An Olympic gold medalist, a top NCAA basketball official and the members of four national championship teams are among more than 130 people who will be inducted into North Country Community College’s new Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, September 22 at the Harrietstown Town Hall in Saranac Lake.
The ceremony, part of the continuing celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary, kicks off a weekend of festivities including men’s and women’s soccer games, alumni soccer games, a cocktail reception and the unveiling of an athletic Wall of Fame on the college’s Saranac Lake campus.
Nominations were sought and an inaugural class of inductees was picked. This first group represents the first 30 years of the college’s athletic program, from 1967 to 1997. Subsequent classes of inductees will be named every five years.
Coaches to be inducted include Tim Gerrish, who built the college’s hockey program into a juggernaut that brought home a national championship in 1995, and Grover Moore, whose men’s basketball teams held the best regular season record in the nation (46 wins and one loss) from 1973 to 1975.
Student-athletes to be inducted include Ogdensburg native Jamie Luckie, a standout in soccer and basketball at the college who has officiated three NCAA Final Fours during his career as a Division 1 men’s basketball referee, and Potsdam native Phil Vivlamore, who was the college’s first All-American in hockey.
Lake Placid native Jim Shea Jr., who won a gold medal in skeleton at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, will be inducted in the distinguished alumni category.
Coaches and members of four of the college’s national championship teams will also be enshrined in the Athletic Hall of Fame: the 1995 men’s hockey team, the 1988-89 men’s alpine ski team, the 1981-82 women’s alpine ski team, and the 1973-74 men’s basketball team.
While many of the 130-plus inductees still live in the region, some are returning to North Country for the first time since they graduated, including two members of the ’95 men’s hockey championship team who will travel here from Sweden. Others are coming from as far away as California, Colorado and South Carolina.
The festivities kick off at 6:30 pm Friday, Sept. 22, with a dinner in auditorium of the town hall at 39 Main St. in Saranac Lake. The ceremony begins at 7:30 pm. Due to the large number of people attending and limited space, the ceremony is not open to the public.
The public will have the chance to meet and interact with the inductees on Saturday, Sept. 23 at a pair of Saints soccer games at the Sparks Athletic Complex: a 1 pm women’s match and a 3 pm men’s game, both against Word of Life. During both games there will be a barbecue and an introduction of the inductees.
A Wall of Fame with the names of each inductee has been created outside the Sparks Athletic Complex gymnasium and can be viewed during Saturday’s events. Historic pictures, jerseys and other memorabilia from the college’s athletic program will also be on display inside the gym. Later, at 6:30 pm Saturday, there will be a cocktail hour with a cash bar at Nonna Fina restaurant, 151 River St., Saranac Lake.
Sunday’s events include a women’s soccer alumni game at noon, and a men’s soccer alumni game at 1 pm.
Photo: Members of North Country Community College’s 1995 men’s hockey team celebrate after winning a national championship, provided by North Country Community College.