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Members inducted to Falcons Athletic Hall of Fame

Posted 10/11/18

Fitchburg State University recently inducted new members to its Athletics Hall of Fame. Pictured at the induction ceremony, from left to right: back row,: William Walsh, Christopher M. Kibler, Matthew F. Muolo, Charles A. Vars, James A. Sweeney, James A. Fotopulos, Carol Walsh, Charles H. Campbell, Rolland Rochon, Malcolm J. MacPherson, Beth A. (Long) Deneen, President Richard S. Lapidus, Athletic Director Matthew J. Burke; front row, L-R: Gordon W. Haggerty, Frank W. Worthley, Debra A. Cassinelli, James C. Hopkins, Thomas J. Collins, and John A. BicknellFitchburg State University recently inducted new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame in a Homecoming weekend ceremony that brought together generations of alumni and students.

The Hall of Fame is composed of former student athletes, coaches, teams, and individuals who made outstanding contributions to athletics at Fitchburg State University. Nominations are made in the categories of Outstanding Student Athlete, Outstanding Contributor and Outstanding Team. Every two years, alumni are selected from the pool of candidates for induction into the Athletics Hall of Fame.

The inductees of 2018 included:

  • Debra A. Cassinelli ’84 of Marlboro, named outstanding student athlete for women’s indoor/outdoor track & field and cross country.
  • Beth A. (Long) Deneen ’85 of South Yarmouth, named outstanding student athlete for field hockey and softball
  • Christopher M. Kibler ’12, ’15 of Amherst, named outstanding student athlete for men’s indoor/outdoor track & field and cross country
  • Malcom J. MacPherson of Eastham, named outstanding contributor as head men’s soccer coach from 1983-1991 and assistant/associate head ice hockey coach, 1989-2017
  • Matthew F. Muolo ’12 of Stoneham, named outstanding student athlete for men’s indoor/outdoor track & field
  • The 1957 men’s soccer team, named outstanding team in recognition of a season that included winning the New England Teachers College Conference Championship. Team members in attendance for the induction ceremony included Thomas Collins ’59 of Westfield; Rolland Rochon ’59 of Winchendon; John Bicknell ’58 of Essex Junction, Vt.; James Fotopulos ’58 of Greenfield; Gordon Haggerty ’58 of Somerset; James Sweeney ’60 of Roslindale; William Walsh ’61 of Canton; Frank Worthley ’60, ’75 of Fitchburg; and Charles Vars ’60 of Amherst, N.H. Irene Hopkins of Westboro accepted on behalf of her late husband, James Hopkins ’59; Barbara Campbell of Rutland accepted on behalf of her late husband, Charles Campbell ’59; and Carol Walsh of Pawcatuck, Conn., accepted on behalf of her late husband, John Walsh ’58.

The 2018 Inductees

Debra A. Cassinelli Class of 1984
OUTSTANDING STUDENT ATHLETE Women’s Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field and Cross Country

Debra Cassinelli was a member of the Fitchburg State Women’s Cross Country Team as well as the Fitchburg State Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Teams. Throughout her career, Cassinelli set the Fitchburg State Women’s Indoor Track school records in the 3,000 meter (10:29.5), the 5,000 meter (17:46.97) and the two mile (11:36.50) as well as holding the Fitchburg State Women’s Outdoor Track school record in the 10,000 meter with a time of 37:30.7. She also earned All-American honors at the 1982 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in the 10,000 meter.  Cassinelli has been happily employed in the veterinary field for the past 22 years. She enjoys creative pursuits with photographic editing and landscaping. Although no longer an avid runner, she has found training and participating in Spartan races to be very rewarding.

Beth A. (Long) Deneen Class of 1985
OUTSTANDING STUDENT ATHLETE Field Hockey and Softball

Beth Deneen was a member of the Fitchburg State Field Hockey and Softball Teams. Throughout her Falcons field hockey career as a defensive player, she totaled 53 points on 23 goals and seven assists in 65 career games. As a freshman she helped the Falcons achieve a 15-3-3 record and was named MVP her junior and senior years. During her time on the Fitchburg State Softball Team, she batted .604 (29-for-48) with nine runs scored, seven doubles, one triple, two stolen bases and 11 RBI. In addition, Deneen was also a 4x Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) First-Team All-Conference selection as well as a 3x North East Field Hockey Association (NEFHA) honoree.

As a student, she devoted time off the field to promote greater equality for women’s athletics serving two years as president of the university’s Women’s Athletics Association. She also served on the formation committee for the Fitchburg State Athletics Hall of Fame and was instrumental in planning its inaugural event in 1994.

Since graduating in 1985, she has devoted over 30 years to the education of elementary and middle school children in the Commonwealth and has shared her passion for athletics as a coach for numerous youth field hockey and softball programs. She has taught in Somerville, Framingham, Leominster, and most recently as a math/science teacher in the Sudbury Public Schools. She currently serves as assistant principal at the Intermediate School for the Barnstable Public Schools. Deneen is married to her college sweetheart, Daniel, and has two daughters, Molly and Erin.

