Wethersfield Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame
2010 Hall of Fame
Anthony Vicino ’33 (Posthumously)
Tony was a 3-sport athlete at WHS. He was the starting catcher on The Varsity Baseball Team for all four years of his high school career. He was the Captain of the 1932 Central Valley League 11-1 Championship Team, coached by George Ritchie, still one of the most successful Wethersfield High Baseball Teams. In 1933, Tony’s senior year, the WHS team would tie would tie with Bloomfield for the CVL Title, but then lose in a one-game playoff to finish the year 13-2, again one of the most successful teams in WHS history.
In addition to his outstanding baseball career, Tony was the Goalie on the WHS Soccer Team which won the 1931 CVL Championship for the 2nd year in a row, then finishing 2nd in the 1932 season. Tony was also a 2-year Varsity player on the WHS Basketball Team, a tough defender on a squad with Hall-of-Famer Ed Bergendahl.
After graduation, Tony, along with his brother Rocco, a pitcher, went to Asheville, North Carolina, for a brief stint with the St. Louis Cardinals farm club. Tony would continue to play with the Wethersfield AC for several years. After serving as a Town of Wethersfield Police Officer, Tony started A.J. Vicino & Sons Nursery, while living in Old Wethersfield. Upon his death, the business continued to be operated in Rocky Hill by his sons, the late Bob Vicino ’64 and Jim Vicino ’69 and his grandson Jimmy Vicino.
Irwin Schmid ’38 (Posthumously)
Irv was a 3-sport athlete at WHS after transferring from Hartford High as a sophomore, participating in Soccer, Basketball and Track. Whiggy was Captain of the 1937 5-2-2 Soccer team and a play-making scorer on the ’37-’38 Basketball team. Irv was on the Track team with fellow Hall-of-Famer Bill Tribou. Irv ran a 2:15 half-mile in 1937 and then a 2:07 in 1938, finishing first in the Greater Hartford Track Meet.
Irv went onto Springfield College where he was elected Captain of the Soccer Team and selected All-American in 1942. In addition to his outstanding soccer career, he was Captain of the famed Springfield Exhibition Gymnastic Team while also participating in Track, Lacrosse and kicking extra points for the Football Team. He was the very first to use the soccer-style kick.
Irv went on to coach Soccer at Springfield college for 37 years (1948-1985), winning the National Championship in 1957. He inspired and influenced over 200 college and high school soccer coaches that he coached as players. As a result of that, he was featured in a New York Times article, “The Father of American Soccer”. He was inducted into NSCAA Hall of Fame (1992) and the National Soccer Hall of Fame (1993) and finally into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame.
Irv had 3 brothers, Lenny, Ernest, both deceased, and Mel, who is retired in Florida and who coached soccer at Trenton State and was co-author with Irv on 4 books on coaching soccer. He had 2 sons and a daughter: Alec, deceased, who also attended Springfield College, played soccer and later coached soccer at American International College (AIC); Christian, who also attended Springfield College, and just this past season retired as soccer coach at Dwight-Englewood School where he still is Athletic Director and Chairman of Health and Physical Education; and his daughter Lori Joyal. He has a grandnephew Billy, grandson of his brother Ernie currently playing soccer at WHS.
William Tribou ’38
Bill started running at Wethersfield High in 1935. As a Freshman, he was playing soccer and flunking History. His History teacher was Track Coach Bill Carleton, a distance runner from Trinity college, and when he suggested Bill come out for Track, Bill saw a way to raise his grade. After not doing so well as a sprinter, he switched to distance races and, in his Junior year, became an outstanding miler. It was easier for Bill to make history than to study it.
