Tabor Academy celebrates new Athletic Hall of Fame
Marion — The first inductees to Tabor Academy’s Athletic Hall of Fame are the “cream of the crop,” said Athletic Director Conan Leary.
On Saturday, the school inducted 28 individual athletes, teams and coaches followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony. Among the first class are athletes who stood out, not only during their time at Tabor but beyond.
“It is not only what the person was able to do here at a Tabor, but it was who they were here at Tabor and what they gave to the school,” said Leary, a member of the ’91 class. “Also what they have done afterwards to help spread the pride of Tabor and their love for Tabor.”
That includes athletes such as Olympian gold medalist Colleen Coyne ‘89 and world squash champion Ellie Pierce ‘84.
“They were amazing. Their names are still sounded here in our community,” Leary said of the first class.
He also noted the undefeated 1976 football team.
“A group of men among, boys playing the game of football, they were absolutely unbelievable.”
Director of Communications Kerry Saltonstall said John Quirk pushed for the formation of the Hall of Fame when he came on board at Tabor a few years ago. Early this summer, a group of alumni and long-time teacher and coach Dick Duffy began working behind the scenes to raise money and set up the new institution.
Leary came on board a few months later to help, and the committee sought nominations from the Tabor network. They got more than 200, but Leary said the group wanted to make sure they were doing the “right thing by the absolute studs.”
There was no shortage of accomplished athletes, said Leary.
“It’s also exciting as I look forward for years to come. We have so many wonderful athletes, teams and coaches that we can continue to recognize for years to come,” he said.
The school’s athletes were in their heyday during the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, said Leary, when there was a large crop of 13th year athletes. When the school became co-ed in the mid-1980s, the post graduate program ended and Tabor lost some if its edge.
They still win more than they lose, but with the Hall of Fame and the recent invitation to join the competitive Independent School League, Leary believes the school will up its game.
The Hall of Fame, he says, is focused on “Tabor Academy: past, present and future.”
Many members of teams past came to the Saturday’s induction, including the entire 1988 girls crew team, and Saltonstall said the day was a good opportunity for alums to visit the school on a full day where they could go to a game as well as recognize athletes who have defined Tabor’s athletics.
“I think this is a really big deal. People get jazzed about coming back,” she said. “I just loved it here. I loved every second of it.”
The inaugural class is listed below:
David Barker Jr. ’72
Joby Branion III ’81
Colleen Coyne ’89
Michael Finn ’74
Elizabeth Robinson Hagemann ’38*
Robert Hollis ’73
Paul Hughes ’79
George Linzee ’69
Camillo Merizalde ’77*
Richard Pariseau ’56
Donald “Rip” Perry ’47
Eleanor Pierce ’84
Jack Riley ’39*
Emily Roller ’95
Travis Roy ’95
Capt. John Carlson*
Dick Duffy ’56
1961 Varsity Boys’ Basketball
1965 Varsity Henley Crew
1976 Varsity Football
1988 Varsity Girls’ Crew
1990 Varsity Sailing
1994 Varsity Girls’ Hockey