A Great Night to be a Bomber

By Justin Lutes, October 14, 2022
Latest Athletic Hall of Fame class inducted during a night of celebration.

The Ithaca College Department of Athletics officially inducted its 52nd Hall of Fame class on October 7 in Emerson Suites. Eight individuals and one national championship team were enshrined into the Hall of Fame in front of nearly 200 guests.

“Ithaca College Athletics enjoys a celebrated tradition of excellence, and this class was nothing short of that. We had the unique opportunity to hear from past Bombers ranging from the 1960s to the 2010s and it was such a great experience for everyone in attendance,” said Susan Bassett ’79, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics, who made the award presentations.

Film Session

You can view a short video on each 2022 Hall of Fame Inductee — as well as inductees from past years — here.

You can read more about each inductee below.

2002 Softball

The only national champion women’s softball team in Ithaca College history, the 2002 Bombers posted a 37-13 record under coach Deb Pallozzi. Ithaca prevailed in the winner-take-all final contest of the NCAA Division III World Series, 1-0, as Abby Hanrahan ’03 won her 22nd game of the season in the circle. IC outscored its opposition that season, 252-107, and held teams to just a .194 average and two home runs on the year. Hanrahan, teammate Kristin Furdon Nicastro ’02, and Pallozzi are all individual members of the IC Hall of Fame.

“It’s surreal to be back after so many years,” Nicastro said. “We were a group that loved the sport and loved to win.”

Janos “Jim” Benedek ’66 – Men’s Soccer

Janos “Jim” Benedek was the first men’s soccer player in school history to ever be named a First-Team All-American in 1965, when the Bombers posted a 10-1-1 record. Benedek immigrated to the United States from Hungary in 1963 and enrolled at IC shortly thereafter. He would go on to play for the U.S. National Team in 1968 and scored one goal during a qualification match.

Bob Durocher ’81 – Men’s Soccer/Administration/Coaching

Bob Durocher was a four-year starter and two-time captain for the men’s soccer team as a midfielder. Durocher helped guide IC to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances in 1979 and 1980. Durocher later became a highly successful soccer coach at St. Lawrence University, winning 323 games, as well as a national title in 1999. He stepped away from coaching following the 2014 season and moved into an administrator role at St. Lawrence, where he is currently Senior Associate Vice President for Athletics.

Steve Graham ’89 – Baseball

Steve Graham helped the Bombers to the program’s second national championship in 1988, when IC finished the year with a 36-11-1 record. During the NCAA Championships Graham batted .364 and was named to the all-tournament team. Graham ranks fourth on the program’s single-season list in runs scored and at-bats, and sixth in home runs and runs. Graham was drafted in the 33rd round of the Major League Baseball draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He spent three seasons with the organization and played in 207 games with 184 hits.

Adam Grossman ’01 – Football

Regarded as one of the best offensive linemen to ever play football at Ithaca College, Adam Grossman was a two-year captain. Grossman was named All-American by D3football.com in 1999, as well as First-Team All-ECAC and First-Team All-Academic. In 2000, he was named All-American by four different publications. He would also earn scholar-athlete accolades from the National Football Foundation. Grossman would later earn a spot on D3football.com’s Team of the Decade.

Grossman enjoyed his return to South Hill.

“It’s a reminder of a big time in my life” he said. “It prepped me for the future. The town and school are great, and it still feels like home.”

Mike Matheny – Athletic Training

Mike Matheny has worked at Ithaca College as an athletic trainer since 1987 and has provided top-notch health care to some of IC’s most successful teams and student-athletes during his more than 30 years of service. Matheny played an integral role in the expansion of athletic training facilities on campus, which provides premiere care for student-athletes, as well as educational experiences for students enrolled at Ithaca. During the COVID pandemic, Matheny developed one of the most comprehensive return-to-campus action plans at the collegiate level. In 2021, he was named the National Athletic Trainer of the Year by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

“It’s a thrill. Just to be considered is an honor,” Matheny said. “I don’t have any saves, assists, or blocked shots but I hope I’ve contributed in some small way.”

Marcia McCord Cobrand ’11 – Women's Track & Field

Marcia McCord was a dominant sprinter for the women’s track and field team from 2007 to 2011. McCord earned six All-America honors during the outdoor season in the 200- and 400-meter dashes, finishing second in the 400-meter dash at the 2011 NCAA Division III national championships. She was named Empire 8 Track Athlete of the Year six times during her career and was also named Empire 8 Woman of the Year in 2011. She still owns six school records, including the outdoor standards in the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter dash.

“It hadn’t even crossed my mind that I’d be considered, but they saw my effort,” she said in response to her induction.

Dara Porterfield Dalmata ’99 – Women’s Swimming & Diving

Dara Porterfield was a 13-time All-American for the women’s swimming & diving team.In 1998, she was an All-American in the 200- and 400-meter medley relay, the 200- and 400-meter freestyle relay, and the 200-meter individual freestyle. The following season, she swam on four All-American relay teams.

Heather Stafford Piper ’98 – Women’s Lacrosse

Heather Stafford was the second two-time All-American in women’s lacrosse history. She was named to the second team by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association and the United States Women’s Lacrosse Association. She was a two-time captain and appeared in 62 games during her career and helped the Bombers reach the NCAA Tournament twice. She finished her career with 151 points on 119 goals and 32 assists, which ranked fourth all-time in program history at the time of her graduation. She was invited to try out for the United States Women’s National Lacrosse Team.

Nicholas Lapinig ’24 contributed reporting to this story.