The Central Valley League formed a Track League in 1936 and Wethersfield High’s Team won the first Championship. In 1937 the Track Team was the CVL Champ with Bill winning the Mile. Before there were State Championships in Track, the premier event was the Greater Hartford Track Meet, held at Trinity College. Bill was the 1937 Mile Champ at this meet winning in 4:41.6. Elected Captain of the 1938 WHS Track Team, Bill suffered an acute appendicitis attack that caused him to miss the regular track season. He was able to return at the end of the season, however, and won the 1938 CVL Championship in the Mile while the Team won the CVL Title for the 3rd straight year.
After graduation, Bill attended UCONN, where he was Captain of the 1942 Track Team. In 1942. Bill ran 4:14.7 mile! At the time, that was the 14th fastest time in the world! Bill was ranked 11th in the world with his time which was 10 seconds off the world’s record!
Bill also ran on the UCONN Cross Country team which finished 3rd in the NCAA National Championship. Along with team-mate Charlie Robbins, he was selected First Team All-American, becoming the first All-American Athletes in any sport at UCONN!
Bill joined the Army during WWII and when the War ended, it was obvious it would take awhile to get everyone back from overseas. Track teams were formed to compete and entertain the troops. Bill won the Army 1500 Meter Championship in London .
After the War, he took a 20 year rest from running to get married and work. Especially in the last 20 years, he won virtually every National Masters Championship race he has entered, too numerous to list here, but most recently the 2009 USA Track & Field National 5K Championship 85-89 Age Group. In 2002, Bill was inducted into the New England Runners 65-Plus Hall of Fame.
Bill currently splits his time between East Granby and Florida. He has 2 sons living in Louisiana and upper New York State and 3 step-daughters and 2 step-sons, all living in Connecticut.
W. Hubbard Segur ’54
Hub, another outstanding athlete from the Class of 1954, played both Varsity Basketball and Track. On the 1953-54 WHS Basketball Team, he played guard and was the 2nd leading scorer on a team featuring Hall-of-Famer Stan Durbas and Bill Brew.
However, it was in Track that he excelled. He was a champion miler winning the Greater Hartford Mile held at Trinity College. As Captain of the WHS Track Team, along with his life-long friend and classmate and fellow Hall-of-Famer Geoff Wilson he led the Team to an undefeated season in 1954. He had personal bests of 4:38 in the mile and 2:10 in the half-mile.
Hub was also a recipient of the Harvard book Prize, was chosen for Nutmeg Boy’s State and among other school activities served as Class President as a Junior and Student Council Vice-President as a Senior.
After graduating in 1958, Hub received his Masters from Bowdoin in 1965 and his PHD from UC Davis in 1980, focusing on labor issues. While teaching at the University of the Pacific for 6 years, CSU Chico for 2 years and the University of Redlands for 20 years, he worked with Cesar Chavez for 6 years with the United Farm Workers from 1969-1973 and then 1987-1989. Hub is currently working a book on his own experience working with the UFW concentrating on a perspective of the stategies to develop a level playing field for workers and management.
While he still has 16 years to catch up with Bill Tribou, he still goes on three mile runs enjoying the good life in California.
Geoffrey Wilson ’54
Geoff played 3 sports at Wethersfield High-Soccer, Baseball and, after 2 years of baseball, switching to Track and Field.
As a 2-year Varsity Soccer starter, on the 5-2-2 League Co-Champions under first year coach Mill Mason’45, he scored 7 goals, behind Hall-of-Famers Bill Brew’s 13 and ahead of Stan Durbas’s 5. As did his former team-mate and Hall-of-Famer George Roane ’53, Geoff was selected to play on Wethersfield’s Town semi-pro team right after graduation. This Team went onto win its 2nd consecutive State Championship in 1954.
After playing Varsity Baseball in his freshman and sophomore years, he switched to the Track team as a Junior, running the 440 (57 seconds), long jumping, throwing the javelin, throwing the shot and high-jumping . It was in the high jump that Geoff excelled, winning the State B Championship in both 1953 and 1954. In 1954, with his life-long friend and fellow Hall-of-Famer Hub Segur, he led the WHS Track Team to an undefeated season.
