Athletics News

Nine Former Colonials Elected To GW Athletic Hall Of Fame

Dec. 21, 2007

WASHINGTON, DC -- Membership in the George Washington University Athletic Hall of Fame expanded from 122 to 131 on Saturday, Feb. 9, when nine newly-elected members were inducted in ceremonies on campus at the City View Room, 1957 E St., NW.

The nine--representing eight sports--are Chad Senior '97, men's swimming; Linda Miller '94, women's rowing; Dave Haggerty '79, men's tennis; Marcelo Valencia '95, men's soccer; Mike Jarvis, men's basketball coach from 1990 through 1998; Devin McCalla '02, gymnastics; Aquil Abdullah `96, men's rowing; Lisa Cermignano '97, women's basketball, and Colleen (McCrea) Maguire '97, women's basketball.

This year's Athletic Hall of Fame "Class of 2008" is the 47th elected since the University's Hall was founded in 1959 and seven inaugural members were inducted.

Aquil H. Abdullah won four letters in men's rowing at GW from 1992-96 and in 2004 became the first African American man on the United States Olympic rowing team. Ironically, he missed qualifying for the 2000 Summer Olympics at Sydney by a fraction of a second (.33 of a second--or just seven feet). But he persisted and four years later, his first-place finish in the Olympic Trials' double sculls competition secured him a spot on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team in Athens, Greece.

After losing in the 2000 Olympic Trials, Abdullah considered retiring from the sport. Instead, he resumed training, competed again and won the elite Diamond Sculls race at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta at Henley-on-the Thames in London in 2000, the first African American man to do so. He also co-authored a book, `Perfect Balance', with Chris Ingraham, which concentrated on his quest to make the national team and his disappointment of narrowly missing it.

Abdullah, the second men's rower elected to the University's Athletic Hall of Fame, came to GW from nearby Wilson High School in Northwest Washington after starring as a 6-foot-1, 185-pound wide receiver on the Wilson football team. But he had started rowing as a high school senior and in 1992 accepted a rowing scholarship at George Washington where he majored in physics.

2008 GW Hall of Fame Members

Born in Washington, D.C., and a member of D.C.'s Potomac Boat Club as well as the Cambridge (Mass.) Boat Club, Abdullah, 33, now resides in Brighton, Mass., where he is a software engineer at Interactive Super Computing and plays a `mean saxophone'. He previously lived in Princeton, N.J., where he trained for elite competition for several years.

Lisa M. Cermignano earned four letters in basketball at GW between 1993-97. The four teams on which she played notched a record of 103-27 and made four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Her senior season (1997), the Colonials defeated North Carolina in the Sweet 16 and advanced to the `Elite Eight' against Notre Dame, just one victory shy of the Women's Final Four.

Cermignano, who played in 130 career games (tied with Tajama (Abraham) Ngongba, another Athletic Hall of Famer), and started every contest as a junior and senior, is one of just 24 Colonials to score more than 1,000 points. She ranks 14th in career scoring with 1,278 points. She was a deadly scorer `behind the lines', ranking second in 3-point field goals made (270) and sixth in free throw percentage (.804, making 168 of 209 attempts) throughout her career.

Defensively, she also is tied for 14th in career steals with 194 and is one of just 16 players to capture 500 or more rebounds. Particularly in her final two seasons, Cermignano was a major factor the team's success. In addition to earning Atlantic 10 All-Conference third team honors in both `96 and '97, she also won A-10 All-Tournament Team selection each season.

Born in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and reared in Gloucaster, N.J., where she starred at Gloucaster Catholic High School, Cermignano, 32, resides in Nashville, Tenn., and now is women's assistant basketball coach at nationally-ranked Vanderbilt University. Previously, she served as an assistant at GW for four years (2001-05) as well as at Monmouth (N.J.), 1999-2001, and Maryland, 1997-98.

David A. Haggerty won four letters in men's tennis at GW between 1975-79. Haggerty, who played No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles as a freshman, played No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles for the next three seasons, and was chosen MVP in each of those years. He is the fourth GW men's tennis player to be elected and the first since 1981.

Haggerty's singles record during his college career was a sparkling 84-26, while his career doubles record was an even more impressive 98-12. He saved his best year for his senior year when he was 23-5 in singles and 26-2 in doubles. That season he won the All-Metro championship for the fourth consecutive year.

Professionally, Haggerty, 50, has been an influential member of the tennis industry for more than 25 years working for three sports companies, Prince, Dunlop/Slezenger and Head. He joined Head Racquet Sports in 1998 and since 2002 has been CEO of Head USA of Norwalk, Conn., with responsibility for Racquet Sports, Winter Sports and Diving divisions for the United States, in addition to his role as President of Penn Racquet Sports. In 2007, he began his term as Director at Large for the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Board of Directors. He also is President of Tennis Industry Association (TIA) and has served on the TIA Executive Committee since 1998 and been a member since 1987.

