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Nassau H.S. Athletic HOF grows


The Nassau County High School Athletics Hall of Fame will hold its 2018 induction ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Crest Hollow County Club. For ticket information, go to https://gofan.co/app/events/26873. The fourth class of inductees is led by legendary basketball coach Larry Brown and former Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde. Here’s a breakdown of the athletes and coaches of the 2018 class.


TOM CASEY SR.: A 1945 graduate of Great Neck High School, he starred in football, basketball and baseball. He was All-Long Island in baseball three times and went on to enjoy tremendous careers in coaching (35 years) and officiating (over 50 years) in Nassau County. 

CHRISTINE CURTIN: A track star at Mepham High School who racked up a pair of national championships in a five-year varsity career. A 1984 graduate, she won 12 state cross-country and track titles, and the Kinney national cross-country title. 

HERB FITZGIBBON: Widely considered the best Nassau high school tennis player of all-time. The 1960 Garden City graduate never lost a match in four years, capturing four New York State singles championships in the process. Won gold and bronze medals in the 1968 Olympics when tennis was a demonstration sport.

ROB MOORE: A 1986 graduate of Hempstead High School, he was a four-sport star and two-time All-Long Island football player. He was the NYS champ in the triple jump. Wide receiver played 11 seasons in the NFL and is currently on the Tennessee Titans’ coaching staff.

ROBERT REIFSNYDER: A 1955 graduate of Baldwin High School, he played four sports and starred on the gridiron, eventually reaching the NFL and playing for the New York Giants. He was a standout linebacker and running back on the Bruins’ 1954 Rutgers Cup-winning team and won the Thorp Award that same year. 

PAUL ROCHESTER: A 1956 Sewanhaka graduate who excelled in football at every level. He won the Thorp Award in 1955 and two years later was on Michigan State’s national championship roster. He played 10 seasons in the pros and won a Super Bowl ring with the New York Jets in 1969, picking up the only sack of SB III against the Baltimore Colts.

LISA SMITH: This Hempstead High School 1983 grad finished her dynamic hoops career with 2,418 points, a state record at the time. She led the Lady Tigers to a 92-3 record, including a 52-game winning streak, and two state championships over four seasons. 

BEAVER SMITH: A 1972 graduate of South Side High School, he had more than 1,000 career points and rebounds on the way to earning All-County honors twice. He was also named Nassau’s Most Outstanding player in 1971 and ’72 and went on to star at St. John’s University.

VINNY TESTAVERDE: The only Heisman Trophy winner from Long Island graduated Sewanhaka in 1981 and capped an incredible college career as the University of Miami’s quarterback in 1986. He played 21 seasons in the NFL and threw for more than 46,000 yards and 275 touchdowns. He was a two-time Pro Bowler.  

FRANK ZACHMANN: Competed in four sports at Baldwin High School and graduated in 1937. As quarterback, he led the football team to an 18-0-3 record from 1934-36. In 1934, he completed 30 of 37 passes, three of which went for touchdowns.  


LOU ANDRE: During his time as head coach of Massapequa and Lawrence football teams, he compiled a record of 145-57 and won three Long Island championships. A 1968 graduate of Valley Stream South, he was named Conference Coach of the Year eight times.

WALTER BACHMAN: Has served as a varsity basketball coach since 1978 and totaled 440 victories. Guided Valley Stream North from 1978-92 and since has been at the helm at Jericho, his alma mater (1968.) His teams have won eight conference titles.  

AL BEVILACQUA: From 1963-77, he led Massapequa wrestling to a 145-35-3 record on the mat. He was one of the most popular, influential and well-known names in the sport and served as the USA Wrestling Chairperson for New York from 1971-79. 

COLBERT BRITT: He started as a football coach at Malverne in 1972 and added track to his coaching resume’ two years later and enjoyed immediate success with the girls’ program winning division and county titles from 1975-80. He coached football for 43 years, and track for 41.  

LARRY BROWN: One of the all-time greats, a 1958 Long Beach graduate, as a college and NBA coach. He won almost 1,100 games in the pros, and another 266 at the collegiate level. He is the only coach in the history of the sport to win both an NBA championship (Detroit, 2004) and NCAA title (Kansas, 1988.) 

DOC DOUGHERTY: From 1974 through 2006, his football and lacrosse teams at Garden City compiled a record of 565-91. He was League Coach of the Year 15 times while guiding the Trojans to 11 county titles, nine Long Island championships, and four state crowns. 

PAUL GILLESPIE: As wrestling coach at Long Beach, his teams had a dual meet record of 251-32-2 and captured 17 county titles and two state crowns. The Marines had a remarkable 110-1 record against league rivals under his watch. Now at Wantagh, he’s added five county championships. 

STEPHANIE JOANNON: A longtime three-sport coach and current athletic director at Port Washington. In 25 years on the hardwood, her teams won 309 games. She was the first female basketball coach in Nassau to record 300 wins. She totaled 289 wins as soccer coach, and 204 victories on the softball field.   

DENNIS KORNFIELD: Since 1982, he’s been the coach of Uniondale’s boys’ track and field program. The Knights have won an incredible 42 county titles (22 indoor, 20 outdoor) under his direction. He has 410 league wins to go with two dozen state champs. He’s a 1959 Hempstead High School graduate.   

AMBROSE MORAN: A 1942 graduate of Sewanhaka High School, he coached baseball and basketball at New Hyde Park. His teams won 558 games on the diamond and made the playoffs 35 times, while on the court his teams amassed 426 victories. 

RICHARD MORAN: A storied lacrosse coach at the high school and college levels. A Sewanhaka graduate, his Manhasset teams in the 1960s went 67-5. He then became Elmont’s first-ever coach and promptly went 29-3 and won two league titles. He went on to coach Cornell for 29 years and won three national championships.

JACK SALERNO: A three-sport star at Sewanhaka, he coached football and lacrosse at Elmont and won more than 400 games combined. His teams won 105 games and two county titles on the gridiron, while on the lacrosse field his squads went 303-53 with 13 league titles and three Nassau championships.

CHARLES SCHLEGEL: His swim teams at Uniondale (1956-60) and Plainview (1960-85) dominated on the Nassau and state levels, combining for 395 wins and 15 undefeated seasons. He won 21 county and 15 NYS titles and won Nassau Coach of the Year 23 times. 

ANNE SULLIVAN: She’s been the girls’ and boys’ swim coach at Garden City for 23 years and guided the girls’ program to 17 straight county titles, including a 100-meet win streak culminating in 2012. The boys have won three county championships in a row.