Ithaca Athletics Announces 50th Hall of Fame Class

By Justin Lutes, May 30, 2019
Eight student-athletes and one team to be inducted into Hall of Fame on October 11.

The Ithaca College Department of Athletics has officially announced the 50th Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame class. Eight student-athletes and one team will be enshrined into the hall of fame in a ceremony during Alumni Weekend on Friday, Oct. 11.

"Ithaca College Athletics enjoys a rich tradition of excellence. This year marks a very special milestone with both the 50th anniversary of the hall of fame and the 90th Anniversary of intercollegiate athletics,” said Susan Bassett ’79, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports. “This hall of fame class reflects the best of our tradition.”

The 2019 hall of fame inductees are:

1980 Baseball
The 1980 baseball team secured the college’s second-ever national title, the first of two won by hall of fame head coach George Valesente. The squad compiled a 33-4 record and won the title by defeating Marietta College.

After losing the first game in the World Series, the Bombers needed to beat Marietta twice to hoist the trophy. In the second game, Ithaca won 5-4 on senior outfielder Ted French’s home run.

In the winner-take-all, final game, the Bombers won 12-5. Third baseman Jim Barletto ’81 hit two home runs, and senior captain and shortstop John Nicolo was 5-for-6 with three RBI on his way to being named series’ MVP.

Gary Bucci ’76 – Baseball, Football
Gary Bucci has been involved with Ithaca athletics for more than two decades as a two-sport athlete, assistant football coach and radio broadcaster.

An athlete on the gridiron and diamond, Bucci was a three-year starter for both programs. As a defensive back for the football team, he recorded 13 interceptions in his career. He also played quarterback during one season. On the baseball field, he hit .278 with eight home runs, 37 RBI, 50 runs scored and 50 walks.

After graduating, Bucci worked as an assistant football coach on the staffs of Jim Butterfield from 1977-1983 and Mike Welch from 2001-2006. The Bombers went 95-28 with Bucci on the sidelines under Butterfield and Welch. He returned to the coaching staff as a running backs coach under Dan Swanstrom in 2017.

Sean Burton ’09 – Basketball
Arguably the greatest player in Ithaca College men’s basketball history, Sean Burton is the program’s only three-time All-American. He ranks first in career free throw percentage (.900), second in assists (556), third all-time in points (1,736), third in 3-pointers (261) and sixth in steals (163).

During Burton’s senior season, he averaged 22.1 points per game and guided the Bombers to a college record 24 wins and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

After graduating, Burton played professionally in Iceland for two seasons and was a two-time all-star for the Iceland Express. In his first season, Burton led the team to a league championship.

Robert Driscoll ’74 – Administration, Baseball, Hockey
Robert Driscoll was an exceptional ice hockey player at Ithaca. He was a three-year captain and led the team in scoring all three seasons. Driscoll also played two seasons on the baseball team.

Driscoll’s impact on collegiate athletics has been felt throughout his 40-plus year career as an ambassador and leader. He began his post-graduate time at Union College, serving as an assistant athletic director and holding coaching responsibilities in several varsity sports. He also spent six years at Mills College and 14 at the University of California, Berkeley, prior to his current stop at Providence College.

During his time with the Friars, he has overseen several facility upgrades, as well as the construction of the state-of-the-art Ruane Friar Development Center. Driscoll has earned a myriad of accolades and honors during his career, including being recognized as the Under Armour I-AAA Athletics Director of the Year in 2016.

Abby Hanrahan ’03 – Softball
One of the best pitchers to play at Ithaca College, Abby Hanrahan was the winning pitcher of the 2002 College World Series championship game against Lake Forest College.

In that 1-0 victory, Hanrahan earned her 22nd win of the season by allowing only three hits in five and a third innings, propelling Ithaca to its first and only national title. She was named to the all-tournament team at the conclusion of the championship.

Hanrahan ranks first in school history with 576 strikeouts, third with 593 innings pitched, and fifth with 66 victories. She is the only Bombers pitcher with more than 200 strikeouts in a season, a feat she accomplished in both 2001 and 2002.

Meghan Morningstar ’07 – Track and Field, Volleyball
A two-sport athlete, Meghan Morningstar was the first and only four-time All-American in the high jump for the women’s track and field program. She also played two seasons for the volleyball team.

During her freshman season, Morningstar placed third at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships with a high jump mark of 1.66 meters. She took seventh in the outdoor season with a clearance of 1.62 meters.

Morningstar once again finished third at the 2003-04 indoor championships with a clearance 1.66 meters, and capped off her All-American career with a fourth place finish at the 2004-05 indoor championships with another 1.66-meter leap.

In her two seasons on the volleyball court, she notched 449 kills, 287 blocks, 134 digs and 58 aces. Her 161 blocks during her sophomore season ranks ninth on the school's single-season list.

Lindsay Hicks Reeves ’79 - Administration, Gymnastics, Swimming and Diving
Lindsay Hicks Reeves was a standout diver for three years on the swimming and diving team, and competed on the gymnastics team for one season. She went on to have a decorated career as a women’s administrator in collegiate athletics.

In the pool, Hicks Reeves was a state finalist all three seasons in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives. She qualified for the NCAA Championships her senior season and held the school record in the 3-meter dive for nearly 20 years. During her one season as a gymnast, she competed in the all-around.

Hicks Reeves is currently in her ninth year as the director of athletics at the University of North Georgia, and she is the first female AD in school history. Hicks Reeves had previously served as senior woman administrator for five years.

She has earned several awards and honors as an administrator, including the 2017 NCAA Division II Award of Excellence and 2016 NCAA Division II Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year.

Jessica Welch Shea ’03 – Lacrosse
One of the most prolific offensive threats in Ithaca women’s lacrosse history, Jessica Welch Shea played on some of IC’s most successful teams during her career.

From 2000-2003, the program won 56 games and reached the NCAA Tournament twice, and Welch Shea was a major contributor to that success. In 2001, she scored two second half goals against St. Mary's (Maryland) as Ithaca rallied from a 7-2 deficit to win its first-ever NCAA Tournament game.

As a four-year starter, Welch Shea amassed 142 goals and 65 assists. She also scooped up 157 ground balls and won 83 draw controls. Her 207 career points rank sixth all-time in program history, while her 142 goals rank seventh.

Danny Sheehan ’95 – Lacrosse, Coaching
A four-year starter at midfield for the Bombers, Danny Sheehan helped the IC program to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1992. Sheehan was named second-team all-conference as a senior, but his lasting impact on lacrosse would be made as a head coach.

As the head coach at NCAA Division II LeMoyne College since 1996, Sheehan has an overall record of 298-51 and won five national championships, including in 2016 when the team went 20-0. His 298 career victories are the 19th-most in the history of NCAA lacrosse.

Sheehan is a seven-time Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year, the 2000 USILA Division II Coach of the Year, the 2010 FieldTurf Division II Coach of the Year, and the 2013 and 2016 Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association Division II Coach of the Year.