Aug. 2, 2017
Saint Vincent College will induct five individual alumni and one team – the 1949-50 Bearcat varsity football squad – into its Athletic Hall of Fame at a reception and dinner at the Fred M. Rogers Center at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9.
The individuals who will be introduced during halftime of the Saint Vincent College Bearcat football game with the Thiel College Tomcats at 1 p.m. that day include Michael J. Kozy Jr., of Pittsburgh; Keith E. McCombs of Pittsburgh; David J. Morgan of Pittsburgh; Thomas E. Skoloda of Bradenton, Florida; and Lisa M. Sydeski of North Huntingdon.
The legendary Bearcat football team coached by Al DeLuca which won the national Tangerine Bowl over Emory and Henry in Orlando, Florida, on New Year’s Day 1950, is celebrating the 67th anniversary of a memorable victory. The Bearcats won a hard-fought game 7-6 and completed the season undefeated. The game ball and the three-foot-tall Tangerine Bowl Trophy are still on display in the Robert S. Carey Student Center. Several of the former players from that team are expected to attend the induction ceremony.
The roster of the Tangerine Bowl team included Dino R. Angelici, D.D.S., George E. Behary, Herman V. Esway Jr., Rodger J. Haughey, Robert A. Keefe, George I. Kocerka, Samuel C. Liburdi, Philip X. Masciantonio, Ph.D., Bernard H. Michels, Lloyd L. Pontzer, Joseph P. Sansonetti, Richard J. Toth, Charles Varsel, +Fredrick J. Brown, +C. William Clarchick, +Paul J. Clement, D.D.S., +Joseph F. Como, +Frank D’Emilio, +Robert S. Hanzel, +Dave R. Hart, +Donald E. Henigin, +Paul A. Kmetz Sr., +John E. Macerelli, +Michael A. Madar, +Frank Martin, +James A. McDonald, +John E. McMahon, +Francis N. Mihalic, +Carl F. Pelini, +Frank E. Resnik, +Edward J. Shimko (manager), +Vincent A. Sundry, D.O., +William O. Sutherland, +James H. Taylor and +Charles H. Weigle Jr.
“The Athletic Hall of Fame is the highest level of recognition presented to student-athletes, coaches and teams at Saint Vincent College,” commented Shawn Gouch, director of alumni relations. “Each year, Saint Vincent College formally recognizes student-athletes and teams who not only excelled in the classroom and on the field of athletic competition during their collegiate careers, but also excelled once leaving Saint Vincent. Those individuals and teams that are selected to be members of the Hall of Fame exemplify the lessons they learned in athletics and through their Benedictine education.”
Michael J. Kozy Jr.
Michael J. Kozy Jr. earned a bachelor of arts degree with highest honor with a double major in mathematics and economics in 1992. He continued his education at Boston College where he earned a master of arts degree in economics and a master of education in secondary mathematics education. A high school mathematics teacher and varsity basketball coach at Carlynton High School in Carnegie for more than 20 years, he was a four-year basketball letterman and 1000-point scorer at Saint Vincent where he served as captain in his senior year, was named an All-American Scholar Athlete in his junior and senior years and second team all-district in his senior year. He received the award for academic excellence in economics. He and his wife, Suzy, a 1991 graduate of Saint Vincent, have three children, Molly, 19, Katie, 16, and Michael, 13. He enjoys spending time with his family as well as biking, swimming, yoga and playing basketball and following the NBA.