A native of Trenton, N.J., and product of Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills, Pa., Haggerty and his wife, Patti, now live in Pennington, N.J., and have five children, Maureen (23), David (21), Suzanne (20), a sophomore at GW, Molly (16) and Megan (14). Haggerty also recently was elected to the Mercer County (N.J.) Tennis Hall of Fame where he will be inducted Feb. 23.

Mike Jarvis is the ninth former GW coach and the second men's basketball coach (legendary Bill Reinhart is the other) to be elected to the University's Athletic Hall of Fame. Hired in 1990, Jarvis revived the Colonials men's hoop fortunes during that decade, leading the team to seven post-season trips in eight seasons (four NCAA Tournaments and three NITs). Among GW's NCAA appearances was the program's initial Sweet 16 trip (to Seattle, Wash., to meet eventual NCAA finalist, Michigan and its `Fab Five'.) In eight seasons at Foggy Bottom, Jarvis's clubs won 152 games, an average of 19 per season, including more than 82 percent (82-17) of their games at Smith Center.

A native of Boston and a former player and coach at Cambridge Rindge & Latin (where his players included Georgetown's Patrick Ewing, Michigan's Rumeal Robinson and UConn's Karl Hobbs), Jarvis played collegiately at Northeastern. Prior to joining the Colonials, he coached at Boston University for five years (1985-90) where two of his Terriers teams made NCAA appearances.

At GW, Jarvis had a knack for recruiting both nationally and internationally. Eleven players who played for him scored more than 1,000 points during their Colonials careers and several of his teams were `All-United Nations' rosters, including youngsters from Nigeria, Belarus, Spain, Canada, The Gambia, Portugal, The Netherlands, Central African Republic, Israel and Brazil.

Now a college basketball analyst at ESPN and for more than five years the head coach at St. John's University (1998-2003), Jarvis and his wife, Connie, live in Boca Raton, Fla. They have two grown children, Mike II of New York City and Dana Shaiyen of Silver Spring, Md., and two grandchildren.

Colleen E. (McCrea) Maguire lettered four seasons in women's basketball at GW between 1993-97 and was a vital contributor on, to date, the most successful team in women's hoop history at GW. Teams on which she played had a marvelous four-year record of 103-27, made four straight trips to the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, including a Sweet 16 trip in 1995 and an Elite Eight contest against Notre Dame in 1997.

Maguire, a tri-captain of that '97 squad, was not a big scorer. However, she handled and `dished the pill' effectively for four years to such scorers such as Tajama (Abraham) Ngongba (the program's career leading scorer) and fellow-electee Lisa Cermignano.

The 5-foot-8 point guard dealt 573 assists in her career, trailing only current Colonials star Kimberly Beck and Kathy (Marshall) Gillespie '85 in that category. Maguire set a single-season assist record in '97 with 197 in 34 games. And, as a freshman, she equaled another Athletic Hall of Famer, Kristin McArdle '92, by dealing 14 assists against Georgetown Dec. 7, 1994. She also stood tall in steals, ranking third in career steals with 271, including a GW single-season best 109 in 1997.

The Lambertville, N.J., native, who played at South Hunterton Regional, also was as intelligent off the court as she was on it. Graduating first (summa cum laude) in her class at the University's School of Business, Maguire was a two-time member of the A-10 Academic All-Conference team ('96 and '97) as well as a CoSIDA Academic All-America District II in '97. She also earned the Abbie Oliver Smith Award for academic and athletic excellence in 1997.

Maguire and her husband, Joseph C. Maguire, and their two daughters, Elizabeth (2) and Maggie (11 months), reside in Moorestown, N.J. An accounting major at GW, she is Vice President at Commerce Bank in Cherry Hill, N.J.

Devin R. McCalla won four varsity letters in as many years in gymnastics between 1999-2002 and is the first gymnast to be elected to the University's Athletic Hall of Fame. McCalla was a member of four consecutive Atlantic 10 Conference championship teams and NCAA Regional qualifying teams, and was an All-Conference performer in each of those years. In addition, she was twice named Atlantic 10 Performer of the Year (2000 and 2002).

As a freshman in 1999, she was named A-10 Rookie of the Week six times. Throughout her career, she earned A-10 Performer of the Week 17 times. McCalla owns team records in floor exercise, balance beam, uneven parallel bars and the top eight all-around scores ever recorded by a Colonials gymnast. She is the only gymnast in GW history to score a perfect 10, which she did on beam.

