NSU Athletics will honor five former student- athletes, who were selected by the NSU Hall of Fame Committee, by inducting them into the NSU Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 23.
About 240 students, alumni, faculty, coaches and other NSU community members are expected to attend the sold-out celebratory gala at the Arena at the Don Taft University Center.
Director of Athletics Michael Mominey said, “That this year’s honorees helped to establish the tradition of NSU Athletics and the high level of athletic achievement that continues today. They exemplified the commitment, drive and character that are necessary to succeed on the field of play and in life. We welcome the new class into the Hall of Fame.”
This year’s inductees were softball player Heidi Wickham, women’s soccer player Danielle DeGregorio, men’s soccer player Tom Gillette, and men’s baseball players Felipe Suarez and Sean McFadden.
All the former athletes being honored by thr NSU Hall of Fame made significant contributions to the NSU sports tradition. DeGregorio was a primary contributor to a pair of Florida Sun Conference Championships and won three All-Florida Sun Conference First Team awards during the 1998-2001 seasons.
Gillette joined the men’s soccer team in the fall of 2001, where he was a starter in 75 of the 76 games during his collegiate career. As a senior, he was recognized with the NSU STUEY Award for Male Athlete of the Year. He also served as undergraduate student body president from 2004 to 2005.
Wickham played softball during the 1997 to 1999 seasons. She was named Player of the Year in 1997 and led the NSU softball team to three consecutive championships — two as a player and one as coach.
McFadden is the most recent NSU student of the honorees, having graduated in 2006. He was one of the most prolific hitters in the school’s baseball history, racking up an impressive array of statistics as a player. He ranked second in NSU program history in hits (266) and fourth in at bats (722). He also ranked third in doubles (44), total bases (357) and total games played throughout his NSU career(195). After earning All-Sunshine State Conference Second Team honors in 2005, McFadden improved to the first team. In 2006, as a senior, McFadden was named to the ABCA/Rawlings All-South Region First-Team.
The 2012 inductees also include a current member of NSU Athletics. Baseball Pitching Coach Felipe Suarez was a leading member of the baseball team as a student from 1996 to 1998. He earned FSC Player of the Year accolades, along with a spot on the All-Region team, and an NAIA All-American Honorable Mention. Suarez’s 10 complete games record ranks second in the NSU team record books.
“I think it’s great. Felipe deserves it,” said baseball player William Ruldolph, an NSU junior.
Left-handed pitcher Patrick Kulick, who also thinks that his coach deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, said, “He’s a great guy and great coach.”
For catcher Cody Stiles, an NSU senior, Saurez’s achievement is long overdue. “I’ve known him for eight years and he’s the man. He’s been through it all here. He’s a role model for us and he represents the program well.”
Anthony Angulo, catcher and NSU senior, thinks that players have benefited from Saurez’s experience at NSU. “It’s a blessing to have a coach that played here and knows all the in-and-outs, what it takes to be a college player — a solid college player. I feel like learning from him is like learning from a mentor for us. We follow his lead. He is the man with the plan around here, and I feel blessed to a coach like him.”
Saurez is grateful to be officially recognized. “It’s pretty exciting to be honored in this manner by the university that gave me an opportunity, and to be here for nine years and see the growth. I never imagined being inducted into any hall of frame and with the special night coming up, it’s a great thing for the university to highlight what we have done.”