Keith E. McCombs
Keith E. McCombs completed a bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts with a minor in history in 1989. A member of the varsity cross-country team from 1985 to 1989, and captain for three years, he was the first cross-country runner to qualify for nationals and won the Bearcat Athletic Club Award. He studied wireless telecommunications real estate and permit acquisition at Acquire Telecom Services and earned a Pennsylvania real estate license in 2004. He is employed by T-Mobile USA as a manager of engineering construction technology. He has been honored with the T-Mobile Living the Values Award, Quarterly Manager Award, Aerial Alive Award and the Aerial All-Star Award. He and his wife, Vivian, have three children, Cristina, 25, Michael, 21, and Brian, 15. They are members of St. Louise de Marillac Church in Pittsburgh. He is a member of the Upper St. Clair Football Boosters and the Pennsylvania Wireless Association. In his spare time he enjoys time with his family, being in the outdoors, running, biking, hiking and growing hot peppers in his garden. He is also an avid Steelers and Penguins fan.
David J. Morgan
David J. Morgan earned a bachelor of arts degree from Saint Vincent College in business administration with a minor in criminal justice in 2002. He also earned a juris doctorate from the Duquesne University School of Law. A four-year varsity baseball starter and two-year captain, he was named all-conference three times, an NAIA all-American centerfielder and was honored with the Fr. Jerome Rupprecht Award. He is currently deputy general counsel for 84 Lumber Company in Eighty Four. He and his wife, Lindsay, have three children, Mikayla, 4, Russell, 2, and Mitchell, 1. They are members of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. A volunteer coach who is involved in local youth sports, he enjoys time with his family, golf, fitness, exercise, traveling and following the Pirates and Steelers.
Thomas E. Skoloda
After graduating from Saint Vincent Preparatory School in 1960, Thomas E. Skoloda graduated from Saint Vincent College in 1964 with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. He was a four-year letterman on the varsity wrestling team, president of the Monogram Club and a member of the Spirit Squad. He continued his education at the University of Delaware where he earned a master of arts degree in psychology in 1969 and a Ph.D. in psychology in 1973. A retired research and clinical psychologist for the Veterans Administration with 30 years of service with specialties in substance abuse and geriatrics, he currently serves as mental health/substance abuse chair of the Manatee County, Florida, Health Care Advisory Board. Active as a swimmer and kayaker, he and his wife, N. Alice Newlon, travel extensively and have bicycled in Germany, Slovakia, England, Croatia and Australia. They regularly ride throughout the United States and have logged more than 4,000 miles. He is a member of the Audubon Society, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund and the South Florida Museum.
Lisa M. Sydeski
Lisa M. Sydeski earned a bachelor of science degree in business management from Saint Vincent College in 1992 with a minor in secondary education and certificates in secondary social studies and elementary education. She subsequently earned a master’s degree in European history from Duquesne University. At Saint Vincent, she was a three-year letterman on the varsity basketball team, co-captain her senior year and was named a scholastic all-American. She also played varsity softball and was recognized with the award for excellence in business management. A high school social studies teacher in the West Jefferson Hills School District, she is also active as a CCD instructor, AAU basketball coach, a member of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and a teacher-leader of student trips to Europe, including two trips to the Vatican. She and her husband, Randal, have two children, Tori, 12, and Nathan, 7. They are members of Immaculate Conception Church, Irwin. She enjoys spending time with her family, travel, walking and playing basketball with her children.
The Athletic Hall of Fame Committee includes David J. Baker, C’79; Shaina A. Contic, C’17; Robert J. DePasquale, C’75; Eileen K. Flinn, Esq., C’90; Shawn A. Gouch, C’09; Walter B. Hobart, Jr., C’66; Sue Hozak, G’11; Lisa A. Jobe, C’93; Jeffrie A. Mallory, C’06, G’13; Edward McCormick, C’79; Joseph G. Mucci, C’55; Robert D. Page, C’83; Julieann C. Selep, C’92; Richard A. Stillwagon, P’65, C’69; James W. Walters, C’96; and Jeffrey J. Zidek, C’90.
Information and reservations for the dinner may be made by contacting the Alumni Office at Saint Vincent, 724-805-2894.
Photos: Michael J. Kozy, Keith E. McCombs, David J. Morgan, Thomas E. Skoloda, Lisa M. Sydeski
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