List of Honorees
Staten Island, NY --
Walt Hameline, the relentlessly energetic and upbeat Wagner College Athletic Director/Head Football Coach, who has amassed an astounding record of achievement while holding these two dual leadership posts since 1981, was inducted into the New Jersey Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame at the organization’s 77th annual banquet on Sunday, January 20 at the Pines Manor in Edison, NJ.
In January of each year, the NJSWA inducts into its Hall of Fame, and presents awards for the preceding calendar year, to various athletes, coaches, team executives and other sports celebrities who either reside in, were born in, or played sports in New Jersey. Among the legendary names that are members of the NJSWA Hall of Fame, include Vince Lombardi, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto and Rick Barry.
“I truly appreciate this honor. To be a member of the New Jersey Sportswriters Association
Hall of Fame is very special to me,” said Hameline. “My family and I have resided in Colts Neck, NJ for 30 years. We love the Monmouth County region, it’s where our two daughters were raised and where we have made so many friends.
“Professionally, I’ve had the great fortune of developing meaningful relationships with so many terrific high school football coaches, as well as a host of peers and colleagues at colleges throughout the state," he added.
"Wagner continues to be a popular destination for New Jersey high school students and there are a number of outstanding players that I’ve been lucky enough to coach who are New Jerseyans. The Garden State has been very good to my family, myself and to Wagner College.”
A native of New Hartford, NY, Hameline and his wife Debi are the proud parents of daughters Kristen and Kelly.
Over the course of his more than three-decade long Wagner career, Hameline has demonstrated effective leadership as the Seahawks’ Director of Athletics. Under Hameline’s guidance, the Wagner Athletic Department has undergone an ambitious expansion in both sport offerings and facility improvements. Hameline was influential in establishing the Seahawk Golf Classic, and the Seahawk Club, a pair of initiatives aimed at increasing funds for the scholarship endowment and complete financial support for the athletic department.
Hameline helped spearhead the movement that made the Spiro Sports Center
a reality in 1999. In addition to providing an expansive office and meeting room complex, the center features a 2,100-seat multi-purpose arena which has a well-earned reputation for providing Wagner’s men’s and women’s basketball teams with one of the NEC’s toughest home court advantages. The center also houses a swimming pool, numerous locker rooms, fitness center/weight room, training room and equipment room.”
Most recently, and thanks to the generosity of one of his former offensive lineman, Marc Lebovitz, Hameline Field was the beneficiary of a striking state-of-the-art video scoreboard in 2010
. Lebovitz, a member of the Seahawks’ 1987 Division III National Championship football team and a 1991 Wagner graduate, is now a highly-successful New Jersey businessman.
The scoreboard represents a major facility upgrade for the Green & White football program, while also benefiting the women’s soccer, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse and men’s & women’s track and field programs that also call Hameline Field home.
In a career that has been filled with hallmark moments, this past year has seemingly included one memorable moment after another.
In April, 2012, Hameline, who has enjoyed a long and proud association with metropolitan area basketball and the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), was the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association (MBWA).
For more than two decades, Hameline was one of five metro area ADs, along with his peers at NYU, Fordham, Manhattan and St. John’s, who helped comprise the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association. Along with NIT Executive Director Jack Powers, Hameline helped select teams for both pre and post-season NIT’s, while directing other functions such as the NIT All-Star Summer Tour.
The more visible of Hameline's two roles, of course, has been his long and succesful tenure patrolling the sidelines as Seahawk head football coach. The 2012 Seahawks grabbed their share of headlines and highlight clips as this gritty, senior-laden team defied the odds throughout a triumphant march to the school’s first-ever Northeast Conference (NEC) title and the conference’s first-ever NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) win.
In a ceremony prior to the September 15 Monmouth game, the field at Wagner College Stadium was re-named “Hameline Field”
in his honor.
Additionally, Hameline saw his first former player crack the NFL ranks when outside linebacker Julian Stanford earned a spot on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 53-man roster
. In doing so, Stanford became the first Seahawk in the NFL since Wagner Hall of Famer Rich Kotite suited up for the New York Giants in 1972.
Wagner finished the season ranked 21st in The Sports Network Final Top-25 Poll and 22nd in the Final FCS Coaches Poll
, marking the first time an NEC team has ended the season with an appearance in both official Top-25 polls. In 2011, Albany was ranked No. 22 in the final Coaches Poll, but was in the receiving votes category (No. 26) in The Sports Network Poll
The outset of Hameline’s 32nd season offered little hint of the late-season promise to come. Picked seventh in the NEC Preseason Poll, the Seahawks dropped narrow road decisions at FBS member Florida Atlantic (7-3) and at Georgetown (13-10) , before being outscored 35-17 a home decision to Monmouth in the NEC opener.