Completing her senior season ranked 15th nationally in all-around, and after four straight years as an A-10 Academic All-Conference student-athlete, McCalla was the recipient of GW's Lynn George Outstanding Senior Woman Athlete in May, 2002. That summer she was named 2002 NCAA Woman of the Year for the District of Columbia.

McCalla came to GW from Richardson, Texas (suburban Dallas) and J.J. Pearce High School. She earned a bachelor's degree in communications here, then received a master's of arts in music and the performing arts from NYU in 2005. McCalla, 28, returned to GW this year and is studying for a second master's degree while serving as a promotions and marketing graduate assistant in the Department of Athletics.

Linda S. Miller was a two-year Colonials letterwinner in women's rowing in 1993 and '94 after transferring to GW from Boston University. According to Coach Rob McCracken, she helped to elevate the women's program. Miller, elected captain as a senior by her teammates, was a member of the GW Varsity 8 that won the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Regatta. She also won a bronze medal at the Champion International Regatta (now the ECAC League Championship).

For the next six years, Miller trained full-time for the U.S. National Team ('94-2000) in an effort to pursue her dream of becoming an Olympic athlete. During that time, she was a member of the national team at the 1997, '98 and '99 World Rowing Championships. She won a bronze medal in the women's pair at the 1998 World Championships at Cologne, Germany and a silver medal in the women's eight at the '99 World Championships in St. Catharine's, Canada.

In 2000, Miller became GW's second women's rowing Olympian (Michelle Knox Zaloom '86 was the first in '92 and '96) when she earned a seat in the U.S. women's eight at Sydney, Australia. Racing in the premier event six years after concluding her GW rowing career, Miller helped the U.S. to a sixth place finish.

A native Washingtonian and a member of the Potomac Boat Club, Miller, 35, is a graduate of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va. Married to Martin Lowenfish, she and her husband live in Washington, have one son, Luke (4) and are expecting a second child this spring. Earning a Master of Public Policy at GW in 2005, she is now a policy analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Chad A. Senior, a four-year letterwinner in swimming at GW from 1993 through `97, was outstanding in the pool for the Colonials. In fact, 14 years after graduating with a degree in exercise science, he still holds two individual school records (1,000 freestyle in 1993 and 1,650 yards freestyle in 1997). As a freshman in 1994, he was named Atlantic 10 Conference Freshman Swimmer of the Year after winning the conference title in the 1,650.

However, Senior received more national notoriety after entering the U.S. Army in May, 1997, and successfully competing as a two-time U.S. Olympian in the sport of modern pentathlon (which consists of shooting, fencing, swimming, riding and running) in 2000 and 2004. He is just the second Colonials athlete to represent their country in two Olympiads. Rower Michelle Knox Zaloom competed in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Games.

He trained in the U.S. Army's World Class Athlete Program at Ft. Carson, Colo., for seven years, preparing for the 2000 Summer Olympics at Sydney, Australia, in which he finished sixth. Four years later, he qualified for the 2004 Summer Olympics at Athens, Greece, where he finished 13th.

A native of Fort Myers, Fla., and a graduate of North Fort Myers High School, Senior is the third men's swimming alum to be elected to the Athletic Hall of Fame. Now 33 years old and a Captain in the U.S. Air Force, he is a Flight Commander/Combat Rescue Officer (pararescue), assigned to Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. He resides in Merritt Island, Fla.

Marcelo Valencia, a four-year letterwinner at GW from 1991 through `94, is the sixth men's soccer player to be elected to the GW Athletic Hall of Fame. Among the most accomplished players in the program's history, he earned Atlantic 10 All-Conference first team honors in each of his four seasons. As a sophomore in 1992, he was named A-10 Player of the Year as well as earning NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region first team honors.

Statistically, Valencia ranks third on the Colonials' all-time career points list with 94, including 27 goals and 40 assists. Twice GW's MVP selection (in 1992 and '94), the outstanding midfielder is tied for seventh in goals and second in assists, and he is the only player in GW soccer history to notch more than 25 goals and assists in a career.

Following graduation in 1995, the native of Valparaiso, Chile, played professional soccer for five seasons for the Washington Warthogs (CISL), Philadelphia Kixx (NPSL), Hershey Wildcats (A-Lg.) and Baltimore Blast (NPSL). In addition, he earned a master's degree in secondary education guidance counseling at George Mason University in 1999 and embarked on an educational career path. Since 1999, he has served as a guidance counselor at Annandale High School. For the past six years, Valencia has been head boys soccer coach at The Potomac School in McLean, Va. Previously, in 1999 -2000, he was head soccer team at Stuart, his prep alma mater in Falls Church, Va.

Valencia, 35, is married to the former Anna Handler `93, a former student manager for the Colonials men's basketball team. They are parents of two daughters, Maryanna (6) and Gabriella (3), and reside in Springfield, Va.