Otto Graham Hall of Athletic ExcellenceRIBBON CUTTING AND HALL OF FAME AWARDS DINNER
The ribbon cutting for the Otto Graham Hall of Athletic Excellence in Billard Hall took place on Sept. 29th followed by the induction of the 2016 Hall of Fame Class to kickoff Homecoming Weekend festivities.
The Athletic Hall of Fame was moved from Roland Hall to this new, more prominent location. Five new members were inducted as the Class of 2016.
Mrs. Janine Bowman (Lavallee), '95 -- Pistol -- "This Hall of Athletic Excellence is just overwhelming. It is so different from when I was a cadet. I love all the pictures of all the accomplishments that are now displayed."
CDR Mark Harris, USCG (ret), '96 -- Basketball -- "Wow! This is more than I could have ever imagined. It's a beautiful new facility. It brings in the history of Coast Guard Academy and it kind of yells future on so many things to come. It's really great."
CAPT Ty Rinoski, USCG (ret), '89 -- Football and Baseball -- "This Hall of Excellence is phenomenal. To be here tonight for the opening and to be inducted tonight with Coach Bell, I could not have asked for a better night."
Head Football Coach Tom Bell (Honorary)
Also inducted but unable to attend was CDR Kathy Hamblett, USCG (ret), '80 -- Rowing
Several members of the Graham Family were in attendance including Otto's wife Beverly. -- "It is an incredible honor for our family and for him. The Coast Guard meant so much to him and he would be humbled and incredibly touched by this," said his granddaughter, Kim Lawless.
Graham led the Bears to the 1963 Tangerine Bowl and he is the all-time winningest football coach at the Academy.
The Class of 1964 presented a new bust of Otto Graham (by CT artist Tony Falcone) to the Academy during their recent 50th reunion, which is the centerpiece of the athletic displays.
The Otto Graham Hall of Athletic Excellence pays tribute to the history of Academy Athletics, great teams, outstanding individual athletes, as well as, the pioneers of men's and women's sports.
QB Christian George ('08) and WR Al Thompson ('98) are featured on the football lightbox.
Cory Anderson ('08) is the only Coast Guard Athlete to be drafted by a professional sports league.
One wall features every football helmet the team has worn throughout the years.
"It shows we're an institution with an indelible commitment to athletics ... an institution that wants to tell its story. I'm very proud of this night." said Tim Fitzpatrick, Director of Athletics