March 4, 2011
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Providence College Athletic Department inducted nine members into the Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, March 4, 2011. The 2011 inductees are John Evans (men's cross country/track), Siobhan Gallagher (women's cross country/track), Rick Bennett (men's ice hockey), Austin Croshere (men's basketball), Cindi Luciani (women's swimming and div¬ing), Lucie Fontanella (women's basketball), Sara DeCosta (women's ice hockey), Jeff Morneau (men's tennis) and Gerry Alaimo (former athletic administrator). A reception to honor the inductees was held at the Westin Hotel in downtown Providence on Friday, March 4.
John Evans `89 holds five records at Providence College. A native of Liverpool, England, Evans established the 600 yard, 880 yard, 1,000 yard, 4 x 800 meter relay and distance medley relay records at Providence. In 1990, he earned All-America accolades in the outdoor 1,500 meters. Evans captured three BIG EAST titles (800 meters and 1,000 meters) and two IC4A crowns (800 meters). After graduation, Evans served as an assistant coach for the Friars for two seasons.
Siobhan Gallagher '90 holds four school records at Providence College. A native of Donegal, Ireland, Gallagher helped establish the PC record in the indoor and outdoor 4 x 800 meter relay and the two-mile relay. She also was a member of the Friar distance medley team that established an NCAA indoor record of 11:04.45 at the ECAC Championship in 1990. A two-time All-American (mile and 1,500 meters), Gallagher captured three BIG EAST titles (Indoor Distance Medley Relay - 1988, Indoor Mile - 1990 and Outdoor 4x800 Relay - 1990), and one ECAC crown as a Friar (Indoor Distance Medley Relay - 1990). She was the first female Academic All-American for the cross country/track programs.
Rick Bennett `90 was best recognized for his versatility with the Friars. In his years at PC, the powerful left wing played center, played defense, played on the power play and killed penalties. The culmination of years of hard work and dedication led Bennett to be a 1990 Hobey Baker Finalist. A former Friar co-captain, Bennett earned Second Team All-HOCKEY EAST honors in 1990. In 1987, he was named to the HOCKEY EAST All-Rookie Team. He was a two-time winner of the Lamoriello Trophy as Team MVP for Providence. In 1989, he tallied 46 points and was named Second Team All-American. Bennett participated in two U.S. Olympic Sports Festivals where he won a gold medal for the West Team in 1989. Bennett ranks 24th all-time at PC with 134 points in 128 games. Bennett played three seasons with the New York Rangers in the National Hockey League.
Austin Croshere `97 was named Third Team All-BIG EAST as a junior and First Team All-BIG EAST as a senior. He led the team in scoring as a junior and a senior, averaging 15.3 and 17.9 ppg, respectively. He ranks 11th all-time in scoring at PC after registering 1,523 points in 121 games. For his career, he averaged 12.6 ppg and 5.3 rebounds. He ranks sixth all-time at PC in career free-throw percentage (.843). He set a BIG EAST record with 57 consecutive free throws. He helped lead the Friars to the Elite Eight of the 1997 NCAA Tournament. He also was a member of the 1994 Friar team that captured the squad's only BIG EAST title. In 1995, he helped the USA Team capture a gold medal at the World University Games. In 1997, Croshere was named ECAC Co-Player of the Year, USBWA District 1 Player of the Year and PC Male Athlete of the Year. He was a lottery pick (12th selection, Indiana) in the First Round of the 1997 NBA Draft. He played 12 seasons in the NBA.
Cindi Luciani `90 was the first women's swimmers to win a BIG EAST Championship at Providence, winning the 200 yard backstroke in 1988. She set a school record for career points with 682 in 1990, a record that stood for 11 years until 2001 when Lori Cosman `01 topped Luciani's mark by four points. Luciani won six career BIG EAST swim titles - the 200 yard back in 1988, `89, `90, the 200 individual medley in 1990, and the 400 individual medley in 1989 and `90.
Lucie Fontanella `94, a 1993 Kodak Honorable Mention All-America selection, was a two-time captain for the Friars. She currently ranks eighth all-time in scoring with 1,446 points and ninth all-time in rebounding with 735 career boards. A three-year starter for Providence, she was a member of the 1990-91 BIG EAST All-Rookie Team. In 1994, she was named to the All-BIG EAST Third Team and BIG EAST All-Tournament Team. Fontanella led PC in steals and field-goal percentage during her senior year. Known more for her heart and leadership, Fontanella played professional basketball in Portugal, then served as an assistant coach for her Alma Mater during the 1995-96 season, under Bob Foley.
Sara DeCosta `00 was one of the greatest netminders in Friar history. She allowed just 177 goals and made 2,324 saves as a Friar. She finished her career at PC with a 0.929 save percentage and a 2.15 goals against average. In her sophomore and junior seasons, she was named to the ECAC All-Star Team. She was named Providence College Female Athlete of the Year in 1998 and 1999. In 1999 and 2000, DeCosta was an All-America selection, making her the first women's ice hockey player at PC to earn All-America status. She also was named to the ECAC 1990's All-Decade Team. DeCosta was named to the U.S. Olympic Team in both 1998 and 2002. DeCosta helped the U.S. earn the gold medal in 1998. She also played in the 2000 World Championships. DeCosta was named USA Hockey Player of the Year in 2000 and 2002. She was inducted into the Providence Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the 1998 Olympic Team along with former Friars Chris Bailey `94, Laurie Baker `00, Alana Blahoski `96, Cammi Granato `93, Lisa Brown-Miller `88 and Vicki Movsessian `94.
Jeff Morneau `92 ranks fourth all-time in singles victories at Providence with an 89-23 record. He won the New England Championships in 1989 and captured the BIG EAST Championship in 1989 and 1991. His 1991 BIG EAST title came at the No. 1 position and his 1989 title was at the No. 3 position. In addition to his BIG EAST title as a senior, he also posted a 27-6 mark, earned a No. 60 national rank (highest in the history of the College), received a No. 6 ECAC ranking and placed 16th in the Eastern Rolex Championships. Morneau helped the tennis program post a 68-10 mark in his four years at the College.
Gerry Alaimo started working in the Providence College athletics department in 1978 as the Director of Intramurals and Recreation. In 1983, Providence College Athletics Director Lou Lamoriello promoted Alaimo to Assistant Athletics Director. He was promoted again 1995 when he was named Senior Associate Athletics Director. Alaimo worked at Providence College until he retired in 2001. A native of Torrington, Conn., Alaimo starred in basketball in high school and later at Brown University, where he scored 1,046 points. After graduating from Brown he coached at Middlebury College for five years and returned as the Head Coach of the Brown men's basketball team - a position he held for 10 years prior to coming to Providence College.
The inductees also will be honored at halftime of tonight's men's basketball game versus Rutgers at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. on Saturday, March 5.