In week four, things clicked for Wagner during a convincing 31-13 victory at Central Connecticut, the first in the nine-game win streak, the Seahawks’ longest since 1981. Wins then ensued over Sacred Heart (12-0), St. Francis U (31-24), Robert Morris (23-13), Albany (30-0) and Holy Cross (31-30).
On November 17, Wagner completed the improbable regular season run with a thrilling 23-17 come-from-behind victory over Duquesne
, while clinching a berth in the 2012 Division I Football Championship.
When the dust settled on the 2012 regular season, Wagner sported an 8-3 record, an eight-game win streak, (which would become nine the following week) Hameline was the NEC Coach of the Year and Eight Seahawks were named to the All-NEC team
. A week prior, Hameline was one of 20 nominees for the Eddie Robinson Award, which, since 1987, has been awarded annually to college football’s top head coach in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
Perhaps the enduring moments of the 2012 season will center on the events surrounding Wagner’s eye-opening 30-0 victory at No. 18 Albany in the week following Hurricane Sandy.
This result was even more impressive in light of the fact the Seahawks prepared for the Great Danes with no electricity on campus, which meant no hot food and no hot water.
Team members were provided a large dose of perspective when, two days after returning from the state capital, they, along with their head coach, aided in the recovery efforts at New Dorp High School and in some of Staten Island’s neighborhoods that were most devastated by the storm.
Following the NEC-clinching win over Duquesne, the following day’s NCAA Selection Show on ESPNU
delivered the news that Wagner would host a first-round home game on November 24, opposite Patriot League champion and 24th-ranked Colgate.
In front of a raucous crowd of 3,032 and an audience viewing in on ESPN 3, the offense, led by record-breaking senior quarterback Nick Doscher
(Staten Island, NY/ Moore Catholic) and junior running back Dominique Williams
(Bridgeton, NJ/ Milford), in concert with the NEC’s No. 1 defense, carried Wagner to a 31-20 win, snapping Colgate’s seven-game win streak
The second round round of the NCAA Playoffs was also viewed on thousands of computers via ESPN 3
, in addition to being shown on a big screen in the Wagner cafeteria and in many several restaraunts throughout Staten Island. The Seahawks acquitted themselves very well, as Wagner threw a huge scare into No. 4 Eastern Washington in Spokane
, taking a 19-14 third-quarter lead on the Eagles before falling 29-19.
Off the field highlights included senior offensive lineman Steve Ciocci being named to the exclusive 22-man (11 from the FCS) AFCA Good Works Team
for his many community service initiatives. Ciocci, along with senior free safety #Patrick O’Connor# (Leominster, MA/ Leominster), were named to the prestigious FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team.
Statistically, Wagner finished No. 1 in the nation in fewest interceptions thrown (2) and turnovers committed (6). Additionally, Doscher threw 13 touchdowns and just one interception, which came in the second quarter of the season opener vs. Florida Atlantic. This would prove to be the last interception of the season as he ended his landmark career with 231 consecutive passes thrown without an INT.
Doscher finished his career ranked No. 1 in total offense ( 8,404 yards) and passing (6,100 yards), second in completions (455) and touchdown passes (44), and eighth in rushing (2,304 yards). In addition, Doscher’s 8,404 yards of total offense ranks second all-time in NEC history while his 6,100 passing yards rank ninth.
Hameline is a shade over two years removed from becoming just the eighth active FCS coach to win 200 games. He hit this milestone on November 6, 2010
, as the Seahawks posted a 31-20 victory over Monmouth. Hameline is 54th on the all-time NCAA wins list (any level and one of just 36 coaches to win 200 games at one school. and holds an overall record of 213-127-2 (.625) at the conclusion of the 2012 season over his 32 years on the sidelines on Grymes Hill.
Hameline’s overall coaching ledger includes five ECAC Titles and four NCAA Tournament Appearances, highlighted by the 1987 NCAA Division III National Championship. In the magical Championship Season of 1987, Wagner posted a 19-3 win over heavily-favored Dayton in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl to earn the NCAA Division III National Championship.
Playing one of the nation’s toughest schedules, Hameline’s 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 a feature story in Sports Illustrated
writing, a host of national and regional organizations recognized Hameline, highlighted by his being named the Chevrolet National Coach of the Year. In 1990, just three years after winning the school’s only National Championship, Hameline became the winningest coach in school history.
The 61-year old administrator has been a key developer of the NEC, serving on numerous committees, and is a past president of the league. Nine years ago, Hameline was honored for his playing, coaching and administrative achievements when he was inducted into the Utica, NY Sports Hall of Fame. In addition, Hameline was presented the All-America Football Foundation Johnny Vaught Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.
An outstanding defensive back at Brockport State, Hameline received his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in 1975, and went on to earn his Master’s Degree in education from the University at Albany in 1977.
This Year’s Honorees
• Carli Lloyd - U.S. Women’s Soccer Woman of the Year