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Bud Collins and Tim Morehouse Headline 2009 Athletic Hall of Fame Class with six others

Published: November 6, 2009
Section: Sports

Arthur ‘Bud’ Collins, the first coach of the men’s tennis team and former sports writer as well as a world-renowned tennis commentator, along with Olympic silver medalist Tim Morehouse ‘00 were among eight new members inducted into the Brandeis Joseph M. Linsey Athletic Hall of Fame.

In speeches ranging from an Olympic gold medalist to a regional and school record-holder, teamwork, friendship and gratefulness were common themes last Sunday inside the ballroom at the Westin Hotel as members of the Brandies Athletics community welcomed the newest Hall of Fame class.

“These are eight distinct and equally impressive individuals,” Director of Athletics Sheryl Sousa said.

The other inductees included volleyball player Theresa Ceriello ’03, soccer player Michael Novaria ’91, runner Kevin Curtin ’84, runner Virginia Lypscon Richburg ’81, baseball and basketball player Mark Eisenstock ’72, and football player Donald Soffer ’54.

“There’s no closer bond than [what] you have with your teammates because you really learn a lot about each other when you’re teammates with each other, and you’re with each other when you’re winning and losing and crying and celebrating,” Morehouse said.

The All-American Morehouse, a four time all UAA award winner and a three time NCAA championship qualifier was named the NCAA Saber Fencer of the Year his senior year.

“If you’re really really lucky, you get surrounded by amazing people and amazing places. And that’s really why we’re all here, and I’m here today because I was surrounded by amazing family, coaches and teammates,” Morehouse said.

It is Morehouse’ accomplishments after Brandeis however, that he is most famous for. After being an alternate for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Fencing team, Morehouse, Brandeis’ first Olympian, earned a silver medal with his team in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

“Of course your life is so enriched by your teammates and friends, and they’re always there to pick you up when you’re down,” Morehouse said.

Morehouse explained Brandeis was the only school that recruited him, and seized the opportunity to improve immeasurably in his four years at Brandeis. Looking back, Morehouse was grateful for what Brandeis offered him, and honored by their recognition.

“You obviously don’t train to go into hall of fames, but to have your work acknowledged means a lot, and its really acknowledgement of all the people that put hard work into me as well,” Morehouse said in an interview with The Hoot.

Speaking about all of the inductees, Athletic Director Sheryl Sousa said that “their careers are a real tribute to out athletic history.”

“You have truly shown us how to strive for excellence,” Sousa said.

Novaria, a four time all New England and all UAA forward, holds several school records including third place in Brandeis history with 123 points and 50 goals.

Novaria praised both his friends and coaches for helping him achieve so much.

“The dearest friends that I have in the world are from this University,” Novaria said. “They made sure that we were never left out of any opportunity that was out there,” he said.

Novaria explained that Brandeis Soccer Coach Michael Coven initially influenced him to come to Brandeis through his handwritten recruiting notes and cards, letters that stood out from other coaches who were also recruiting the talented young player.

Soffer was an offensive guard and defensive lineman for one of Brandeis’ first football teams. He received the Morris Sepinuck Sportsmanship Award as a junior and served as defensive captain his junior and senior years.

“The people that I’ve met here at Brandeis are very special, unique, and talented” Soffer said. “It was a great time with great memories that lasted a long time.”

After Brandeis, Soffer went on to have a very successful career as a real estate developer in Pennsylvania and Florida and contributed the largest single donation to the university by an alumnus in 2007.

Eisenstock played on the baseball and basketball teams at Brandeis all four years. “I’ve been rewarded with a great many friends from those college days, “ Eisenstock said.

A guard in basketball, Eisenstock played all positions in baseball and was also a captain of the baseball team as a senior. “I’ve been given so much more than any person should expect from a life,” he said. “This is a dream come true.

Curtin was a member of the track and cross-country teams from 1980-84 and won four New England Division III championships at distances from 800 to 1,500 meters. His school record for the 3,000-meter and meet record for the 1,000-meter at the New England Division III Indoor Track Championships still stands to this day.

In 1983 while serving as captain, the Brandeis track team won the NCAA championship, becoming just the second team in school history to earn a national championship title.

“Being captain of the championship team is one of my proudest moments,” he said. “Coach Norm deserved the championship more than anyone.”

Ceriello was the youngest of the group and also the first volleyball player to be inducted into the Hall.

She earned All-University Athletic Association honors for her four years on the team and, in her senior year, because the first Brandeis player to earn American Volleyball Coaches Association first-team All-New England honors. Ceriello still holds the career records in assists, service aces, and matches played.

“This is an amazing dream come true,” Ceriello said.

Ceriello extended her gratitude not only to friends and family, but also to Title 9 for the benefits it provided as a female athlete.

“I’m sorry I’m so emotional,” she added as she choked back tears. “It’s because of my love for this place.”

Richburg, who earned Department of Athletics’ Max I. Silber Award for being an outstanding female athlete as a freshman, also set new standards of excellence in her sport. She was a member of the track and cross-country teams for all four years at Brandeis, specializing in the heptathlon, and in her final year became the first woman in school history to qualify for the NCAA championships in track and field.

“There is so much to be thankful for,” Richburg said.

Richburg is currently the track and field and cross-country coach in Randolph, Vermont where she also teaches high school math. The day before the induction ceremony her girls took home the Vermont state championship.

Collins, who was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994, was full of stories almost as colorful as his Hawaiian print pants. In his first season as head coach for the Brandeis men’s tennis team, he received only $200 and “all the jock straps I could make away with.” That season the team went 7-0.

“We were the boys from Brandeis and we were pretty good,” Collins told the crowd.

When asked if he had any favorite memories from his time with Brandeis, Collins went back to that first season with the team. “Beating NYU and going undefeated in that first year was pretty great,” he told The Hoot. “We didn’t know what we were doing.”

“Whenever I think of these guys I smile and the way they made their way in the world says something about Brandeis,” he said.

The most notable player Collins worked with was Abbie Hoffman ’59. According to Collins (and to no one’s surprise), Hoffman wasn’t fond of listening to authority figures.

“I’d say ‘Abbie, go to the net!’ and no, no it was the coach saying it s he wouldn’t do it,” Collins said. “When he started the YIPPIE party, I was all for him back then when he was for the environment.”

Collins’ career as Brandeis coach was cut short when he began covering tennis matches on the amateur and professional scene.

He has worked for nearly 40 years since then, mostly with NBC before recently moving to ESPN, adding his colorful commentary and even more colorful bowties and outfits to the Grand Slam tournaments.

“I was very lucky and had no idea I would be on TV,” he told The Hoot. “I thought I’d be back at Brandeis. I was just at the right place at the right time.”