Christopher M. Kibler Classes of 2012 and 2015
OUTSTANDING STUDENT ATHLETE Men’s Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field and Cross Country

Christopher Kibler was a member of the Fitchburg State Men’s Cross Country Team as well as the Fitchburg State Men’s Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Teams. He holds the Fitchburg State Men’s Indoor Track school records in the mile (4:07.29), the 3,000 meter (8:28.97) and the 5,000 meter (14:44.01), while also holding the Fitchburg State Men’s Outdoor Track school record in the 1,500 meter with a time of 3:56.30. In addition, he garnered All-American accolades at the 2014 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field National Championships in the mile as well as holding the MASCAC Championship Meet records in the 3,000 meter and 5,000 meter. Kibler also holds the New England Alliance Indoor Championship record in the 10,000 meter.

Kibler graduated magna cum laude from Fitchburg State in 2012, earning his bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science. He was awarded his M.B.A. in management from Fitchburg State in 2015, while also earning his certificate in massage therapy from the New Hampshire Institute of Therapeutic Arts in 2013.

In addition to being a certified strength and conditioning specialist, Kibler is also Level 1 certified by USA Track and Field. He is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, as well as the American College of Sports Medicine.

Kibler is currently the head cross country and assistant track & field coach at Mount Holyoke College. He has also held coaching positions at Keystone College, Wake Forest, Fitchburg State, Holy Cross, Saint John’s High School, and Power Source Training Center.

Malcolm J. MacPherson
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTOR Head Men’s Soccer Coach, 1983-1991 and Assistant/Associate Head Ice Hockey Coach, 1989-2017

Malcolm MacPherson led the Fitchburg State Men’s Soccer Team to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer National Championship Tournament in 1988 and 1989 and 3 ECAC tournament appearances, while holding the Fitchburg State Men’s Soccer all-time school record for coaching wins (108) and winning percentage (.717). In 1987, MacPherson was named MASCAC Coach of the Year.

In addition, MacPherson joined the Fitchburg State Ice Hockey coaching staff during the 1989-90 season as an assistant coach before being promoted to associate head coach prior to the 1997-98 season, where he remained on the bench until retiring following the 2016-17 season. He assisted in 383 of the program’s wins, including 27 postseason appearances and 6 tournament championships.

MacPherson was the men’s head soccer coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute from 1992-2013, earning a record of 198-146-19. He was inducted into WPI’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017.

MacPherson taught health and physical education for the city of Leominster for 33 years. He has been married to his wife, Sandi, for 47 years and has two children, Christopher and Jennifer, and 6 grandchildren. MacPherson is now retired and enjoys living in Eastham.

Matthew F. Muolo Class of 2012
OUTSTANDING STUDENT ATHLETE Men’s Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field

Matthew Muolo was a member of the Fitchburg State Men’s Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Teams. Muolo holds the Fitchburg State Men’s Indoor Track school record in the shot put with a toss of 15.59 meters, and the Fitchburg State Men’s Outdoor Track records in the shot put (15.03m) and discus (51.93m), along with the MASCAC Championship meet record in the weight throw (60.4m). Muolo earned All-American honors at the 2012 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field National Championships in the weight throw.

Muolo currently works in digital marketing and management for C-4 Analytics as their account director. Managing a team of 15 account managers, Muolo oversees marketing plans and overall agency profitability.

The 1957 Men’s Soccer Team
OUTSTANDING TEAM

The 1957 Men’s Soccer Team, coached by Athletic Director Robert G. Elliot, concluded the season with an overall record of 7-2 and a 7-1 mark in conference play, capping the season with a 1-0 victory over Bridgewater Teachers College to capture the program’s first ever New England Teachers College Conference (NETCC) Championship after nearly accomplishing the feat one season earlier. A hard fought win, the team overcame a number of key injuries throughout the season, to beat an otherwise undefeated Bridgewater in the 4th period. Charlie Campbell scoring the winning goal.

Members of the 1957 Fitchburg Teachers College Men’s Soccer Team:

David W. Allan ’60; Leo R. Bachant ’59; John A. Bicknell ’58; Charles H. Campbell ’59; Peter Cariglia ’60; Thomas J. Collins ’59; Louis E. Daniels ’67, ’74; James A. Fotopulos ’58, ’65; Eugene S. Graveline ’58; Gordon W. Haggerty ’58, ’90; Brenton P. Hardy ’59; James C. Hopkins ’59; Robert Joensuu; Emile S. Johnson, Jr. ’61; Frank S. Lentine ’60, ’63; Francis M. Marcille ’60; Paul Marcille; John W. McDermott ’58; James P. McDonnell ’58; Ronald N. Normand ’60; Robert Reed ’60; Rolland Rochon ’59; William E. Sanderson ’59; James A. Sweeney ’60; Charles W. Tardanico ’71; Charles A. Vars ’60; John P. Walsh ’58 (co-captain); William J. Walsh ’61; Robert G. Wills ’58 (co-captain); Frank W. Worthley ’60, ’75; and Harry Zeroogian ’59

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