Geoff ended up in Montana in 1955 where he was a Smoke-jumper, a member of the 82nd Airborne and finally a graduate of the University of Montana with a degree in Forestry. He then worked for the US Forest Service for 30 years in Alaska, Washington and Montana.
Still living in Montana, Geoff was active in local politics as Chairman of the School Board and as a City Councilman and still is active as a Tree Farmer and Logger. Geoff and his wife Nancy have 3 sons and a daughter and 3 grandchildren with another on the way.
John Kennedy ’72
Another outstanding athlete coming out of Old Wethersfield, John played Football and was on the Wrestling Team during his WHS career. He was a member of both the Silver Key and Gold Key Clubs.
John was a halfback/linebacker on the 1970 6-2 Eagle Football Team coached by Joe Cottone, the last WHS Team to win a Conference (CCIL) Title in football. He was elected Co-Captain of the 1971 Football Team and helped lead them to a 6-3 record and a 2nd place finish in the CCIL.
However, it was in Wrestling that John excelled. He won the 1971 CCIL Championship and finished 3rd in the CIAC Sectionals as a Junior. As a Senior in 1972, again with Joe Cottone as his Coach, John was elected Co-Captain and attained a 10-0-1 record while repeating as CCIL Conference Champ. This year, John would go on to win both the CIAC Sectional and Connecticut State Championship in the 155# Class!
John’s parents, Bob and Fran, both WHS graduates, and siblings have all participated in WHS sports. Bob ’41 played Varsity Basketball and Track for 3 years, his sister Pam ’65 was a Varsity Cheerleader, brother Jim ’69 was an All-CCIL football player and an All-CCIL Wrestler. John is being inducted along with his niece, Ryan Williams, a member of the 1994 State Championship Girl’s Soccer Team, whose father, John’s brother-in-law, Kieran Williams ’65 was a tackle on the 1963 and 1964 CCIL Championship Football Teams. John’s niece Kerri Williams ’94 was an All-Conference runner on the Track Team and ran Cross Country.
John and his wife Martha live in Rocky Hill.
Sharon Miller Spellman ’73
Sharon was voted Best Female Athlete of her class. With Title IX in its infancy, athletic opportunities were still limited for females in 1973.
The Girl’s Gymnastic Team was started in 1971 under Coach Dot Meerbach. Sharon was a 3 year member of the team. She was Co-Captain with Lori Monstream of the 1973 Gymnastics Team, and with her sister Linda ’74 helped to lead the team to a 10-1 record, its first loss in 2 years. She was an outstanding performer, consistently scoring high on the balance beam and in the floor exercise, setting a then school record 7.7 in the floor. She was the first WHS gymnast to qualify for the State Tournament.
In addition to being a member of the Girl’s Leader Corps, Sharon was also Senior Class Vice-President and Co-Captain of the Varsity Cheerleaders, a 3 year member.
After graduation, Sharon attended Paier School of Art studying interior design. She played rugby with the Wild Rose Rugby Club up and down the Eastern Seaboard and in Bermuda from 1977 through 1979. She was one of the founding members of the Wethersfield Women’s Softball League.
Sharon’s father is Don Miller, the former star Quarterback for the University of Delaware and former long-time Football Coach at Trinity College. The Captain and MVP of Coach Miller’s 1968 Team was WHS Hall-of-Famer Mike Cancelliere ’64, an All-New England Lineman in 1967 and 1968. Coach Miller also had the good fortune of coaching WHS Hall-of-Famer halfback Bob Heimgartner in 1967.
Sharon’s daughter Summer ’05 was 2nd Team All-State in Field Hockey at WHS. Her son Sam Spellman ’10 was an outstanding WHS Hockey player who went over the 100 point career mark this past season and also was a 2nd Team All-State player.
Sharon stills lives in Wethersfield with her husband John who owns the Marlborough Tavern. In addition to Summer and Sam, they have a daughter Taylor ’01. Sharon is a nursery school teacher for the Wethersfield Park and Rec Department.
