Athletics Inducts Six New Members Into Hall of Fame
The Athletics Department has inducted six new members into its Hall of Fame and handed out the year-end student-athlete awards.
Those who make up the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 are Flynn Cochran ’04 (football/baseball), Dan Cole ’04 (football), Eric Healey ’98 (hockey), Melissa Hershey ’05 (diving), Joe King (coach/administrator), and Kaitlyn Saunders ’05 (basketball). Following remarks from President Shirley Ann Jackson, each of the inductees was offered the opportunity to speak and each thanked their families, teammates, and mentors.
The year-end student-athlete award winners were Sara Heller (softball) and Tyler Hutchinson (lacrosse), the Career Athletes of the Class of 2012; Hillary McKinley (basketball) and Mike Hermann (football), the Athletes of the Year; and Kristina Weltzin (softball) and Brandon Mader (golf), Freshman of the Year honorees. And presented the Marvin Anderson Award as the department Coach of the Year was women’s lacrosse coach Leslie DeLano, who led the team to a school record 13 wins and the NCAA Tournament.
One of the most decorated two-sport athletes in the history of the Institute, Cochran earned numerous league, regional, or national accolades in both football and baseball. A two-time captain in football, primarily as a wide receiver, he caught 202 passes for 2,492 yards and 21 touchdowns in 41 games. He set the school records for career receptions and receiving yards, along with single season marks for receptions (109), yards (1,274), and touchdown catches (15), all in 2003 when he was a National All-American after helping the Engineers to a school record 11 wins (11-2) and the NCAA Semifinals.
In three seasons as the starting quarterback, Cole set nearly every school passing and total offense record en route to leading the team to unequaled success and earning multiple individual honors, including National All-American by numerous outlets. The team’s Offensive Most Valuable Player in each season, Cole threw for 8,902 yards and 87 touchdowns with only 21 interceptions in 32 games. He also rushed for 823 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Healey played in 143 career games as a forward on the hockey team, compiling 168 points on 82 goals and 86 assists. Twenty-four of his goals came on the power play, while 13 were game-winners. He is ninth in program history in career goals, 13th in points, and 20th in assists.
Hershey was a four-time National All-American diver during her career, as she competed at NCAAs three times. At the league and state levels, she finished seventh or better off both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards every season, including numerous victories. A two-time captain, she was the school record holder in three events upon graduation and still holds two marks to this day, in addition to the Robison Pool records off both boards.
During his 22-year tenure as head football coach, King compiled a 152-59-2 record for a .718 winning percentage, making him the most successful coach in terms of both wins and winning percentage in the long history of Rensselaer football. The Ballston Spa, N.Y., native led his teams to two perfect regular seasons, five league championships, and four NCAA Playoff appearances, highlighted by a trip to the National Semifinals in 2003, and nine ECAC Championship Games, eight of which were victories.
Saunders was a three-time All-League selection, including First Team honors in her final two years. A two-time National All-America Honorable Mention, she averaged 15.2 points in 99 career games. She set several school records, including some of which she still holds. Saunders is the career leader in steals (356) and free throws made (446), while ranking second in points (1,506).