’57
Charles Rodriguez ’58
Mr. James W. Drese ’58
Mr. Edward J. Breen ‘59
Mr. James J. Carney ’59
Bob Grundig ’60
Albert A. Irato ’60