Laurie Jacob Scinto ’77
Laurie was a 3-sport athlete at WHS on the Feild Hockey, Gymnastics and Tennis Teams.
As a sophomore on the ’74-’75 Gymnastics Team, captained by her sister Nancy ’75, that went 7-2 under Coach Dot Meerbach, she was a member of the squad that qualified for the States in all-around. As the most versatile on the 1976 Squad that had a 9-4 record, Laurie qualified for the Individual Regionals in all-around, vault, bars and beam. As Captain of the Team in her Senior year, she qualified again for the Regional Meet in all-around, vault, bars, beam, and floor.
She was the leading scorer for the 1976 WHS Field Hockey Team that had a 4-3-3 record in its inaugural season.
Laurie also was Co-Captain of the Tennis Team, playing singles and doubles and achieving a 10-1 record her Senior Year, 2nd in the Central Connecticut Interscholastic League.
After graduation, Laurie attended Southern Connecticut State College where she played Varsity Tennis for 4 years. She received her BS degree and then served as a Graduate Assistant while she pursued her MS. She worked for a national fitness chain in the development and implementation of fitness assessment tests and programs. After that, she went into pharmaceutical sales for Wyeth and Ciba Pharmaceuticals.
She has coached travel soccer and gymnastics at the club and high school levels. While coaching gymnastics at Kingswood-Oxford, her 2004 Team set a school record high team score. Laurie still plays USTA Tennis tournaments with her teammate and sister Nancy. She lives in Farmington with her husband Mike. They have 2 children Mike, a Junior at Trinity College, and Melissa, a Freshman at Union.
On the Swim Team, she competed in the one meter spring board diving and broke high scoring records for total score multiple dives in one meet.
Upon graduation from WHS, Janice’s career in gymnastics, beginning in elementary school, came to an end. However she continued to dive on the Swim Team at Franklin and Marshall College, qualifying for the Division III Nationals in 1983 and 1984 in the one meter spring board dive.
With her gymnastics background and a Doctor for a father, Jan was drawn to the field of Sports Medicine, but along the way was drawn to Physical Therapy working in rehabilitation with spinal cord patients. In 2000, she switched her focus from adult rehab to pediatric rehab. She now works as a Physical Therapist in the Infant and Toddler Program in Annapolis, Maryland, where she lives with her husband PK and daughter Hannah.
Mary Smyers Kaufman ’83
As a National Honor Society member and National Merit Scholar, Mary attained Gold Key status lettering for 3 years on the Swim, Gymnastic and Track teams.
On the Swim team for 4 years, she was an All-Conference swimmer in her Junior and Senior years. She was Captain of the Swim Team and the recipient of the Steve Shultz Outstanding Swimmer Award as a Senior.
An All-League Gymnast as a Senior, Mary finished 7th in the State Meet in Bars competition. At graduation, she held the WHS record in the bars.
Mary was a Co-Captain of the Track team in 1973, where her specialty was the hurdles.
Mary is another of a long line of Smyers student athletes at WHS: Lynn ’73, a club swimmer before WHS had a girls Swim Team; Donna ’75, a gymnast and Swim Team Captain; Gregg ’77, in football, track and he was the Swim Team Captain; Hall-of-Famer Karen ’79, Richard ’87, a swimmer and Laura ’91, a gymnast and swimmer.
Mary attended Dartmouth College where she tried to revive the School’s gymnastic program for 2 years. Mary continues to stay active and has run in 2 Marathons. She lives in Boston with her husband Seth and her 2 kids, Sam and Anna. She is an IT Consultant and partner at Computer Science Corporation.
