Fordham Athletics Host 75th Block F Dinner
May 1, 2009
Bronx, N.Y. - As the 2008-09 season begins to wind down, the Fordham University Athletic Department held its 75th annual Block F Awards Dinner at the Villa Barone Manor on April 29th to honor Fordham University's student-athletes for their accomplishments during the academic year.
Among those honored were Matt DiBuono, who was recipient of the Vincent T. Lombardi Award as Fordham's top male student-athlete, Dominique Liguori, who received the Claire and Jack Hobbs Award as Fordham's top female student-athlete and head men's and women's swimming coach Steve Potsklan, who was presented with the Iron Major Award as Fordham's Coach of the Year.
The Vincent T. Lombardi Award is presented to the Male Athlete of the Year for distinguished athletic achievements in the winning tradition of Vince Lombardi. The award honors the memory of one of Fordham's famed Seven Blocks of Granite, who is considered to be one of football's greatest coaches.
DiBuono, a three-time event winner at the Atlantic 10 championship (two hammer throw and one weight throw titles), has rewritten the Fordham record book throughout his career on Rose Hill. A two-time athlete of the meet at the Metropolitan Championships and the hammer throw champion at the 2009 Penn Relays, he will graduate as the school record holder in the hammer throw (213' 5') and weight throw events, and has already qualified for this year's NCAA regional championship in the hammer throw with an amazing mark of over 213 feet in distance.
DiBuono entered the 2009 outdoor season off a very successful indoor season in which he won the Atlantic 10 weight throw title and took third at the IC4A Indoor Championship with a school-record throw of 63' 7.5". The throw surpassed his own school mark of 61' 10.25" set at the Atlantic 10 Championship and earned DiBuono All-East honors.
The Claire & Jack Hobbs Memorial Award is presented to the Female Athlete of the Year who has achieved outstanding athletic accomplishments. The award is named in honor of the late Claire and Jack Hobbs. Jack was a 1938 graduate of Fordham College and a 1941 graduate of Fordham Law, and he and his wife were avid Fordham followers.
Liguori wrapped up her collegiate career with her second straight undefeated singles season in 2008-09, earning First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors. She was a perfect 19-0 this year while also winning the first singles title at the 2008 Eastern Collegiate Invitational at the United States Military Academy last October. Liguori, who entered the tournament as the number one seed at first singles, defeated Army's Anne Houghton in straight sets, 6-3 and 6-2. She also competed at the USTA Women's Open Singles and Doubles tournament this past winter, winning a bronze ball in doubles play.
Over her career, Liguori amassed a record of 57-4, earning First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors in 2007 and Second Team accolades in 2008. At the 2006 USTA Women's Open Singles Tournament she won her third national silver ball, finishing as the national runner-up in singles play. Over the years, she has defeated top players from such prestigious schools as UCLA, Tennessee, Penn State, Wyoming and Pennsylvania.
Steve Potsklan, the 2009 Iron Major Award winner was also named the 2009 Atlantic 10 Women's Coach of the Year, leading the women's squad to a second place finish at the championships, Fordham's best ever finish at A-10's. On the year, 25 men's and women's school records were set and he had eleven of his student-athletes earn All-Atlantic 10 honors, including Courtney Collyer, who was named the 2009 Atlantic 10 Women's Rookie of the Year.
This is the second Iron Major award for Potsklan, who also received the honor in 2001.
Below is a list of the other award winners:
Terence O'Donnell Award (Sportsmanship & Dedication) - Annie Zopf (Women's Basketball): The O'Donnell Memorial Award is presented to the Fordham athlete who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, loyalty, dedication and self-discipline. The award is in memory of Terry O'Donnell, a 1955 graduate who died in a military plane crash shortly after graduation.
Zopf, a four-year member of the women's basketball program, truly represents the spirit of this award. Over her career, she has done everything asked of her without question. She has been her team's unquestioned leader on and off the court and no statistic could truly measure what she means to her team. She has shown an incredible work ethic and strength of character which makes her team better each and every day.
