Staten Island, NY – Wagner College announced today that on September 15, when the Seahawks host Monmouth in their 2012 home opener, the field at Wagner College Stadium will be named Hameline Field, in honor of long-time Athletic Director (AD) and Head Football Coach Walt Hameline.
Hameline Field will be officially dedicated in a ceremony prior to the Northeast Conference (NEC) matchup between the Seahawks and Hawks which is slated for a 1:00 pm. kickoff. At halftime, Wagner will recognize the 25th anniversary of its 1987 Division III National Championship.
On Nov. 6, 2010, Hameline, who enters his 32nd year as AD/Football Coach, became just the eighth active Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) coach to win 200 games with a 31-20 victory over Monmouth. He also ranks 16th all-time among FCS coaches and 18th among active NCAA coaches. He enters the 2012 season with an overall record of 204-123-2 (.622) over his 31-year head coaching career at Wagner.
“Walt Hameline is an outstanding role model for our student athletes,” said Wagner College President Richard Guarasci. “His long service to Wagner has enriched the lives of many who have played on his teams, or have taken part in our athletic programs. I am pleased to have Walt as a friend, and this is a long deserved honor.”
The pinnacle of Wagner’s athletic history came when the Seahawks won the1987 NCAA Division III National Championship, with a 19-3 win over heavily-favored Dayton in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl. Playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation, the Seahawks rolled to a 13-1 record, winning more games than any college football team in America.
The team earned the school’s second Lambert Trophy, symbolic of football superiority in the East among Division III schools, and ECAC Team of the Year recognition. Following the season, in addition to being the subject of a Sports Illustrated feature story, a host of national and regional organizations recognized Hameline, highlighted by his being named the Chevrolet National Coach of the Year.
An active member of the American Football Coaches Association, under Hameline’s stewardship, 94 players have earned All-Northeast Conference honors, 47 first-team selections and another 47 named to the second team.
“I truly appreciate this honor,” said Hameline. “I want to thank President Guarasci, the members of the Wagner College Board of Trustees, faculty and campus community for their support through the years. This is a tremendous honor and one that is very humbling.
”I also have countless student-athletes and assistant coaches to thank for the dedication that they have devoted to Wagner College” he added. “I’ve been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach at a place like Wagner these many years. September 15 will be special, no question, but I’m excited about the entire 2012 season and team we have right here and now. This is their time.”
Among his many achievements in his role as athletic director, Hameline has helped to elevate and expand the Seahawk athletics program and facilities—overseeing the opening of a new field for the softball team at the base of Grymes Hill (1995), a renovation to Wagner College Stadium (the previous name of the Seahawks’ football facility) and its outdoor track & field facility (1997) and was instrumental in the construction of the Spiro Sports Center (1999), an extension to the original Sutter Gymnasium.
Hameline has also enjoyed a particularly long and proud association with metropolitan area basketball and the National Invitation Tournament. For more than two decades, he was one of five metro area athletic directors, along with his peers at NYU, Fordham, Manhattan and St. John’s, who helped comprise the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association (MIBA). In April 2012, Hameline, a past president of MIBA, was the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association (MBWA). Distinguished Service Awards are presented by the MBWA to individuals who have made significant contributions to college basketball.
In 2011-12, 10 of the Seahawks’ 17 NEC teams ranked in the top three of their sport with three teams earning the number one GPA in their sport (men’s basketball, women’s golf and women’s swimming & diving). Women’s water polo was added to Wagner’s slate of on-campus sport offerings in 2002, which now number 20. The women’s water polo team has won three MAAC Tournament Championships while appearing in seven MAAC Tournament Championship games. Last month, it was announced that the team’s collective GPA was tops among all NCAA water polo teams.
A native of New Hartford, NY, Hameline was a two-sport star at New Hartford HS and later a standout defensive back at Brockport St. (’75). In 1998, he was inducted into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame.