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Nine Seawolves Enshrined in Rita & Kurt Eppenstein Athletics Hall of Fame

Hof recap

Hof recapNine distinguished Seawolves were enshrined in the Stony Brook Rita & Kurt Eppenstein Athletics Hall of Fame on October 22. The Hall of Fame ceremony honored the induction classes of 2020 and 2021, at Island Federal Arena, as the inductees were celebrated for their outstanding contributions to Stony Brook athletics.
 
The class of 2021 included William Carmona ’16 (Baseball) and Joe Castiglie ’79  (Men’s Basketball Coach). Seven inductees composed the class of 2020 as Tommy Brenton ’12, ’13 (Men’s Basketball), Michael Crooks ’06 (Men’s Tennis), Bryan Dougher ’12 (Men’s Basketball), Paul Dudzick ’72 (Coach/Administrator), Kathy Koshansky (Head Athletic Trainer), Jenny Payne (Simpkins) ’03, ’07 (Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, and Aden Smith ’03 (Football) all were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday evening.
 
“This is always one of my favorite nights of the year. Celebrating our history and those who helped to shape it makes the Hall of Fame induction event so incredibly special. The lasting impact of our nine new Hall of Famers can’t be overstated, and I’m beyond excited to honor their legacy,” said Stony Brook Director of Athletics Shawn Heilbron.  
 
The Athletics Hall of Fame began in 1991 with the induction of its first members. On October 20, 2007, the Hall of Fame was dedicated as the Rita & Kurt Eppenstein Athletics Hall of Fame to honor the memory of Rita and Kurt Eppenstein, two quintessential New Yorkers whose lives serve as a higher lesson in ethics, character, and perseverance, and who sacrificed much to enable their son to graduate from college and law school and to enjoy the opportunities and experiences that flowed from their own American dream. Their son, Ted Eppenstein ’68, was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in the fourth class to be inducted in 1994.
 
Class of 2021:
William Carmona ’16, Baseball: William Carmona helped the Stony Brook baseball team shock the world and reach the College World Series in 2012. Carmona then was drafted in the 11th round by the Philadelphia Phillies that June and played three seasons of professional baseball. At his induction date, Carmona continued to sit atop the Stony Brook record book with 255 hits. He also ranked second in doubles (65), eighth in homers (24), fourth in RBI (161), and 10th in runs (143). His .380 career batting average ranked third in the program’s Division I era. Carmona was named a Louisville Slugger and ABCA Third Team All-American as well as the Most Outstanding Player of the Coral Gables Regional during his junior season in 2012. He drove in a program single-season record 73 runs that year. The previous season as a sophomore, he became the first America East player in 13 years named a Louisville Slugger First Team All-American. He also became the first-ever Seawolf to be named the America East Player of the Year.
 
Joe Castiglie, Men’s Basketball Coach, 1984-1991: Joe Castiglie served as men’s basketball head coach from 1984 to 1991, during which he posted a 138-56 record and led the team to a pair of Division III East Regionals. As a student-athlete at Stony Brook, he captained the 1977-78 team that reached the Final Four. Castiglie played 71 games during his Stony Brook undergraduate career from 1975 through ’78. He tallied 139 points, 125 assists, 35 rebounds, and shot 49.5 percent from the field.
 
Class of 2020:
Tommy Brenton ’12, ’13, Men’s Basketball:
 Brenton graduated as the program’s all-time leader in rebounds and steals and the program’s Division I leader in assists. He earned the Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year award as a senior in 2013, becoming the first Seawolves basketball player to win a national award. He also was the America East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year for the 2012-13 season — only the conference’s second player ever to win both awards in the same season. Brenton played professionally in the Japan Basketball League from his graduation through 2017.
 
Michael Crooks ’06, Men’s Tennis: Crooks is the singles, doubles, and total wins leader in the history of Stony Brook men’s tennis. He was a four-time All-America East selection. He never lost a conference tournament singles match during his four-year collegiate career. Crooks currently works as a technology consultant and software engineer in London.
 
Bryan Dougher ’12, Men’s Basketball: A four-year starter at point guard, Dougher graduated as the all-time leading scorer in the program’s Division I era. He also owns a school record of 337 three-pointers. He earned a spot on the America East All-Rookie Team in 2009 and was a three-time All-America East selection. Dougher led the Seawolves to consecutive America East Regular Season Championships. He played professionally in Australia. Dougher went on to work on the basketball staffs at Stony Brook and Rutgers, and currently is an assistant coach at Fairfield.
 
Paul Dudzick ’72, Coach/Administrator, 1968-2003: Dudzick founded and coached the Stony Brook crew, women’s cross country, and women’s tennis teams and launched the department’s Hall of Fame. His roles also included serving as men’s Athletic Director from 1983 through 1991, NCAA compliance coordinator, and associate professor of physical education. He coordinated the elevation of the program from Division III to Division I.
 
Kathy Koshansky, Head Athletic Trainer, 1983-2011: The first full-time athletic trainer in program history, Koshansky also was a pioneer. She also became the first woman to be a head certified athletic trainer in Stony Brook football history. She also served as a tenured associate professor and received the prestigious President’s and Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching in 1989. Koshansky was inducted into the New York State Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame in 2011 for her commitment to the athletic training profession.
 
Jenny Payne (Simpkins) ’03, ’07, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country: Payne was the first NCAA Division I qualifier in the cross country program’s history. She also became the program’s first D-I All-American and first America East Champion, winning the indoor 5000 meters in Boston in 2002. She was a recipient of the NCAA’s postgraduate scholarship the following year. Payne last year joined the government in Lilburn, Ga., as assistant city manager.
 
Aden Smith ’03, Football: A two-year captain and linebacker, Smith owns the top two single-season tackle totals in program history — 140 in 2002 and 112 in 2001. His 323 career tackles are the most in school history. His accolades include second-team Don Hansen Football Gazette All-American honors as a senior. Smith is the varsity football coach at Shoreham-Wading River High School.

Read more at stonybrookathletics.com

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1 comment

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  • Hi ,
    I was a student athlete ’79-’83 when we were the Patriots! I worked at the gym those 4 years as well. Our Softball Team won several Championships over those years and Coach Judy Christ was incredibly dedicated. There are still a few of us that keep in touch. Personally, I live in South Florida and have continued to play softball here for the past 25 years. In addition, I am a Nationally ranked Racquetball player, still competitive (at 60 yrs old). Would love to be nominated into the Hall of Fame one day :).

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