Mercer County Community College has announced the inaugural inductees of its Athletics Hall of Fame. The group includes three national championship teams, two Major League Baseball players and a legendary basketball coach.
The MCCC Foundation’s Mercer Athletics Committee made its selection of the first Hall of Fame class—three teams and 15 individuals—based on nominations from the public. While over the years Mercer has honored several teams and players in a variety of ways within a particular sport, the new Athletics Hall of Fame will celebrate the college’s athletic history across the entire sports program, according to MAC chair Dan Klim.
The honorees will be inducted during a reception and dinner on Nov. 14 at the Trenton Country Club.
“The Athletics Hall of Fame is the highest level of recognition presented to student athletes, teams, coaches and administrators at Mercer County Community College,” Klim said. “We are proud to give them the recognition they deserve.”
The Vikings are members of the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 19 and the Garden State Athletic Conference. In its more than half-century of sports excellence, MCCC’s athletics history includes 14 national championship teams, with nearly 250 student athletes achieving All-American honors.
Over the past decade, 44 MCCC student athletes have been recognized as Academic All-Americans. Many Mercer student athletes successfully transfer to four-year colleges throughout the United States, and dozens have gone on to play professional sports.
Further details about the induction ceremony and reception, including ticket purchases and sponsorship opportunities, will soon be available. All proceeds will go to scholarships for MCCC student athletes and the improvement of the college’s athletics facilities. Updates will be posted at www.mccc.edu/hof.
“By honoring those who have contributed to the sports heritage of MCCC and Mercer County as a whole, we are providing an important link to the past – as well as a bridge to the future,” said Klim.
The 18 inaugural inductees are:
1963 Men’s Soccer – 1st of eight National Championship teams
1973 Men’s Basketball – 1st of two National Championship teams
1999 Women’s Tennis – 1st of four National Championship teams
Heath Fillmyer (Baseball) – All-American (2014) and MLB
Mickey Forker (Soccer) – All-American (1968 & 1969)
Dave Gallagher (Baseball) – 17 years of professional baseball with nine years in MLB and MCCC Coach (2000-2002)
Randy Garber (Soccer) – All-American (1971 & 1972 and Penn State 1974) and NASL 1975-1979
Mel Weldon (Basketball) – All-American and National Player of the Year (1973)
Connie White (Basketball) – All-American and National Player of the Year (1974)
Elyse Diamond (Soccer) – 1st Mercer All-American in the sport (1983) and current Women’s Soccer Coach
Terri Dorner (Basketball)- 1st Mercer All-American in the sport (1980) and Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame
Joanne Zola (Softball) – 1st Mercer All-American in the sport (1985) and MCCC Coach (2000-2002)
Lisa Camillone (Athletic Trainer/Asst. Athletic Director 1983-2016) – pioneering figure for female Athletic Trainers
Stan Dlugosz (Men’s Soccer Coach 1963-1981 and Men’s Tennis Coach 1974-2007) – 2 Soccer National Championships
Charles Inverso (Men’s Soccer Coach 1986-2009) – 5 National Championship teams
Al Leister (Athletic Director 1973-1989) – innovative Health and Physical Education Professor (1970-2006)
Butch Miller (Baseball Coach 1973-1993) – 503-263 Coaching record and 1981 Junior College World Series
Howie Landa (Legendary Basketball Coach) – 2 National Championships, 3 times National Coach of the Year