Jack Coffey Award - Sr. Anne Walsh, RSHM (Assistant Academic Advisor): The Jack Coffey award is presented to a Fordham administrator, alumnus or coach for outstanding contributions and dedication to the athletic program. It is named for the late Jack Coffey, long-time baseball coach and graduate manager of Athletics.
Walsh is a valued member of Fordham's athletic academic advising staff, helping nurture young student-athlete's minds over the past ten years. Looking for a new challenge in addition her duties at campus ministry, she wanted to work with Fordham athletes and got her wish. She can always be found tutoring English, Theology and Philosophy, and just last Friday was the recipient of the Mara Family Award, given at the football dinner to someone who has made substantial contributions to the game of football at Fordham.
Patrick Kenneally Award - Mia Farbes (Women's Basketball Manager): The Patrick Kenneally Award is presented to a Fordham student who serves the Athletic Department in capacities other than athletic participation. The award honors the memory of Pat Kenneally, equipment and business manager for 54 years.
Farbes is a sophomore who has served as a team manager for the women's basketball team this season. She helped with the day-to-day operations of the team, taking care of all the little things on road trips and at home games.
Benedict T. Harter Award - Clifton Hilario (Cross Country/Track & Field): The Benedict T. Harter award is presented to the College of Business Administration senior athlete who has made significant academic and athletic contributions. The award honors Ben Harter, College of Business Administration Class of 1939, a former dean of both Fordham's undergraduate and graduate schools of business, who was an avid follower and supporter of Fordham Athletics.
Hilario is a four-year member of the men's track & field team who is majoring in accounting. This year, he became only the second Fordham athlete to have earned Academic All-Atlantic 10 honors in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track in his career. A multiple-time qualifier at the IC4A championship, he was also named Cross Country MVP in 2008.
Kieran Award - Kristin Colton (Women's Swimming): The Kieran Award, presented to the Fordham College senior athlete who has made significant academic and athletic contributions. The award honors the memory of John Kieran, Fordham College Class of 1912, and a famous radio broadcaster, sports editor of the New York Times and a member of Baseball's Hall of Fame.
Colton, a four-year member of the women's swimming team, is a Communication & Media studies major who holds the highest GPA of any senior student-athlete in Fordham College. An Atlantic 10 All-Academic selection, she served as team captain of the women's swimming in 2008-09, leading the team to their best ever finish at the Atlantic 10 championship this season, placing second overall.
Kiwanis Community Service - Bridget Tarantino (Volleyball): Fordham Kiwanis is part of a worldwide service organization that is committed to improving the quality of life through volunteer action. The members of Fordham Kiwanis, comprised of university faculty, staff, and administrators, wish to recognize student-athletes who not only excel in academics and in their respective sports, but who are also committed to working in community service activities.
Tarantino is a four-year member of the women's volleyball team, who has been major part of Fordham's Global Outreach Program for the past three years, serving as an executive board member for the past two. She has helped with the midnight runs for global outreach, holding a clothing drive before every run. Tarantino has also organized a group of students which distributes food and clothing to the homeless in Manhattan. This semester, she has been a part of the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center's "Headstart Program", which works with three & four year old children, preparing them for kindergarten.
Marty Glickman Award - Dan D'Uva: Presented to the WFUV student play-by-play announcer who best follows the examples taught by Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Glickman. The award honors the memory of Marty Glickman, who was the broadcast coach at WFUV from 1987-99.
Honorary Letters: Honorary letters were presented to Ed Wahesh, Director of the Alcohol and Other Drug Education program, and Steve Becker, a member of the security office at Fordham.
Athlete Academic Achievement Awards (Presented to senior student-athletes who have been selected for outstanding athletic and academic achievement with a 3.5 GPA or better):
College of Business Administration
Note: Baseball and men's and women's outdoor track have not yet named an MVP.