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Canisius Athletics Announces Newest Hall of Fame Class

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 12/07/2011
Brian Hennessy
Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
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The Canisius College athletic department announced today that Glen Gast '97 - golf, Brian Hennessy '99 - baseball, Kevin Rozo '99, MS '04 - men's lacrosse, Jen Silata '98 - softball, Jim Foley '51, MS '60 - cross country and track and the 1982-83 women's basketball team have been chosen as the Class of 2011 for the Canisius College Sports Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremonies for the Sports Hall of Fame will be held on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012, when Canisius hosts a basketball doubleheader in the Koessler Athletic Center, with the women hosting Rider at noon and the men's game against Loyola (Md.) tipping off at 2:15 p.m. The annual Hall of Fame Day will begin with a special "Induction Breakfast" from 9:30-11:30 a.m., in the Montante Cultural Center. The cost is $25 per peson and includes buffet-style breakfast, coffee, tea and juice. Those interested in taking part in the "Induction Breakfast" are asked to RSVP to the Canisius Alumni Office no later than Jan. 23, 2012. For more information on the induction ceremonies, contact the College's Alumni Office at 1-800-201-4952.

The 1982-83 women's basketball team will be honored at halftime of the Canisius-Rider women's basketball game, while the other five inductees will be formally recognized at halftime of the Canisius men's game against Loyola.

To be eligible for the Canisius College Sports Hall of Fame, a former student-athlete must have completed his/her eligibility 10 years prior to induction, be a graduate of the College, been acclaimed as an undergraduate as one of the outstanding athletes in the history of the school and, since graduation, the student-athletes' life must have continued to reflect favorably on the College. Non-athletes may be inducted if they have made outstanding contributions to Canisius College athletics.

The Canisius Sports Hall of Fame, which began in 1963, now boasts 171 individual members and three teams with the addition of the 2011 class.

Glen Gast '97 - A three-year member of the school's golf program, Gast is the second golfer to be enshrined into Canisius' Sports Hall of Fame and the first since F.E. O'Connor, Class of 1950, was honored in 1969. The Tonawanda, N.Y., resident is the only golfer in school history to finish in the top-10 at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Golf Championships three times, highlighted by his second-place finish in 1995. He was the team's top finisher in 16 different tournaments through his career and closed out his collegiate career by helping the Blue and Gold qualify as a team for the ECAC Regional Golf Championships in 1996. As a senior, he placed 10th at the MAAC Championship and ranked fifth in the field at the annual Leo E. Keenan Collegiate Invitational, which is hosted annually by St. Bonaventure University.

Brian Hennessy '99 - A four-year letterwinner for the Canisius baseball program, Hennessy led the Golden Griffins in hitting as a freshman in 1994 and was named the New York State Division I Rookie of the Year by the New York State Baseball Coaches Association. As a rookie, he hit .390 with 13 doubles, two triples, three home runs, 33 runs scored, 25 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. For his efforts in his freshman campaign, he was also recognized as a Mizuno Division I Freshman All-American. In 1995, he was a First-Team All-MAAC honoree, and he ended his career with a .335 batting average with 33 doubles, 13 homers, 104 runs, 95 runs batted in and 40 stolen bases. He currently ranks eighth in school history in career doubles, ninth in career RBIs and fourth in career steals. His .355 batting average in his senior season of 1997 is the fourth-highest single-season batting average in school history.

Kevin Rozo '99, MS '04 - Rozo will be the fourth former Canisius men's lacrosse player inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame, and the former goalie is the first defensive player to receive the honor. The 1998 MAAC Men's Lacrosse League Goaltender of the Year and a two-time All-MAAC honoree, Rozo currently ranks third in NCAA history with 1,029 career saves and 18.71 saves per game. He ranks first in school history in career saves, more than twice as many as the next closest player in the school's record book, and his career save percentage of .574 is No. 1 in school history. He played in 55 games as a Griff, and his 33 saves in a game ranks first in school history and is the ninth-most in NCAA history as well.

Jen Silata '98 - A former two-sport student-athlete at Canisius, Silata gave up playing soccer to focus on softball, and she will be the 13th former softball player to join the College's Sports Hall of Fame. A career .339 hitter, Silata was named the MAAC's Player of the Year in 1997 after she hit .395 with 13 doubles, five triples, six homers, 26 runs scored and 42 runs batted in. A four-time All-MAAC choice, she was also honored by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association as a First-Team All-Mid-Atlantic Softball selection in 1998. The former outfielder ranks third in school history with 42 career doubles and she's tied for 12th in the program's record book with 12 triples. Her 42 RBIs in 1997 ranks fifth-best for runs batted in during a single season. Silata also played on the school's women's soccer team from 1994-96, where she played 49 games in goal and made 374 career saves in 4,395 career minutes to go with 11 shutouts. She ranks fourth in career wins (26), career shutouts (11) and career save percentage (.829).

Jim Foley '51, MS '60 - Former Canisius runner Jim Foley was inducted to the Sports Hall of Fame on the "old-timers" portion of this year's ballot. Foley joined the school's cross country and track and field teams after he retired from serving in the U.S. Navy. He was the co-captain of the 1950 cross country team that posted a perfect 8-0 record, a team that is credited as Canisius' only undefeated team. In that season, he helped Canisius win its first Little Three Championship and the Knights of Columbus Trophy, which is presented annually to the winning team at the LeMoyne Invitational in Syracuse, N.Y. He personally won the 1950 Little Three championship and the LeMoyne Invitational event. In track and field, he took part in events ranging from the 100-meter dash to the one-mile run.

1982-83 Women's Basketball Team - The 1982-83 edition of the Canisius College women's basketball team is the first female team to join the Canisius Sports Hall of Fame. The Golden Griffins posted a 28-5 record that season, with those 28 victories standing as the most wins in a single-season. The first women's team in school history to make a national postseason appearance, the 1982-83 women's hoops squad advanced to the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Division II National Tournament and finished the season ranked No. 8 in the nation, the only time the women's basketball team has been nationally ranked. The team had a 15-game winning streak during the season, the second-longest win streak in program history, and posted a 6-0 record in the Upstate New York Conference en route to a league title. The Griffs also won the NYSAIWA Tournament and the EAIWA Regional crown as well. Seven members of the 1982-83 team have been inducted into the College's Sports Hall of Fame as individuals as has the team's head coach, Sister Maria Pares, who was enshrined in 2002.

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