Peter Stankevich ’83
Pete was on the Varsity Golf team as a Freshman and was the #1 Player as a Sophomore, Junior and Senior. In all 3 of those years, he was All-CCIL and tied the School record of 72 each year at various courses, including Wethersfield Country Club. As a Freshman, he was runner-up in the Greater Hartford Junior District Championship. As a Sophomore, he won the 1981 Connecticut Junior World Championship and represented the Connecticut in the Junior World Championship in San Diego. As a Junior, Pete won the Thomas Hughes Memorial Tournament and the Connecticut State Golf association Mixed Foursomes Net Championship. As a Senior, he lead the Team to a share of the CCIL Team Championship.
After graduation, Pete attended Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He later transferred to the University of Hartford on a full golf scholarship and was a member of their nationally ranked men’s team, along with current PGA professionals Jerry Kelly, Tim Petrovic and Patrick Sheehan, that won the NCAA Division I Championship, and the New England Intercollegiate Championship among other team titles. Pete finished 5th in the NCAA Long Drive Championship.
After graduation, he turned pro and achieved Class A PGA Membership in 1993. He has worked as an assistant golf professional as well as a head professional, as a golf course designer for his own firm and for others . While doing all this, he managed to find time to acquire a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Hartford, where he currently serves as Men’s Golf coach. He and his wife Leslie presently live in Woodbury with their 3 year old son, Durkin.
Kristan Pierz Molinari ’87
Kristan, the Salutorian of the Class of 1987, was a 3-Sport athlete at WHS playing Soccer, Basketball and Track.
A member of the 1984 CCC-West Championship Soccer Team as a sophomore, she attained All-CCC status on the 10-5 team as a Junior. Kristan was Co-Captain of the 1986 State Girls Soccer Co-Championship Team, achieving All-Conference and Hartford Courant All-State status as a sweeper back in her Senior year. She was also a member of the 16-U Olympic Development Program and the CT Soccer All-State Program.
As Co-Captain of the Track and Field team in 1987, she participated in the shot put, threw the discus and the javelin, and ran the 400m and the 400 X 4 relay.
Kristan continued her education at Yale University, where she played Halfback and Defender on the Division I Soccer Team from 1987 to 1990. She graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.
She later earned her MD from the UConn School of Medicine in 1995 and completed her Orthopaedic Surgical Residency at UConn in 2000. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the UConn School of Medicine and a Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and has served as both since 2001.
Kristan has had a career focus on injury prevention and treatment in athletics and serves as a member of the Connecticut State Medical Society’s Committee on the Medical Aspects of Sports. She has published articles on “Adolescent Baseball Technique” and “Knee Injury-Football” in “Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise”.
She currently lives in Glastonbury with her husband Brian and two sons.
Richard Niro ’94
Rich excelled as a member of the WHS Cross Country, Indoor Track and Outdoor Track and Field teams, being awarded 12 Varsity letters . While doing so, he still managed to excel academically, graduating as the Class Valedictorian and being awarded both the Rensselaer Medal and the Bausch & Lomb Award and being a member of the National Honor Society.
As Co-Captain of the Cross country Team in 1992 and 1993, he was All-Conference and an Individual State Open Qualifier in 1992 and a member of the New England Team Qualifier in 1993.
On the Track and Field Team, as Team Captain, he was All-Conference in both 1993 and 1994 and was selected All-State in 1994. He was the State Class L Champion in the 1600 Meters in 1994, setting a Class L Meet and WHS School Record of 4:23.59. His best times that season were 2:02.8 in the 800m and 10:13 in the 3200m.
Rich attended Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (RPI) majoring in Engineering Chemistry and graduating with a BS in Chemistry. While there, he ran on both the Cross Country and Track teams, and was a Captain of Cross Country his Senior Year. He received a Masters from UCONN in Polymer Science.
Teaching chemistry for 10 years and coaching Boys and Girls Cross Country for 6 and Boys Track and Field for 3 at Southington High, Rich lives in Southington with his wife Jennifer and sons Matthew, 4, and Andrew, 2.
Coach - Wendell Coogan
Wendell, a veteran WHS teacher, had the idea in 1968 of starting a Hockey Program at Wethersfield High. Little did he realize how difficult a task he had undertaken in not only attracting enough skilled players, but in convincing an Administration and a Board of Education of the benefits this program would bring to WHS . Wendell fought for 5 years to achieve his goal.
Not wanting to cut anyone who tried out for the team in 1973, Wendell coached not only the first WHS Varsity Hockey Team but also the first WHS Junior Varsity Team. He continued to coach both teams for the next three seasons.
After an initial 8-12 1973-74 season, Wendell’s teams went 12-7, 12-6 and 9-9 during the next 3 seasons, qualifying for the State CIAC Tournament each year. In the 1977 Tournament, WHS would lose 3-2 to the #2 ranked team in Connecticut. Meanwhile, Wendell’s JV teams achieved a 4-year record of 25-18-8.
Wendell holds the distinction of scoring the first goal in the history of Keene State College. When he turned 45, Wendell started playing in four different adult hockey leagues in Central and Northern Connecticut. As Captain of the Hartford Wolves, he led his team to League Championships in Cromwell and Simsbury. He retired from playing hockey at age 72, now preferring tennis.
Now living in Rocky Hill with his wife Susan, he is a Volunteer Driver for Meals on Wheels, Services for the Blind and for Cancer Patients among others. Wendell and Sue have 4 sons and 4 grandsons.
An educator in the Wethersfield School System for 34 years, retiring in 1992, Wendell still mentors inner-city students. The Father of Wethersfield Hockey has the honor of having the Wethersfield Hockey Booster Club name their scholarship program in his honor.
1968 Boys Soccer Team
Entering the 1968 State Tournament with a 9-1-2 record and the CCIL Championship, the WHS Eagles, with Coach Bob Landers and Assistant Lee Bogli, won 4 tournament games, 3 by one goal, to win the Class A State Title.
The 1967 Soccer Team had a 6-6 record, enough to qualify for the State Tournament, where they lost their 1st round match 2-1 to Staples. After starting the 1968 season with a 2-2 tie with Conard and a 1-1 tie with Hall, their only loss in this 13-1-2 season came with a 2-1 loss to Manchester in the 7th game of the season. In the final match before the State Tournament, they avenged this loss to Manchester with their own 2-1 victory.
In the State Tournament, after a close win 2-1 over Bloomfield and a 4-1 victory over Lyman Hall, the Team had to go to penalty kicks, with an excellent job done by goalie Paul Sehl, to defeat Brien McMahon 4-3 in the semi-finals. The Eagle booters then avenged the previous year’s loss in the tournament by defeating Staples 1-0 in the Championship Game, with Billy Gentino scoring the lone goal.
Captained by Mike D’Alessio and Jeff Hart, the Team also featured future Connecticut Soccer Hall-of-Famer (as a Coach) Bob Andrian and Wethersfield High Hall-of-Famers Gentino (as a member of the 1967 and 1968 WHS Tennis teams) and soccer and baseball players Jim Gorman and Jim Curnias.
At least 11 letter winners of the 1968 Team went on to play soccer in college. The members of the team were:
Class of ’69: Mike D’Alessio, Pete Fippinger, Billy Gentino, Jeff Hart, Dale Haslam, Guy Johnson, Fred McCullough, Mike Querner, Jorge Robagliati and Paul Sehl.
Class of ’70: Joe Amaio, Tom Baldwin, Jim Curnias, Tony Dinucci, Andy DeLuca, Alan Dudley, Jim Gorman, Kevin Harward, Billy Keenan, Steve Kirsche, Lou LaPenna, Gary Morton and Dean Murphy.
Class of ’71: Bob Andrian, Manny Cavaliere and Jim Courneen.
The 1969 Team, with a nucleus from the ’68 Team, had a 12-0-1 record in the competitive CCIL and won their first 2 games in the State Tournament before losing in the semi-finals to the same team they defeated in the 1968 finals by the same score, Staples 1-0 in overtime.
