On Feb. 20, Tony Quagliata, president of AJQ Sports Management and Marketing, announced that two Tioga County residents will be inducted into the 2019 Greater Binghamton Sports Hall of Fame during a ceremony planned for April 29, and to be held at the Double Tree by Hilton in Binghamton.
Inductees from Tioga County include Richard Brown, former athletic director and coach for Owego Free Academy who will be inducted posthumously; and Gary Deuel, former Owego Free Academy athlete and former coach and educator for the Greene and Chenango Valley High Schools. Deuel also played football for Penn State.
Deuel and Brown are among the 12 inductees to receive this prestigious honor during the planned ceremony and dinner in April.
Others include Sue Carlin, field hockey coach, Maine-Endwell and Greene High Schools; Barb Cook, softball pitching, Susquehanna Valley High School and the University of Connecticut; Mickey Greenberg, basketball player, Harper College, Washington Generals, and coach – Vestal High School; Arthur Jones, football player, Union-Endicott High School, Syracuse University, and a Baltimore Ravens NFL Super Bowl win; Alan Klumpp, football player, Windsor High School, Colgate University, and the Triple Cities Jets; Ben Nelson, executive director, New York State Public High School Athletic Association Inc. Section IV; Margo Walsh Riddle, basketball player, Maine-Endwell High School and Duke University; Tim Schum, soccer coach, Binghamton University; Joseph “Gentleman Joe” Taylor, professional middleweight boxer, fought champion Jack LaMotta; Karl D. Thornton, track and field athlete, Binghamton High School, University of Pennsylvania.
In its fifth year, the Greater Binghamton Sports Hall of Fame has inducted 65 individuals and athletes, and one team – Maine Endwell Little League.
During the Feb. 20 press conference, Quagliata stated, “After this 12, the total number inducted will be 65, and one team.”
He also spoke about the Hall of Fame efforts, noting that the net proceeds from the dinner directly benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Western Broome, and the future establishment of a location for the “Greater Binghamton Sports Hall of Fame.”
A committee with members that include Dave Burch, president of the American Football Association; Tom Corgel, former boys basketball coach at Binghamton High School; John Fox, sports columnist emeritus at the Press & Sun-Bulletin; Jim Maggiore, sports author and historian; Roger Neel, WNBF radio sports director; Tim Schum, former men’s soccer coach at Binghamton University; and Michele Tidick, former girls basketball coach at Vestal and Johnson City High School, selected this year’s inductees.
The speaker for this year’s dinner and banquet was also announced at the Feb. 20 press conference, with much anticipation.
Joe Girardi, who made his rounds in Major League Baseball (MLB), will serve as the guest speaker at this year’s event.
Girardi played in MLB for the Chicago Cubs, the Colorado Rockies, the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals. During a 15-year playing career, Girardi won three World Series Championships with the Yankees in the 1990s, and served as the catcher for Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter and David Cone’s perfect game.
After his playing career ended, Girardi became a manager, and in 2006, he managed the Florida Marlins and was named the National League Manager of the Year. Girardi managed the Yankees from 2008 to 2017, winning the 2009 World Series. He currently serves as an analyst for MLB Network.
“I think this is a home run,” said Quagliata about their selection of this year’s featured speaker, adding, “This is a Yankee town and a Giants town; it also comes down to who is available.”
The April 29 event begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. They’ll also be honoring the Senior Student Athletes of the Year during the program.
The Binghamton Sports Hall of Fame has no permanent home yet but you can see the plaques of previous winners at the Oakdale Mall by the entrance where Macy’s used to be.
For tickets, visit http://ajqsports.net/tickets.html#tickets. While there, you can also find more information about the Hall of Fame and its inductees, past and present.
As for the inductees from Tioga County, Gary Deuel is looking forward to the induction event. Richard Brown’s family will be well represented, too.
On Thursday, Deuel talked about his induction, and reminisced a bit on his career in athletics.
Deuel grew up in Flemingville, N.Y. and was a 1967 graduate of Owego Free Academy, the school where he played football, basketball, and track and field.
Deuel explained that Dick Wheaton was his football coach.
“He was like a second father,” Deuel said of Wheaton.
He also noted that Fred Pierce was his basketball coach and John Kornick coached track and field.
During his football career, Deuel was a linebacker in high school, and went on to play at Penn State as a running back and receiver. He was a business major.
Deuel explained that the Vietnam draft came in 1970 and he drew a short straw. Upon graduation, Deuel headed out to serve, but the Army wouldn’t take him.
He learned, soon after, about an opportunity at Cortland from his former coach, Wheaton.
Robert Robertson was the coach at Cortland, and soon Deuel found himself coaching football and adding a degree of physical education to his already impressive portfolio.
In 1975, his first job, ironically, was in Greene, N.Y. as a business teacher at the school. He was, however, able to coach for two years and was eventually moved into a full-time coaching position, serving as the head football coach at Greene and Chenango Valley High Schools during his tenure.
And after an active career, Deuel eventually retired, and is now wintering at Jekyll Island in Georgia, and resides in Chenango Bridge when he returns north in the spring.
Deuel was previously inducted into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Inc. Section IV Hall of Fame and most recently into the Owego Free Academy Hall of Fame in 2018. Early on, and in 1966, Deuel was named All Southern Tier Football Back of the Year; he was a 3-Year Letterman, from 1968 to 1970, with Penn State University Football.
And looking back at his career, Deuel also had memories of his father, Paul Deuel, who went to Owego Free Academy and was also on the football team. Deuel stated that his father’s senior year was the only year that the team was undefeated. His father served as captain of the team.
His father also served in the military as a WWII pilot. He passed away in 2000.
Deuel is excited about the April ceremony, and is looking forward to seeing some old friends and acquaintances, like Jim Locke and John Kornick, his old track coach.
“It’s pretty exciting for Owego,” said Deuel of his induction, and the induction of the late Coach Brown.
Richard Brown’s family found out late last year that he was being inducted into the Greater Binghamton Sports Hall of Fame. Brown died in February of 2016, and was nominated posthumously for the honor.
Kyle Brown, Richard Brown’s son, attended the Feb. 20 press conference.
According to Kyle, his father was with the Owego-Apalachin School District from 1952 to 1983, and where he coached wrestling, football, baseball and cross-country, and served as an athletic director.
Kyle noted that the Owego Wrestling Program was young in Owego at that time, so his father was a pioneer in it.
“In 19 seasons,” Kyle added, “my father only had one losing season.”
Richard graduated from Union-Endicott in 1946. Following his graduation, he went into the army and ended up serving in Italy. Afterwards, Richard went to Springfield College and eventually returned to Owego in 1952.
And this isn’t Richard’s first induction, either! According to Kyle, his father’s additional inductions include the Section IV Hall of Fame, the Upstate New York Chapter of National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the New York State Athletic Administration’s Wall of Honor, and now the Greater Binghamton Sports Hall of Fame.
Of the induction, Kyle stated, “It’s an honor for our family, and an honor for Tioga County.”
Kyle himself is an Owego Free Academy graduate, and noted that his entire family has participated in athletics. Kyle was active in football, wrestling, and track.
Now, Kyle and his siblings, Roger Brown and Cynthia Walker, both Owego Free Academy graduates, will help to honor their father by attending the April ceremony where Richard will be inducted, posthumously. Richard’s widow, Delores, who is 90, will also be at the banquet.
“She’s very pleased about the honor,” said Kyle.
To learn more about the Greater Binghamton Sports Hall of Fame, and to purchase tickets to the April 29 event, visit AJQSports.com.