ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame will induct an eight-member class this fall, adding standouts from football, swimming, track & field, baseball, broadcasting, softball and the first-ever team inductee to the 187-member hall.
Honorees include the 1993 Men’s Ice Hockey National Championship team, National Football League (NFL) veteran Mike DeVito, multi-record setting swimmer Charles “Chuck” Martin, state champion runner Daniel Rearick, 1964 College World Series All-Tournament selection David Thompson, broadcasting legend Gary Thorne, nine-time America East individual champion Vicki Tolton and 2009 America East softball player of the year, Ashley Waters.
The Class of 2017 Hall of Famers were selected by the M Club and approved by UMaine President Susan J. Hunter and Athletic Director Karlton Creech. The induction dinner and ceremony will be held Sept. 8.
The 1993 men’s ice hockey team has been referred to on numerous occasions as the “Greatest College Hockey Team” in the history of the sport. The Black Bears, who finished the season with an incredible 42-1-2 mark, captured UMaine’s first National Championship after defeating Lake Superior State by a score of 5-4. Maine’s offensive numbers from 1993 still hold true in the NCAA record books as the Black Bears set NCAA all-time records for goals (292, 6.49 per game); assists (481 – 10.69 per game) and points (773 – 17.18 per game). Several individual stars shined throughout the season, highlighted by freshman Paul Kariya who earned the Hobey Baker award, presented to the top player in Division I men’s ice hockey. Kariya, who recorded 25 goals and 75 assists for 100 points, earned both the Hockey East’s rookie and player of the year honors. Jim Montgomery, Maine’s captain in 1993, joined Kariya as a Hobey Baker finalist and also earned NCAA Tournament most valuable player honors. Chris Imes, Dave LaCouture and Dan Murphy represented the Black Bears as alternate captains. Between the pipes, Maine featured All-American Mike Dunham and future 13-year National Hockey League (NHL) veteran, Garth Snow. Individually, the team was made up of five All-Americans and had a total of eight players who went on to enjoy careers in the NHL. The legendary Shawn Walsh served as Maine’s head coach and was assisted by current UMaine head coach, Red Gendron. Walsh earned Hockey East Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Black Bears to a 30-0-2 start, Hockey East regular season and tournament titles and ultimately, the first National Championship in UMaine history.
DeVito, a two-time Atlantic-10 all-conference selection, finished his career at Maine with 112 tackles and 16 sacks. A preseason All-American in 2005 and 2006, DeVito was a two-time Roger Ellis Outstanding Lineman award honoree and earned the Walter Abbott Outstanding Defensive Player Award following his senior season. DeVito was a member of the 2004 UMaine squad which defeated Mississippi St. by a score of 9-7 to earn Maine’s first victory over an Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent. Following his time at UMaine, DeVito began his NFL career in 2007 as an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets. He spent six years in New York before joining the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013 for a three-year stint. In his nine-year professional career, DeVito appeared in 110 games while registering 250 tackles, 5.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
During his four years as a member of the UMaine swim team, Martin achieved long standing records in the 200 freestyle (1:41.94), the 500 freestyle (4:36.10), and the 1650 freestyle (16:09.80) events as well as joining his teammates for record-breaking performances in the 400 and 800 freestyle relay events. Many of his individual records stood for over 20 years and his mark in the 500 freestyle has yet to be topped. Martin, a civil engineering major, was equally impressive out of the pool where he was inducted into the Senior Skull Honor Society.
Rearick, a member of three New England Championship cross country teams (1955-’57) and Yankee Conference Title teams in 1955 and 1957, set the UMaine record in the mile (4:13.9) in 1958. Rearick was a respected leader, serving as captain of the 1956 and 1957 championship cross country teams and was also elected captain of the indoor track team (1957-58) and outdoor team (’58). Following the 1958 Yankee Conference Championship, Rearick smashed the school-record with a 4:13.9 mile, good for fourth place at the IC4A competition. At the 1957 and 1958 Maine Intercollegiate AA Championships, Rearick took home top honors in both the mile and 2-mile events in back-to-back years. Rearick, who was the Yankee Conference Champion in the mile at the ’57 and ’58 meets and the 2-mile in ’58, received the Alan Hillman Memorial Trophy in 1958; recognizing the State Meet’s Most Outstanding Performer.
Thompson, a two-time captain of the Maine Baseball team, helped lead the Black Bears to an appearance in the 1964 College World Series. During the run, Maine captured the Yankee Conference Title, sweeping Northeastern at Fenway Park to send the Black Bears to the World Series. Thompson, an infielder, assisted Maine to postseason victories over Seton Hall, Arizona State and the University of Southern California to move Maine into the championship round. Thompson, who hit safely in all five of Maine’s games at the World Series, tied for the 64-team lead in hitting (.333) and hit a team-leading .315 at the College World Series. For his efforts, Thompson earned spot on the College World Series all-tournament team.
Thorne began his legendary broadcasting career, spanning 40 years and counting, as the play-by-play voice of the UMaine men’s ice hockey team from 1977-86. Following his time at Maine, Thorne moved on to the professional ranks where he called games from 1985-88 for the New York Mets radio broadcast. Over his time in the broadcasting field, Thorne has worked for two NHL franchises (Los Angeles Kings; New Jersey Devils) and three Major League Baseball organizations (Mets, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles). Thorne is currently in his 10th year as the lead play-by-play voice for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) where he calls television games for the Orioles. Thorne, who’s voice can be heard on the MLB 2K video game series, worked for 20 years calling MLB, NHL and College Football games for the ESPN/ABC family of networks. Thorne earned his degree from the University of Maine in 1970 before graduating from the University of Maine School of Law in 1973 and Georgetown Law School in 1976.
Tolton ended her UMaine as one of the most decorated track and field stars ever to come through the program. As of the winter of 2017, Tolton still holds six UMaine indoor and outdoor school-records (I-400 meter; I-500m; I-4x400m hurdles; O-400m; 0-400m hurdles; O-4x400m). She earned nine America East conference titles, a pair of ECAC championship titles and was a two-time NCAA championship competitor in the 400m. Tolton was dominant in the 400m, capturing the America East title five-times in the event. Tolton, a multi-time ECAC individual champion in the 400m was named the America East most outstanding outdoor track athlete in 2010. Tolton competed in four events at the NCAA East Regionals, placing 15th in the 400m in 2009-10.
Waters, a two-time America East all-conference first team selection, received the ultimate league honor in 2008 as the America East player of the year. Twice selected as a National Fastpitch Coaches Association Northeast All-Region team member, Waters was a two-year captain of the Black Bears and an America East all-rookie team honoree in 2006. Academically, Waters was named the America East scholar-athlete of the year in 2008 and earned UMaine’s highest scholar-athlete honor as the female recipient of the M Club Dean Smith Award in 2009. Following her collegiate career, Waters played for the Stratford Brakettes of the Amateur Softball Association. While with the Brakettes, Waters led the team to National Championships in 2010 and 2011 and was a member of the National All-Tournament team in 2011 and 2012. Following her playing career, Waters moved into the coaching ranks where she spent three seasons as an assistant at Harvard before being named the head coach at Boston University in 2015.
The M Club is in its second year administering the Hall of Fame. It took over for the athletic department, which administered the hall since its creation in 1986. Creech and the M Club board indicated the M Club had the institutional memory to annually select a worthy class and had a sufficient volunteer base to stage a dinner and induction ceremony each fall.