1994 Girls Soccer Team
Led by tri-Captains Kate Lenkoski, Sharlene Reis and Audrey Aloi, the only WHS Girl’s Soccer Team to win a State Championship outright, the 1994 Girl’s Team was coached by Jack Shea and Tom McKenna.
The previous year’s 1993 Team, ten of whose starters would return for the 1994 season, had a 16-4-2 record, lost in the State Final 1-0 to New Canaan on a last minute goal and were ranked #4 in the final state poll.
Playing in the always competitive CCC West, the 1994 Lady Eagles had a 13-5 record. Aloi, Reis, Ryan Williams and Michelle Tacey made All-Conference in the CCC.
In the Tournament, the Team avenged the 1993 defeat in the Finals by beating defending champ New Canaan 2-1 in the quarter-finals, South Windsor 2-1 in the semi’s and eventually defeated Windham 3-0 to win the Class M Title.
Six team members would attain All-State honors at one point in their high school careers: Audrey Aloi and Michelle Tacey in ’93; Sharlene Reis and Ryan Williams in ’94; and Jen Amaio and Kim Kasper in ’95.
Class of ’95: Audrey Aloi, Michele DeJohn, Kate Lenkoski, Sharlene Reis, Anelage VanBatenburg, Kerry Walsh, Ryan Williams, Laura Willsey
Class of ’96: Cloe Axelson, Meg Gorman, Kim Kasper, Julia Pinto, Michelle Tacey (Loomis-Chafee).
Class of ’97: Holly Aloi, Jillian Leise (Joel-Barlow), Bethany Scata, Jamie Shinn
Class of ’98: Jen Amaio
Lifetime Achievement Award | Roderick Cyr
Rod arrived at WHS in the fall of 1961 as a Science Teacher with a BA from the University of Maine and a Masters from Boston University. He started his coaching career as the JV Football Coach that fall.
In the Spring of 1963, he became the Boys Golf Coach, while continuing to coach football. Thirty seven seasons later in 1999, Rod retired as the Winningest High School Golf Coach in the United States. As he amassed a record of 648-262-16, his teams qualified for the State Tournament 36 of the 37 years he coached, and won the State Championship in 1984.
In 1986, he was selected as “Golf Coach of the Year” by the Connecticut High School Association. This honor was followed by his selection as “Golf Coach of the Year” by the National High School Association in 1990.
Retirement didn’t really mean leaving Wethersfield High for Rod. He remained as Event Manager for WHS’s home athletic events. Rod was a familiar and friendly sight in his golf cart as he provided security and rides for those needing assistance to walk to Cottone Field.
Rod was the proud father of 2 sons, Doug and John, 4 daughters, Debbie, Diane, Donna, and Dorothy, and 14 grandchildren.
Wethersfield High was more than just a place to work for Rod. Countless students and athletes have been able to count on Rod. He was and is a true friend of Wethersfield High.
Distinguished Alumni Award | Henry Hughes ’65
Henry graduated Wethersfield High in 1965. His career in golf started with his working at the GHO Golf Tournaments at Wethersfield Country Club as a Volunteer as a member of the Greater Hartford Jaycees. The GHO, as is the case with many PGA Tournaments, is the major fund-raising event for the Jaycees’ charitable causes. Henry joined the PGA in 1984 as Director of Marketing for TPC Connecticut and then TPC River Highlands when the PGA took over the former Edgewood Country Club.
In 1986 he was named Director of Marketing for the PGA Tour at the PGA National Headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. In 1988, he became the Executive Director of the Players Championship, a position he held until 1996. From 1998 to 2008, he was the Chief of Operations of the PGA Tour. From then until July 2010, he held the title of Executive Vice President and CEO of the Players Championship.
Henry now lives in both Glastonbury and Ponte Vedra Beach with his wife Patricia. They have 2 children, Jennifer and Brian.