SOUTH ORANGE – Nine-year NBA veteran Adrian Griffin highlights a star-studded Seton Hall University Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2010. Eight alumni will be inducted on Thursday, Feb. 4 at the 21st Athletics Hall of Fame Enshrinement Dinner at Mayfair Farms in West Orange.
Joining Griffin as 2010 inductees are Phil Cundari of baseball, Peter Matischak of men’s soccer, Megan Meyer of softball, Geraldine Saintilus Smith of women’s basketball and Eugene Smith of men’s golf. Alumni George Ring and Mark Whitford will also be inducted as honorary members.
A standout student-athlete on the basketball court and in the classroom, Adrian Griffin joins three teammates as a member of the Hall of Fame. One of only three Seton Hall players to be named BIG EAST Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, he currently ranks 18th all-time with 1,414 career points. Griffin also ranks in the career top-10 in rebounds, steals and field goal percentage. As a senior, he was named Second Team All-BIG EAST, Seton Hall Athlete of the Year and received the Haggerty Award as the New York metropolitan area’s top player. A two-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star, Griffin guided his teams to three post-season appearances including two NCAA berths and a BIG EAST Tournament title in 1993. Following graduation, Griffin spent nine years in the NBA and is currently an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks.
One of the greatest pitchers in Seton Hall baseball history, Phil Cundari will take his rightful place among the program’s elite. Named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year in 1985, his 1.22 ERA that year remains the conference’s single-season record. A Second Team All-America selection, Cundari ranks second all-time at Seton Hall in career wins, third in starts and sixth in strikeouts. In his senior year, he led the Pirates to a runner-up in the first-ever BIG EAST Tournament and a sparkling 15-3 record in conference play. For the last 11 years, Cundari has continued to give back to Seton Hall as the Pirates’ pitching coach. Under his tutelage, 16 former student-athletes have gone on to pitch professionally.
Peter Matischak, Seton Hall men’s soccer’s most prolific scorer, is also a member of the 2010 Class. No one in the history of the program has scored more career goals (59), distributed more assists (34) or recorded more points (152). In 1986, Matischak established Seton Hall single-season records with 23 goals and 57 points en route to being named BIG EAST Player of the Year. A leader of a program during arguably its most successful era, he guided the Pirates to three consecutive BIG EAST Championships and three straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament. As a senior, Matischak’s Pirates finished third in the final national rankings following a 16-4 season and an appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Proving also a force in the classroom, he was named a BIG EAST Academic All-Star in 1987.
Widely regarded as the greatest softball player in Seton Hall history, Megan Meyer becomes the first-ever softball-only inductee. The program’s only All-American, a distinction she earned as both a junior and a senior, Meyer pitched the Pirates to back-to-back BIG EAST Championships in 2004 and 2005. A force academically, she was a four-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star and twice earned First Team Academic All-America recognition. In 2005, Meyer was named CoSIDA’s Academic All-American of the Year for the sport of softball. In her career, she broke nearly every career and single-season pitching record including career wins (81), strikeouts (686) and innings pitched (774.2).
Credited with bringing the women’s basketball program to BIG EAST prominence in the late 1980s, Geraldine Saintilus Smith will take her place among the finest Seton Hall student-athletes of all-time. The Pirates’ all-time leading scorer with 1,804 career points, she set several school marks while lifting the program from a 5-23 record as a freshman to an 18-10 record as a senior. A 1988-89 Kodak All-America Honorable Mention and BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Saintilus Smith averaged an impressive 21.8 points per game as a senior. Named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year in 1986, she graduated in 1989 before playing professionally overseas for several years. Currently, Saintilus Smith is a Division I basketball official.
The most successful golfer in Seton Hall history, Eugene Smith will enter the Hall of Fame in February. A two-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star, he is one of only two Pirates to win the BIG EAST Individual Championship, a feat he achieved in 2000. That performance lifted Seton Hall to its first team BIG EAST Championship since 1992. As an individual, Smith won six tournaments in his career, most all-time. He currently owns all of Seton Hall’s par-72 records including lowest three-round score, lowest two-round score and lowest individual round. Seton Hall has qualified for the NCAA Regionals four times in the program’s history… all four years that Smith was on the roster.
Few have served and contributed to the betterment of Seton Hall University over the years more so than George Ring. A graduate in 1965 and recipient of his MBA in 1971, Ring has served as a University Regent, member of the Board of Trustees and received the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award. A First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Air medal with V first oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star with V first oak leaf cluster and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star, all for his service during the Vietnam War. Currently the president and CEO of Wireless Cable International, Ring has generously contributed to the Pirate Blue Athletic Fund and Rec Center Capitol Campaign among several other initiatives. The building which houses the offices for Pirate Blue bears his name.
A man who embodies the Seton Hall mission, Mark Whitford, will take his rightful place in the Seton Hall Athletics Hall of Fame. Whitford was a former standout wrestler who gave his life in an attempt to save others on Sept. 11, 2001. A 1993 graduate, he saw his greatest success on the mat in the heavyweight division. A two-time NCAA qualifier, Whitford was 21-8 overall as a senior and took home first place honors at the New England Conference Wrestling Championships. Following graduation, he spent a few years as a financial advisor before being accepted into the FDNY. A third-year firefighter for Engine Co. 23 in Manhattan, Whitford died while battling the blaze at the World Trade Center. For his heroic efforts, he was a 2002 inductee into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and received their prestigious Medal of Courage.
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