Christian Rodriguez, Assistant Sports Editor
Ever walk by the gymnasium and see those plaques on the wall? Those plaques represent Utica College alumnus who have been inducted into the Utica College Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was established in 2008 to recognize coaches and administrators for their contributions to the school.
Athletic Director David Fontaine is a Utica alumni from the class of 1989, and pitched for the baseball team for two years after transferring from Mohawk Valley Community College. Fontaine was hired as the assistant athletic director right after graduation from 1989 to 2000. He then returned in January of 2012.
“If you made an impact to Utica College, you will be in the Hall of Fame,” Fontaine said. “It is the highest honor you can receive. To be inducted, it means you’ve been recognized by peers, coaches and many more.”
Former Utica College men’s basketball player Doug Herring Jr. graduated in 2009 and was inducted in 2016. Herring Jr. is truly grateful for being inducted into the Pioneer Hall of Fame.
“It feels great,” Herring Jr. said.“To be recognized for my contributions to the schools programs is amazing.”
Herring Jr. felt proud when he heard he was going to be inducted into the class of 2016’s Hall of Fame.
“A lot of athletes, including myself, dream of something like this and it’s a great accomplishment that I can share with my kids,” Herring Jr. said.
Herring Jr. is thankful for his time here at Utica College as a student-athlete.
“I learned how to study,” Herring Jr. said. “Coach Goodemote stressed the importance of grades and studying, but furthermore he taught me how to study the game of basketball. Understanding the rules, studying game tape and knowing opponents tendencies and weaknesses.”
As a Pioneer, Herring Jr. averaged 14.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game throughout his collegiate career. He ranks in the top 10 all-time at UC in points, assists, field goals, 3-pointers made, free throws made, defensive rebounds, steals, games played and minutes making him statistically one of the top players in program-history, according to the UC Pioneers website.
Herring Jr. is currently playing professionally in France.
Utica College alumni and former baseball coach Jim ‘Doc’ Spartano was also inducted in the Hall of Fame and is honored.
“I started my career at Utica College in 1973. To be recognized is a wonderful feeling,” Spartano said. “It is a sense of accomplishment, but honestly I was just a player.”
Spartano says that there’s a man that’s not up on the wall that really should be. That man is former president Dr. Todd S. Hutton.
“His vision to expand the sports program is what made all of this possible,” Spartano said. “We only had 11 sports clubs at the time, and now we have more than double that, all thanks to Dr. Hutton.”
Spartano helped guide the Pioneers athletic program to what it is today. He played a big part in the additions of the 13 new varsity sports in 2000.
Spartano was also the coach of Fontaine for the two years when he pitched for Utica College. Out of respect of his old coach, Fontaine was the one to induct Spartano into the Hall of Fame in 2012.
“David was a good pitcher and an even better student,” Spartano said. “It was fun to coach him when he had a 10-0 season on the mound.”
Spartano says he really enjoyed his time here at UC and never took it for granted.
“It was such a family atmosphere,” Spartano said. “I can honestly say I retired with a great feeling. I feel blessed.”