August 21, 2014

2014 University at Buffalo Athletics Hall of Fame Class Announced

BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo announced the 2014 Dr. and Mrs. Edmond J. Gicewicz Family UB Athletics Hall of Fame class Thursday. The class is comprised of seven inductees. 

Cross country and track & field coach Richard Barry, women’s soccer standout Linnaea Dinallo, football star Drew Willy and track & field thrower Sarah (Vance) Whitmore make up the Hall of Fame class. 

The Hall of Fame committee chose a pair of distinguished alumni to honor in Daniel Bazzani and David Hahn, while the Russell Gugino Award for outstanding contributions to UB Athletics, will be presented to Ewald Blatter. 

Richard “Dick” O. Barry, EDM ’68 BS ’66, was one of the most successful coaches in UB history. He guided the men’s and women’s cross country and track & field programs for 17 years before retiring in 2002. During his tenure, Barry coached 10 all-Americans, recorded 17 conference championships (13 XC, four T&F), was named coach of the year on five occasions and compiled a combined career record of 664-261-1. He helped the Bulls’ cross country and track & field teams transition seamlessly from Division III to Division I.

Linnaea Dinallo, BFA ’01, anchored the women’s soccer defense and led the Bulls to 17 shutouts during her junior and senior seasons. A sweeper, she was twice named to the All-MAC First Team and was a two-time UB Soccer Player of the Year. Dinallo also earned NSCAA Second-Team All-Region accolades, while pacing the Bulls to a 2000 MAC regular-season championship. 

Drew M. Willy, BA ’09, held 15 UB passing records upon graduation. A two-time team co-captain, he quarterbacked the Bulls to a 2008 MAC title as UB stunned undefeated and 12th-ranked Ball State, 42-24. The victory was the Bulls’ first in program history over a top-25 team. Willy’s senior season, he helped UB reach the conference title game with overtime victories against Akron and Bowling Green. Willy was the first UB quarterback to pass for more than 3,000 yards during his career. Upon graduation, he signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Ravens. Willy has since won a Grey Cup with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2013, before joining the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2014.  

Sarah (Vance) Whitmore, EDM ’08 BA ’06, was a three-time NCAA participant during her track & field career. She became the first UB student-athlete to qualify for the national meet in two different events, competing in the shot put and hammer throw at the 2007 outdoor championships. Additionally, Whitmore threw the shot at the 2007 indoor championships after capturing the MAC indoor title in the event. She also won the 2004 conference indoor shot title. In 2007, Whitmore set school records in the indoor and outdoor shot put and the discus. One of the most accomplished throwers in program history, she won the UB Women’s T&F Most Outstanding Athlete Award and the UB Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award in 2007.

Daniel J. Bazzani, EDM ’65, is a former basketball student-athlete and coach at UB. A guard for the Bulls from 1963-65, he captained the 1964-65 team that finished 19-3. Upon graduation, Bazzani coached at Niagara County Community College for 10 years, compiling a 197-68 record, while leading his 1977 team to rank second nationally in the NJCAA. In 1983 he returned to Buffalo as head coach of the men’s basketball program. Bazzani led the Bulls’ transition from Division III to Division I, while tallying six winning seasons. He ranks fifth all-time at UB for coaching victories. Following his stint at his alma mater, he coached the Niagara Falls boys basketball team to six Section VI titles and two state championships. Bazzani’s 2005 team was ranked first in the nation and went 28-1. USA Today named him National Coach of the Year for the remarkable season. He is a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, the New York State Basketball Hall of fame and the Niagara Falls Hall of Fame.

David Hahn, BA ’84, is acknowledged as one of the most accomplished high altitude mountaineering guides in the world. He has reached the top of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, 15 times – the most by any non-Sherpa globally. Hahn has been recognized for his rescues on peaks, and in 1999 took part in the expedition that located the remains of George Mallory who disappeared on the north ridge of Mount Everest in 1924. Hahn has scaled Mount McKinley 21 times as a guide, taken clients to the summit of Mount Rainier over 270 times, and has made a record 33 ascents of the Vinson Massif – the highest point in Antarctica. 

Ewald “Wal” Blatter, BS ’67, developed his adoration for the Bulls as a student sports writer and play-by-play announcer from 1963-67. He wrote for The Midnight Owl and The Spectrum and became the first sports director for WBFO. A long-time season-ticket holder, Blatter is a staple at all home football and basketball games. He has provided financial support for the Bulls philanthropically and corporately through his company, Castle Products, Inc. Additionally, Blatter gifted resources that allowed for several contests to be carried on TV, contributed to the cost of encircling the baseball field with fencing, and assisted in UB’s ability to host post-season basketball games. In 1994 Blatter was appointed by President Bill Greiner to serve on the Blue & White Advisory Committee to assist the University in its transition to Division I. 

The 41st UB Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 11 in Alumni Arena. There will be a reception at 6 p.m. followed by the induction ceremony at 6:45 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is requested. Click here to register or contact Marian Iak at 716-645-6867 or miak@buffalo.edu.