TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2012
FIT Well Represented in First Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Class
COCOA BEACH, Fla. (Athletics News) – Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese, former head men’s soccer coach Rick Stottler and former baseball player Tim Wakefield were inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Friday night at the Cocoa Beach Country Club.
The three individuals were honored with 23 other athletes, coaches and administrators as part of the hall’s inaugural class.
As FIT president, Catanese has more than doubled the university’s sports landscape to 21 varsity programs. Since 2003, the university has added football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s lacrosse, women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming, reestablished men’s tennis, women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s track & field. All of the sports have started competing except for football, which officially begins in fall 2013.
Along with being enshrined last Friday, Catanese received the organization’s Sports Visionary Award for bringing football to the Space Coast. He hired head coach Steve Englehart, who holds the record at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for the highest winning percentage as a football coach in school history. Catanese also played a key role in the program joining one of the strongest NCAA Division II football conference’s in the country, the Gulf South Conference.
Stottler led the Panthers to the school’s first two NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championships in 1988 and 1991. He concluded his 14-year career with a record of 190-66-12. His .731 winning percentage currently ranks seventh in Division II history. He was named Division II Coach of the Year and South Region Coach of the Year in 1991. He was tabbed Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year in 1988.
He was inducted into the Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and one year later joined the SSC Hall of Fame. Two of his former players are coaches at FIT, both played important roles on the 1988 national championship team. Robin Chan is the head men’s soccer coach and Fidgi Haig is the head women’s soccer coach.
Wakefield occupied first base from 1986-88 under former head coach Les Hall. In three seasons, he was named Team MVP twice. He set three program records, which stand to this day – career home runs (40) and single-season home runs (22) and RBIs (71).
Wakefield was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the eighth round of the 1988 Major League Baseball amateur draft. He developed into a knuckleball pitcher and played 17 years with the Boston Red Sox. When he retired last February, he became the longest-serving Red Sox player ever and earned 200 career wins. His 186 victories with the Red Sox are third most in team history, behind Cy Young and Roger Clemens. He is second in all-time wins at Fenway Park and is first all-time in innings pitched by a Red Sox hurler.
A list of the inaugural Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame class can be found below.
• Cris Collinsworth, Football
• Wilber Marshall, Football
• Kelly Slater, Surfing
• Tim Wakefield, Baseball
• Bob Anderson, Football
• Mitzi Kremer, Swimming
• Kelly Kretschman, Softball
• Reggie Nelson, Football
• Matt Walters, football
• Dr. Zundra Feagin Aubry, Track
• Leon Bright, Football
• Kayla Hale, Cross Country, Track
• Ashlyn Harris, Soccer
• Clint Hurdle, Baseball
• Doug Butler, Running
• Bunny Cederlund, Swimming
• Sherri France, Softball
• Vicky Hurst, Golf
• Robin Dolan Keener, Tennis
• Mike Gaudy, Prep Basketball
• Chuck Goldfarb, Prep Baseball
• Floyd Horgen, College Golf
• Gerald Odom, Prep Football
• Rick Stottler, College Soccer
• Dr. Anthony Catanese, Florida Tech Football
• Bill Sargent, Outdoors Journalist