Five prominent contributors to Ithaca College's athletic history died in the last six months of 1997. Members of the Ithaca College Sports Hall of Fame Joe Corcoran '50, M.S. '54, who helped start the men's lacrosse program at the College; three-sport standout Mike McKillop '42, M.S. '47; baseball legend Eddie Sawyer '35; and women's athletics pioneers Yolanda Klaskin '40 and Alberta Washburn Sebring '39, M.S. '52, all passed away.


Sawyer was best known as manager of baseball's Philadelphia Phillies. He guided the 1950 club, the "Whiz Kids," to the organization's first pennant in 35 years. Sawyer was one of Ithaca College's most accomplished athletes in the first decade of intercollegiate athletics. Named one of the top 11 players of the 1930s in football, he was a standout baseball performer as well. He signed with the New York Yankees and played in their minor-league system for five years before a shoulder injury ended his playing career. A charter member of the IC Sports Hall of Fame, Sawyer was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1986. He died on September 22.


Klaskin died on September 22. Although intercollegiate athletic opportunities for women did not exist during her time as an undergraduate, Klaskin was considered an accomplished athlete on campus. After graduation she worked as a physical education teacher and coach in the Union Free School District in Merrick, New York, at Merrick Junior High, Calhoun High School, and Purdys Central High School. She then taught and coached at North Syracuse High School for 22 years. She served as a consultant to the New York State Bureau of Secondary Education Department and was a specialist in New York State track and field and Olympic development. In addition, she served as a national field hockey umpire and honorary basketball official. Klaskin was elected to the Ithaca College Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.


Sebring died on October 31. An inaugural member of the Ithaca College Sports Booster Club and on its executive committee at the time of her death, she was a longtime supporter of athletics at her alma mater. Like Klaskin, Sebring was active in a number of class-related athletic activities as an undergraduate, even though there were no intercollegiate sports for women.

She went on to a successful career as a high school physical education instructor in central New York. At one time she coached the Newfield Central High School boys' six-man football squad and the Romulus Central High School boys' baseball team. She was welcomed into the Ithaca College Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 and was inducted into the CorningÐPainted Post Sports Hall of Fame the same year.


McKillop was another charter member of our Sports Hall of Fame, earning induction in 1969. He excelled in football, basketball, and track while at Ithaca. McKillop captained the Bombers gridiron squads in 1940 and 1941 and was a basketball captain during the 1941-42 season. He was picked as one of Ithaca's top 11 football players of the 1930s.

A decorated U.S. Army veteran from the European theater in World War II, he coached at Hobart College for three seasons. Then McKillop returned to the Riverhead, New York, school system, where he had attended high school, to teach and coach. In 1993 he was inducted into the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame. McKillop passed away on August 26.



Corcoran, who died on Christmas day, was a star Ithaca College football player and captain of the 1946 club. He was selected one of the College's top 11 football players of the 1940s. Corcoran had an even greater impact in lacrosse and is credited with helping introduce the sport at Ithaca in 1946. He was a player and coach with Ithaca's early club teams.

After earning his bachelor's and master's degrees at Ithaca, Corcoran again proved to be a lacrosse trailblazer, reintroducing the sport at Geneva High and initiating the program at Corning East High. His lengthy high school lacrosse coaching career also included a stint at Corning Free Academy. He served with the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific during World War II. Corcoran was inducted into the Ithaca College Sports Hall of Fame in 1978 and the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1987.

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Web pages created by Andrejs Ozolins. 19 Oct 1999